Alex’s Top Albums of 2015

Posted: by Alex

20. Sorority Noise – Joy, Departed

Sorority Noise’s second LP finds a way to add the raw emotion found in Cam’s other band, Old Gray, to the fun, poppy emo songs of Sorority Noise while also toning down a bit for some of the album’s highlights

Standout Track: “Using”

FFO: You Blew It!, Modern Baseball

19. Pentimento – I, No Longer

This awesome pop-punk record channels the greatness of oft-forgotten gems like Where You Want to Be while still managing to do something completely new

Standout Track: “My Solution is In The Lake”

FFO: Taking Back Sunday, Bayside

18. Heartless Breakers – The Great Give Back

Maybe I’m biased because I’ve worked with them, but this is just a great, fun pop-punk record filled with lots of honesty. I really love these guys and am so excited to see what comes next

Standout Track: “Everything I Can’t”

FFO: Pentimento, Taking Back Sunday

17. Halsey – Badlands

What is there to say about an awesomely crafted pop record? When you can listen to an album like this and feel like every song should be a radio hit, you know you’ve found something special

Standout Track: “Colors”

FFO: Lorde, Pop music

16. Turnover – Peripheral Vision

Breaking away from Saves the Day worship (not that there’s anything wrong with that) was the best thing this band could have done. The ambience and reverb really bring this band to a level the just weren’t at before

Standout Track: “Cutting My Fingers Off”

FFO: Pity Sex

15. Knuckle Puck – Copacetic

The epitome of a summer pop-punk record, Knuckle Puck somehow found a way to show growth on from their infancy on their debut record. This record is pure “posi” pop-punk and somehow makes that type of music still feel worthwhile

Standout Track: “Evergreen”

FFO: Jumping up and down in the summer, The Upsides

14. Title Fight – Hyperview

Expanding on the best parts of Floral Green, Title Fight adds an ambience and fuzz that really show growth and experimentation in a way that pays off extraordinarily well

Standout Track: “MRAHC”

FFO: fuzzy guitar, reverb

13. Beach Slang – The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us

This is a Beach Slang record. Have you been listening to this band yet? It sounds like them and only them. It’s rock music to feel alive to

Standout Track: “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas”

FFO: loving life, summer

12. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly

I don’t write about hip hop, so nothing I say here will do this beautiful piece of art justice. This album is so important to today’s culture. Just listen to it.

Standout Track: “Wesley’s Theory”

FFO: Thundercat, honesty

11. Desaparecidos – Payola

Conor Oberst has a punk band. A really good punk band. With a lot to say. And really good, honest punk songs

Standout Track: “City on the Hill”

FFO: Conor Oberst, political punk

10. The Money Pit – The Money Pit

Bobby and Nic of Gatsbys American Dream are back with their tongue-in-cheek lyricism and guitar parts that could only come from them. This album captures wonderfully what it’s like to be lost in adult life in a cheeky way

Standout Track: “Killing Time in Hawaii” FFO:

Gatsbys American Dream

9. The Front Bottoms – Back on Top

This is a Front Bottoms record. And probably their best one too. I can’t think of more to say than that. It captures everything about this band into 11 songs

Standout Track: “HELP”

FFO: The Front Bottoms

8. The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die – Harmlessness

The World Is… managed to make an 60 minute album in a time in DIY when that’s almost unheard of, and made every second of it feel perfectly necessary. We both know you’re gonna keep calling them emo, but this is an indie masterpiece

Standout Track: “January 10th, 2014”

FFO: Modest Mouse

7. Spraynard – Mable

When I listen to this I don’t miss Latterman as much anymore. Spraynard ditched the faux optimism and goofy song titles found in Funtitled for a much more raw emotional experience

Standout Track: “Applebee’s Bar”

FFO: Latterman

6. Marietta – As It Were

This band really carried the torch of the Philly-area emo scene, and both of their records are true genre classics to me. The noodly guitars and pure emotional honesty really speak for itself in this case

Standout Track: “Are You Afraid Of God? No, But I’m Afraid Of You”

FFO: Glocca Morra, Snowing

5. Jeff Rosenstock – We Cool?

Jeff is a truly phenomenal musician. You can read my review for more thoughts on this, but Jeff finds a strange joy in the sad and mundane, and works on this album in a way that may not have worked for Bomb!

Standout Track: “I’m Serious, I’m Sorry”

FFO: Bomb! The Music Industry

4. Petal – Shame

I wrote a review of this one too. I met my girlfriend because of this band. The lyricism carries a raw emotional anxiety (a phrase I’ve used a lot in this list) but still feels soothing due to Kiley’s wonderful voice.

Standout Track: “Photobooth”

FFO: Jimmy Eat World, The Cranberries

3. Hop Along – Painted Shut

Hop Along’s Saddle Creek debut is a story-telling masterpiece. Indie rock/freak-folk/whatever genre this is, Frances’ voice soars over complex instrumentation while she weaves different relatable woeful tales.

Standout Track: “Powerful Man”

FFO: Andrew Jackson Jihad, Laura Stevenson

2. Oso Oso – Real Stories of True People Who Kind Of Looked Like Monsters

Former State Lines vocalist Jade’s new project has a more refined style, but still feels as honest and heavy as ever before

Standout Track: “This Must Be My Exit”

FFO: State Lines

1. Mineral Girls – Cozy Body

Have you been paying attention to me at all? I haven’t shut up about this record all year. I hope this isn’t a surprise to you if you know me. I really love this record. It combines lo-fi and emo effortlessly. Just trust me.

Standout Track: “nvr ur gf”

FFO: Into It. Over It., Elvis Depressedly