It seems there’s just time before I am forced back to work for me to look back over the previous 12 months of music related ephemera and to award my favourite things with the accolade everyone is after, the Kickers of 2015.
You can hear a detailed exploration of my 25 favourite songs of the year right here, but if I had to choose just one song as being worthy of the Kicker Song of 2015, it would have to be Simon Love’s lyrical masterpiece The New Adam & Eve…
In order, these are my top 25 albums of 2015 and I
would recommend demand that you check them all out.
- Circus Devils – Stomping Grounds
2. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit
3. Car Seat Headrest – Teens Of Style
4. JD Meatyard – Taking The Asylum
5. Elvis Depressedly – New Alhambra
6. Jeffrey Lewis & Los Bolts – Manhattan
7. Astral Swans – All My Favourite Singers Are Willie Nelson
8. Evans The Death – Expect Delays
9. Simon Love – Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time
10. Robert Forster – Songs To Play
11. The Lucid Dream – The Lucid Dream
12. Low Low Low La La La Love Love Love – Last
13. Robert Pollard – Faulty Superheroes
14. Trust Fund – No-One’s Coming For Us
15. Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love
16. Stephen Jones – Outsider
17. Sierra Manhattan – Tape
18. Low – Ones And Sixes
19. Scott Twynholm – Alasdair Gray, A Life In Progress
20. Frog – Kind Of Blah
21. The Chills – Silver Bullets
22. H Hawkline – In The Pink Of Condition
23. Girlpool – Before The World Was Big
24. Graham Repulski – Success Racist
25. Fiona & Gorwel Owen – Releasing Birds
And here, in alphabetical order, are 25 more albums I have really enjoyed this year and would also highly recommend:
The Advisory Circle – From Out Here, Babybird – Back To The Womb, Euros Childs – Sweetheart, Cleaners From Venus – Rose Of The Lanes, The Decemberists – What A Terrible World, What A Beautiful World, Halma – Granula, King Of Cats – Microwave Oven, Kosmische Laeufer – The Secret Cosmic Music Of The East German Olympic Program 1972-83: Volume Three, Clayborn Lord – iPhone I & II, Lucern Raze – Stockholm One, Nervous Twitch – Get Back In Line, The Nightingales – Mind Over Matter, Papernut Cambridge – Nutlets 1967-80, Passenger Peru – Light Places, Public Service Broadcasting – The Race For Space, Pulco – Innovation In The Trade, Ricked Wicky – I Sell The Circus, The Safe Distance – Do Some More Songs, Sauna Youth – Distractions, Schizo Fun Addict – Schizo Fun Addict, The Sine Waves – Into The Syntax Era, Trans Charger Metropolis – Haunted House Birds, Trust Fund – Seems Unfair, Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat – The Most Important Place In The World, Wreckless Eric – amERICa, Yo La Tengo – Stuff Like That There.
Adventures in Home Taping Volume 2 (Post/Pop Records)
Dog! Paper! Submarine! – Signal From Kepler-22B just edging out TV Wonder – Bird Sounds
The Go-Betweens – G Stands For Go-Betweens: Volume 1, 1978-1984
The Robert Pollard Annual Output Roundup
Another relatively quiet year on the Bobby Pop front with just the 9 singles and 5 LPs from Robert Pollard, Circus Devils and Ricked Wicky. There was also, of course, the best 4xCD 100 Song release of the year in Suitcase Four: Captain Kangaroo Won The War, plus the Briefcase (red vinyl) and a helpful Best Of Robert Pollard 2012-2014 as well as the reissues of Bee Thousand (in 2 colours), Do The Collpase (orange), Isolation Drills (blue) and a stand-alone King Shit & The Golden Boys. In the wider GBV world, we also had 2 great releases from Todd Tobias. Oh, yes, and there was this one off Guided By Voices single (just the one copy made, you understand) that cost a fortune in an auction (apparently).
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Bob Dylan‘s Shadows In The Night was utterly forgettable.
Best Music Book
Actually out at the end of 2014, but not read until the beginning of this year, Steve Hanley’s The Big Midweek may well be the best book on The Fall I have ever read.
Best Music Film
Bruce Springsteen – The Ties That Bind
- Fargo – Season 2
- The Bridge – Season 3
Channel 5 Football League Show – unwatchable even when fast forwarding through the modern day Bob Wilson – Anchorman, Adam Virgo, and even on the rare occasions that Leeds have won.
Top 10 Gigs
- Super Furry Animals – Albert Hall, Manchester, 6 May – review
- Spare Snare – Maguires, Liverpool, 9 September – recording
- Sun Kil Moon – The RNCM, Manchester, 19 July
- Courtney Barnett – The Ritz, Manchester, 30 November
- Richard Dawson – The Shipping Forecast, Liverpool, 18 February – review
- Sleater-Kinney – Albert Hall, Manchester, 24/3/15 – review
- Euros Childs / Simon Love – Gullivers, Manchester, 7 October – review
- The Wave Pictures / Evans The Death – Indietracks, Derbyshire, 25 July – review
- Girlpool – The Deaf Institute, Manchester, 8 September
- JD Meatyard – The Lomax, Liverpool, 30 January – review
It is perhaps worth noting that I went to more than 30 gigs in 2015 and not one of them was disappointing. Live music is very much alive and well in the North West of England.