This year was stacked full of music that kept me company during the good times and the bad. I paid more attention to the trends and the obscure more than I had in the last several years. During the beginning of this year I paid close attention to new music because I was fresh off of my “best-of 2014” self-assignment. As the year progressed I veered away from seeking out new music and resorted to the skate-punk of my yesterdays. I came back to new music toward the end of the year to find that new can still be good.
The following list of five albums are the five that I really enjoyed, and wanted to share, but did not make my list of top 10 albums of 2015 (and runner-up top 10 albums of 2015).
In no particular order, these are my honorary mentions of the best albums of 2015.
Tenement — Predatory Headlights
If pop punk could be pretentious and get away with it then Tenement are at the front of the line. Not saying that pop punk cannot be pretentious (refer to Brand New or Coheed in Cambria), but only suggesting that it is rarely done well. Tenement ambitiously incorporate out-of-key piano and string arrangements amidst solid punkrock tracks to incorporate what could be two entirely different albums. It is a bit long-winded, but given the struggle to find music in this vein it is worth the endurance.
The Arcs – Yours, Dreamily
One half of The Black Keys equals “Yours, Dreamily”. This set of songs will fit snuggly alongside the archives from Dan Auerbach. This particular collection of work grew slowly on me, but will likely be longlasting.
Tanlines – Highlights
One of my daughter’s favorite songs to dance to from 2015 happens to also be one of mine also. There’s no better song to speed your step to than the first track on this album, Pieces. Although the second half of the album found me disinterested, the first half was enough to keep me coming back for more Tanlines.
Jeff Rosenstock – We Cool?
This album caught my focus at an emotional low. The track Nausea was enough to keep my undivided attention as Rosenstock went on a free fall into moral decadence as he subtly wishes for something better throughout that song, and subsequently the rest of the album. This man does not take himself seriously and his songs portray that. “We Cool?” captures youth and irresponsibility while weaving that coveted DIY punk rock persona from an aging 30-something. While Jeff Rosenstock is no Ted Leo, he is still something to take note of.
José González – Vestiges & Claws
Soft-spoken vocals are a dime a dozen nowadays. This album stood out to me this year because of the simplicity of his music that accompanied the hushed tone in his voice. One of my favorite songs of the year includes the last track of this album in Open Book. I look forward to what the future of José González and his music will bring us.
Stay tuned for my “runner-up top 10” and “actual top 10” list of the best albums of 2015.
I hope you enjoy.