Nathan Fidler - Albums of the Year 2015 - Articles - Soundblab

Nathan Fidler - Albums of the Year 2015

by Nathan Fidler Rating: Release Date:

I’m a fan of top lists to end the year, mainly because I’m opinionated but also, because I’ll usually stumble across something I wouldn’t ordinarily have listened to in other people’s lists. So here goes, and yes, I’ll start with the best and work my way down.

 

Andy Shauf - The Bearer of Bad News

Andy Shauf proves himself a majestic songwriter on this album. Weaving tales but headbutting you with emotion, this is no ordinary folk spiel, it’s got orchestral shades and bossed the year in a quiet kind of way.

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Blitzen Trapper - All Across This Land

Always partial to some good ol’ American rock, Blitzen Trapper put aside any notion of gimmicky modernity, simply using the their talents to easily bring you a slice of that pie you’ve so badly been craving but never realised.

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Blur - The Magic Whip

Personally, I’m always sceptical about groups reforming, just look at Oasis. But Damon and Co. have all changed over the years musically. This is not your classic Blur, but it holds an emotional intelligence as well as great melodies. Pop, rock, indie, call it what you want - it came with ice cream for goodness sake!

Listen to:

 

My Morning Jacket - Waterfall

After a slightly less accessible stint with Circuital, Jim James and the gang are back on form. Mixing their wacky rock, falsetto and solos with a very zen message this was a real beauty.

Listen to:

 

Bop English - Constant Bop

Usually, band members taking downtime results in fairly timid solo albums, but not for James Petralli. He carries on the buoyant spirit of White Denim, but trades a shade of the prog for a little more pop.

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Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats - S/T

Nathaniel Rateliff usually deals with introspective, heart achingly brilliant folk. Now he’s got the Night Sweats he’s booming instead, making you shuffle your feet and grab the nearest tumbler of whiskey. There’s soul, gospel and rock all shaken up here for your enjoyment.

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Bill Ryder-Jones - West Kirby County Primary

Admittedly, if you’re not a fan of The Coral you might not have heard of Bill. This is the perfect introduction to his music. A real big hit of Northern indie-rock without being overly corny, he’s probably one of the best songwriters in the UK right now.

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Villagers - Darling Arithmetic

If you didn’t get to see Villagers live in a stripped-down setting this year then you’ve missed a real treat. Imagine being so young and having such a profound talent for songwriting, mixing smart lyrics with beautiful tunes, all without the pretentiousness you’d expect.

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Fidlar - Too

This followup to their debut doesn’t quite have the same rawness to it, but this is still a great slacker-punk record. It packs a punch with improved riffs, shinier production and the same belligerent lyrics. Lashing out like a teenager in world where you should really have your shit together.

Listen to:

 

Car Seat Headrest - Teens of Style

It’s been a slow, long journey for Car Seat Headrest, so it’s a pleasure to list this album. Essentially, the proper debut is a collection of his best stuff, but it proves that practice makes perfect and that perseverance is something you need - even if it is easy to stick stuff online nowadays.

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Honourable Mentions to:

Conor Oberst - Upside Down Mountain

Darwin Deez - Double Down

Cold War Kids - Hold My Home

 

Comments (2)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I definitely got into MMJ's The Waterfall. I'm excited to hear the next one. From what I've read it will be more of a dance album?

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I didn't realise that Conor Oberst had a new album. Must have a listen. I liked the MMJ and Villagers as well. Nice one Nathan.

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