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 second and more important 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!
10 | Tame Impala – Currents | Tame Impala once again continues to blow me away even after many, many listens to this record and it’s predecessors. Currents derives from the guitar based sounds of Innerspeaker and Lonerism in order to offer up some more electronic, synthesiser based instrumentals and goodness me does it work. This laid back, gorgeously melodic sound fits the aura and vocals of Kevin Parker and as a result Currents is one glorious package of sunshine.
09 | Julia Holter – Have You In My Darkness | This is honestly one of the sweetest, most delicate records I’ve ever heard. It’s light instrumentals are complimented wonderfully by Julia’s airy, angelic vocals and it makes for a fantastic listening experience. It doesn’t focus on volume or comes with this urgency to be loud or throw in some twists – it goes at it’s own pace at it’s own voice and it’s simply stunning.
08 | Miami Horror – All Possible Futures| Miami Horror once again returned to the eardrums with another collection of upbeat, summery material that is immune from losing it’s appeal no matter how many listens it receives. The band might have created their best song yet in Love Like Mine which is easily one of the best singles we’ve heard all year, and fortunately it’s complicated with a group of friends who are also born with the purpose to make you feel good. Excellent record.
07 | The Atom Age – Hot Shame | The Atom Age were recommended to me by the lovely Nikki of Everything and the Kitchen Sink and wow, thank you Nikki. These guys burst onto the scene and immediately burst my eardrums within the first two seconds of me pressing the play button. Hot Shame is a seriously good punk record that is full of punches the face, riffs that kick you in the balls and momentum that could make a grown man implode.
06 | Lianne La Havas – Blood | Years ago I would’ve said that if you typed Lianne La Havas into Google you would also find links to my old music blog Elusive Little Comments but nah, not today. Lianne La Havas has delivered her best album yet in Blood and it honestly deserves all the praise in the world. This is a record that is smooth with catchy instrumentals, confident enough to shake things up by incorporating some rock into the mix and most important of all, allows Lianne to showcase her truly unbelievable voice. A truly lovely, wonderful record.
05 | Jamie XX – In Colour | One of the most vibrant, colourful records of the year. Jamie XX breaks out of the gloomy stigma that The XX brought and reveals that he has a taste for delivering some absolutely wonderful electronic music. The hits from this record are surefire dancefloor classics and these are boosted by a very strong set of deep cuts that make In Colour sound oh so good.
04 | Everything Everything – Get To Heaven | Just like Mini Mansions, sometimes people can turn pop music on its head. Everything Everything have delivered what is easily their most cohesive record to date with Get To Heaven, and it is also full of it’s hits too. Despite all of it’s heavy, politically-charged content and themes tracks such as Regret and Distant Past have proved to be some of the mainstream’s biggest hits this year. The band aren’t afraid to throw percussion and twists and turns into their music and somehow all of these jagged edges fit together to form a shape that is undeniably catchy in it’s madness.
03 | Eagles of Death Metal – Zipper Down | This record was always going to be on the end of year list. I have been a fan of EODM since the release of Heart On and have been waiting patiently for seven years to hear some new material, and goodness me was it worth the wait. Taking cuts from Jesse’s solo record and revamping old demos Zipper Down is the definitive Eagles of Death Metal record. It is full of fun, great riffs, catchy hooks and a whole lot of reasons to get your booty shakin’.
02 | Tuxedo – Tuxedo | I came across this record by pure curiousity and it was one of the greatest discoveries I’ve ever made. Looking through the New Releases on Spotify and seeing this album piqued my interest just enough to take a listen and wow, what a freaking record this is. This is easily the sexiest record of the year and it’s one that captures the rush of emotions that come with simply wanting someone. It also throws out some excellent dancefloor anthems in the form of Do It, R U Ready and The Right Time with the former being the band’s masterpiece so far. A truly, truly fantastic record here.
01 | Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly | It was obvious wasn’t it? How can you not have this record as your number one top album of the year? Kendrick Lamar transitioned from hot up and coming artist into the freaking king of hip hop, and has done so with a record that takes a look at analyses the world we all live in. It’s a record that points out its flaws in society, the media, and it even makes you realise that despite the steady rise in progressive attitudes these flaws still need to be worked on. Kendrick hits the nail on the heads of the media, of various racial groups and his own self as he constantly delivers lines and themes that all interlink and fuse together to create so many messages it hurts my head a little.
The creativity involved in this record is astounding, and Kendrick takes elements of the old school formula of hip hop and modernises it with a recurring poem theme, clear lyrics calling out many of today’s society and even throws in an interview with Tupac right at the end. It’s one of if not THE most impactful record of the century and is certainly one of the most important. I don’t know where or how Kendrick’s going to go from here but for now, all hail the king.