Albums of the Year 2015: 100-51

The festive season brings with it one thing for certain – Albums of the Year lists. There’s still time to get some of these amazing albums on your Christmas list and have yourself not just a season of goodwill but also of good listening. 

From a long list we’ve chosen 100 albums released in 2015 that we think you should definitely hear. They’re from across a wide-range of genres and include debuts, mid-careers and returns from established artists. We’ve excluded re-issues and live albums and taken our choices only from new music whether from emerging or established musicians.  The list includes picks from our editors John Robb and Sarah Lay as well as those that got our contributors excited.

In this first post we’ll bring you the countdown from 100-51 – keep an eye out later in the week for our chart of 50 down to our number one Album of the Year for 2015.

Tell us in the comments, on Twitter or on Facebook what you think we’ve forgotten, what you would have placed higher or what you wouldn’t have placed at all.

John, Sarah and all at Louder Than War

One hundred and beyond

Our Albums of the Year long list for 2015 was nearing the 200 mark when we called a halt and started to try and whittle it down to a shorter list of just 100.

Those that fell just outside the published list were all albums that on another list, or in another year, would have made our cut. We know that some of our contributors and readers would place them much higher in the list, hear them as the best of the best in 2015. They are all more than worthy of your ears and we’d encourage you to seek them out.

So, what did end up in the higher echelon of the chart? Great albums from Sleater-Kinney, Desperate Journalist and Viet Cong. Thee Oh Sees, Sunn O))), Sleaford Mods, Slow Readers Club and Sam Forrest and many others in an eclectic list. A debut from The Winter Passing and a return from The Libertines. GREAT albums. Albums you need to hear.

In previous years we’ve published our full long list – let us know in the comments if you’d like us to do this again or send us a tweet or Facebook comment to let us know what you think we’ve missed or why your choice of Album of the Year should be higher.

Albums of the Year – 100-51

100. Nicolas Godin – Contrapoint (Because Music)

Sarah Lay said: “Far from being an academic plunder of the past it is an inventive mix of genres taking Bach’s pieces as a source but not a constraint. A dazzling debut that shows Godin knows the value of looking back in order to move a form forwards.”

99. One More Grain – Grain Fever (self-released)

Declan IOM said: “Like an old timer in a pub reciting folklore over a percussive backing track of Gamelan percussion and found sounds. A future lost classic.”

98. The Creeping Ivies – Your New Favourite Garage Band (Flowers in the Dustbin)

Gus Ironside said: “Rising stars of the Scottish garage rock scene channel Johnny Burnette, The Cramps and old horror flicks on a barnstorming collection of instant punk classics.”

LTW review

97. Some Skeletons – Vigils (Mountains of Records)

Sarah Lay said: “This is big riffs with intricate patterns beneath, this is darkly intelligent and beguiling lyrics with the best loud-quite-loud in a while. A solid album from a band who’ve mastered wry, thoughtful songwriting and wrapped it in sound big enough to make your insides shake.”

LTW review

96. Ceremony – The L-Shaped Man (Matador Records)

More post hardcore adventures from a band who bring the melody and the adventure to create new soundscapes.

95. I, Ludicrous – Dull is the New Interesting (Cherry Red)

Ian Canty said: “The Sleaford Mods might be everyone’s current trendy rage faves, but who’s been skewering the world of man-bag carrying hipsters arrogantly pushing their way through the highways and byways of the country while they fart around with an iPad, daft “celebrity culture”, dull workplaces, daytime TV and Billy Liar-type dreamers in a much more subtle way for nearly 30 years? I, Ludicrous that’s who. And now they’re back with their first LP in a decade and it’s a corker.”

LTW review

94. Micko Westmorland – Yours, etc abc (Landline)

Ged Babey said: ” Light music which hides a darker side.  Poetry in motion with perfect tunes. Obsessive and compulsive Art-Pop. ”

LTW review

93. Yeah Yeah Noh – Automatically Saturday (Vuggum)

Ian Canty said: “Yearning beat music with a punk rock attitude, it’s truly heartening for a band to come back from so long away with such a great record. Its love, envy, beauty and squalor all presented with the skill of an old master’s brushstroke. By gum it’s good.”

LTW review

92. Mini Mansions – The Great Pretenders (Fiction Records)

James Lowther said: “With an album boasting the likes of Brian Wilson and Alex Turner, it’s hard for this psych-pop album not to be in my top 5!”

91. Mammoth Penguins – Hide and Seek (Fortuna POP!)

Sarah Lay said: “Loud, thrashy heart-on-sleeve feet-on-the-dancefloor anthems giving modern life a wonderfully sharp once over lyrically while walls of warm and crunchy melody hit you head on. An infectiously catchy record and brilliant debut.”

LTW review

90. Robert Forster – Songs to Play (Tapete Records)

Craig Chaligne said: “A rather glorious set of tunes.”

LTW review

89. Angry Itch – Champanzee (Angry Itch Records)

Ged Babey said: “Pop punk grunge singalongs from the Sound of Young Birmingham going ape!”

LTW review

88. Band of Holy Joy – The Land of Holy Joy (Stereogram Recordings)

Gus Ironside said: “Stunning state-of-the-nation reportage by the legendary post-punk band whose keen intelligence iis driven by profound humanity.”

LTW review

87. Laura Cannell – Beneath Swooping Talons (Front and Follow)
East Anglian folk artist releases second album of stunning reflections on landscape and life.

86. Grawl!x – Good Grief (Time Travel Opps)

Sarah Lay said: “Dream pop should sound this way: beautiful, assured, intriguing and resonant. With Good Grief Grawl!x succeeds in this, creating an album combining sparse but twinkling instrumentals and dark opaque vocals.”

LTW review

85. Marriages – Salome (Sergeant House)

Dom Walsh said: “Superb and emotive rock from US trio.”

LTW review

84. Ufomammut – Ecate (Neurot)

Dom Walsh said: “Sprawling psychadelic stoned metal. Superb.”

LTW review

83. Archive 45 – 33 and A Third (Viva La Revolution)

Ged Babey said: “Thoroughly authentically ‘1977 Punk’ album of the year”

82. Low – Ones and Sixes (Sub Pop)
More slower mastery from the band that reflect the big empty of the real America with their melancholic and sparse beauty.

81. La Luz – Weirdo Shrine (Hardly Art)

Ged Babey said: “Americana Dream-Pop Surfer Girl Twangy-pop Rock’n’Roll which abbreviates nicely to Surf Noir.”

LTW review

80. Flying Saucer Attack – Instrumentals 2015 (Domino)

Declan IOM said: “Reflective thought provoking return.”

LTW review

79. War on Women – War on Women (Bridge Nine Records)

Gus Ironside said: “The band name says it all. A raging, ferocious riposte to the monstrous misogyny of the current age.”

LTW review

78. Clownns – The Artful Execution of Artful Bimbo (Bleeding Heart)

Ged Babey said: “A strange and wonderful Art-Punk-Glam band from Brighton, possibly the best new band in the UK.”

LTW review

77. Annabel (lee) – By the Sea and Other Solitary Places (If Music)
‘‘By The Sea… And Other Solitary Places’ invokes the haunting classicism of Claude Debussy and Erik Satie, intermingled with the quiet folklore of Nick Drake and Joni Mitchell, tipped with the jazz stylings of Miles Davis and Billie Holiday. The duo’s moniker is the title of a poem by Edgar Allen Poe. ‘

76. King Midas Sound / Fennesz – Edition 1 (Ninja Tune)

Euan Andrews said: “Perfect soundtrack to a gloomy winter.”

75. Damaged Bug – Cold Hot Plums (Castle Face)

Declan IOM said: “Analogue Synth side Project from Thee Oh See’s John Dwyer. More sonically adventurous than anything else this year.”

74. Ashley Reaks – Before Karesh (Metal Postcard)

Paul Scott-Bates said: “Ashley Reaks continues to be an incomparable talent and a true original.”

LTW review

73. Funke and the Two Tone Baby – Balance (self-released)

Alan Ewart said: “An incredible meeting of tradition and technology, his sound is modern, engaging, dynamic and enthralling and yet it stays true to the blues form.”

LTW review

72. The Cramps – Coast to Coast (Sonic Boom)

Phil Newell said: “Simply…its The Cramps!!!”

71. Pit Ponies – Magnificent Second Occupation (Trashmouth Records)

LTW review

Roxy Gillespie said: “Chock full of pathos, emotion and panache, with sing-along lyrics and lashings of Cockney swagger.”

70. Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow – Ex Machina OST (Invada)

Simon Tucker said: “One of the finest soundtracks you are likely to hear.”

LTW review

69. Radio Europa – Rise Of The Gutterzz Press and the Death Of Modern Thought (Malt Barn)

Paul Scott-Bates said simply: “Genius.”

68. Sara Forslund – Water is Wild (Volkoren / Time Released Sound)

Sarah Lay said: “Delicious and delicate folk noir on the debut solo album from Sweden’s Sara Forslund.”

LTW review

67. Dave Gahan and the Soulsavers – Angels & Ghosts (Columbia)

Paul Scott-Bates said: “Life in the old Gahan yet.”

LTW review

66. Orlando Julias and The Heliocentrics – Jaiyee Afro (Strut Records)
Orlando Julius is one of the heroes of Nigerian music. A saxophonist, singer and songwriter, he began fusing African influences with American R&B and soul in the 60s, and was a major influence on Fela Kuti and Afrobeat and is as vital as ever.

65. Shilpa Ray – Last Year’s Savage (Northern Spy)

Ged Babey said: “Literate, sardonic, witty and wise New York pop songs about life, death, sex and derangement of the senses.”

LTW review

64. FFS – FFS (Domino)

Keith Goldhanger said: “Two great bands achieving to make one great album.”

LTW review

63. Clutch – Psychic Warfare (Weathermaker)

Dom Walsh said: “Clinical hard rock from one of the finest rock bands around.”

62. Charli XCX – Sucker (Atlantic)

Sarah Lay said: “Exploiting our end of year list through a staggered release across territories means that Charli XCX found herself included last year as well as this for Sucker. But this is a great pop album – full of hooks and up yours lyrics.”

LTW review

61. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit (Marathon Artists)

Rick Leach said: “It’s got all the trademark stuff that you know you’re going to get from Courtney Barnett; wry, funny humour, sharpness, brilliant wordplay, a narrative to die for, humanity, brilliant delivery and all of this in bucket loads.”

LTW review

60. Nadine Shah – Fast Food (Apollo)

Keith Goldhanger said: “Big strong sentimental songs by one on the uk’s best singer songwriters.”

LTW review

59. Mercury Rev – The Light in You (Bella Union)

Keith Goldhanger said: “Another one to add nicely alongside the previous seven super studio albums.”

LTW interview

58. Grimm Grimm – Hazy Eyes Maybe (ATP)

Dave Beech said: “Ethereal and otherworldly solo effort from Ex Screaming Tea Party member.”

LTW review

57. British Sea Power – Sea of Brass (Golden Chariot)

Anastasia Connor said: “Sea Powered indie brass odyssey”

LTW review

56. Penetration – Resolution (Polestar)

Ged Babey said: “Punk Romantics in flawless return 36 years on!”

LTW review

55. The Men That Will Be Blamed for Nothing – Not Your Typical Victorians (Leather Apron)

Ged Babey said: “Kick-Ass Steam Punk band fucking with history.”

LTW review

54. Rocket from the Tombs – Black Record (Fire)

Ioan Humphreys said: “Dirty garage classics. Great hooks Great fun and a social services nightmare.”

LTW review

53. Wreckless Eric – amERICa (Fire)

Ged Babey said: “Puts the ERIC in America. Old trooper still writing great tunes about life, death and stupidity.”

LTW review

52. Nils Frahm – Solo (Erased Tape Records)

Sparse piano works with added elliptic flavours. Hypnotic.

51. Legendary Shake Shackers – Southern Surreal (Alternative Tentacles)

Phil Newell said: “A genuinely fascinating living breathing history lesson.”

LTW review

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