Pelican’s Albums of the Year

It’s not quite the end of the year, but it is the end of the Pelican year, so I thought I would get Peli’s music writer community to give us their top 5 albums of 2015 so far! It’s been a sick year and these lists are chock full of bangin’ releases from a variety of genres, so read & enjoy & listen.

x Music ed.

 

Hugh Manning

  1. Girls Pissing on Girls Pissing – Scrying in Infirmary Architecture (MUZAI records): Music to sacrifice pets to
  1. Dick Diver – Melbourne, Florida (Chapter Music): Superb jangle-pop
  1. Hannahband – Retirement (Art As Catharsis): The best emo band in the country, soundtrack to all of 2015’s feelings
  1. WIREHEADS – BIG ISSUES (Tenth Court): Deranged country rock feat. the most sinister sounding flute in Australian music
  1. Royal Headache – High (What’s Your Rupture?): Crooning garage bangers

Royal Headache – ‘Garbage’

 

Kat Gillespie

Disclaimer: I feel very guilty for the lack of Australian artists

  1. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty): Should’ve known better (than to edit a student magazine)
  1. Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Style (Matador): I’ve never been so happy for anyone to sign to a major label
  1. Tobias Jesso Jr – Goon (True Panther): Sad 70s dream boyfriend
  1. Vince Staples – Summertime ’06 (Def Jam): Very good album for walking home at night from the train station
  1. Jessica Pratt – On Your Own Love Again (Drag City): Joan Baez for girls with tumblrs (ideal)

Jessica Pratt – ‘Strange Melody’

 

Nick Morlet

  1. Mac DeMarco – Some Other Ones (Captured Tracks): Because Mac needs to realise that his weird organ-pop is the best BBQ soundtrack going
  1. Tame Impala – Currents (Modular): Yes, I Can Change My Mind
  1. Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment – Surf (self): Sweet, soulful hip hop featuring one of my fav rappers, Chance
  1. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Quarters! (Flightless): King Gizz at their grooviest; 4 ten-minute cuts of jammy perfection
  1. Thundercat – Where The Wild Things Roam (Brainfeeder): Takes Thundercat just 20 minutes to absolutely blow my mind

Thundercat – ‘Lone Wolf and Cub’

 

Hayden Dalziel

  1. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell (Asthmatic Kitty): Reliable provider of feelings brings me even more feelings than usual.
  1. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly (Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope): “THIS DICK AIN’T FREEE”, I mouthed unconsciously to the innocent bystander on a Sydney train.
  1. Moon Duo – Shadow of the Sun (Sacred Bones): Drone Psych band goes proto-punk. I bought this as a fathers day gift but secretly it was for me.
  1. Downtown Boys – Full Communism (Don Giovanni): Insane bilingual communist punk, is there anything better in life?
  1. Death Grips – Jenny Death (Third Worlds, Harvest): Derth Grapes meets weirdo (and kind of emotional) rock music plus making bee noises with their mouths.

Death Grips – ‘On GP’

 

Laurent Shervington

  1. Masayoshi Fujita – Apologues (Erased Tapes): Dank vibraphone soundscapes
  1. Kitchens Floor – Battle of Brisbane (Eternal Soundchek): Nihilistic, grimy yet skeletal. Existential dread hasn’t felt this fun in a while.
  1. Julia Holter – Have You in My Wilderness (Domino Recording Company): Being stuck on an island would suck, but when you’re got a set of pipes like Ms Holter, it’s more often Treasure Island than it is Castaway (sorry Wilson).
  1. Kode9 – Nothing (Hyperdub): Inspired by the death of frequent collaborator the Spaceape, this is one most unexpectedly emotional records of the year.
  1. Ought – Sun Coming Down (Constellation Records): With memorable refrains and spiky riffs, Ought have stumbled upon a real nice sunset.

Ought – ‘Beautiful Blue Sky’

 

Bridget Rumball

  1. Shamir – Ratchet (XL Recordings): Shamir’s debut LP release encapsulates razor-sharp lyrics, electronic/disco instrumentation and oodles of cowbell in a way that can (and has) only be classified as ‘unclassifiable’.
  1. Chvrches – Every Open Eye (Virgin/Glassnote): 80s-inspired Scottish synthpoppers keep doing what they do best, just with more musical maturity than before.
  1. Nothing But Thieves – Nothing But Thieves (Sony Music): Everything is Conor Mason’s beautiful falsetto and nothing hurts. I weep.
  1. Jamie XX – In Colour (Young Turks): The musical equivalent to waltzing through the rooms of one big continuous house party whilst you’re high on something.
  1. Gang of Youths – The Positions (Sony Music): Australia’s new prog-indie sweethearts have made one of the biggest, most earnest and emotionally charged albums of the year. May have made me cry. More than once.

Gang of Youths – ‘Overpass’ (acoustic)

 

Maisie Glen

  1. Darren Hanlon – Where Did You Come From (Flipping Yeah Industries): This album contains the line “I just like the way that the leaves all dance and the breeze blows up my pants leg”. Dazza Hazza does it again.
  1. Mojo Juju – Seeing Red / Feeling Blue (ABC Music): This would be higher on the list if I had bought it earlier in the year, this album is full of straight up bangers. Well, not exactly straight.
  1. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit (Milk!): Ellen thinks it’s good, and so I must obey our benevolent Queen.
  1. Sampa The Great – The Great Mixtape (Wondercore Island): This came out of nowhere and blew me away – go check it out for a Zambian Australian rapping over Wes Montgomery samples.
  1. Nadia ReidListen To Formation, Look For The Signs (Spunk): I can’t express how good this album is and just how good the writing is. Just listen.

Nadia Reid – ‘Track of the Time’

 

Harry Manson

  1. Home Blitz – Foremost & Fair (Richie Records/Testoster Tools): Still barely know what the eccentric little man is so frantic about but there are so many chords coming at me oh god.
  1. Protomartyr – The Agent Intellect (Hardly Art): The most telling album from the recent post-punk resurgence. Lacks character, but that feels like it’s the point.
  1. Heaven’s Gate – Woman at Night (Dull Tools): Framing the abject tragedy of a very real kidnapped woman by tricking you into bobbing your head to it… tastefully, somehow. Totally unique.
  1. Ought – Sun Coming Down (Constellation Records): Yes! *gasp* Yes!
  1. Jessica Pratt – On Your Own Love Again (Drag City): Jessica Pratt must have a secret radio tapped into Nick Drake’s current efforts as the house musician in heaven. I’m glad she shares it because her voice is just beyond belief.

Jessica Pratt – ‘Moon Dude’

 

Alex Griffin

  1. Jim O’Rourke – Simple Songs (Drag City): What you bring when you’re not supposed to bring a thing nor are you invited to party
  1. THEEsatisfaction – EarthEE (Sub Pop): Floats like Sun Ra, stings like fuck. Spacious, gracious, constantly fresh.
  1. Tredicci Bacci – Vai! Vai! Vai! (Independent): Boston’s only ten-to-fifteen piece Morricone pastiche band go the full Neapolitan; impress your friends, confuse people at traffic. You can put this on at any party where a quorum knows what a boat shoe is and the vibe will slide back to at least ’74 in an instant.
  1. Wireheads – Big Issues (Tenth Court): Watching like, Ben Carson speeches on YouTube in the backseat of a stolen FJ Holden.
  1. Jenny Hval – Apocalypse, girl (Sacred Bones): For those who don’t have the time to read Cixous, and for everyone else too. Getting to the bottom of this is going to take till mid-2018. This is not a bad thing.

Jenny Hval – ‘That Battle Is Over’

 

Kate Prendergast

  1. Shlohmo – Dark Red (True Panther Sounds): Eerie, angry. Julia Holter used to take up this place, now she doesn’t.
  1. Kurt Vile – b’lieve I’m goin down (Matador): Keith Urban named ‘Pretty Pimpin’ in his Rolling Stone list of his “Top Five Songs I Wish I’d Written.”
  1. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly (Top Dawg, Aftermath, Interscope): Bone-picking has never sounded so good
  1. John Hopkins – Late Night Tales: I saw Jon Hopkins live in Amsterdam in a converted newspaper factory, and I will never again be so happy, or so insane. Dream textures, weaved into your slippers.
  1. Floating Points – Elaenia (Luaka Bop/Pod): Slow-building synthesizer toxins, swamping some planes of consciousness, ricocheting off others.

Floating Points – ‘Peroration Six’

 

Richard Moore

  1. Unlike most years I’ve actually listened to quite a few albums that came out over the past 12 months, but I’ve still come up short. A top 4:
  1. Pool Boy – Pool Boy (Workplace Safety CDRs): You could say it was the stress, or you could say it was the music, but I haven’t cried at a gig in a long time.
  1. Gwenno – Y Dydd Olaf (Heavenly): Ask Me About Cambrofuturism !
  1. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly (Top Dawg/Aftermath/Interscope): Some albums bring necessary force at just the right time.
  1. Deerhunter – Fading Frontier (4AD): Weirdo pop with pseudo-religious lyrics, that’s what I’m here for.

Deerhunter – ‘Snakeskin’