Maybe I’ve just been more engaged and up-to-speed compared to previous years, but 2015 has felt like a year in which highlights were plentiful. Albums worthy of being excited about have been released on a consistent basis, and there’s been a few surprises too, whether it be relatively new acts making their presence known, or veterans reminding everyone that there’s something to be said for longevity. As such, my end of year favourites is large enough to be spread over several posts over the coming days and weeks, making sure each album can be given its due.
The first few sections will be done in alphabetical order, as I think that ranking such a varied selection of records is somewhat silly. There are, however, a few releases this year that stand head and shoulders over the others, and deserve special mention, and will be featured in their own special, final list. And, as before, it’s worth noting that these are favourites, not a “best of”. These are records that are maybe not the most technical, inventive, or creative – or perhaps they are – but they’re ones I found myself coming back to once the initial thrill had worn off.
So, without further preamble, here’s the first selection.