It’s List Week 2015! After a whole lot of not publishing content here I am with a whole bunch of goodies like a musical Father Christmas. List Week is a self-explanatory way to list all of the albums, EPs and tracks that has been featured on Exploding Head Syndrome over the last twelve months. Today it’s the first half of the Top 30 Albums of 2015, which feature albums that were undeniably catchy, moody, or simply insane. Please do have a read through and enjoy all of these recommendations! If you do appreciate all of this, then please do leave a comment below, or follow me on Twitter or like the Exploding Head Syndrome Facebook page. Here’s to a great 2016!
30 | JJ Grey & Mofro – Ol’ Glory | What better way to kick off an end of year list than to recommend a record that guarantees a good time? JJ Grey & Mofro come together to deliver some of most optimistic, upbeat and straight up fun material of the year in the form of ‘Ol Glory. Tracks such as Turn Loose and A Night To Remember combines a high level of talent with the effortless notion to get turn and shake your booty, and it results in some of the catchiest sounds heard all year.
29 | Hot Chip – Why Make Sense? | After dazzling the eardrums with their previous album In Our Heads Hot Chip returned with a follow up that despite featuring some collaborations and a certain rap verse that didn’t make sense did provide another eargasmic record to get down to. Featuring possibly the band’s biggest hit since Over and Over in Huarache Lights, Why Make Sense? Is also full of other little gems in the form of Easy To Get, Cry For You and of course one of the sweetest songs ever in Love Is The Future.
28 | Klozapin – Klozapin | One of the first records I heard in 2015, Klozapin delivered a very entertaining package in the form of their debut album Klozapin. This is a bedroom venture that doesn’t end in a pack of tissues and a lot of regret – this is one that instead performs a kind of psychedelic dream pop hybrid that’s full of hooks, melodies and reasons to keep returning to it throughout the year.
27 | Panda Bear – Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper | Panda Bear set the standard for the year with his second solo record Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper. This record is so glitchy it could have passed for a Bethesda game (shoutout to fellow gamers) but in this case the glitchiness enhances the listening experience. This electronic journey is packed with hits, danceable jams, rhythmic breakdowns, atmospheric clouds and jam sandwiches – making for one hell of an enjoyably trippy journey.
26 | The Noise Figures – Aphelion | Sometimes you need a record that’s willing to throw some punches and get some anger pumping. Greek duo The Noise Figures returned to the scene with their new record Aphelion and it is a killer combo of punches, thunder and fury. Greece really surprised me this year with the amount of great music that came out of it and Aphelion is certainly one of the highlights.
25 | Jack Savoretti – Written In Scars | Of course after experiencing some thunder and punches you need something to turn down for comfort and for some heartfelt emotion. Jack Savoretti might look like just another songwriter with an acoustic guitar but this guy is good, damn good. His wonderfully gravelly voice strains and delivers emotion so genuinely that without fail hits me right in the heartstrings, and a track like Back Where I Belong is easily one of the best solo artist tracks of the year. Great record.
23 | Solefald – World Metal.Kosmopolis Sud | It would be a travesty not to talk about this album once again. Solefald’s World Metal. Kosmopolis Sud is certainly a contender for most peculiar albums of the year but it’s also one of the most entertaining records of the year too. Solefald combine pretty much every single genre together in a sickening mashup of sounds that usually should never be in the same song but somehow, somehow it works throughout this album. It is truly perplexing how it manages to work so well but it does, and that needs to be commended.
24 | Nothing But Thieves – Nothing But Thieves | Southend on Sea represent! Nothing But Thieves exploded onto the mainstream scene this year and it’s not hard to hear why. These guys took the flag from Royal Blood but unlike the duo Nothing But Thieves has material that can get you feeling a little bit emotional. While we’ve all heard Trip Switch and had our eardrums blown by Painkiller and Itch the band utilise some superb falsetto to deliver tracks such as If I Get High, Lover, Please Stay and Tempt You (Evocatio) which are simply beautiful – turning Nothing But Thieves into a much more complete album.
22 | The Cave Children – Quasiland | Greece once again blowing my mind with this record. The Cave Children came into my life with a greeting that left me satisfied, slightly moist and confused but fortunately it was all because of their wonderful debut album Quasiland. To quote my previous self “These guys perform a kind of psychedelic rock that is TEEMING with melodies, riffs and a whole load of spacious loveliness.” That’s right – teeming. Six months later and the teeminess is still off the charts and I can’t wrap my head around how good this record is.
21 | Ivory Hours – Morning Light | Ivory Hours delivered their first taste of a full length record since releasing the wonderful Mary EP and it still sounded just as lovely and sweet as the first time I heard Hello Honey. The three piece offers a lot more material that displays their knack for performing catchy instrumentals that are blessed with an upbeat attitude and hooks that grab you effortlessly. The Priest in particular continues to put a smile on my face even though I’ve heard it many times, but that’s the power of Ivory Hours. They’re great.
20 | Carly Rae Jepsen – Emotion | Another obvious choice for the end of year list. People everywhere are going to list this with the notion that “hey we can be Carly Rae Jepsen fans now!” but nah man, Call Me Maybe is a jam. Emotion however is one of the finest modern pop records to come out of the 2010’s and it’s one that proves that everybody has the ability to surprise. While offering more sugary sweet pop hits in the form of I Really Like You Carly Rae Jepsen also offers some genuinely superb pop songs such as Boy Problems, Making the Most of the Night and Run Away With Me to not only surprise but wow the audience one more time.
19 | The Pop Group – Citizen Zombie | Nothing like taking 35 years to think about what to do for your next album. Punk band The Pop Group reformed earlier this year to drop what is easily one of the danceable punk albums of the century. Citizen Zombie combines elements of industrial rock and punk with silky smooth basslines and drum beats to deliver some seriously off-kilter, catchy material.
18 | Falling Stacks – No Wives | Much like the above, Falling Stacks also continue to deliver some of the most absurd punk music around. Finally moving on to the full length releases these days, these guys once again give us another reason why they’re quickly becoming one of the best punk bands around.
17 | Alabama Shakes – Sound & Colour | How can you not like Alabama Shakes? These guys follow through on their solid debut with an album complete with intense bluesy rock n roll music that gets you either dancing on your feet or wiping away some tears. The singles on this record are freaking good, and it’s no wonder everybody’s going mad for Alabama Shakes these days.
16 | Vinyl Suicide – Homeward Bound | Your new favourite band! Vinyl Suicide popped their heads into my inbox a few months back and told me about their album Homeward Bound and I was blown away. If you’re into the sounds of atmospheric gloominess complete with bursts of sunshine and wonderful melodic thunder then this is the record for you.
15 | Slaves – Are You Satisfied? | From the opening riff of The Hunter to being horribly pummelled seeing them live at Reading Slaves’ Are You Satisfied? has continued to get my blood pumping all year round. Some superb mainstream punk material appears on this record and with Slaves set to appear once again at Reading & Leeds 2016 it could mean another album or EP is on its way? Let’s hope!
14 | Dany Laj & The Looks – Word On The Street | It warms my heart to see some of my favourite artists get the recognition they deserve, and this is exactly the case here. I stumbled across Dany Laj & The Looks years ago when they released an EP and fell in love with them when I saw their Chamberlain Sessions video. Fast forward to now and they’re signed, still playing badass live shows and their album Word On The Street is excellent. If you’re in the mood for some feel good, high energy rock music then check this badboy out.
13 | Crazy P – Walk Dance Talk Sing | If you wanna get in the mood for some drawn out, seductive dance music then Crazy P has all the perfect jams for you. Walk Dance Talk Sing is a fantastic album full of hooks that get the hips swinging and material that’ll get your feet tappin’.
12 | Say Yes Dog – Plastic Love | Another dance record that will most likely knock your socks off is this one right here. German trio Say Yes Dog delivered what is easily one of my favourite songs of the year in Stronger and fortunately the rest of the material that appears on Plastic Love is also very good. If you want some dance music that comes with a slightly gloomy edge then check this out.
11 | Mini Mansions – The Great Pretenders | As a fangirl for Queens of the Stone Age I have to make sure I love everything that’s related to them. Mini Mansions is the bassist’s Michael Shuman’s band and they released their new album The Great Pretenders earlier this year. Complete with pop hooks, Alex Turner, Brian Wilson and a purpose of wanting to creepy you out this record has it all. It flows extremely well thanks to it’s seamless movement through it’s eerie atmosphere and shoes that are made out of the strongest of accessibility. Great record.