I thought longer than I usually do about whether or not to pull together my annual BOY Best Of the Year list. In my younger days, I was more vociferous about sharing my musical discoveries but over the past year, something changed as my enjoyment of music became more personal. Increasingly, I have discovered that there are two categories of musicheads:
Musichead A consistently nudges people in the direction of good music.
Musichead B allows their passion to spill over into being judgemental and supercilious.
I try to be Musichead A yet my ego keeps rearing its head and musichead B pops up.
Regardless, I remain a sucker for a good list so here are the records that I loved in 2015:
1) Julia Kent “Asperities”. Violin. Strings.
2) Celer: “How Could You Believe Me When I Said I loved You When You Know I’ve Been A Liar All My Life”. The title alone should earn it a place. This LP is the sound of wandering through the deserted late night streets of Tokyo with some headphones on.
3) Levon Vincent: “Levon Vincent”. Sublime melting pot of deep house and techno.
4) Moon Duo: “Moon Duo”. Rumbling, atmospheric bass lines crash with crescendos of ambience.
5) Helios: “Yume”. Keith Kenniff Part One. Spine-tingling synths with Edge-esque guitar licks.
6) Anthony Naples: “Body Pill”. Blistering four-to-the-floor beats. “Refugio” was my electro jam of 2015.
7) Alessandro Cortini: “Forse 3”. Cortini squeezes wonderful shards of emotion out of his synthesizer. His other LP “Risveglio” was also great.
8) Deer Hunter: “Fading Frontier”. My jangly pop record of 2015.
9) Slow Meadow: “Slow Meadow”. Trumpets, strings, the lot.
10) Goldmund: “Sometimes”. Keith Kenniff Part Two. Shimmering pianos, Nils-esque soundscapes.
11) Leila Abdul-Rauf: “Insomnia”. Shiny triangles, squares of darkness and haunting vocals coagulate with some shimmering grand piano with echoes of the great Dead Can Dance.
12) Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds: “Loom”. Stripped down beauty.
13) Eivind Aarset: “IE”. Wonderful.
14) Michael Price: “Entanglement”. Sounds to watch the stars with.
15) Godspeed You Black Emperor: “Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress”. Excellent comeback record.
16) Bjork: “Vulnicura Strings”. Bjork’s angelic vocals drenched in beautifully orchestrated string arrangements.
17) Rafael Anton Irisarri: “A Fragile Geography”. Wicked drone ambience.
18) Tobias Jesso Junior: “Goon”. Harmonious vocals.
19) Beach House: “Thank Your Lucky Stars”. Consistent without hitting their previous heights.
20) Jerusalem In My Heart: “If He Dies, If If If If If If”. Could die happy after listening to this.
21) Deepchord: “Ultraviolet Music”. Submarine techno.
22) Bill Ryder Jones: “West Kirby County Primary”. Down to earth quality indie-pop.
23) Moritz Von Oswald: “Sounding Drums”. Gurgly synths with a live feeling from the Basic Channel maestro.
24) Lubomyr Melnyk: “Rivers And Streams”. The human piano hits another home run.
25) Max Richter: “From sleep”. Melodic wonderfulness.
26) Peder Mannerfelt: “III”. Futuristic, experimental. “Acid Drop” my highlight.
27) Other lives: “Rituals”. Following the template of “Other animals” only not as remarkable.
28) Floating points: “Elaenia”.
29) William Basinski: “Cascade”. Forty minutes of pure majesty from the King of ambience.
30) Moon Duo: “Shadow of the Sun”. “Night beat” was one of the 2015 wigs outs.
31) Tarantel: “Mort aux Vaches”. Really important band for me. This was not technically released in 2015 and was a re-release. Powerful stuff though, loved it. Again.