2015 was an incredible and valuable year for music. It was also quite broad; I didn’t get the chance to listen to nearly as much as I anticipated because something great kept getting released just about every week. Here are my favorite records from the past twelve months. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.
10. The Wonder Years – No Closer To Heaven
9. Foxing – Dealer
8. I The Mighty – Connector
7. The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die – Harmlessness
6. Hotel Books – Run Wild, Young Beauty
Four years’ worth of time, energy, blood, and emotion went into I Made You Something, the sophomore record from Chicago’s massive folk-slam-punk collective The Island Of Misfit Toys. Easily the most original record on this list, IMYS is an audible vat of differentiating personas created from ringleader Anthony Sanders’s brain, spewed out by himself and his eight bandmates. I stumbled upon this band in a west Philly basement and thanks to this opus, the world will rightfully know who they are very soon.
Pale Horses just may be the best mewithoutYou record ever made…the only problem is that it’ll take some time to fully realize that. While 2012’s Ten Stories sat atop my list from that year, it took me even more time to find its inclusive quirks and deeper beauty. What we’re given with Pale Horses is an abrasive and intricate entry in the legendary mewithoutYou catalog, mixing elements from every one of their releases to create something new.
Not only does Handmade top The Ongoing Concept’s debut Saloon, the title is quite literal; the band handmade every instrument and even built the set for the music video they shot and directed themselves. On record, TOC displays immense growth and delivers rhythmic, soulful (post-)hardcore throwdowns in the vein of letlive., mixed with Foxy Shazam in both sound and show. This band is going to be massive and this record is proof.
I had been waiting six years for a chance to hear Act IV. After the interestingly lacking Act III in 2009, Casey Crescenzo & Co. ventured into even more experimental territory, releasing the expansive Color Spectrum collection in 2011, followed by the wonderful Migrant in 2013. Everything about Act IV is perfect; a record akin to the atmosphere of Act II and the songwriting styles of both Act I and Migrant make it addictive for even the most casual Dear Hunter fans.
Turnover did what almost every punk band tries to do. You know, that thing where their sound drastically shifts from a loud or hard foundation into a calmer forte. The only difference between them and everyone else is that they pulled it off seamlessly. Peripheral Vision makes its home in your mind and body and refuses to leave or pay rent on time. It’s a record that soars, hurts, and shines and my only wish is that it would run longer.
11. Motion City Soundtrack – Panic Stations
12. Hop Along – Painted Shut
13. Dance Gavin Dance – Instant Gratification
14. Sorority Noise – Joy, Departed
15. Petal – Shame
16. Pet Symmetry – Pets Hounds
17. Enter Shikari – The Mindsweep
18. alone. – Somewhere In The Sierras
19. Senses Fail – Pull the Thorns From Your Heart
20. Silverstein – I Am Alive In Everything I Touch
Top 5 EPs:
1. Adjy – Another Flammarion Woodcut
2. No Stranger – Haste
3. Pianos Become the Teeth – Close
4. Begin Again – Everything Is Changing
5. Rozwell Kid – Good Graphics
Most Anticipated: Now, Now