It’s been an exciting two weeks, but now the time has finally come for us to unveil our #1 album of 2015. Over the course of the countdown, the likes of Northlane, La Pegatina, BC Camplight, In Hearts Wake and more have submitted written contributions about their record, with two more artists and a visualist contributing to our Top 10. Find out below who made it.
10. Django Django – Born Under Saturn
Best Song: Shot Down
What we said: “With Born Under Saturn, Django Django have proven that they aren’t merely a one-trick pony. The record, which clocks in at just short of an hour, is one which can hardly be faulted. Born Under Saturn is a masterpiece, falling nowhere short from the mark whatsoever. The guitars are jangly and happy, the bass is infectious, the synths are powerful and the percussion is instantly danceable. What more do you want from a record? Exactly.”
9. Ghost – Meliora
What we said: “Meliora’s dark ending means that the three-part story of the anti-Christ has technically come to an end. He came, he saw, and now he has finally conquered. So where can Ghost go from here? Only deeper; deeper into the darkest depths of hell. Here, they’ll be able to reach back into the underworld and present you with their darkest wishes effortlessly. Unfortunately, Meliora lacked this slightly. It had too many ‘positive’ vibes which don’t entirely suit Ghost’s music. It also featured somewhat lacking lyrical content, particularly in terms of topics. Aside from the fact that it only has eight full songs, though, Meliora is a masterpiece. It’s the pinnacle of Ghost’s career, and definitely a record which not only the band can be proud of, but one that rock music can be proud of. Never has the instrumentation on a hard rock album spanned so many different styles whilst still remaining ‘metal’, and never has a rock album itself sounded so tight-knit and precise. Translated into English, Meliora means ‘better’, and Ghost have definitely achieved that here.”
8. Will Butler – Policy
What we said: “Despite the vast success which Arcade Fire has registered in the last years, Will Butler’s solo output might one day be just as successful if Policy is anything to go by.”
7. Palma Violets – Danger in the Club
Peter & the Gun
What guitarist/vocalist Sam Fryer had to say about recording with John Leckie in remote Wales: “Employees at Rough Trade (Palma Violets’ record label) knew John, who came to Studio 180 and listened to the songs we wrote. He said he was really interested in making a rock & roll album again. We wanted some more songs, and our tour manager (Milo) recommended us a place in Wales. Without any hesitation, we got on a bus and went straight there. We were greeted by a friendly hippy couple who showed us the place and let us do what we wanted to do.”
6. Pond – Man It Feels Like Space Again
Man it Feels Like Space Again
What we said: “One thing we can definitely be sure of, is that Pond are a unique band whose sound will seldom be replicated by others. Allbrook is a master of his craft, with every song on the album standing out in one way or another. Whether it be the energy we feel in Zond, or the euphoria in Waiting Around for Grace, Man It Feels Like Space Again will be one of the best records of the year.”
5. Editors – In Dream
What we said: “On In Dream, Editors have provided what could well be their masterpiece. It might not exactly be the upbeat indie rock of debut album The Back Room (their breakthrough as a band); rather, it’s the sound of a band who learnt how to grow up and make proper use of everything in their power. Whether or not it’ll send them into stratospheric reaches across new territories remains to be seen, but it’s still worth noting that this record can only see the band head in one direction – upwards.”
4. Nothing But Thieves – Nothing But Thieves
What we said: “All in all, Nothing But Thieves’ debut album is an absolute stunner. From Excuse Me’s slow build-up to Tempt You (Evocatio)’s thoughtful closing, the album is full of surprises. Every song touches on anthemic elements at one point or another, in particular during the likes of Wake Up Call, Itch and Trip Switch. Over the course of the album’s 12 songs, Nothing But Thieves leave no stone unturned as they touch on a wide variety of styles – alternative radio rock (all the singles), heartfelt balladry (Lover, Please Stay), electro funk (Hostage) and hard rock (Painkiller) are all thrown into the mix. Alongside this, the album’s four bonus tracks (including the previously released Honey Whiskey and Hanging) also touch on a selection of exciting sounds, serving as an extra treat for diehard fans. If Nothing But Thieves haven’t taken over the world this time next year, then something has gone drastically wrong. This band are the next big rock band that this planet needs, and they’re more than ready to serve up to the challenge.”
3. Tame Impala – Currents
Let it Happen
What we said: “In Currents, Kevin Parker and Tame Impala are sitting on a flawless masterpiece. From the opening synths on Let it Happen to the fade out on New Person, Same Old Mistakes, Currents is faultless beyond belief. The significant lack of guitars may have already been a given (Parker worked with producer Mark Ronson on January’s Uptown Special), but that the six-string was left alone for a while doesn’t mean that the tracks are any less good. Don’t be surprised if you see Currents topping plenty of year-end lists this year, because that’s exactly where it deserves to be.”
2. Enter Shikari – The Mindsweep
What we said: “The Mindsweep just goes to show that Enter Shikari are still one of the most consistent and impressive bands of our day and age. It may only be January, but this album is an early contender for album of the year. 2015 is the year of the Shikari, whether you like it or not.”
What frontman Rou Reynolds said to All Things Loud about The Mindsweep’s concept: “The importance of the scientific method being employed in all areas of life is a main theme. For too long our society, our institutions and our behaviours have been left without analysis or criticism purely because they are ‘traditional’, thought of as immutable, or protected by those who profit from them. It’s becoming clear that capitalism is not conducive to maximising human wellbeing and environmental sustainability as profit is to be made to the detriment of both. This is one of the running themes.”
You can also watch our interview with Rob Rolfe (drums) and Chris Batten (bass) here.
1. Muse – Drones
What we said: “If there’s one thing that Drones has taught us, it’s that Muse are back to their absolute best and have just put out a full-on masterpiece. Everything about Drones is nigh-on perfect, from its concept all the way through to its instrumentation. It sees the reintroduction of elements which made Muse the band they were, as well as the introduction of elements which Muse can certainly use to their advantage on future recordings. It may not be an Origin of Symmetry just yet, but let’s keep in mind that that record also wasn’t considered a classic until a handful of years and successful tours later. Welcome back, Muse.”
What Matt Mahurin, the man behind Drones’ artwork, wrote in a column for All Things Loud earlier this year: “It’s been a thrilling and fulfilling experience to be trusted by the guys in Muse to visually support their music and message. My background is in social and political art. Be it the prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib or the threat of global warming, I have done many TIME magazine covers and illustrations for Rolling Stone Magazine and other publications on issues that confront society. I consider myself a “visual journalist” – meaning the ideas behind my images are what matter most. I met with the band to show them a collection of my published images on a variety of concerns, and was pleased that we shared many viewpoints. This connection created the opportunity to bring my images to their songs. In regard to process, I simply read the lyrics and listened to the songs, then went about conceiving a concept that supported the song’s intent. After showing my concepts to the band for their approval, I was then set free to bring the images to life.I am designing and illustrating the record package – and will have the pleasure and challenge to create many more images that support the band’s powerful mission.I am grateful to Matt, Dom and Chris for entrusting me with their talent and hard work. I have also been blown away by the passion and commitment of their fans, and have received countless good wishes and support – which only heightens an already amazing professional and personal adventure. As an Imagemaker, these are the kind of jobs one dreams of; the validation to be respected for what one loves to do – and the opportunity to produce a creative product that will be sent out into the world to be shared.”
We’re thus glad to announce that Muse’s Drones is our #1 album of 2015. See you next year.
All Things Loud would like to thank the following people for their assistance in compiling the list and/or providing the means for its respective content:
Ruben van der Horst, Sezen Groenen, Natasja de Vries, Ianthe van Hengel, Denise Pedicillo, Eros Pasi, Lobke de Boer, Ingmar Jahn, Aldo Perotti, Brian Christinzio (BC Camplight), Josh Smith (Northlane), JB Brubaker (August Burns Red), Romain Renard (La Pegatina), Josephine van Schaik (The Mysterons), Ellie Rowsell (Wolf Alice), Heath Fogg (Alabama Shakes), Ben Nairne (In Hearts Wake), Samuel Fryer (Palma Violets), Matt Mahurin (Muse’s visual designer), and Rou Reynolds (Enter Shikari).