Best of 2015

by Deanna Chapman

And just like that, 2015 is coming to a close. Weren’t we all just doing these lists for 2014? I listened to over 100 albums and EPs this year and was crazy enough to actually keep track of all of those. From that list, I picked out the ones I played over and over again and just couldn’t get enough of. Getting to this list felt a bit like watching fireworks after a long day and just being able to sit down and enjoy it. Here are some of my top albums of the year, in no particular order. I swear it’s just a coincidence that Adele comes first.

Adele – 25

Can we make Adele the queen of England next? Or just queen of the world. Either really would be good with me. But that’s besides the point. The point is that in just three weeks Adele sold over 5 million copies of her album. This is 2015, right? No question that *nsync sang bye bye bye to the record they held for over a decade. I may like her previous records slightly more than this one, but I still adore it. Adele just pours it all out in her records and you literally can hear the pain, the joy, and the other plethora of emotions we all end up feeling when we listen to this album.

The Money Pit – The Money Pit

This band straight up slapped me in the face. I hadn’t listened to much of Gatsby’s American Dream, but I’m glad it ultimately led to The Money Pit. This album was just so damn catchy and entertaining. When I first heard it, I didn’t want to listen to anything else.

Noah Gundersen – Carry the Ghost

This is one of a few albums on my list that comes from an artist I never even heard of until this year. I played this album on repeat for weeks after I first heard it. It’s an album that’s just hauntingly beautiful.

Tori Kelly – Unbreakable Smile

Tori Kelly is a phenomenal singer and has really shined this year. I still remember the first time I saw her perform with AJ Rafael and she’s now working with the same manager as Justin Beiber (Scooter Braun). This album shows her vulnerability, her honesty, and how well she can use her vocal range to display a ridiculous amount of emotions. There are still many people who may not have heard of Tori and if you’re one of them, please do yourself a favor and give this album a listen.

Carrie Underwood – Storyteller

I’ve yet to find a Carrie Underwood song I don’t like. This was another album I had on repeat after it came out. It seemed to take a while for this album to come out, but that’s mainly due to having a kid between albums. I think choosing to take that break helped shape the songwriting for this album and it turned out as well as you’d expect. There are catchy songs, heartfelt songs, and flashes of “Before He Cheats” throughout the album. It’s an all around great variety and I will still be listening to this over and over.

Leon Bridges – Coming Home

Leon Bridges is another new face this year. He brings back some old school soul, jazz and R&B vibes. He was on a whole different level and his unique sound is what really made this album stand out.

Kacey Musgraves – Pageant Material

Kacey has taken country in a much different direction than the rest of the country artists. She sings, but you get glimpses of the old spoken word country songs with her style.

Death Cab For Cutie – Kintsugi

This release was so early in the year that sometimes I forget it was from this year. “Ghosts of Beverly Drive” is easily my favorite song on the record. The first time I listened through the album, it was the song that stuck with me.

Pentimento – I, No Longer

Bad Timing Records had a lot of releases this year that I enjoyed, but this was by far the best of them. The record sounds great, the vinyl looks great, and it was an all-around fantastic release. There wasn’t a lot of pop punk that made my list this year as far as the top 10 goes. A good chunk of the releases seemed to fall a little short, but Pentimento was a pleasant surprise and I highly recommend checking them out.

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly

I didn’t listen to Kendrick nearly as much as I should have this year. So this is the one exception I’m making on my list. This album wasn’t constantly listened to. It’s long, but it’s still worth it even if it’s not being constantly played. Kendrick is still relatively new to the rap scene compared to a lot of the other players so I’m always looking forward to what comes next from him. On a totally unrelated note, he interviewed N.W.A. this year and it was fantastic.

Honorable Mentions

Daisyhead – The Smallest Light

The Districts – A Flourish and A Spoil

Carly Rae Jepsen – Emotion

Sorority Noise – Joy, Departed

Hidden Hospitals – Surface Tension

The Early November – Imbue

Better Off – Milk


Fossil Youth – Intertwined With You

All Get Out – Movement

You, Me and Everyone We Know – Dogged

Sundressed – The Same Condition

Steady Hands – Tropical Depression

Devinyl splits 1 – 4