Next week, we’re going to be announcing our #1 album of 2015! Now, though, it’s time to get acquainted with the first half of the Top 20. Read on for more.

20. Coldplay – A Head Full of Dreams
Amazing Day

What we said: “On A Head Full of Dreams, Coldplay look set to divide plenty of opinion. Gone are the old elements which made Coldplay so unique, original and special; in are pop sensibilities, guest stars and a more manufactured sound. The good thing about the record, though, is that Martin and co. have ensured that they won’t be completely swallowed up by the pop world. Sure, they seem to be more American than they are English nowadays, but they’re still the kind of band who know how to stay true to themselves. A Head Full of Dreams has some very special moments (Birds, Adventure of a Lifetime, Amazing Day), but it also has the kind of downfalls (Hymn for the Weekend, the instrumental interludes) which the good moments do well to silence. You may not love Coldplay any more because of it, but A Head Full of Dreams isn’t going to make you despise them either.”

image

19. Wolf Alice – My Love is Cool
Bros

What we said: “It’s clear that Wolf Alice aren’t in it to make it big; they don’t want to be the next big anything. They are simply a bunch of incredibly gifted musicians that happen to have made one of the best debut albums in recent memories. Folk, pop, grunge and dreamy guitars come together on this work of art, sounding like bands from the 90’s while also capturing the catchy pop vibes of American colleagues Haim. Above all, they are Wolf Alice and My Love Is Cool is guaranteed to end up high on many album of the year lists.”

Vocalist Ellie Rowsell on the recording process: “We went to a studio in north London called Livingstone studios for a month, and worked with Mike Crossey. He’s worked with lots of guitar bands before. We went in with around 18 songs and chose the best ones, subsequently recording the ones we were most excited to record. We tried to not limit our creative freedom”

image

18. Blur – The Magic Whip
Ong Ong

What we said: “If there’s one thing which The Magic Whip has taught us, it’s that Blur are back for good. It’s not only one of the finest albums of 2015, but also one of the best records Blur has ever put out.”

image

17. The Mysterons – The Mysterons
Thunderbird 1

A brief history on The Mysterons, by frontwoman Josephine van Schaik: “The Mysterons was formed at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. At first, the idea was to write songs in the style of Ennio Morricone’s ’60 spaghetti western soundtracks, but soon the band was influenced by all other sorts of music like Bollywood, minimal and trip hop. This resulted in a new, unique sound often referred to as Pop Noir. After the first show in underground club Pacific Parc, they decided to record songs. The band wanted the recordings to sound gritty and old school, and chose to create an EP in the fashion of “do-it-yourself’, as a reaction to the clean, hi-fi productions nowadays. The EP was fully recorded on tape in Studio Greenfield (a hidden analogue garage studio in the centre of Amsterdam, owned by saxophonist Rinus Groeneveld). The members of The Mysterons used an analogue mixing desk to do live mixing. The artwork, made by me, consist of a photograph of an overpass turned upside down, creating an outer space interior with weird creatures roaming the scene. Excelsior Recordings picked up the song Echoes by chance, and offered the band a deal. What started out as a fun project on the side, soon got serious.”

image

16. Chvrches – Every Open Eye
Clearest Blue

What we said: “Every Open Eye is by far a fantastic record which has once again proven Chvrches’ ability to thrive on whatever they have at their disposal, and create a fantastic end product.”

image

15. Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface
The Judge

What we said: “On Blurryface, Twenty One Pilots have proven themselves to be an incendiary, unstoppable force. The record switches between so many different styles and genres at such a rapid pace that it’s sometimes hard to keep up. Blurryface has already the #1 spot in America, with the rest of the world likely to follow suit one day. Look out world, Twenty One Pilots are coming.”

image

14. La Pegatina – Revulsiu
Una Mirada

Accordionist/keyboardist Romain Renard on the story behind Revulsiu: “Our fifth album, Revulsiu, was imagined and written on the road. Since the very beginning of La Pegatina, the songs we’ve made were created during a tour. For this album we wanted to make a harder party, with more powerful music than ever. The electric guitars and keyboards are more aggressive, and the explicit lyrics help people to connect more sincerely with us. The song that the album is named after, El Revulsiu, is about how to make things change.”

image

13. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday
Lock all the Doors

What we said: “If there’s one thing that Chasing Yesterday has taught us, it’s that Noel has no need (nor intention) to chase yesterday. His Oasis days are firmly behind him, with the future being the only thing we need to look forward to.”

image

12. Bring Me the Horizon – That’s the Spirit
What You Need

What we said: “This band are not going to put out the same record time after time just to satisfy Aaron from Wyoming because he loves Count Your Blessings. No, the band are going to keep reinventing themselves because they see opportunity in different genres that they equally love. To be successful in the heavy scene, reinvention is key, and Bring Me the Horizon have opened the lock to success.”

image

11. Faith No More – Sol Invictus
Superhero

What we said of Faith No More’s set at Pinkpop Festival this year: “Legendary American prog metallers Faith No More are a band who can’t be pigeonholed into a genre that easily. Prog metal in itself is a very broad description for a band whose heaviest songs are as borderline absurd as their ballads are sickly sweet. The Mike Patton-fronted group, whose billing was unusually low for a band of such stature, took to the flower-covered stage as they kicked into the brooding Motherfucker. “Get the motherfucker on the phone” sang the crowd enthusiastically as Patton emerged with a megaphone. Smash hit Epic appeared later on, receiving the best crowd reaction of the set before classic Commodores cover Easy made for a mass sing-a-long. There was onstage banter aplenty, particularly between Patton and keyboardist Roddy Bottom, whose discussions about yoga caused the crowd to laugh a lot. Faith No More aren’t legends for no reason, just look at their back catalogue. A band whose music spans such a wide variety of genres that still have as much relevance in 2015 as they did in 1989 is a band who deserve to be massive. Faith No More are a perfect example of this musical relevance, which is just as encapsulating as their personal nonchalance. They’re easy, just like Sunday morning.”

image

Check back on Monday for the full Top 10.