The Top 50 Albums of 2015: #30-#21

We’re now roughly halfway through our Top 50 Albums of 2015 countdown! Read on as we reveal which albums have made it this time round.

30. Spector – Moth Boys
Bad Boyfriend

What we said: “Although all the hype that surrounded Spector’s debut eventually (and unfortunately) died down, you have to give it to them for continuing and coming back better than ever before. Spector may not be the big band that everyone hoped they would be, but they’re still alive and well and doing exactly what they do best.”

29. Foals – What Went Down
Mountain at my Gates

What we said: “Speaking of pride, What Went Down is a record which not just Foals can be proud of themselves for, but one which UK popular music can also breathe a sigh of relief for. British music was on the verge of falling into a Sam Smith-tainted trap door; however, Yannis and co. have come in at just the right time to save the day, along with the likes of Muse and Enter Shikari. What Went Down is one of the best records to be released this year, and it’s sure to catapult Foals further into the upper echelons of festival bills. Glastonbury 2016 headliners, anyone?”

28. Sue the Night – Mosaic
The Whale

What we said: “Although Mosaic ends on a hopeful, slightly melancholic note, we can definitely be sure that this isn’t the last we’ve heard of Sue the Night. Mosaic is a great debut album from a band who is definitely taking a step in the right direction.”

27. EL VY – Return to the Moon
I’m the Man to Be

What we say:
On Return to the Moon, The National’s Matt Berninger has proven to us that he’s more than able to distinguish himself from his main project. Forming one half of the eclectic EL VY, Berninger and musical partner Brent Knopf (Monomena/Ramona Falls) managed to achieve indie rock perfection on their debut collection. Album highlight I’m the Man to Be is the kind of song which The National would never get away with, and it’s also one of the best songs of the year.

26. Kassassin Street – Radio Silence (EP)
Yeah It’s On

What we said about standout track Yeah It’s On: “Scattered percussion, jangly guitars and Bastable’s voice (which dominates the foreground of the song) all complement each other nicely, proving exactly why Kassassin Street are the kind of band worth getting excited about in the UK right now.”

25. Mayday Parade – Black Lines
One of Them Will Destroy the Other

What we said: “On Black Lines, Mayday Parade have proven that they are so much more than what everyone thought they were initially. From the powerful alt rock of One of Them Will Destroy the Other, to One of Us’ emotive close, it’s pretty much conclusive that Black Lines is one of 2015’s best rock albums.”

24. PAUW – Macrocosm Microcosm
Glare Pt. 2
What we said about album highlight Glare Pt. 2: “At 7:39, it’s the longest and most drawn-out song (read: journey) on the album. Braam’s opening melody is once again accompanied by weird background noise which spans everything from animal sounds to fuzzy sound bites. Pots’ echoed vocal controls the first verse, before the rest of the band slowly join in. It’s an extremely melody centric song, something Braam deserves a lot of credit for. Just before the three minute mark, everything comes to a sudden halt and transforms into what sounds like an LSD-infused funeral march. This subsequently transforms once more into a hands-in-the-air instrumental section laced with euphoria. Can the song become any bigger? Yes, it can. By this point, Pots’ fuzzy guitar riff has also joined in and added another eerie aspect to proceedings. It sounds almost like Brian May took a whole lot of drugs and pulled his most hypnotic solo out of the bag. This goes on for a while, only getting bigger, better and even more emotional. Once the song eventually does come to end (by means of more eerie background noises), you’re left in an absolute daze which will likely remain for days on end.”

23. Jacco Gardner – Hypnophobia
Another You

What we said: “With Hypnophobia, Gardner has proven himself to be one of the finest psychedelic musicians of modern times. What the record lacks in quantity is certainly made up for in the quality of each and every track, in particular its opener, Another You, and the sprawling epic that is Before the Dawn. If this doesn’t launch Gardner into the psychedelic stratosphere alongside the well-established likes of Tame Impala, then we’re not sure what will.”

22. BC Camplight – How to Die in the North
Thieves in Antigua

BC Camplight’s Brian tells All Things Loud about the record: “In 2008 I stopped writing music and endured years as an addict living in an abandoned church in Philadelphia. I watched former band-mates ascend to international fame and acclaim. I knew that I had a special album in me but also knew I’d never be able to realize it in the state I was in. I entered official do or die mode. In 2012, with absolutely no plan I headed to Manchester, UK. I had this dramatic idea of making a record in the way Nick Cage lived his last months in Leaving Las Vegas. To go out with a bang, pouring my mind into a big kaleidoscopic record whilst drinking myself into worm’s food. As the record started to materialize I noticed it was too good to continue with that approach. I became soberish and spent two years crafting it with a musical focus I had never experienced before. It really was a miracle that the gamble to go to Manchester paid off. In the end I had an album of songs that were a perfect reflection of my prior psychotic, hopeless state but with a new sense of invention and hope that was a direct product of my new environment. The record is more or less “about” the regrets I had in Philly told through many drastically differing musical voices strung together with a common maniacal psychedelic theme. I still called it How to Die in the North even though I didn’t die. Dying really cuts into touring profits.”

21. FFS – FFS
Collaboration’s Don’t Work
What we said about FFS’ set at Lowlands Festival in August: “FFS may only be a short collaboration, yet it’s unlikely that anybody would flinch at further projects from the two groups. Joint frontmen Alex Kapranos and Ron Mael gel well with one another, so much so that you would think FFS formed some 20 years ago.”


Check back later this week for the first half of our Top 20.