Top 30 Albums of the Year 2015 – The International Edition (part two 20-11)
December 19, 2015 § Leave a comment
20. Hip Hatchet – Hold You Like A Harness
Hip Hatchet aka Philippe Bronchtein kicks of the top 20 with his beautiful album Hold You Like A Harness. There’s a couple of songs that I don’t like that much, but mostly I find it absolutely brilliant. Tacoma Bound and Words of Wisdom in the middle of the album is my favourite moment of the album. I might not be the travelling kind myself, but those songs travel into my heart.
19. Leon Bridges – Coming Home
Occasionally also the major labels get things right. Signing Leon Bridges and releasing his awesome album Coming Home is one of those occasions. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure is Coming Home the masterpiece many think it is. It certainly has some songs where I definitely love the idea and the execution of the song more than the song itself. However, I’m 100% sure that Leon Bridges is wonderful. I’m very much into his southern heavily gospel-influenced soul that he masters so perfectly. It’s also damn sweet to see that you can be successful by doing that. And yeah there are amazing songs on Coming Home. Here Leon is performing River for the La Blogothèque.
18. Christopher Paul Stelling – Labor Against Waste
I had a lot of difficulties to decide where to put this one. Labor Against Waste by Christopher Paul Stelling is an album that is very dear to me. I love half of it so much, but there’s also a couple of songs that I don’t really like that much (especially Horse is not my cup of tea). That’s why I kept on changing it’s position from the the top 10 to the last positions and finally settled somewhere in the middle. A great album despite some minor flaws. And those aren’t really flaws. Just my personal preference.
17. Nap Eyes – Whine Of The Mystic
I didn’t get the greatness of Nap Eyes instantly. It definitely took me some time, but now I can’t understand why I was so blind. Listening to the whole album Whine Of The Mystic opened my ears and now I consider myself as a big fan of the band who is looking forward to the new album that will drop in early 2016. Nap Eyes sort of reminds me of some of my big favourites like The Modern Lovers, The Go-Betweens and The Rollstons, but still they seem very original and unique.
16. Little Wings – Explains
This might not be the catchiest kind of music I can think of, but still I instantly fell in love with the new Little Wings album Explains. Fat Chance, Hill Hidden Nog and Old Apocalypse Style is one hell of a song trio during the early stages of the album. I really need to make a new year’s promise to properly go through Kyle Field’s song vault. So far I’ve only touched the surface outside this album.
15. Jake Xerxes Fussell – Jake Xerxes Fussell
Another treasure from the vaults of Paradise Of Bachelors. This self-titled debut full-length by Jake Xerxes Fussell is a marvellous southern folk/blues record. Old traditional songs wonderfully arranged and brought to the porches of our time.
14. James McMurtry – Complicated Game
Here’s one that might be even higher on an imaginary objective list. James McMurtry is a masterful songwriter and his new album Complicated Game is remarkable and full of astonishing storytelling. I’m actually wondering how is it possible that the idiot who writes this blog forgot to include Carlisle’s Haul on his song of the year list. That is one hell of a song.
13. Andy Shauf – The Bearer Of Bad News
I’m aware that The Bearer of Bad News by Andy Shauf first came out some years ago. I do remember listening to it on Bandcamp quite a long time ago. So it might be a little questionable pick, but it did came out officially on a label in early 2015 and I did buy it in the summer, so I guess it’s perfectly ok to include it. Anyway, I think it’s a wonderful record. Andy is a very gifted songwriter and has an amazing voice as well. I also love the arrangements on most of these songs. Perhaps the album isn’t entirely flawless, but there’s a lot to love. The epic tale of Wendell Walker sneaked on the songs of the year list, but it’s not the only magnificent song on the album. Maybe a couple of just ok ones during the latter stages of the album, but mostly brilliant.
12. Michael Feuerstack – The Forgettable Truth
I probably should make a separate list for Canadian musicians, so other nationalities would have a chance. On the 12th spot we have another Canadian songwriting guru Michael Feuerstack. His latest album The Forgettable Truth has been a loyal companion throughout the year and still sounds fresh and still manages to reveal new layers. He has been one of the artists that I’ve listened to the most during the last couple of years, because I’ve been finding my way through his glorious back catalogue. While I fully recommend all that past stuff, this new album might well be the best album he has written.
11. Daniel Romano – If I’ve Only One Time Askin’
Well this hurts a little. Leaving the great Daniel Romano just outside the top 10. I kept on changing the positions from 9-11 on this list so many times. So on another day Daniel Romano could easily be on the 9th spot. I don’t know why I bother ranking these albums in order. Maybe alphabetical list next year, if onechord.net is still alive next year (part of me still wants to quit when the blog reaches 15 years next September). Anyway, If I’ve Only One Time Askin’ is the new album by Canadian Daniel Romano who really is the master of the old-fashioned country ballad. I guess my only problem with this beautiful record is that the man has set the bar so ridiculously high with his past releases that I guess I kind of expected the sun, the moon and the stars and when I only got two of them I felt that perhaps the album could have been even better. But enough of this pointless rambling. It’s Daniel Romano, I love him and here’s an astoundingly beautiful song from his wonderful new album to close this chapter of this album of the year list.