Like every year, lots of great new music was released in 2015. Some great music grabbed attention, the return of Adele with 25, Kendrick Lamar released To Pimp A Butterfly, The Weeknd exploded on to the scene with Beauty Behind The Madness. There was also a lot of other great music that got overlooked throughout the year. Here are 10 of the best albums you may have missed in 2015.
Oh Wonder – Oh Wonder (Sept. 4)
Oh Wonder released one song per month for a year leading up to the release of their debut self-titled album. Their alt-pop is some of the most unique music out there today. Singing in unison, Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West deliver beautiful vocals on top of beautiful productions. Combine that with extremely relatable songwriting, Oh Wonder was easily one of the most underrated albums of the year.
Moon Taxi – Daybreaker (Oct. 2)
A party from the beginning, Daybreaker is the best and most fun album so far in the career of Moon Taxi. Moon Taxi has developed one of the more dedicated fan bases in indie-rock over the past several years, but they had never really been able to capture the magic of their live performances on a studio album. Daybreaker, however, does that and more. It is, by far, their most well written album, with standout tracks like “Run Right Back” and “Who’s To Say?” Moon Taxi should be entering a new era of success following Daybreaker.
Julien Baker – Sprained Ankle (Oct. 23)
Newcomer Julien Baker quietly delivered one of the most heartbreaking and empowering albums of the last several years in Sprained Ankle. What makes this album so special is Baker’s openness and honesty, as she deals with topics like depression, life and death, and personal growth. Baker’s emotional vocals and excellent production add to the already emotional lyrics to deliver an album that is hard to get through without some tears. This debut certainly sets Baker on a path of success going forward in her career.
Death Cab for Cutie – Kintsugi (Mar. 31)
It’s a little surprising that a band with such a rich history would fly under the radar so much with an album of this quality. Kintsugi is one of the more complete albums from Death Cab for Cutie. Ben Gibbard delivers some of his best lyrics throughout the album. The album opener, “No Room In Frame,” will be stuck in your head for weeks.
COIN – COIN (June 9)
COIN is poised to breakout this year after the release of their upcoming second album, but their self-titled debut in 2015 is indie-pop gold. COIN feels like you’re at a concert, and it’s hard not to get up and dance with every song. They have a lot of confidence in their sound and it shows in this incredible debut.
JR JR – JR JR (Sept. 25)
JR JR has been around for a while, originally as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., but they finally put it all together with their self-titled third full-length album. JR JR has a lot of influences, from The Beatles and The Beach Boys to Gnarls Barkley. JR JR is a great mix of pop, R&B, folk.
Of Monsters and Men – Beneath The Skin (June 9)
After the success of their first album, Of Monsters and Men didn’t get the same recognition for their follow-up Beneath The Skin. However, they did a lot of great things on their sophomore album, and really expanded their sound while maintaining what made them successful in the first place. They add great production to their acoustic driven songwriting to deliver one of the best folk albums of the year.
City and Colour – If I Should Go Before You (Oct. 9)
This album is a major shift in style for City and Colour’s Dallas Green. After several albums driven by solely acoustic guitar and vocals, this album opens with electric guitar swells and riffs, clearly indicating the drastic change in sound, but what remains is Green’s breathtaking vocals and beautiful songwriting. Green is one of the best vocalists in music today and this album expands his sound tremendously.
The Lighthouse and The Whaler – Mont Royal (Aug. 28)
Even I missed this album in 2015, hearing it for the first time just a few weeks ago. The Lighthouse and The Whaler deliver a great album with incredible production. With great use of very unique instruments combined with great indie-rock songwriting, this is a great overall album.
MisterWives – Our Own House (Feb. 24)
After making waves on YouTube, MisterWives debut album Our Own House is a dynamic combination of pop, rock, folk, and a little disco. Lead singer Mandy Lee delivers unique vocals that are easily recognizable. Committed to being true to themselves as a band, MisterWives should be here to stay.