Dana’s Best Albums of 2015

By Dana Pacifico, January 26th 2016 2015 Best Of 2015 Best Of List

bestof15banner-danafinal

For me 2015 was a great year musically. Three of my favorite bands released solid albums and pop music made a serious movement. It was incredibly difficult to put a number on each of these albums because they not only speak to my soul sonically but in being a concert photographer I’ve gotten so see many of these artists live and those experiences also help give me a singular feeling that is hard to measure.

Honorable Mentions:

The Weeknd – Beauty Behind The Madness

The Weeknd

Ratatat – Magnifique

Ratatat_Magnifique_cover

Kate Boy – ONE

Kate Boy - One

Troye Sivan – Blue Neighborhood

Troye Sivan – Blue Neighborhood

Grimes – Art Angels

Grimes - Art Angels

Top 10 Albums of 2015:

10. Purity Ring – Another Eternity

Purity Ring - Another Eternity

Purity Ring somehow manages to take R&B, Trap, Electronic, Indie and Pop elements to create a sound that is so distinguishably them. Another Eternity seems to lead on exactly where Shrines left off and I’m not mad about it. “Stranger Than Earth” straddles the line of “bro house” but you can’t help but get sucked into Megan James layered “I wasn’t thinkin’ bout you” coos.

Favorite Track: “Begin Again”

9. Jamie xx- In Colour

Jamie xx - In Color

The long awaited debut solo album from Jamie xx is an interesting union of well thought out songs that represents his musical journey throughout the last seven plus years. Jamie xx seamlessly flows his way from genre to genre with each passing song and produces a solid, cohesive album with a song for every occasion. From listen 1, “I Know Theres Gonna Be Good Times” caught me soley for Young Thug’s verse, “Imma ride in that pussy like stroller,” which made me laugh uncontrollably. Jamie and I share a similar love for steel drums and “Obvs” is a beautiful paradise infused, introverted instrumental that tugs at the heartstrings.

Favorite Track: “Loud Places”

8. CHVRCHES – Every Open Eye

CHVRCHES – Every Open Eye

As with Disclosure and Purity Ring on my list, Chvrches pulled everyone in with their first album and had much to prove with their sophomore effort. From the first listen Every Open Eye sucked me in. It was poppier, harder, and Lauren Mayberry confirmed her status as a songstress that can carry a beautiful cerebral hook that consistently gets stuck in my head. A stand out song for me is the only Martin Doherty led song, “High Enough To Carry You Over”, which lands at track 6, and similarly track 6 on Bones Of What You Believe is the gem, “Under The Tide.” Coincidence? I think not.

Favorite Track: “Down Side Of Me”

7. Disclosure – Caracal

Disclosure – Caracal

Settle put Disclosure on the map and Caracal is keeping them there. With features by Lorde, The Weeknd, Miguel and past collaborator Sam Smith, Caracal is another dance heavy album with more of a stadium sound. The Lawrence brothers created a sound that paved the way for a reinvention within electronic music and now they seem to be doing the same in pop. On “Jaded” we finally get to hear a bit of Howard’s vocal range, which I hope gets pushed even further in the future.

Favorite Track: “Magnets”

6. Ryn Weaver – The Fool

Ryn Weaver - The Fool

Ryn Weaver burst onto the scene in 2014 with “Octahate,” but after diving deeply into her album, The Fool, it is safe to say that that isn’t the best representation of her work. “Traveling Song” is dedicated to her grandfather, and the love in her voice brings tears to my eyes. “Pierre” illustrates a story about the lightheartedness of an overpowering crush. Ryn writes thoughtful lyrics that have the power to be the self-aware foolish voice for young love-struck girls everywhere.

Favorite Track: “Sail On”

5. Hot Chip – Why Makes Sense?

Hot Chip - Why Make Sense

Maybe I’m a little biased for anything Hot Chip because they are my favorite band, but they continue to create music that get my heart pumping. A common thread throughout their albums is their passion for love and dancing and they’ve once again woven those themes throughout Why Makes Sense?. Hot Chip have the quirky “White Wine & Fried Chicken” ballad that moves into the Joe Goddard vocally led “Dark Night,” that has closes with the lasting lyrics, “If I don’t get to see you, At least I can feel you”.

Favorite Track: “Need You Now”

4. Justin Bieber – Purpose

Justin Bieber - Purpose

When Jack Ü dropped “Where Are Ü Now” last spring they released the worlds gateway drug that turned most into Beliebers. A year ago I would have scoffed at anyone trying to defend Justin Bieber as someone with music worth listening to but here I am giving Purpose my #4 album of the year. This album was everything I wanted in pop from the person I wanted it from the least. Bieber put it all out there and seems to have hit a great musical stride that he should ride on for as long as possible.

Favorite Track: “Children”

3. Foals – What Went Down

Foals - What Went Down

Foals had a lot to live up to after 2013’s Holy Fire. And ill be the first to admit that What Went Down didn’t catch onto me initially because I held Holy Fire to such a high standard. This record showed that Foals have learned to seamlessly blend their signature rock style to create these beautiful almost poppy ballads. Part of the reason why Foals hold a special place in my heart is partly because they put on the best live show and Yannis & Co. seemed to have captured a bit of their live essence on record.

Favorite Track: “A Knife in the Ocean”

2. Florence + the Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

Florence + the Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

There is just something about Florence Welch that really digs at my core in the best way possible. Her lyrics are a lovers landscape; her voice – enchanting and powerful, and her live performances demonstrate strength and beauty at its finest that provide me with a spiritual experience. HBHBHB emerged another baroque version of Florence that showcased how deeply she feels which is something that I can relate to on so many levels. Her innate ear for unifying catchy melodies, drums and horns with her powerful voice has grown over time to creating soaring triumphant anthems on HBHBHB.

Favorite Track: “Deliliah”

1. Tame Impala – Currents

Tame Impala Currents

Tame Impala had big shoes to fill with their third release and Kevin Parker certainly did not disappoint with Currents. Parkers lyrics suck you into his many thoughts and views of a broken relationship that we’ve all felt at one point or another, with his instrumentation erupting into the happiest of dances. The crazy conflux of polarizing feelings is what I enjoy most. Parker picks and pieces together different elements of R&B, Soul and Electronic to form a new sound for Tame Impala that makes Currents hard to compare against Innerspeaker and Lonerism. Currents is one of those albums that I can play from start to finish over and over again and never get sick of.

Favorite Track: “Eventually”

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