Songs I’ll be taking with me from 2015

faithnomore-solinvictusRocknuts began on April 1, 2015, and as it started up, so did my listening habits. Sir Rocknuts required me to write a review per week, which resulted in most of my week focusing on the one album I was reviewing for that week. Generally I would listen to the album, then move on to the next one as soon as the review was done, without much time for other music in between.

So, my 2015 listening experience consisted of mostly the albums I reviewed. Therefore, I don’t really have a comprehensive “Best of 2015” list for either songs or albums, since I stuck mainly to what I was reviewing. But I do have a long list of tracks from the albums I reviewed that I liked the most and will be continuing to listen to in the future.

Here’s a look at some of them.

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Alabama Shakes – “Don’t Wanna Fight”

It’s really hard not to like this song. It’s a such a gem. Sound & Color is a very good album with quite a few nice tracks on it, but this one stands out and will be played for years to come.

Courtney Barnett – “Elevator Operator,” “Pedestrian at Best” and “Aqua Profunda!”

Courtney Barnett is terrific and is getting rightfully recognized with plenty of praise on end-of-the-year lists. Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit is a worthy contender for album of the year, so I can’t pick just one track from the album. I’ll go with three — two rockers I like in “Elevator Operator” and “Aqua Profunda!” and then the one that’s making all the song of the year lists in “Pedestrian at Best.” As fun as that song is though, I might even like the video a little better.

Blur – “Go Out”

I enjoyed Blur’s comeback album The Magic Whip quite a bit, maybe enough to rank among my top two Blur albums. “Go Out” is definitely the catchiest track on the album and is in their overall top tier.

Bop English – “Long Distance Runner” and “Have I Got It Wrong”

Constant Bop is a terrific album that I’ve unfortunately worn out. But it’s still one of my faves from this year. I’ll take these two songs with me for sure, and I’m sure I’ll revisit the rest of the album as well.

Bully – “Brainfreeze”

Bully delivered a very nice 90s revival album with Feels Like. Brainfreeze is probably my favorite from the album, although it’s a good listen all the way through.

Chorusgirl – “This Town Kills”

This was an interesting album and I’ll be keeping an eye on this band to see where they go in the future. Definitely my favorite from this album was “This Town Kills,” which I thought captured all the different influences the band was trying to mix very well.

Chris Cornell – “Higher Truth”

Cornell’s Higher Truth was a mature effort thematically and musically and delivered several quality moments. My favorite is the lovely title track.

Du Blonde – “Black Flag,” “Raw Honey,” and “After the Show”

I really like these songs off the Welcome Back to Milk album and wish the album as well as these songs would have gotten some more attention. Du Blonde a.k.a. Beth Jeans Houghton made a massive switch this year from folksy rock to harder-edged stuff, and I like the direction she’s moving in.

Faith No More – “Cone of Shame” and “Separation Anxiety”

Faith No More’s Sol Invictus is another one of the several successful returns made this year by artists that hadn’t been heard from in a while. It’s a cool album from start to finish but “Cone of Shame” is just… damn. The second half of the song is so deliciously pulverizing and may rock harder than anything to come out in 2015. There are several good tracks on this album but I think “Separation Anxiety” might be the other that has stuck with me for the longest.

David Gilmour – “5 A.M.,” “Faces of Stone,” and “And Then…”

There are days when I just want to zone out to the sweet sounds of David Gilmour’s guitar. These three songs might be the best ones from his 2015 album Rattle That Lock to do that with. “5 A.M.” and “And Then…” are instrumentals, while “Faces of Stone” features a towering Gilmour solo to close the song. I scored this album a 3/5 and in hindsight probably underrated it a tad.

Grimes – Art Angels (the entire album)

I haven’t come close to getting my fill of Grimes’ bubbly, hyperactive and wonderful album “Art Angels,” so as of now I’ll be taking pretty much the whole thing with me into next year. She’s such a talented artist and I can’t wait to see what she does next. Hopefully we won’t have to wait three years for the next album.

Half Moon Run – “Sun Leads Me On” and “Everybody Wants”

Sun Leads Me On was the album from this year that I most tortured myself over what score to give it. If I had my choice I’d rate my albums on the Pitchfork scale of tenths rather than fifths, but I wound up rounding this one up to four out of five in the end. There’s a lot to like from this album but these are my two picks, and I’m guessing it’s only a matter of time before “Everybody Wants” catches on and winds up in a movie or commercial or something.

The Libertines – “Anthem For Doomed Youth” and “Dead For Love”

Yet another successful return, I wound up really liking Anthems For Doomed Youth quite a bit. I’m not sure I could have expected much better from them, and I’ll be listening to it for a while to come. Right now, these two songs are the ones I’m feeling the most.

Mutoid Man – “1000 Mile Stare,” “Reptilian Soul” and “Dead Dreams”

Mutoid Man gave me my hard rock/metal fix for much of the year with Bleeder. It’s a short but energetic blast of muscular rock from start to finish, with the middle of the album being particularly strong. These three songs stand out to me.

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – “The Girl With X-Ray Eyes”

Chasing Yesterday was a very steady and likable album that to me never flew very high or too low. This one is my personal highlight from the album.

Rachel Sermanni – “I’ve Got a Girl”

Really dig this sultry track off Tied to the Moon. I’ll be keeping a close eye on her work in the future.

Royal Headache – High (the entire album)

Haven’t worn this album out yet, although I’ve certainly tried. It’s probably one of my top two or three from 2015, and I’m sure it’ll stay in rotation for some time. If I had to pick some favorites from this, they’d be “Another World” and the two terrific songs on the back-end of the album, “Little Star” and “Electric Shock.”

Salim Nourallah – “Terlingua”

We’ve talked about this song before on Rocknuts as it has been a previous Song of the Day. It’s very catchy and the most memorable song from Nourallah’s fine album Skeleton Closet.

SEXWITCH – “Ghoroobaa Ghashangan”

SEXWITCH was one of the year’s more unique rock outings. Some of it worked, some of it didn’t, but I loved this funky, head-nodding track.

Wolf Alice – “Turn To Dust,” “Bros,” “Silk,” and “Baby Ain’t Made of China”

2015 turned me into a Wolf Alice fan. I enjoyed their album My Love Is Cool quite a bit, with the first three songs on this list being my favorites from the album. “Turn To Dust” is a bit different than the other songs on there, but I love the spaced-out feel of it. “Bros” is almost annoyingly sappy, but I adore the song; as I wrote in the review, it’s like “1979” by The Smashing Pumpkins and “Dreams” by The Cranberries got together and had a baby. The anthemic “Silk” might be my favorite though. Then later in the year came the release of the killer track “Baby Ain’t Made of China,” which is right up there with any of them. I have very high hopes for this band.

What about non-rock? Yes, even though Sir Rocknuts doesn’t always like to wander outside of the rock spectrum, we do listen to other genres here. Real quickly I would probably say two of my fave non-rock tracks from this year were “King Kunta” by Kendrick Lamar and Missy Elliott’s unexpected return with “Where They From,” which brought a serious rush of nostalgia to anyone who remembers her prime.

So that’s all for 2015. Can’t wait to see what next year has in store!

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