Here are my top recommended albums of 2015 in no particular order.

1  Richard Hawley Hollow Meadows

A con­fi­dent col­lec­tion of beau­ti­ful tracks, Haw­ley’s voice at its most sub­lime­ly expres­sive. My favourite track is the non-bal­lad Which Way shall I go?, sexy with a touch of men­ace. Haw­ley’s per­for­mance at The Round­house a few weeks’ ago was one of my gigs of the year too.

2  Jane Weaver The Silver Globe

Weaver ‘comes of age’ on The Sil­ver Globe. A col­lec­tion of shim­mer­ing psy­che­del­ic space-rock num­bers with the beau­ti­ful Hawk­wind-riffed The Elec­tric Moun­tain ladling on the atmosphere.

3  Parastatic Recall Fade Return

Music fans yearn­ing for some pow­er­ful Neu-tinged ambi­ent rock should check out the lat­est album from North-east trio, Parasta­t­ic. Includes the haunt­ing­ly beau­ti­ful sin­gle St Mary. 

4  Django Django  Born under Saturn

A self-assured, addic­tive album, Djan­go Djan­go have honed their syn­thy sound and feel-good, Beach-Boy flavoured har­monies. Not easy to pick a favourite, today it’s Reflec­tions, but final track Life We Know wins points for doing that Djan­go thing where­by an ordi­nary song sud­den­ly erupts into some­thing utter­ly lovely.

5  Kurt Vile Pretty Pimpin’

Vile’s lat­est album fea­tures more soul-search­ing (check out Vile’s accom­pa­ny­ing video) … the final few tracks are a bit hard­er to get into but this is an inspired col­lec­tion. That’s Life Tho (almost hate to say) is a pow­er­ful and at times Dylanesque hard look at life and rid­ing out depression.

6  LoneLady  Hinterland

An inspir­ing col­lec­tion of mate­r­i­al from Man­cun­ian Julie Camp­bell. The title track with its trib­al feel is a stand­out track. LoneLa­dy will per­form at The Trades Heb­den Bridge in Jan­u­ary as part of Caught by the River.

7  Floating Points  Elaenia

My elec­tron­ic album of the year, a cohe­sive, sub­tle and sen­su­al col­lec­tion with two high points, the mul­ti­lay­ered Sil­hou­ettes and final num­ber, Per­ora­tion Six.

8  O’Connell & Love  Minesweeping

If you can’t get enough of Alaba­ma 3 and grav­el-voiced Lar­ry Love, check out this ele­gant­ly-pro­duced duel project by Lar­ry and Bren­dan O’Con­nell (it’s their sec­ond album togeth­er). Plain­tive coun­try and blues best sung at the bar just before clos­ing time. Favourite track: It was the sweet­est thing.

More goodies:


The female quar­tet have pro­duced a beau­ti­ful col­lec­tion of pop-clas­si­cal num­bers – lush com­po­si­tions befit­ting film soundtracks.

The Battles of Winter  Standing at the Floodgates

A dri­ving urgency, a wall of gui­tar-pow­er and a hint of men­ace in the vocal deliv­ery. Let’s hope they do some live per­for­mances in 2016. If you like Echo and the Bun­ny­men and Edi­tors, these are your guys.


9  Elephant Stone  The Devil’s Shelter

Anoth­er beau­ti­ful song heavy on the psy­che­delia from the Cana­di­an four­some, who played The Lex­ing­ton and The Bull & Gate back in 2012. If you haven’t heard them before, check out their self-titled album Ele­phant Stone  (2013).

10 Dr Trippy  Punjabi Swamp Music

Dr Trippy album

More won­drous dancey Pun­jabi swamp  from Dr Trip­py. I dis­cov­ered him at Beard­ed The­o­ry Fes­ti­val this year and look for­ward to some live shows in 20

What were your favourite albums this year? Any recommendations?

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