Flashflooder’s Top 100 Music Releases of 2015

flashflooders top 100 albums 2015 header

Damn, 2015 is already over and (sadly) I’m just now discovering that this is my first blog post since last years Top 100 albums listravaganza. I’m really pumping out these posts at a record pace! Hurry and get me a pacemaker! Or make me some tomato paste (picante salsa will also do)! Or go to Indiana and watch an nba game! Or just press Ctrl+V for christ’s sake! Not that Jesus would know how to use a computer anyways. But I digress…there was a lot of great music in the last year and it would be silly and naive for me to assume this hodgepodge list of mine is comprehensive. But, I can confidently say that I did listen to a lot of records in 2015 and probably more than your average joe schmo (screw that guy anyways, everyone’s always talking about him like he’s so average…). Take the order for what you want but give some of these artists, bands, djs, and producers tunes a test drive. You might be surprised the places they’ll take you.

As per the usual (non suspects) in this ongoing trend of a best albums post, I’m going to leave a friendly little link below of Metacritic’s super mega conglomeration of all other online/print/media album of the year lists for some much needed context, professional opinion, and general internet to waste your time to while you wonder if you’re ever going to make that hypothetical sweet concept album you’ve been brewing up in your dome ever since you first really “got” music. Because really, why are you trusting this obtuse jargon my fingers are spewing out anyways? I’m just a dude on the internet with my own personal opinions and ideas of what “good” music is and should be while these other jokers are all paid to pretend they know what they’re talking about for a reason. And I’m not saying that they do or they don’t, just that there will be a wider variety of albums likely worth a few streams of your time to check out and hopefully find something that you really enjoy and/or connect with.

 Metacritic’s Best of 2015 Music Critic Top 10 Lists

Along the lines of this post and all those culled in Metacritic’s summary above, I briefly want to discuss something I’ve spent a stupid amount of time thinking about before: what exactly makes a “best album of the year”? Is it not understanding something to the point it must be so next level cool especially when all these other hip people are telling you how amazing it is? Is it how technically complicated the sounds created are on some purely music theory rating scale? Is it what is most listened to and talked about? Is it what “stirs the pot” and spawns a or many new kitchy sub genres? Is it something that could still be considered a “classic” decades down the line? Is it something that creates some discernible change in music culture? Or is it something that just elucidates some kind of feeling inside you that you don’t quite understand but are inclined to say you like or maybe even love? …well, the truth is I really don’t know. Even though I was just making up silly on the fly ideas above they likely all have some kind of play in this difficult to explain concept. But at the end of the day I can only speak for myself and explain how I try to tackle this conundrum.

When I was younger I used to think this rating of best albums, music or whatever was an idealistic objective way of thinking that took lots of time listening, training, and learning of music history, culture, origins, scenes and what have you. But really, how is something ever truly objective? Are there not actual people wracking their brain (that’s completely influenced by all of their own life experiences) just like me about trivial orderings of records like this that are coming up with all of these other lists? Are they somehow able to reach a higher level of zen and completely detach from their own environmental make up and hotline bling god up to channel these choice albums that are deemed objectively great? Of course not, if you ask me at least (and I know you didn’t actually ask but you are reading this, right?). My belief and mindset in doing this every year is to find the best blend of albums that somehow creates that uncanny spider-sense like emotional feeling (and by emotional I am including any type of emotion you can imagine not just the typical emo use of the word) that only music can do, that have a high level of musicianship, that have high production value (where appropriately low can also work just as well), that are unique or pushing the envelope in some manner (thus growing music’s boundaries as a whole), that have a deeper conceptual backing to the album’s content/theme, that will stand the test of time, that are new and refreshing in some way, and honestly, things that just sound really incredible to me and separate themselves from everything else deemed to be in a similar genre or sound. Now you might call that BS and I might agree with you, but that’s the best I can spontaneously come up with right now and honestly, I’m unwilling to dwell on how to put this difficult and precarious concept into words any longer.

And so, without further mountain dew I now present to you (wow this rhyming thing is easy, suck it kendrick) my 100 picks of albums in a loosely organized linear order. Every nuance joins other yearnings. Wait, that didn’t make any sense (or dollars for that matter). What I meant to say was ENJOY but all you got was that crappy improvised acronym. So we’ll try this again…or fuck it, just look at the album covers below.

 

100. Lower Dens – Escape From Evil
99. Recondite – Placid
98. Miami Horror – All Possible Futures
97. DJ Paypal – Buy Now EP
96. Shamir – Ratchet
95. José González – Vestiges & Claws
94. Two Fingers – Six Rhythms EP
93. Dr. Dre – Compton
92. Boof – The Hydrangea’s Whisper
91. ASC – Fervent Dream
90. Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear
89. Kode9 – Nothing
88. Jam City – Dream A Garden
87. Palmbomen – Palmbomen II
86. Road Dog – On The Lam
85. Beach House – Depression Cherry
84. Leif – Taraxacum
83. Christian Loffler – York
82. Lapalux – Lustmore
81. FKA TWIGS – M3LL155X EP
80. Smallpeople – Lowrider Anarchy
79. Aryay – Vicious EP
78. Nathan Fake – Glaive
77. Detroit Swindle – Figure of Speech
76. Mac Demarco – Another One
75. Suzanne Kraft – Talk From Home
74. Disclosure – Caracal
73. Nosaj Thing – Fated
72. Ratatat – Magnifique
71. Joanna Newsom – Divers
70. Hunee – Hunch Music
69. mr. carmack – RED EP
68. MED, Blu & Madlib – Bad Neighbor
67. Fatima Yamaha – Imaginary Lines
66. Arca – Mutant
65. Holly Herndon – Platform
64. Big Grams – Big Grams
63. Oneohtrix Point Never – Garden Of Delete
62. Domenique Dumont – Comme Ça
61. Four Tet – Morning / Evening
60. Project Pablo – I Want To Believe
59. Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color
58. Beach House – Thank Your Lucky Stars
57. Kelela – Hallucinogen
56. Kompakt – Pop Ambient 2016
55. Emancipator – Seven Seas
54. A$AP Rocky – At.Long.Last.A$AP
53. Yppah – Tiny Pause
52. Dean Blunt – Babyfather
51. Prefuse 73 – Rivington Não Rio
50. Saffron – Petra I / Petra II
49. Galcher Lustwek – Parlay/ I Neva Seen
48. Helen – The Original Faces
47. Julio Bashmore – Knockin’ Boots
46. Skrillex & Diplo – Jack U
45. Hudson Mohawke – Lantern
44. Alison Wonderland – Run
43. Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm – Trance Frendz
42. HNNY – Carefree/Good
41. Neon Indian – VEGA INTL. Night School
40. Dan Deacon – Gliss Riffer
39. Bicep – Just EP
38. Etienne de Crecy – Super Discount 3
37. Maribou State – Portraits
36. SOPHIE – PRODUCT
35. Nicolas Jaar – Nymphs II / Nymphs III / Nymphs IV
34. Knwledge – Hud Dreams
33. Laurel Halo – In Situ
32. Erykah Badu – But You Caint Use My Phone
31. Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
30. Cousin Stizz – Suffolk County
29. Shlohmo – Dark Red
28. HNNY – Sunday
27. Vince Staples – Summertime ’06
26. Rival Consoles – Howl
25. DJ Richard – Grind
24. Empress Of – Me
23. Heathered Pearls – Body Complex
22. Deerhunter – Fading Frontier
21. George FitzGerald – Fading Love
20. Julia Holter – Have You In My Wilderness
19. Grant – The Acrobat
18. Built To Spill – Untethered Moon
17. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love
16. Earl Sweatshirt – I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside
15. Kurt Vile – b’lieve i’m going down…
14. Anthony Naples – Body Pill
13. Rustie – EVENIFUDONTBELIEVE
12. Beirut – No No No
11. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
10. BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah – Sour Season
9. Jamie xx – In Colour
8. DJ Koze – DJ Kicks
7. Tobias Jesso Jr. – Goon
6. Dungen – Allas Sak
5. Floating Points – Elaenia
4. Lee Bannon – Pattern of Excel
3. Tame Impala – Currents
2. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell
1. Panda Bear – Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper

And in Spotify playlist form (including everything but a handful of albums)…

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