We continued asking our Brunch team what their favourite albums of 2015 were…
James Bay’s Chaos and the Calm. Now I couldn’t decide between this and Passenger’s Whispers II. In the end, although (as people who know me will tell you) I am possibly Passenger’s biggest fanboy, I think that there is a greater variety of songs on Chaos and the Calm; and secondly, I was lucky enough to see James Bay live in Birmingham, which was an incredible experience.
My favourite song from the album, “Running”, can only be found on the deluxe edition and if you haven’t heard it, I really recommend it. Of course the other great songs include: “Let It Go”, “Need The Sun To Break”, “Move Together”, “If You Ever Want To Be In Love”, and so many others. Released in March, the indie/folk-rock album quickly rose to the number one spot in the UK, Ireland and Switzerland, as well as going Platinum in the UK. He’s an amazing lyricist with a talent for creating incredible and memorable riffs that are quite literally music to the ears.
My favourite album of 2015 was Every Open Eye by CHVRCHES. I think people often get confused about what pop music actually is. It often gets typecast as corporate mechanical junk churned out for the masses, a reputation that it has earned to some extent. However, at its best, pop music is able (often in four minutes or less) to perfectly capture emotional snapshots that we all feel, promising us that we’re not alone.
Every Open Eye is a perfect example of this. It may not have had any smash hits but it’s a beautiful and cohesive album that works sonically and lyrically. On a personal level, “Leave a Trace” – the album’s lead single – was the first song I ever played on the radio, so it does have a bit of personal importance as well.
Catfish and The Bottlemen with The Balcony. Despite much competition this year (Frank Turner’s Positive Songs for Negative People for one), Catfish and The Bottlemen’s debut album The Balcony scored top spot. Their lusty sound is reminiscent of the Arctic Monkeys’ early work. Their daring lyrics and riffy guitar lines embody classic British adolescence. For me, this album is timeless, their tracks will never tire and as a result The Balcony will remain a firm favourite with teenagers for generations.
My album of 2015 is The World Is A Beautiful Place I am No Longer Afraid to Die’s Harmlessness. An extraordinarily long band name for an extraordinary band. After recently moving to the goliath of independent labels, Epitaph records, TWIABP have illustrated that indie rock is still strong and, more importantly, inventive.
There are plenty of post-rock and emo influences for late night tears, if you’re that way inclined. On the flipside, there are plenty of happy melodies. This is a comprehensive album at 50 minutes in length, and one I quite like to listen to during menial tasks e.g. life. I must confess I am following suit by naming this my favourite album of 2015; a number of publications have beat me to the post. However, if you haven’t listened to the album after Stereogum and Absolutepunk have sung its praises, then I may be your last hope. Give it a listen.
Meghan Trainor released her album Title on the 9th January 2015, featuring her debut single “All about that bass”. So what’s my answer to “why did I choose this album as my favorite of 2015?” Well being a fan of vintage themes, Meghan’s album is complimentary by giving out a very futuristic 50s style vibe. She even manages to maintain a high level of upbeat positivity, whether it be through fast paced beats of a drum or through the plucks of a ukulele. With songs like “Mr Almost” and “No Good for You”, her positive address about self-confidence suggests that there’s no need to break out the ice cream if you’re going through a tough break up.
Drenge, with Undertow. The two-piece band completely upped the ante on their 2015 album release. The sound of this album is much more raw and deep than their self-titled debut Drenge, released two years prior. The songs on the album clearly depict their growth in taste, style and structure in the alternative music scene. For me, it’s the best album of the year because even though it gives us a taster of what is to come from the band, it also shows us their progression that has been praised by many a critic.
Smoke and Mirrors by Imagine Dragons. This is Imagine Dragon’s latest album, heavy on the songs but incredibly light on the inspiration. Their alternative take on rock brings a different feel to the genre. This is my favourite album of 2015 by far; it’s fun, it’s full of energy, and it has a vast variety of sounds suited to everyone’s taste. I guarantee you could find one song you like from them!
For me, the best album of 2015 is Dark Bird Is Home by The Tallest Man On Earth. Dark Bird Is Home is the forth album by Kristian Matsson, and his most personal yet. Tracks such as “Sagres” and “Darkness of the Dream” epitomise this, engaging the listeners in the troubles and loneliness that Kristian bares.
It has become a mainstay on my playlists since its release in April, and will remain there for a good time yet. Honourable mentions should also go to Everything Everything and Foals for their albums this year, which were also fantastic.
I refuse to answer to give a top 2015 album on the grounds that music finished in 1989.
We have decided that as Frank Turner’s ‘Positive Songs for Negative People’ was nearly a best album for 3 presenters, we’re going to grant him an honorary Brunch Best Album of 2015. There you go Frank, we love you.
There you have it. Did we miss your favourite album of 2015? What album are you looking forward to in 2016? Comment and let us know!