I found a lot of music to like in 2013. In fact, I found so much good music, I was able to put together a great top 10 list, with several honorable mentions. 2014, however, was not a good music year. That’s not to say there wasn’t some good stuff but at the end of the year, very little stood out to me as music I’d be listening to much after the new year. I loved the Future Islands album and I liked Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas a lot, but that was about it.
Enter 2015, which kicked open the doors in January and has proceeded to continue wrecking the place with a vengeance ever since. I don’t see how we can possibly keep up this pace, but I’m willing to ride it as long as it lasts. Here are just a few of the very early releases this year that are already better than almost anything we saw in 2014:
Sleater-Kinney: No Cities To Love
Oh my, now THIS is how you start a kick-ass year in music. After a seven-year hiatus, Sleater-Kinney has returned with a terrific album that’s about as accessible as it can be while still melting your face off. As my wife said when I played this recently for the thousandth time already: “Wow, they really play loud, don’t they?” Yes, they do.
JD McPherson: Let The Good Times Roll
This one is quickly becoming one of my most-listened to albums of the year. It sounds like music you’ve known forever. It has a very warm sound; perfect.
Father John Misty: I Love You, Honeybear
I’m not usually much of a country music fan, but this is really great. Admittedly, I don’t like every song, but some of the songs here are as good as anything I’ve heard in a long time.
From The Vaults:
Don’t forget about terrific music being re-issued. 2015 has already seen two incredibly important, vibrant releases. The Staples Singers album is particularly timely right now while the Lead Belly recordings are amazing at any time. Both are so much fun to listen to, in addition to being important in a historical context.
The Staples Singers: Freedom Highway Complete – Recorded Live at Chicago’s New Nazareth Church
Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection
This is the music landscape for 2015 so far and we’re barely into March. If we keep up this pace with this quality, this will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest years in music in a long time. I’m not sure we can maintain this pace but I’m willing to see how long it lasts. Anything I’ve missed so far that is required listening for you?