Posts to this official Greater Listening Area full site were next to non-existent this past year, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t listening. Through the miracle of modern streaming I had the chance to listen to over 275 new albums and EPs from 2015. (Don’t worry, though, as my new vinyl collection grew substantially this past year with the best of the best releases.) Individual tracks were highlighted throughout the year at our Facebook page because sometimes you just have to get the music to the people on the fly.
These are my 20 favorite new releases from 2015:
1) Jim O’Rourke – Simple Songs (Drag City)
2) Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit… (Mom + Pop)
3) Biters – Electric Blood (Earache)
4) Wreckless Eric – AmERICa (Fire)
5) Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love (Sub Pop)
6) Bill Fay – Who Is the Sender? (Dead Oceans)
7) Simon Joyner – Grass, Branch and Bone (Woodsist)
8) Jessica Pratt – On Your Own Love Again (Drag City)
9) Gun Oufit – Dream All Over (Paradise of Bachelors)
10) Zane Campbell – Zane Campbell (Emperor Records)
11) The Cairo Gang – Goes Missing (God?)
12) Tobias Jesso Jr. – Goon (True Panther Sounds)
13) Promised Land Sound – For Use and Delight (Paradise of Bachelors)
14) Saun & Starr – Look Closer (Daptone)
15) Ryley Walker – Primrose Green (Dead Oceans)
16) Vetiver – Complete Strangers (Easy Sound Recording Co.)
17) Howlin’ Rain – Mansion Songs (Easy Sound Recording Co.)
18) Dungen – Allas Sak (Mexican Summer)
19) John Krautner – Fun With Gum Vol.1 (Burger)
20) GospelbeacH – Pacific Surf Line (Alive Naturalsound)
Note/Public Service Announcement (updated for 2015): The Greater Listening Area believes that one would be out of their mind to not take advantage of the available streaming services and the ability to listen to almost anything and everything one’s little ears might desire (unless it’s on the Drag City label or by Adele). With that said, it’s no secret that recording artists and songwriters don’t get fairly compensated in this modern music biz model. It’s my belief that one should pay into the stream with a premium subscription, and we should all be mindful of the importance of purchasing physical or digital recordings and other artist merchandise and getting out to live shows. Better yet, we should purchase music at a show from the artist, through a label’s website or at your local independent record store. Finally, when you hear something that deserves it, share it with your friends and readers from your various social media platforms.
Happy New Year and here’s to uncovering the Top 20+ of 2016.