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Arts & Entertainment

What to Watch: The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

April 23, 2016

The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a Netflix-original series currently in its second season. The series follows Kimmy Schmidt, played by Ellie Kemper, who has just been rescued after spending the past 15 years of her life in a cult living underground, completely disconnected from society. She decides to move to New York upon her rescuing and the show follows Kimmy as she navigates big city-life with an eighth grade education. Kimmy rents a room in an apartment from Titus, a roadway star-on-the-rise, who is able to help Kimmy reacclimate to society. Kimmy gets a job working as a nanny for Jacquline Voorhies (Jane Krakowski), a rich New York socialite, who also plays an important role in Kimmy settling into 21st Century life.

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Created by Tina Fey and Richard Carlock, the show is truly a combed with a heart. At first, the show feels like another great comedy but I quickly found myself attached to the characters. Kimmy’s genuine optimism is refreshing and the people around her, although at first not knowing how to approach it, learn as much from Kimmy as she does from them. The show is incredibly funny and, although the over-arching plot isn’t super realistic (which deterred me from watching the show for a long time), the way Kimmy handles the transition into big-city life/adulthood/living with cell phones is hilarious and believable.

unbreakable kimmy schmidt is this a macintosh

The show is unpredictable and is unlike anything I’ve seen. Kimmy’s quirky and dated pop-culture references coupled with a lack of understanding of technology and 21st Century life make for a naïve yet likable character (she tries really hard). Although a bit disconnected, as the show progresses we see a genuine heart who is capable of giving really good advice. Honestly, I kinda wish I could call Kimmy when I’m down because despite spending her formative years underground, she is incredibly insightful.

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Some favorite guest appearances of mine include those by comedy greats Tina Fey, Martin Short, John Hamm, Fred Armisen, Amy Sedaris, and Richard Kind. In the second season, Kimmy is a bit more comfortable with herself and her new adult life but is still a bit clueless. Those who are already fans of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt will enjoy the shows progression and the characters’ growth.

kimmy schmidt survive

kimmy schmidt i survived

Check out the trailers for seasons 1 & 2 (depending on whether you’re brand new to the show or if you haven’t gotten started on the new season yet).

Season two aired earlier this month and, so far, is up to par with what I expect from the show. Both seasons are available to watch(/binge) on Netflix and the series has been renewed for a third season. As always, let me know thoughts below!

kimmy schmidt make waffles

Arts & Entertainment

Shimmy, Shimmer, Pop! – An Interview with Citrine

April 15, 2016

Last weekend, we were fortunate enough to spend a day with Baltimore-based band Citrine (read all about our day here). Citrine, founded in 2015, features Kelci Smith on vocals and synth, Galen Smith on guitar, and Beau Cole on drums. Throughout our day, we were able to chat with Citrine about how they’ve musically progressed and grown and how important embracing the local scene here in Baltimore has been for them and their success.

April, the band’s EP set to release April 22nd, was a DIY effort that has truly embraced community and could not have been successful without the help of many friends of the band. Beau Cole describes it as “standing on the shoulders of giants” and states “it would be a disservice and dishonest not to incorporate the people that have the talents that they have”. The band salutes Devlin Moore of Colorless who helped with their art direction—album art, logo, creating the Citrine website, band photography, and editing their EP videos, and Mickey Freeland, who mixed and produced April, as two people who were absolutely instrumental in the success in creating their EP. Citrine also points to various friends—photographers, videographers, and folks who just wanted to be involved in helping them achieve this final product. Having friends within the Baltimore community give so much for the EP was not only a testament to the members of Citrine as local artists, but also the sense of community that resides within the city of Baltimore. Beau goes as far as saying that “the only way that we really could be genuine was to incorporate other aspects of our personal lives” into this product, which as Kelci describes, was successful because it is “resourceful and scrappy” in nature. Their EP videos were filmed in one weekend in an old Baltimore warehouse cafeteria and was truly a DIY effort that would not have been possible without the friends of the band and the local community.

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A reflection of the city they are based out of, Citrine’s April is an investment from Baltimore into Baltimore. Where Kindlewood, Kelci & Galen’s previous band, never fully incorporated with their native DC, Citrine is counting on the feedback and support of their neighbors, as Galen puts it “we’ve got people that are local, that are pouring their gifts and talents into helping us realize, this vision that we have… it’s going to make for a great story, it’s going to make for buy-in from everybody that’s around… and really help solidify our foundation.”

“I will be the first to admit that with Kindlewood, I really wanted to not be the band that got stuck in the local scene,” says Galen. But with Citrine the group has come to rely upon and truly embrace the resources available to them through the talent in the local community. Kelci shares that she is excited about the local involvement from not just a business perspective but a personal one as well. “Even again beyond necessity,” she says, “I think it is just really awesome to incorporate people, other people that are doing other kinds of creative things… I think Baltimore has so many great resources and so many great people doing so many cool things, and I just want to keep that.” Having others pour their gifts and talents into Citrine and April creates buy-in from the ground up and helps solidify a positive foundation of invested fans. Citrine’s dedication to Baltimore is genuine, and their commitment to empowering the local community is part of what fuels this city.

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The band values the ability to be able to evaluate and analyze at a local level, trying out their new material here in Baltimore to determine if something is worth fleshing out or recording, rather than testing the waters in a larger venue and run the risk of no one showing up, something they said would happen during previous projects. “We’ve got an opportunity where people have invested interest in what we’re doing, they’re excited about what we’re doing, we’ve been able to bounce ideas off of them, formulate something of value, versus it just being like ‘okay, we’ve done this thing, now the world better listen up because here we come’,” says Galen.

Although there were some challenges, both Kindlewood and Lands & Peoples, one of Beau’s previous projects, saw success. We talked at length about the implications of leaving a project when the artist feels finished with it, even if the project is seeing success and developing a significant fan base. At their height, Kindlewood had a broad following, spanning the country (with some international fans as well) and Lands & Peoples had been in talks with some big names in the music industry, most notably the publicist for the National. When Galen and Kelci were moving away from Kindlewood as a project, they discussed the idea of keeping their name. “We had this platform, and we could’ve built on that platform if we’d kept the name and shifted things,” said Galen, “but keeping the name it didn’t make sense for what we’re doing”. In continuing to talk about the difficult decision to start over and create Citrine, Kelci describes her realization that the band wasn’t “precious”, even though she was treating it as such and that she needed to follow her heart instead. “So many bands are in so many bands before they actually make something happen”, states Kelci, reflecting on other musicians who have found success from something other than their first project. The change was necessary from the band as they grew as people. Although a tough decision, it seems to have been a necessary one in Citrine becoming what it is—and the direction it is heading.

When asked for their elevator pitch (that infuriating yet necessary evil of business,) Citrine uses dream pop to frame up their sound, but with more modern, beat driven elements—using descriptors like “shimmery,” “slightly abstract,” something that “visually, might call soft shapes to mind” and jokingly, “Volkswagen commercial.” The idea of creating “an environment in which the song lives, that the listener is a part of” is the goal of April, says Beau.

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April includes two songs off of an unreleased Kindlewood album that have been completely reworked. The band identified these two songs, “Drum and a Drop” and “Decimal Point” as the best “transition” pieces because they carried true weight and substance (and of course could be reworked to fit Citrine’s dream-pop sound. Galen told us that “it was important for us to find something that actually carried meaning for us. Whether or not it carried meaning for anybody else, carried some type of message for us”. “Decimal Point”, “Drum and a Drop” and the third song on their EP, “This Fabric” seems to do just that. Beau describes it as a “bolder choice. A more in your face choice,” and we could not agree more. The EP is a brilliant showcase of their past, present, and future. A sampling of where they have come from and where they intend to go, both sonically and lyrically, where the sky is the limit—April is truly the prelude to a full album that is to come.  So what do the months leading up to a full album look like for Citrine? Kelci replies, “Prepping…a lot of practicing, late nights, a lot of silliness, a lot of pizza, a lot of Chipotle.” Beau seconds, “A lot of pizza, slightly more Chipotle.”

Citrine has been crafting and perfecting their EP for the better part of a year. While the music is all done and mixed, the past few months have been crucial. Citrine has been putting final touches on their EP and have slowly been releasing their EP videos. While you are waiting for April, check out the video of ‘Drum and a Drop’, the first of Citrine’s EP videos that they released back in March.

April, Citrine’s first EP, is set to release on April 22nd. April was filmed and recorded live in Baltimore, MD. Citrine will be hosting a public show & EP release party at Ottobar on April 24th

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photography & album art by Colorless

Arts & Entertainment

A ’90s Hip Hop Primer

March 23, 2016

I have been a ’90s hip hop fan since I first listened to A Tribe Called Quest when I was in high school. I went through my stepdad’s CD collection and downloaded them into my iTunes library. There was a lot of eclectic music I got from him (from Ace of Bass to B.B. King to Rage Against the Machine to the Grateful Dead) but A Tribe Called Quest stood out to me. Prior to that, I knew hip hop as what was played on MTV in the early 2000s—Petey Pablo and Sisqo and yeah. Not that it was bad, but I couldn’t find any sort of message. I loved that Tribe told stories in their songs and actually spoke to a greater message. And of course, having grown up in Queens, NY, I loved that they too were from Queens.

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From there, I immersed myself in other ’90s hip hop (the usuals—Wu Tang, 2Pac, Biggie—but also some not-so usuals) and then branched out to conscious hip hop movement and from there, I started listening to most hip hop and able to appreciate music across the genre. This exploration I went through in high school has informed my music tastes to this day and I will always appreciate the intricacies of hip hop.

This, for some my age, might be a strange way to navigate hip hop but it is what worked for me. In light of today’s news of the passing of Phife Dawg (of A Tribe Called Quest), I’ve created a ’90s hip hop primer—a playlist that highlights the best hip hop of the ’90s. Whether the decade is new to you, the genre, or both, give it a listen. And if you’re already a ’90s hip hop fan, I’m hoping you’ll enjoy it too.

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Okay, white girl. You’re thinking. Should I really trust your judgement of ’90s hip hop? I understand the skepticism. You don’t have to trust me. I always get weird looks when someone catches me singing along to a De La Soul song or when I partake in dialogue about hip hop. I can’t make you listen to me, but what I will say is that I’ve enjoyed this music for about a decade now. Not that it makes me any more or less legit, but you have to admit that’s a long time. If anything, trust me because you like my playlists ;).

Give it a listen below or go ahead and follow the playlist on Spotify. The playlist is, admittedly, a bit ATCQ heavy (again to commemorate the life of Phife) but also features many other greats of the decade.

music and album art is not property of 30th & Weldon and direct you to the artists for rights.
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You on point, Phife? 

Outfit details: Dress – Urban Outfitters | Jacket – Mavi Jeans | Shoes – BCBGeneration | Backpack – Marc by Marc Jacobs | Hat – New Era | Sunglasses – Urban Outfitters | Lipstick – Stila

Arts & Entertainment

Good New Music: January 2016

February 1, 2016

Happy February! I can’t believe January came and went. It’s been a pretty eventful month already—the Earth lost a few iconic people, we got hit with a huge blizzard (east coast only), and Donald Trump refused to attend the most recent Republican debate held by Fox. January also brought us some good new music that I’ve recently been reflecting on. After I reviewed the 101 Best Albums of 2015, I realized how much good music comes out over a year. It’s a shame to save all of the good new music listening until the end of the year and so I’m going to try to present some of my favorite new music each month in the form of a playlist (titled, of course, Good New Music: January 2016).

January has already proved that 2016 will be a great year for music—and Kanye’s highly anticipated album WAVES [fka SWISH, fka So Help Me God] hasn’t even come out yet. I’ve been waiting all month for Sia’s This is Acting and have already listened to it 5 times in the few days it has been out, David Bowie left us Blackstar (which is the perfect blend of David Bowie & 2016), and Rihanna has FINALLY BLESSED US with her newest album, Anti. I also made some good new discoveries this month (especially Hinds & Anderson .Paak) and I totally forgot Chairlift existed (remember that song Bruises from this 2008 iPod Nano commercial? Lol. They’ve actually evolved a lot and I like their new sound). I also included a Panic! At The Disco song and I hope you can forgive me—this song is just ultra catchy (but if you can’t forgive me it’s fine, I haven’t forgiven myself ugh).

Oh, and you may notice that BBHMM is on this and you may think ‘UM HELLO THIS DID NOT COME OUT 2016 HELLO’. Yes, you are correct. But Anti has only been released on Jay-Z’s streaming service Tidal (and you know I signed up for a 30-day trial to listen). Playlist will be updated when Anti makes its way to Spotify.

(jk rihanna. u call the shots not me...)

(jk rihanna. u call the shots not me…)

Comment below with your favorite new music from January 2016. Enjoy being up-to-date on new releases. I’ll have a new playlist ready to celebrate February (gonna be a  big month, in addition to WAVES [fka SWISH, fka So Help Me God], we are also expecting new releases from Santigold, Ra Ra Riot, and Animal Collective).

 

Arts & Entertainment

101 Best Albums of 2015

December 30, 2015

2015 was quite a year for music! We had a secret mixtape dropped by Drake, a highly anticipated Adele album came out, Taylor’s 1989 World Tour was a crazy success, and the Beatles are finally streamable on the internet. At the end of each year, I reflect on music. I read blogs on blogs to find what I missed and get frustrated by whatever bad decisions I think Pitchfork’s Top 50 made. This year, I decided to make my own list to come out just in time for the end of the year (unless Beyoncé surprises us once again with a late-night release of an album just in time for the ball drop. That would kind of ruin this post).

This ‘best albums of 2015’ list was created by me reflecting on this year in music. It is heavily influenced by my own preferences but also keeping in mind good musicianship in general. The list includes my favorite 101 albums that came out in 2015; the top 25 are ranked and the following 76 are not ranked but are very good albums (so, in essence, it’s two lists). You’ll also find a playlist of my favorite songs from each of these albums before we dive into the lists. I tried to limit it to one song per album but you’ll notice the playlist is longer than 101 songs. A few/many of these albums had more than one song that made my favorites list and there was one very important song that is still just a single (I may or may not be talking about Hotline Bling)(lol of course I’m talking about Hotline Bling). There are also a few songs that were great but the albums they came from were not-so-great so the song made it but the album did it. If you’re looking for something new or to reflect with me, read through this list and listen to and follow our playlist on Spotify.

100+ Great Songs of 2015 (A Playlist)

Again, the lists below were created to highlight the best music of 2015. Without any more distraction, I give you 101 Best Albums of 2015.

Top 25 Albums of 2015 (Ranked)

25. Shamir – Ratchet

shamir ratchet

Ratchet is pure and enjoyable. Shamir’s tenor brings this album a unique energy and his lyrical ability makes each listen more rewarding than the last. The 20-year-old singer/songwriter blends electronic with hip-hop seamlessly while featuring strong, honest vocals. An album not to be missed that has slowly become a favorite.

24. Julia Holter – Have You In My Wilderness

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Julia Holter’s entrancing album is emotional yet pragmatic. Have You In My Wilderness is confident, ambitious, and high quality. Julia Holter’s art pop/ambient/electronic/baroque sound has been captured perfectly in this album in an incredibly approachable way. Her gorgeous voice and the ability to listen to this album over and over (and over) again are also big reasons why this album earned a spot on my Top 25.

23. Waxahatchee – Ivy Tripp

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Ivy Tripp is deep, emotional, articulate, and real. Katie Crutchfield’s inventive songwriting gives this album its depth while her melody make the album whole. I found Ivy Tripp to be incredibly easy listening that I have yet to be tired of.

22. Destroyer – Poison Season

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Dan Bejar’s solo project, Destroyer, has been going strong for two decades. Poison Season is satisfying and a bit surprising. Bejar’s iconic voice and a strong orchestra inspires this pop rock/alt indie/baroque pop album. Poison is graceful, relatable and meticulously crafted.

21. Panda BearPanda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper

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Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper is a hypotonic indie-pop/alternative/etc album by Noah Lennox, animal collective co-founder. The album is distinctive and adventurous yet contained. The diversity throughout the melodic album ensures that it continuously grows as its listened to more and more. Lennox proves to be somewhat of a pedestal and demonstrates what a generation of indie pop/alternative artists aim for. The energy of Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper is no exception.

20. Earl Sweatshirt – I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside

i don't go outside earl sweatshirt

From start to finish, I Don’t Go Outside is an impressive second album from Earl Sweatshirt. The album is definitely a bit more mature than his last but what I love about Outside is how honest his rapping is. The album is definitely a bit dark but that is what makes it so real and almost relatable.

19.Grace Potter – Midnight

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Grace Potter, known for her work with Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, took a bold risk with Midnight. And I’m glad she did. Previously known in the rock-and-roll world, Grace Potter’s Midnight is more complex than her long-time fans might be used to. This album uses synth, has influence of funk and soul, features strong acoustics, and in places reminds me of a modern-day Fleetwood Mac. Her voice is featured so well and I absolutely love the risks taken with Midnight.

18. The Alabama Shakes – Sound & Color

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Sound & Color is incredibly passionate! I’ve always liked the Alabama Shake’s sound but never quite latched on until I heard this album. They’ve elevated their sound for Sound & Color and  This album is satisfying, ballsy, and fun. Although inventive, the album remains cohesive.

17. Neon Indian – Vega Intl. Night School

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This indie/pop/rock album features upbeat energy. Neon Indian seems much more focused and carefree in Vega Intl Night School. His multiple sounds come together in a beautiful way on this album. It definitely steps away from the more mellow vibe of his earlier work but the transformation works with his musical aesthetic.

16. Sleater-Kinney – No Cities to Love

sleater kinney no cities to love

Sleater-Kinney has done it again. No Cities to Love came after ten years away and it shows the band is completely able to keep growing. No Cities is fun and evokes the same feelings of nostalgia for those who’ve followed the trio’s from their start. Sleater-Kinney’s punk rock/indie rock/riot grrrl roots shine in this album while still being innovative.

15. Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment – Surf

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I first discovered Surf when I read a review on Pitchfork that described the album as a ‘musical vacation’. I thought “well, I need a vacation. Let’s give this a listen”. And I’m glad I did. There are some incredible performances on Surf and brings truly enjoyable listening. This hip-hop/neo-soul/jazz influenced album is incredibly unique, both musically and lyrically. The album is laid back but incredibly energetic—a balance which can be hard to strike.

14. Deerhunter – Fading Frontier 

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Deerhunter has been a personal favorite of mine since high school and I was very happy to hear that Fading Frontier was solid and still featured their great musicianship. I actually think they sound reinvigorated and more willing to explore while, at the same time, being their most conventional record to date. The pop/rock/indie/dreamy sound has been elevated in a way that old fans and new fans can all enjoy.

13. Jamie xx – In Colour

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Most other lists ranked In Colour much higher than I did, and I understand why. The album is complex, rich, and fluid and is bar far the best electronic album of the year. My general aversion to electronic music didn’t allow this album to get as highly ranked as others did but my ability to recognize (and enjoy) a great album landed In Colour the number 11 spot. Jamie xx time and time again proves that he is one of the best in the electronic scene and should never be overlooked.

12. Tennis – Ritual in Repeat (Deluxe)

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Okay. So this shouldn’t count. Full disclosure, Ritual in Repeat came out in 2014. But Ritual in Repeat (Deluxe) was released in 2015 and the added songs are enough for me to review it as an album on 2015. I know that sounds ridiculous and that I’m cheating, but hear me out. The indie/retro-pop duo have made a great album even more complete with their deluxe edition. The three added songs are arguably some of my favorites on the album and bring the album to a slightly heightened level. The album is ambitious enhances their sound, which I believe is becoming iconic. Okay, maybe it sounds like bullshit and maybe I just really like Tennis and maybe I am cheating, but for me it’s enough to get this DELUXE album to the 12th spot on this list. And this is my list and I can do what I want.

11. The Weeknd – Beauty Behind the Madness

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This is another one that is higher on other lists. If this were a list of “albums I liked in 2015” Beauty Behind the Madness wouldn’t have made Top 25 because I like the Weeknd but don’t love him. But I can push passed my own feelings and recognize that Beauty Behind the Madness is truly one of the better albums of this year. This is the most versatile album from the Weeknd and proves his place among mainstream music. The album is definitely way more pop & commercial than previous but it is a sound we can all get behind. I mean, 9 year olds and moms alike are walking around singing ‘I Can’t Feel My Face’. The album is a bit monotonous lyrically but is made up for musically.

10. Florence & The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful 

florence how big how blue

Any Florence fan probably decided they liked this album before they even listened but I’ve got to say How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful absolutely exceeded my expectations. The album is technical, melodic, and lyrically satisfying, which we all expect from Welch. What I love is that although the sound may seem a bit smaller, I believe Welch herself is more powerful. The album features a strong confidence from Florence & The Machine and it appears Welch knows just how much of a force she is in the music scene (and rightfully so).

9. Beach House – Depression Cherry

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Depression Cherry is not quite as emotional as Beach House’s previous albums but portrays a maturity that wasn’t apparent before. The album is refreshing and seductive and almost haunting. I kept finding myself returning to Depression Cherry throughout the year because I loved the sound but also because I loved the way it made me feel. The indie pop/rock duo have crafted a dreamy sound that was portrayed well in Depression Cherry. Also, this is one of TWO albums they came out with this year, which is amazing (and the second album can be found later on in the list). Also, #BaltimoreMusic.

8. Grimes – Art Angles

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I hadn’t given Grimes a proper chance until a friend at work recommended I give her a listen and, since then, this has become one of my favorite albums. Art Angels is one of the best albums of this year. Grimes’ voice is absolutely captivating her talent as a musician is apparent in this entertainingly bizarre album. Grimes brings electro art-pop/dream-pop/etc pop to a different place and makes it interesting while still being accessible. Also v fun to dance to.

7. Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late

if you're reading this its too late

Drake released a surprise mixtape one night and we were #blessed. If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late is well produced and this has been my favorite Drake album to date. I feel it is a consistent experience and flows well. When it first came out, I couldn’t stop listening to it (my former roommates can attest to that…) His skills as a lyricist were very apparent in If You’re Reading This, as if he needed the freedom of a mixtape to showcase it. This is the most honest we’ve ever seen Drake.

 

6. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

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Australian singer/songwriter/guitarist Courtney Barnett’s stream of consciousness style is highlighted beautifully in Sometimes I Sit and Think. Her lyrics are quirky and a bit funny but don’t let that fool you—her work in Sometimes I Sit takes us on the journey of her life and is incredibly personal (which you may not realize on your first listen). She is incredibly relatable. And her Australian accent doesn’t totally hurt either.

 

5. San Fermin – Jackrabbit

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Jackrabbit is San Fermin’s ambitious and powerful sophomore album. San Fermin is a musical experience that features the beautiful vocals of Charlene Kate and Allen Tate, whose voices could not be more different but end up complimenting each other beautifully. The horns (trumpet and saxophone) and strings (guitar, bass, violin, and the occasional mandolin) all blend together to create a giant melodic sound. San Fermin is baroque pop at its best and in my opinion has been severely overlooked.

4. Tame Impala – Currents

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Described by some as psychedelic pop-perfection, Currents shows that Tame Impala has perfected their sound. This album is an absolute progression and shows the band is embracing growth. On the surface, most of the album is incredibly uplifting but as you dig deeper into the album a theme of melancholy is apparent. Elaborate and personal, Currents was easily one of my favorites this year.

3. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell

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Carrie & Lowell is Sufjan Stevens seventh full-length album and is even more honest and heartfelt than his albums prior. Sufjan’s albums are always emotional but the transparency of Carrie & Lowell takes it to another level. His lyrics are the driving force of the album while his electro experimentation along with folky melodies enhance the intimacy of his words. This album is filled with feels and this album is an absolute masterpiece.

2. Kenrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly 

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Groundbreaking and prolific, Kendrick Lamar continues to distinguish himself as a key player in the world of Hip Hop with To Pimp a Butterfly. The most conscious album from Kendrick thus far, To Pimp a Butterfly is incredibly influential and inspiring. Kendrick Lamar has used this album to talk about key issues in our society, most notably the state of race relations in the United States. This album is mature and has a true message and meaning, in some places feeling like a protest piece. The album absolutely does not suffer musically and this album proves to be cohesive throughout.

1. Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear

i love you honeybee father john misty

I Love You, Honeybear is without a doubt the best album of 2015, and I am honestly shocked that the Gods at Pitchfork seemed to disagree. Well, fuck them. Like I said earlier, their Top 50 always pisses me off for something, and not ranking Honeybear higher really got to me. It was a clear winner for me. This list proved incredibly hard to curate and I moved albums around constantly, but the one album that stayed in its place was Honeybear, consistently at number one. Josh Tillman seems to have turned his diary into an album with honest, intelligent, and almost sarcastic lyrics. Musically, the album is incredibly polished. Although this was my #1 from the start, I find it hard to articulate why it is I like it so much (and perhaps that is intentional on Tillman’s part). Just trust me.

76 Other Albums of 2015 That Are Also Really Great But Are Not Top 25 (Alphabetical by Artist Name)

  • a-ha – Cast in Steel
  • A$AP Rocky – At. Long. Last. A$AP
  • Adele – 25*
  • Alex G – Beach Music
  • Angel Haze – Back to the Woods*
  • Archy Marshall – A New Place 2 Drown
  • Atlas Genius – Inanimate Objects
  • Beach House – Thank Your Lucky Stars*
  • Belle & Sebastian – Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance
  • Best Coast – California Nights
  • Big Data – 2.0
  • Bill Ryder-Jones West Kirby County Primary
  • Bjork – Vulnicura*
  • Blur – The Magic Whip
  • Bob Dylan – Shadows in the Night
  • Bob Moses – Days Gone By
  • Bop English – Constant Bop
  • Chastity Belt – Time to Go Home 
  • CHVRCHES – Every Open Eye
  • CocoRosie – Heartache City
  • Coldplay – A Head Full of Dreams
  • Dick Diver – Melbourne, Florida
  • Dr. Dre – Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr. Dre*
  • Ellie Goulding – Delirium* 
  • FKA twigs – M3LL155X* 
  • Foals – What Went Down
  • Future – DS2*
  • Hop Along – Painted Shut
  • Hot Chip – Why Make Sense
  • James Bay – Chaos and the Calm
  • Janet Jackson – Unbreakable
  • Jazmine Sullivan – Reality Show
  • Jenny Hval – Apocalypse, girl
  • Jeremiah – Late Nights: The Album
  • Joanna Newson – Divers*
  • Kamasi Washington, The Epic*
  • Kelela – Hallucinogen EP
  • Lana Del Rey – Honeymoon*
  • Ludacris – Ludaversal
  • Lupe Fiasco – Tetsuo & Youth*
  • Mac DeMarco – Another One*
  • Madonna – Rebel Heart
  • Marina and the Diamonds – Froot
  • Matt & Kim – New Glow
  • Miya Folick – Strange Darling
  • Modest Mouse – Strangers to Ourselves
  • MS MR – How Does it Feel 
  • Mumford & Sons – Wilder Mind
  • My Morning Jacket – The Waterfall
  • Natalie Prass – Natalie Prass*
  • New Order – Music Complete*
  • of Montreal – Aureate Gloom*
  • Oh Wonder – Oh Wonder*
  • Painted Palms – Horizons
  • Passion Pit – Kindred
  • Prince – HITNRUN*
  • Punch Brothers – The Phosphorescent Blues
  • Pure Bathing Culture – Pray for Rain*
  • Purity Ring – Another Eternity*
  • Rae Sremmurd – SremmLife
  • Sam Amidon – But This Chicken Proved Falsehearted
  • Speedy Ortiz – Foil Deer
  • Sun Club – The Dongo Durango*
  • The Decemberists – What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World
  • The Dø – Shake, Shook, Shaken
  • The Paper Kites – Twelvefour
  • Thundercat – The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam
  • Tobias Jesso Jr. – Goon*
  • Toro y Moi – What For?*
  • Troye Sivan – Blue Neighborhood
  • Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love
  • Vince Staples – Summertime ’06*
  • Wilco – Star Wars*
  • Youth Lagoon – Savage Hills Ballroom*
  • Zella Day – Kicker

* Indicates that if I did a top 50 instead of 25, these would’ve made it. But I didn’t and they didn’t. Basically they’re my favorites in these extended list.

Have a favorite album released in 2015 that wasn’t mentioned? Comment below and let me know!