After doing this in 2012, 2013 ad 2014, not only I managed to keep the tradition alive, but I’ve also published my list before Pitchfork did. Hooray! These are my favourite records from 2015.
01 | carrie & lowell | sufjan stevens
Years ago Sufjan Stevens released a record called The Age of Adz that featured acoustic gems alongside electronic-driven songs and a 25 minute epic closing track. I thought it was the coolest thing ever.
When I read that the new record was going to be more of the old Sufjan (keywords: ballad, stripped down, banjo, quiet) I was ready to be bored – if not disappointed – by what turned out to be a little masterpiece.
Carrie & Lowell narrates the death of Sufjan’s mother (and its aftermath) in microscopic, heartbreaking detail. It is full of conflicting emotions, disconnected images and the pseudo lucidity of a person who’s most likely still in the eye of the storm. Its intimate closeups on family memories intersect with the record’s more abstract poetic to create something that’s not only accessible to the listener but also incredibly, frightfully relatable.
Listen to 4th of July
02 | divers | joanna newsom
No better way to celebrate Valentine’s day than to
have sex assemble a love songs mixtape.
Hope all of you had someone, something or somewhere to love.
man of the hour * norah jones
At some point between 2007 and 2009, Norah Jones broke up with her long-time boyfriend and bassist Lee Alexander. She then cut her long brown hair and the cheese off her music, releasing a record that sounded more interesting than anything she’d ever done before.
The Fall (this the name of the record) didn’t sell super well, but featured one of her most convincing, realistic and straightforward love songs to date.
Which – FYI – is a declaration of affection to her dog.
[Click here to listen]
history of touches * bjork
1. the war on drugs – Come to the city
I grew up in a small, quiet village and I know the advantages of living in the countryside; I actually come to miss it, every now and then. But at the same time I’ve always known that my place had to be in a dimension where ridiculous, dangerous, unexpected things happen, where stories clash into each other and possibilities are so wide that you can’t even start to imagine them.
The city is definitely my place, and whenever I listen to this song by the War on drugs I immediately flash back to my first months in Berlin. There’s a vibrant, sleepless, alive mood attached to this song and that’s the same mood I got when I used to walk through the streets of Mitte by myself, right after work.
Take me back to the one I love. It’s not far, it’s on the way. I’ve been ramblin’