Somehow, another year went away. Here are the best sounds from 2015, which are now totally out of date. These artists have already moved on, why can’t you?
10. Caught On Tape – Full Bleed
Thurston Moore and John Moloney said they’d make a black metal record, after calling black metal a genre for dead pussies, and the result is ‘Full Bleed’. This will break your eardrums, and ruin any party, with the Melvins-like sludge mixing with Thurston’s passion for avant-garde noise noodles. Whilst lyrical content is absent from this full bleed, the tone can easily be grasped from titles such as ‘Reverse Funeral’, and ‘Arguing With A Balloon’.
Music for those who want to disintegrate from existence.
Choice Track: Rubber Grandma
9. Yo La Tengo – Stuff Like That There
Stuff Like That There contains stuff like that there, it doesn’t mislead. You’ll be listening to the soft spoken lyrics and going ‘Ah! I know that song!’, then, ‘Ah! I think I know this one too!’ Much like Yo La Tengo’s ‘Fakebook’, this album is packed with sweet sounding covers of past hits, including The Cure’s ‘Friday I’m In Love’, and even covers from the band’s own past. It isn’t like one of those Rod Stewart cover albums, it’s part of their DNA.
Music for those who want to hear familiarity differently.
Choice Track: Automatic Doom
8. Screaming Females – Rose Mountain
Climbing Rose Mountain is a relentless experience, there are no safe footings. Vocalist Marissa’s abrasive vocals have the ability to pump every minute full of noise punk energy, and it works on every level of this rose mountain. It follows the typical slow/fast pop rock album structure, take a Paramore release for example, but the edges are beaten then strangled, until it sounds completely ugly, the good kind of ugly. Typical? No, not at all.
Music for those who love things ugly.
Choice Track: Ripe
7. Deaf Wish – Pain
Deaf Wish feel like a familiar friend. They give a little bit of The Stooges, they give a little bit of Sonic Youth, a little bit of The Velvet Underground, and a little bit of everything else. Like a best of without a cover in sight, and when you consider how active those past bands are today, it feels good to have a bit of raw power making its way into your ear holes in 2015. They already sound like classics for nostalgics, and it only hurts a little.
Music for those who long to comfort themselves that the past is just that.
Choice Track: Calypso
6. Dr. Dre – Compton
Dr. Dre has been swimming in his pool of money for a long time now. People now know of him for his headphones, but the new biopic Straight Outta Compton stirred something within his heart. It brought back memories, triggering a flame inside, one which wasn’t the usual heartburn. And so, Dr. Dre called up his friends, old and new, then put out his soundtrack to an era long gone. Despite looking into the past, these beats feel so today.
Music for those who listen with Beats.
Choice Track: Medicine Man
5. Peaches – Rub
Inversion is the game Peaches plays, with Rub smearing male dominance for what it is through role reversal. The songs are crude, with everything laid out in the nude. This is an aggressive dose of electronica, but it isn’t just a bundle of crass cuts. There’s truth in the words, and makes a change from the lyrical content that ends up attached to your usual dance hit. Not that anything here would make it to any nearby club, it just wouldn’t rub.
Music for those who want to dance against the status quo.
Choice Track: Free Drink Ticket
4. Pond – Man It Feels Like Space Again
Psychedelic is now a norm, with psychedelia bands popping out of every neighbourhood, to the point that the sound no longer captures those distant dreams and fuzzed out trips. Pond are part of this movement, but they are looking to the stars, rather then their shoes, with each album shifting further and further from the ground. Man It Feels Like Space Again is planetary pop, floating through the atmosphere, those neighbourhoods far away.
Music for those looking for the feeling of space. Again.
Choice Track: Sitting Up On Our Crane
3. Blanck Mass – Dumb Flesh
The thing about flesh that makes it so, is how easy it is to bruise, how easy it is to cut. Blanck Mass takes to electronica in the same way, cutting it up, melding it into something black and blue, ugly but true. Tracks are smothered in layers of noise, as if the synths have been pushed through a blender, then pieced back together into fragile throbbing pieces of gristle. It all hangs together, providing moments of beauty, and dread.
Music for those looking to ravage their dumb flesh ears.
Choice Track: Dead Format
2. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
This is an album which shouldn’t exist in 2015, but sadly the themes within are still as relevant now as they were back when NWA were saying ‘Fuck The Police‘. Watching Straight Outta Compton, themes connect with what’s on offer here, and it’s sad. Lamar’s blend of jazz, rap, and unhinged recurring, unravelling spoken word make for a statement full of life, delving into fame, and politics, negativity becoming celebration. It’s power.
Music for those who are sick of being pimped.
Choice Track: These Walls
1 . Low – Ones and Sixes
Some days, some weeks, some months, they just aren’t happening. The skies can be blue, but it’s hard to see them as anything but grey. Driving down the motorway, walking through the city, nothing feels like anything. But the Ones and Sixes CD in the car, or the music file on the mp3 player in your pocket, are keeping things together.
It breathes in how you feel and then pushes out your thoughts, projected into song. It isn’t telling you to chin up, nor is it telling you to drown in misery. It’s like a crutch for a bad day; most days are. And then ‘Landslide’ kicks in, and it smothers all the negative thoughts, it cleanses your soul. For a moment, those blue skies are actually blue as they say.
Music for those feeling a little low. Just a little.
Choice Track: Landslide
More Music: Cheatahs – Mythologies, Death Grips – The Powers That B, Deerhunter – Fading Frontier, Disasterpiece – It Follows OST, Grimes – Art Angels, Lightning Bolt – Fantasy Empire, METZ – II, Mutant – Arca, Tame Impala – Currents, Viet Cong – Viet Cong
2015 provided something for every emotion. Songs to dance to. Songs to sing to. Songs to cry to. Songs to scream to.
And now, a collection of songs from 2015, to make up a week. Play them on repeat.
Songs For A Very Bad Week
Monday: Doldrums – Loops
The start of the week is rough going for everybody. Those who work have to drag themselves out of bed, whilst those who don’t work lie in bed with the concern of another long empty joyless week ahead of them.
With Loops, you can get the party started at the beginning, in an attempt to bring some life to your Monday morning, afternoon, and night. Let the dance beat loop endlessly. A week is a loop, so start it with one.
Tuesday: Blanck Mass – Dead Format
The dance keeps on going, but the sound isn’t quite so clean. In fact, it all sounds a little off. A little volatile, a little broken. But then, so are you.
And the dead format that you are keeps on dancing till in pieces. What happened to the day? What happened to the night? The noise is overriding any sense of time.
Wednesday: Death Grips – I Break Mirrors With My Face In The United States
It’s midweek, yet Friday still seems out of reach. You can try and grab onto tomorrow, but tomorrow is never today. Anger might be bubbling after the 48 hour party in your head, so let it all out by breaking mirrors in the United States. Or just the UK, it doesn’t matter.
Break them with your fists, break them with your face, then buy some more so you can break some more.
Might as well be on a Black Flag album cover, that’s what you should be aiming for. I know I am.
Thursday: Tame Impala – ‘Cause I’m A Man
Take a trip into the local town, or the local city, and potter around all the retail stores. More than two of these stores is guaranteed to be playing ‘Cause I’m A Man’ by Tame Impala, and it’s a soothing pop song with a killer hook, you probably agree.
So curl up in the sale clothes rack and say it. Yeah, I’m a man, woman. Say it till they escort you out.
Friday: Blur – There Are Too Many Of Us
The outside world might be too much today, but the weekend is near. People are everywhere, so stick on ‘There Are Too Many Of Us’, and lose yourself in the crowds. Suffocate in a crowded lift. Walk slowly behind the slowest of shoppers. Rub shoulders with a stranger. Don’t throw up on the pavement, it’s Friday!
Saturday: Ought – Beautiful Blue Sky
And relax. You’ve made it through another week. It felt like it was never going to come, but here we are. The retail trip wasn’t so bad, nor were all those people. Being locked in a room with the speakers blaring might have been a bit much, but for once you couldn’t hear the banging on the wall.
And with this you can return to normality, no longer afraid to dance. But there is no one left to dance with.
Sunday: Deerhunter – Carrion
The day of rest. Spend it asking just what it is that’s wrong with you, and why everybody else isn’t asking the same questions.
Though really, everyone is asking it. Especially on a holy Sunday.
Then play it on repeat.
Then play it on repeat.
Play it on repeat.
Play on repeat.
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