By Ian Bremner
Grammy nominations are out. Speculation begins: who deserves it, who was snubbed, who will actually win. “Grammy’s are dumb.” “Music sucks these days; I wish I grew up in the 70s.” Pitchfork and Rolling Stone announce their “Top Albums Of The Year” lists. Rain or snow is coming from the sky and it’s cold as hell. You complain, but you stay inside, dry and listen to music. Every weekend is a sweater party or a rotating dinner of relatives, friends and strangers. It’s that time of year!
For the most part, that’s nonsense. The Grammy’s are pretty dumb, but at least they are starting to recognize they need to adhere to actual music fans. As a result, some of the nominations this year are greatly deserved and give artists like Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell, and Blake Mills a proper platform and new audience.
Music most definitely does NOT suck these days. People clamoring for the good ol’ days probably haven’t attempted to find new bands since the 70s and turns out, that’s really all you need to do. Find NEW and/or GOOD music, there’s lots of it. 2015 was a special year.
Kendrick Lamar and D’Angelo put out some of the most politically and racially charged music of all time, drawing the attention of everyone with ears. Genres aside, people listened and came together and are better for it.
Father John Misty took his sweet and demented love story to a broader crowd. His wit and charm may not sit well with everyone, but to those in on the joke, that angelic voice carries a lot of weight.
Alabama Shakes took their 2012 debut, Boys & Girls, and injected some funky and spacy steroids to create something out of this world.
Tobias Jesso Jr. may have caught the hearts and ears of Taylor Swift and Adele, but the 30-year old Canadian stands on his own as a songwriter and a talent.
Wilco put out their best album in a decade.
Leon Bridges and Courtney Barnett went from Ft. Worth and Australia, respectively, to the top of radio charts and people’s hearts.
Big Grams, The Arcs, Diamond Rugs and EL VY represented for the collaborators and “super groups.”
Kurt Vile went deep down.
My Morning Jacket is clearly in their prime as they continue to surprise and layer some gorgeous rock n roll. Their live show has unspeakable spirit and energy.
These are all great albums, but they are not the only great albums put out this year. These simply got the most airplay at OLD ROOKIE HQ. If you agree, disagree, let’s chat. The search continues…
The Top Whatever (34) Albums Of 2015
Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free
Kurt Vile – believe im goin down
Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I sit and think, sometimes I just sit
Wilco – Star Wars
Tobias Jesso Jr – Goon
Dawes – All Your Favorite Bands
My Morning Jacket – The Waterfall
Big Grams – Big Grams
The Arcs – Yours, Dreamily,
Diamond Rugs – Cosmetics
Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color
JEFF The Brotherhood – Wasted On The Dream
Bully – Feels Like
Chris Stapleton – Traveller
Israel Nash – Silver Season
Shannon & The Clams – Gone By The Dawn
Leon Bridges – Coming Home
Gary Clark Jr – Story Of Sonny Boy Slim
Tuxedo – Tuxedo
Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material
Ryley Walker – Primrose Green
Vanessa Carlton – Liberman
Florence + The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Mild High Club – Timeline
Thunderbitch – Thunderbitch
Onra – Fundementals
Rayland Baxter – Imaginary Man
T. Hardy Morris – Drownin on A Mountaintop
Erykah Badu – But You Caint Use My Phone
Dungen – Allas Sak
Khruangbin – The Universe Smiles Upon You
EL VY – Return To The Moon
The Top Whatever Playlist of 2015 via Spotify