Thursday, December 31, 2015

Front Burner 2015

Recapping the most played music around our place during the past year, with an intentional focus on current releases. 

For the past two years now, I have been honored to have my Top 10 records of the year posted among some other great year-end lists on the blog of my friend, Bret Helm: 
Bret does a great job with this blog and I wholeheartedly encourage you to check it out. The other lists at that link are just as worth a look and have certainly provided me with some great new music to explore.

Here are my Top 15 favorite albums of 2015, along with (my daughter) Emma's Top 5.  I'm proud that she has explored enough new music to find that many favorites released this year.  All but one title is also on my list, largely because her main conduit for new music is still her old man. Still, her list consists of albums that she truly loves.

My Top 15 of 2015:
1.  Frank Turner • Positive Songs For Negative People (released 7 Aug)
2.  Jason Isbell • Something More Than Free (17 Jul)
3.  Of Monsters and Men • Beneath the Skin (9 Jun)
4.  Courtney Barnett • Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit (25 Mar)
5.  Torres • Sprinter (5 May)
6.  St Germain • St Germain (9 Oct)
7.  Alabama Shakes • Sound & Color (21 Apr)
8.  The Dead Weather • Dodge and Burn (25 Sep)
9.  Holly Herndon • Platform (19 May)
10. Public Service Broadcasting • The Race For Space (23 Feb)
11. Africa Express Presents Terry Riley's In C Mali (3 Feb)
12. Dub Syndicate • Hard Food (9 Jan)
13. Chelsea Wolfe • Abyss (7 Aug)
14. Christopher Paul Stelling • Labor Against Waste (10 Jun)
15. Boots • Aquaria (13 Nov)

Emma's Top 5:
1. Of Monsters and Men • Beneath the Skin (9 Jun)
2. Frank Turner • Positive Songs For Negative People (released 7 Aug)
3. The Dead Weather • Dodge and Burn (25 Sep)
4. Iron Maiden • Book Of Souls (4 Sep)
5. Jason Isbell • Something More Than Free (17 Jul)

My #1 album of 2015 (as well as Emma's #2) - I only just discovered Frank Turner a year or two ago, but I have become a devoted fan. It's going to sound cliche to say that his music is uplifting, but it is. Rarely have I ever encountered such a positive outlook on life in song without coming across sappy or disingenuous. In addition, his live shows are an experience to behold. He can turn a venue full of complete strangers into a room full of swaying, bouncing friends in under a half dozen songs. Even complete strangers to his music walk away with smiles on their faces and blood pumping faster. That's certainly how I became a Frank Turner fan. Emma agrees, having just attended her first Frank Turner show in Milwaukee on December 11.

Meeting Frank Turner at The Majestic in Madison WI

Stop Start ... Stop

I came here on New Year's Eve to post about my favorite music of 2015.  I was well aware that I had let the blog go dormant for a while, but was surprised to see that my last post was all the way back in late February!  One of my resolutions for the coming year should probably be to log in here just a leeeeetle bit more frequently.  To the scant few who actually follow any of this, my sincere apologies for the lapse.