Features · List Central


We’re 6 months into the year, so let us know just how very wrong we are with regards to our 20 best albums of 2015 so far! How many of these will be sticking around for our end of year list come December? We reckon the majority of them will be doing just that, but with releases from the likes of Tame Impala, Radiohead and Deftones (amongst others!) still to drop in the latter half of 2015, no doubt they’ll have plenty of competition for the top spots! Enjoy, and give us a natter to let us know what we’ve missed! Also, here’s a convenient little Spotify playlist for you to wrap those lugs around, too!

rsz_barnett 1501. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit

This superb debut notches the mid-year album gong thanks to its sugar-coated sincerity and grunge-dunked simplicity. Lyrically outstanding and refreshingly accessible, it’ll no doubt be there or thereabouts in 6 months time, too.


rsz_drenge_ut2. Drenge – Undertow

Teeth are sharper, and riffs penetrate deeper than they did on the duo’s 2013 debut. This is by far the most delightfully sinister thing you’re likely to find in The Peak District.


rsz_foil_deer_23. Speedy Ortiz – Foil Deer

Sadie Dupuis wields her wised-up wordplay like a lethal weapon in the follow-up to brilliant debut Major Arcana, with the trademarked, corkscrewing guitar melodies consuming agile rhythm sections like turbo-charged ivy vines.


rsz_hand_cannot_erase4. Steven Wilson – Hand. Cannot. Erase.

Bottles of Merlot, Rioja and Cabernet Sauvignon gaze green-eyed at The Progfather, who ages better than them all. Wilson gets progressively more progressive with each release, and shows no sign of slowing.


rsz_father_john5. Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear

J. Tillman has validated himself as one of music’s great diarists with his second LP under the Father John Misty moniker, distancing himself further still from his listless days as the Fleet Foxes’ sticksman.


rsz_viet_cong6. Viet Cong – Viet Cong

The airtight music of Viet Cong boasts more layers than a particularly hardy onion, providing the perfect hinterland for whirring percussives and cogitative grooves to remain darkly intoxicating.


rsz_kendrick7. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly

With the immunity of a mixtape and the production grandeur of a cinematic masterpiece, the follow up to the universally acclaimed good kid, m.A.A.d city is another one for the ages.


rsz_sleater8. Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love

Dropped a whole decade after what was presumed the Olympia-trio’s swansong, No Cities To Love is an impeccable blend of hard and soft, fast and slow and up and down. Efficient too, clocking in at just a shade over 30 minutes.


rsz_torres9. Torres – Sprinter

Mackenzie Scott’s independently released debut was a commanding exhibition of songwriting that far eclipsed her fledgling years. Sprinter is every bit as pithy, delivered with upright candor and saccharine brusque.


rsz_marling_sm10. Laura Marling – Short Movie

It’s quite simply outrageous that Laura Marling is only 25 years old. This, her 5th superb LP, is now typically perceptive and daintily prudent, and will again see her occupying reasonably lofty positions on AOTY lists come December.

rsz_al_shakes11. Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color

There’s more to roots than roots. Oh, and Brittany Howard’s voice, man…


rsz_jamie_xx12. Jamie xx – In Colour

I’d be very surprised if there’s a better dance album this year.


rsz_bjork13. Bjork – Vulnicura

Almost 50 years cool.


rsz_marika14. Marika Hackman – We Slept At Last

If you ever get bored of counting sheep, let Miss Hackman surgically lull you…


rsz_pile15. Pile – You’re Better Than This

More adhesive than Dripping, but still just as good at camouflaging profundity.


rsz_sufjan16. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell

This return to Stevens’ indie-folk roots has been widely touted as his best work.


rsz_hot_chip17. Hot Chip – Why Makes Sense?

The 6th LP in a glittering string of great electronic albums from Hot Chip.


rsz_sassy18. Sassy Kraimspri – Cock Fight

Scuzzbag grunge and slimeball punk from Norway.


rsz_ibeyi19. Ibeyi – Ibeyi

Sharp beats are allowed to slow-burn by these outrageously talented twins.


rsz_umo20. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love

A perfect percolation of nihilistic soul and contorted psychedelica.


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