FLOOD’s 10 Best Records of 2015 (So Far)
From the crowning of a new hip-hop king to the reemergence of the experimental soundscape queen, the first half of the year has been as unpredictable as it has been excellent.
And just like that, we’re officially into the second half of not only 2015, but the entire decade as well. So it’s high time we take a moment to take a look back and reflect on some of our favorites from the year so far. Here are ten albums that rise above the current—in alphabetical order.
ONE LITTLE INDIAN
As this stunningly affecting work once again proves, nothing, from monogamy to museum walls, could ever contain Bjork’s tremendous spirit.
It’s Carnation’s natural sounds (“Daddy I Cut My Hair”), blaring saxophones (“Shine of the Night”), and wailing guitars (“For Every Bite”) that make this album particularly distinct from Gibson’s past, American Gothic–leaning efforts. Such experimentation is all that should be expected from an undeniably niche artist, and celebrated when it succeeds.
Father John Misty
I Love You, Honeybear
From the soulful gospel of “When You’re Smiling and Astride Me” to the cherubic synth-pop of “True Affection,” this kaleidoscope of a release is brimming with ideas both batty and inspired.
That the arty, post-disco duo Sparks would team up with the Scottish dance-rock revivalists Franz Ferdinand (known for their own brand of smart, lyrical rock) might come as a surprise initially, but upon listening to the supergroup’s excellent musical results, all doubts vanish.
A veritable zeitgeist of one, Jamie xx has managed to spin off from his soul-goth namesake band into an agent of perpetual buzz generation.
To Pimp a Butterfly
Wracked with pain and pride, sadness and grossness, Kendrick Lamar’s third album doesn’t just sound vital—it takes his entrepreneurial spirit, spits it with a dowel, and lets it turn over and over some quietly burning fire for eighty minutes.
Matthew E. White
The grooves of White’s cosmopolitan soul songs gave him enough space to weigh God and the cosmos on Big Inner, but Fresh Blood is a sharper, more confident record.
Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper
Now, with a title already alluding to the resolution of a sequence, Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper’s deeper and increasingly fluid explorations into the vernacular of electronic music have somewhat paradoxically surfaced a tether to the monastic origins of Lennox’s singular vocal style.
Carrie & Lowell
Carrie & Lowell is a miracle of aesthetic balance—a calm and considered confession. It is the roaring in your ears as you look out to sea with the entirety of the known world behind you.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
While Unknown Mortal Orchestra has flirted with big moves beyond the bedroom psych realm before, this LP really transports listeners into lush zones filled with hypnotic future-funk.