It pretty much came down to a tie between Ms. Holter and Joanna Newsom for album of the year.
Both were records I had eagerly awaited and neither disappointed. Just incredibly lovely music.
A stripped-down version of the beautiful closer to Have You In My Wilderness
I saw Joanna on Thursday night at The Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, my first visit that venue. Gawd, what a dump. 🙂
In all seriousness, truly one of the best concerts I've ever seen--and I've seen a few in my day.
This baroque country western(?!) number from Divers was one of the many highlights.
Best of 2015
1. (tie) Julia Holter Have You In My Wilderness
Joanna Newsom Divers
Gorgeous genre-defying, dare I say, masterworks. Seriously. Both sound timeless to my ears. Well done, ladies.
3. Kurt Vile b'lieve i'm going down<
Another artist who has quietly become a favorite of mine. Mellower than anything he's done, this one didn't grab me like some of his earlier records but it grew on me big time.
4. Giant Sand Heartbreak Pass
Like a letter from an old friend. Cult artist Howe Gelb has been recording for over 30 years and this is one of of his best. Sadly, but not surprisingly, slipped under most folks radars.
5. Sleater-Kinney No Cities to Love
Northwest power trio returns with a more mature sound that still takes names and kicks ass.
6. Beach Slang The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us
Cut from the same cloth as Japandroids, but with a heavier Replacements vibe than the latter's Husker Du leanings. Still, it scratches that same itch.
7. Destroyer Poison Season
Dan Bejar releases a record, I'm in.
8. Sufjan Stevens Carrie and Lowell
Full disclosure, I'm a longtime fan but I only listened to this one a few times before setting it aside. I just found it way too sad for me to enjoy at the time. I also heard enough that it will likely become another important record in my life. Giving the guy the benefit of the doubt.
9. Kendrick Lamar To Pimp a Butterfly
Picked up because both Ms. Holter and Ms. Newsom have cited it as a fave. Still digesting, but headphones are quickly proving them right.
10. Floating Points Elaenia
Like Bitches Brew Miles Davis fed through somebody's laptop and reconfigured as dance music for replicants.