Originally published online at BLUNT Magazine.
1. Baroness – Purple
2015 was a good year for metal releases; High On Fire, Clutch and The Sword all put out some killer records, but none of them come close to touching the crown jewel that is Baroness’ Purple. This is their most prog-rock sounding release so far, especially on tracks “Chlorine And Wine” and “If I Have To Wake Up”, but still totes those crunchy sludge riffs that we all know and love (“Morningstar” and “Try To Disappear”). With every new album Baroness top their previous efforts, making it even harder to pick a favourite among their catalogue.
2. Hiatus Kaiyote – Choose Your Weapon
Real talk: This is the best Australian album of 2015. Choose Your Weapon is a masterfully crafted album that’s overflowing with ideas and influences – the band perfectly describe themselves as being a “future soul” act. Jazz, soul, funk and even retro video-game sounds, this album has everything. Each song is so densely packed that I’m still picking up on little details that I missed before. Listen to “Borderline With My Atoms” or “Shaolin Monk Motherfunk” or “Molasses” and I challenge you to not get lost in Nai Palm’s incredible voice.
3. Beach Slang – The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us
Combining emotionally vulnerable lyrics with some raw instrumentals, Beach Slang are one of the absolute best punk bands currently putting out records. The Things We Do… dwells a lot on messing up – be it bad mistakes, failed relationships or just simple hard times – but views it with an unwavering optimism, that although you might not be doing great right now, things will get better. If you’re a fan of either Jawbreaker or The Replacements, you need to listen to this ASAP.
4. John Carpenter – Lost Themes
Cult director-composer John Carpenter has created nine themes for films that don’t exist, but they feel like they were ripped right of his heyday. On “Night” and “Abyss,” with their brooding, drawn-out chords and dark, minimalist sound, he crafts a feeling of dread, that something or someone is lurking in the dark. While there’s nothing here as iconic as the Halloween theme, it captures Carpenter’s strengths as a musician and his ability to create a strong sense of atmosphere.
5. Wavves – V / FIDLAR – Too
Yeah, I’m kind of cheating picking two albums here but they’re both so good and I’m honestly torn over which is better (although, in fairness, I think Too has more standout tracks, but V is a more consistent listen). Wavves continue to refine and improve their sound with every release, while Too sees FIDLAR growing up and dealing with the consequences of the morning after. Both are great punk albums, and required summer listening.