I’ve listened to a lot of music in 2015. According to Spotifys end of year data i’ve listened to 45000 minutes of music, that’s 799 hours, 33 days. Being at the office for 10 hours each day helps but to put a little perspective on that i’ve listened to 707 different artists and a total of 5120 unique tracks and that doesn’t even take into account purchased music, Soundcloud, Youtube and Bandcamp along with countless other records i’ve no doubt heard along the way.
My year started out still listening to a lot of albums that i enjoyed in 2014 and whilst my palette has always been quite broad i feel as though i’ve listened to a lot of mainstream chart music, hip hop and grime in the last 12 months. It was hard to narrow this list down to just 15 records i’ve liked this year but here goes.
Periphery – JUGGERNAUT: ALPHA
I simply couldn’t not have at least one of Peripherys double album releases on my end of year list. They’re both phenomenal records both in their own different ways, to be honest i couldn’t choose so i flipped a coin to decide and JUGGERNAUT: ALPHA won it. Seriously though if you haven’t checked it out already go get it done.
Justin Bieber – PURPOSE
Now i know what you’re probably thinking. Justin Bieber! I’ve never been a fan of his kiddy pop output and all the rubbish you hear in the mainstream gossip publications but hear me out. This album actually has some solid tunes on it, songs that show that his sound has grown up, i like the electronic influence in it. Music is supposed to be enjoyed and whilst i never thought i’d admit to this. Justin Bieber no longer offends me.
Turnstile – NONSTOP FEELING
One of the first hardcore releases of 2015 way back in January and also one of the most important. I don’t think there is a better record that’s come out in the genre this year and it’ll be interesting to see if there is anything better to come in the new year. Solid songs start to finish.
State Champs – AROUND THE WORLD AND BACK
2015 has been the year of the pop punk renaissance in the UK. Headed up by the likes of homegrown talent in Neck Deep, As It Is and more who have been showing the Americans that we can go toe to toe with them in the genre. This record for me far exceeded my expectations. It’s just a fun record with some really catchy tracks that i find myself humming along to all day. I’m already really excited to see them in February.
Cattle Decapitation – THE ANTHROPOCENE EXTINCTION
I’ve not listen to as much death metal this year as i usually would, with the exception of Thy Art Is Murder this Cattle Decapitation record is one of the only ones that really jumped out and stuck with me. I don’t really know why, it just did a good job of filling the heavy void.
Halsey – BADLANDS
I’ve been on the Halsey hype way before the music press picked up on her this year. She’s an amazing solo artist and it’s been great seeing the transformation from Youtube star/blogger into the fierce star she’s become. So many good tracks on this record, without being annoyingly mainstream. She’s retained a lot of credibility with her music and her image. Expect her to be huge in 2016.
JME – INTEGRITY
Grime is like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it vehemently. I used to be the latter but in the second half of 2015 i’ve been listening to so much grime. Stormzy, Big Narstie, Giggs, Kano and more have all released great stuff but to be fair i’ve spent most of my time watching Youtube freestyle videos. This JME record is my personal favourite, He’s an intelligent guy, he’s vegan and he talks about real shit without taking himself too seriously. Oh and the beats are sick! Everything he touches turns to gold.
Knuckle Puck – COPACETIC
I first heard of Knuckle Puck when they toured the UK with Neck Deep earlier in the year. I picked up COPACETIC without really knowing what to expect from it but i tend to find it being a record i turn to when i’m feeling upbeat about something.
Veil Of Maya – MATRIARCH
When you listen to a Veil Of Maya album you normally know what to expect from it. That wasn’t the case when i heard the first single from MATRIARCH. ‘Mikasa’ was definitely not what i was expecting but on first listen i was hooked. The rest of the album was a shoe in from then, so many good riffs and grooves all over the place. The use of clean vocals is just perfect, not too little and not too much. They really didn’t disappoint live either
Drake – IF YOU’RE READING THIS IT’S TOO LATE
Hello, Generic Drake fan over here. He gets bashed by everyone for being an ’emotional rapper’. For me it’s just easy listening, it’s catchy. It’s never going to make the list of the greatest albums ever released but there’s plenty of hooks and he really knows how to market himself. Plus any doubts his credibility as a rapper were put to bed with those diss tracks aimed at Meek Mill. There was some fire!
Deafheaven – NEW BERMUDA
Aside from the odd Wolves In The Throne Room or Behemoth binge i rarely listen to black metal anymore, Deafheaven fall somewhere between black metal/post rock and before this record came out i’d heard people talk about them but never bothered to listen. I thought i’d give this a spin and it made my top list and deservedly so. It’s always good to try new things right?
The Story So Far – THE STORY SO FAR
I know many will disagree but this is the best ‘pop punk’ record of 2015 in my opinion. I know TSSF verge on the border between pop punk and hardcore but this record is seriously good. It’s always really hard to capture energy in recorded format but somehow they’ve managed to do just that. It’s so good in fact that i already can;t wait to hear what they do next.
Turnover – PERIPHERAL VISION
Turnover was a discovery for me this year. I’d never heard of them until a guy in the office was telling me to check them out. I did and i certainly wasn’t disappointed. They have this cool blend of indie rock/pop punk vibe going on. ‘Humming’ and ‘Dizzy On The Comedown’ are the stand out tracks for me.
Bring Me The Horizon – THAT’S THE SPIRIT
Bring Me The Horizon have been an ever changing beast through their life as a band. SEMPITERNAL was the album that changed it all and in truth just acted as the prequel for THAT’S THE SPIRIT. There isn’t a song on the album that i’ve thought isn’t up to scratch. It’s a whole new dimension. It doesn’t appeal to everyone but it certainly appeals to me. It’s been the biggest success of 2015 as far as the alternative scene goes.
Stick To Your Guns – DISOBEDIENT
Easily my number one record of 2015. There was a period in time where i listened to this album in full at least twice per day but that’s calmed down a bit of late. I can’t really describe my love for this band with mere words. The album has everything i want in a record, Fast tempo in parts, heavy sections, really catchy choruses but most of all it’s a really honest record with lyrics that i can relate to. For me STYG can do no wrong.