Saturday, January 23, 2016

Best of 2015


The Un-Herd Music Top 40 of 2015


1. The Barreracudas Can Do Easy

Power pop punk glam trash armed with an amazing arsenal of hooks and a fearless hold on that old rock & roll rhythm. True believers.







2. Ike Reilly Born On Fire

Connects the dots between '65 Dylan, '77 punk, ancient blues & right fuckin' now with an earned swagger.







 3. Royal Headache High

Band crashes & bashes, the singer soars, the album targets nothing less than pop immortality & hits it right between the eyes.







 4. JD McPherson Let The Good Times Roll

JD flirts with the rock & roll revivalist retro ghetto but imbues every classic move with a modern sheen, turning old dead ends into a freeway of fresh thrills.






 5. Dot Dash Earthquakes & Tidal Waves

Dot Dash have expanded from the brittle post-punk of their previous albums to incorporate ever more melodic strains in their DNA, from the 80s all the way up to the immediate future.





 6. Minky Starshine Pop Jewelry

Streamlined and sleek power pop with its focus squarely set on gorgeous, laid-back songcraft.







7. Diane Coffee Everybody's A Good Dog

It turns out the true follow-up to Foxygen's masterful "We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic" was by drummer Shaun Fleming's side project Diane Coffee. A cuinsinart of genre fuckery that doesn't forget the tunes.

 
 8. The Role Models The Go-To Guy

Rough, tough Replacements-style what-the-fuck, complete with the requisite doses of hopelessness and world-beater arrogance.





9. Simi Stone Simi Stone

There's equal streaks of 50s doo wop and 70s Laurel Canyon singer/songwriter cool running through Simi's mellow take on modern R&B that is endlessly awesome.





 10. Lucero All A Man Should Do

Lucero all grown up and glossed with big time production. Old time fans might miss the sharp punk edges, but Ben Nichols' songs carry the depth and melody to merit a place in the Memphis soul tradition.





11. The Sonics This Is The Sonics
12. Simon Love It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time
13. The Ballantynes Dark Drives, Life Signs
14. Sugar Sugaar - Strange Kicks
15. Orange Humble Band - Depressing Beauty
16. Terra Lightfoot - Every Time My Mind Runs Wild
17. Turbo Fruits - No Control
18. Donald Cumming - Out Calls Only
19. Dr. Boogie - Gotta Get Back To New York City
20. Dan Kelly - Leisure Panic

21. Low Cut Connie - Hi Honey
22. Ryan Hamilton - Hell Of A Day
23. Baby Shakes - Starry Eyes
24. Biters - Electric Blood
25. Downtown Boys - Full Communism
26. Leon Bridges - Coming Home
27. Barrence Whitfield & the Savages - Under A Savage Sky
28. Shovels & Rope - Busted Jukebox Vol. 1
29. White Reaper - White Reaper Does It Again
30. Nikki Hill - Heavy Hearts, Hard Fists

31. Reno Bo - Lessons From A Shooting Star
32. Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit And Think...
33. Blow Monkeys - If Not Now, When?
34. Ryan Allen & His Extra Arms - Heart String Soul
35. Andra Day - Cheers to the Fall
36. The Connection - Labor of Love
37. Jesse Malin - New York Before The War
38. Thunderbitch - Thunderbitch
39. Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats - Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
40. Prima Donna - Nine Lives & Forty Fives

Favorite EPs of 2015:

The Breakdowns - Heavy Metal Bombs
Modern Kicks - The Kicks Ain't All Right
The Pilgrims - Shred Savage
Rooni - Yodo
Rooni - Pilot

And, finally, a sampler mix of some of my absolute favorites from that list. There's no specific order to the mix - just tried to keep the flow - and to that end I've picked fairly randomly from the entire top 40. I'm hoping you'll find something that'll lead you to an entire album (or albums) of new faves.If that's ever the case (or is never the case), let me know in the comments. 

And thanks for hangin' around and hangin' in.  All the best in 2016!
 
Final Boarding Call For The Chosen Ones

1. Ike Rei11y Notes from the Denver International Airport
2. Roya1 Headache Wouldn't You Know 
3. Dot Dash Flowers
4. The Ro1e Mode1s Lie For Today
5. The Barreracudas Long Explanation
6. JD McPherson It's All Over But The Shouting
7. Ryan Hami1ton Records and Needles
8. Minky Starshine Drive
9. Simi Stone Good Girl
10. Simon Love The New Adam and Eve
11. Terra Lightfoot Never Will
12. Diane Coffee Mayflower
13. White Reaper Sheila
14. Low Cut Connie Both of My Knees
15. Nikki Hi11 Nothin' With You
16. Lucero Young Outlaws
17. Sugar Sugaar Sweet City
18. Turbo Fruits Don't Change
19. Downtown Boys Wave of History
20. Baby Shakes Teenage Cloud
21. Dona1d Cumming Workin' It Out
22. The Ballantynes My Place Your Town
23. Dr. Boogie Life On The Breadline
24. Biters Dreams Don't Die