Rainbows in the Dark: Best of 2015 Edition

Best 2015

Enjoying all of our Best of 2015 posts so far? Well…don’t expect that to continue here. (I mean, it might, I guess…but that’ll come down to how much or little you like non-metal music. Because that’s what this post is all about.) Throughout the year, we’ve been using these Rainbows in the Dark posts to bring you occasional snippets from outside the realms of grim, brutal and heavy, so now, they’re getting their own end of year list.

Don’t worry, the blurbs will be short. Because let’s be real, neither you nor I have any more time or energy for long, drawn-out wordsturbating at this point. So enjoy it! Or maybe not, I dunno. Let’s take a look:

Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly

kendrick lamar - to pimp a butterfly

I don’t know that it’s really my place to try and say anything profound about To Pimp a Butterfly. All I know is this: for my money, it was 2015’s most important album — and its best.

[spotify]

Grimes – Art Angels

grimes - art angels

Claire Boucher’s voice may not be for everyone, but when it hits, it hits like a motherfucker. Her fourth album, Art Angels, is a stellar pop album, unlike anything else the genre gave us this year.

[spotify]

Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

courtney barnett - sometimes i sit and think and sometimes i just sit

Credit to Courtney Barnett for her ability to not just sustain, but rather actively enhance, the quality of her recorded output on this, her full-length debut. 45 minutes of catchy, delightfully unaffected bliss.

[spotify]

Coliseum – Anxiety’s Kiss

coliseum - anxiety's kiss

Who cares that the Louisville trio’s all but eliminated their hardcore side? When you’ve got a set of tunes as catchy and melodically inclined as these, it’s hard to give any less of a damn. And good GAWD, those bass lines…

[spotify]

The Chemical Brothers – Born in the Echoes

the chemical brothers - born in the echoes

Tremendous follow-up to 2010’s Further that sees the Mancunian wizards once again setting their own trends, rather than following others from around the EDM world. This thing’s just a ton of fun.

[spotify]

Kurt Vile – b’lieve I’m goin down…

kurt vile - b'lieve i'm goin down

Okay, so it’s not quite as good as Wakin’ on a Pretty Daze — what is? Regardless, it’s another terrific hour-or-so of dreamy, chill-out music from Philly’s favorite son.

[spotify]

The Internet – Ego Death

the internet ego death

I’m pretty much over Odd Future and its various sub-groups at this point, but R&B / soul sextet The Internet are a clear exception. With Ego Death, producers and de facto leaders Syd tha Kyd and Matt Martians put together one hell of a gorgeous album — their best to date.

[spotify]

Oneohtrix Point Never – Garden of Delete

oneohtrix point never - garden of delete

Holy hell, can this thing get weird. Let’s not mince words about that even a little bit. But eventually, Daniel Lopatin’s seventh album will find a way to sink its teeth into you — in an odd, Social Network-meets-Tron:Legacy kind of way. Excellent stuff.

[spotify]

Beach House – Depression Cherry

beach house - depression cherry

Beach House put out two pretty stellar albums within two months of each other this year. And while the other one‘s loaded with dreamy goodness, too, Depression Cherry gets a slight edge. But seriously: they’re both worth your time.

[spotify]

Sufjan Stevens – Carrie and Lowell

sufjan stevens - carrie and lowell

Stevens’ seventh album is a touching and beautiful, yet completely understated trip. He’s back to his folky best, and I’m not sure much more needs to be said.

[spotify]

Honorable Mentions:

  • Vince Staples – Summertime ’06
  • Failure – The Heart is a Monster
  • Beach House – Thank Your Lucky Stars
  • New Order – Music Complete
  • CHVRCHES – Every Open Eye
  • Frank Turner – Positive Songs for Negative People
  • Jason Isbell – Something More than Free
  • Blur – The Magic Whip
  • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday
  • Foals – What Went Down

Anyway, that’ll about do it. There’s a lot more out there, so follow this playlist and catch yourself up. Other than that, stay tuned for more Best-of-’15 posts throughout the week, and happy 2016!

Keep it heavy,
Dan

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