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13 Great Albums From Around The World In 2015

BY EVAN MOLINEUX

The best of world sounds from last year!

1. Petite Noir – La Vie Est Belle / Life is Beautiful

South African singer, songwriter, producer Yannick Ilunga beautifully combines genres into one of the most unique albums of the year. La Vie Est Belle / Life is Beautiful is the artist’s full-length debut and is required listening for 2015. His songs go all over the place, sounding electronic one second and then bringing in a heavy punk riff the next, with layered vocals that at times sound like Bloc Party, but other times even sounds like The National. It is a delightfully experimental album that defies genre.

2. Dan Mangan + Blacksmith – Club Meds

Dan Mangan has been a significant figure in Canadian music for the past few years. In 2012 he won the JUNO Award for New Artist of the Year and has since released a number of critically acclaimed folk tracks. In 2015 the Vancouver singer songwriter got rid of his acclaimed, traditional folk style and turned up the experimental nature of rock band. The tracks still play to the strength of his voice, which earned him a lot of his initial praise, but songs like “Vessel” become less about the voice itself and the atmosphere surrounding and enhancing the vocals.

3. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – Paper Mâché Dream Balloon

This Melbourne based seven-piece band made one of the greatest transitions of the year. They are one of the most psychedelic groups making music today and their newest album shows why they are also one of the best. Most trip rock bands stick to making weird, over the top songs that are both too long and too distorted to understand what is going on. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard abandoned their typical distortion and nonsense sounds for acoustic guitars and flutes. The album explores a completely different side to the psychedelic and shows just how good of songwriters this group is.

4. Júníus Meyvant – EP

The Icelandic musician released his debut EP this year and it is beautiful. All four tracks float beautifully together and serve as the perfect inspiration for wanting to take a trip to Iceland. His acoustic guitar stands as the centerpiece of each track, but he magnificently incorporates strings, drums, and his voice, which has the power to operate with both a soft, wispy quality and the strength of a solid front man. The only problem with this release was that it didn’t have more songs.

5. Tinariwen – Live in Paris

One of the best live recordings of the year comes from this Tuareg desert rock and roll band. The album is a recording of a Paris show, which took place December 2014. The release epitomizes the music of one of the most politically influential bands of the last decade. It spans their entire catalogue and features guest vocals from Lalla Badi. It is one of the rare occasions where the live recordings bring an added emotional quality that heightens the power of already powerful songs.

6. Anna von Hausswolff – The Miraculous

The craziest, most hardcore album of the year did not come from a punk or metal band, but instead from this Swedish singer songwriter. Listening to The Miraculous is like getting punched in the gut. The album goes from song to song, each backed by the singer’s powerful voice and beautiful organ playing. She also incorporates a traditional rock band that makes some of her songs sound like death metal. The song “Come Wander with Me / Deliverance” could work as its own gothic opera independent of the album.

7. Dustin Tebbutt – Home

This Australian folk musician moved to Scandinavia for inspiration a few of years ago and the result was a couple of beautiful EPs. This year he returned with a more complete album that has the same ethereal style of folk music. He is the closest thing to Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver currently making music and has gone vastly underappreciated for the past couple of years. Home shows that he is not limited to one type of song, but possesses diversity in the music he is able to make, with songs like title track “Home” moving from a piano melody into a more electronic beat. However, the best songs are when he keeps it simple and allows his songwriting to take center stage ahead of his voice and guitar, like on “Harvest”.

8. Django Django – Born Under Saturn

Scottish band Django Django hit it big in 2012 with the release of their self-titled album. In 2015 they returned with another really solid release. It doesn’t necessarily do anything terribly different from their last album, but that is not a bad thing. The album possesses songs like “Shake & Tremble”, which is rich with surf rock guitars riffs and harmonies full of reverb. The album serves as a reminder for the band’s significance in restoring a classic sound to the mainstream.

9. Bomba Estereo – Amanecer

Colombian band Bomba Estereo returned with perhaps the best dance album of the year. The album revels both in a South American and African tradition to create some of the year’s catchiest beats. The band has been around for over ten years now and Amanecer showed the world that they are still fresh. The album continues their trend of making new music with an indefinable quality that forces repeated listening. The album creates the perfect mood for any beach party and will undoubtedly result in a dance. They also helped to restore the music career of Will Smith, who is surprisingly cool on the remix of their song “Fiesta”.

10. Carla Morrison – Amor Supremo

The Mexican born singer songwriter’s last album went gold in Mexico and won her a pair of Latin Grammys. Expectations were high with her 2015 release and she did not disappoint. She draws inspiration from a life of heart breaking emotion, which obviously comes out even for non-Spanish speakers. She sounds like a more emotionally mature Lana Del Rey and is now building up an impressive catalogue of records.

What do you think of these world sound? Let us know in the comments.

Evan Molineux contributor profile

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Categories: Artists

Author:Jetset Times

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