Joanna Barker’s Best 10 Albums of 2015

A mix of local and not local gems from 2015 ...

Here is a list of some very tasty records I devoured in 2015. I highly recommend you try them. But these records are not for nibblers. Loosen your top button, eat ‘em all up and lick your fingers. I’ve included some suggested pairings for each.  

 Sleater-Kinney, No Cities To Love

Pairs well with: kickboxing. grand theft auto. body surfing. long kisses with lots of saliva.

Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

[kad_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-nr1nNC3ds” ]

Ah yes, the debut that (rightfully) stole the show. Holy hell! What a record. So many people are trying (and failing) to re-create that ageless rock sound that seems so second nature to this woman. She owns.

Pairs well with: smokes, beers, your best friends, house parties, late nights, hot slow summer days.

The Weather Station, Loyalty

Pairs well with: slow Sunday mornings with someone you love. bare shoulders. drinking anything out of a mason jar. meandering drives through the countryside. 

Buffy Sainte-Marie, Power In The Blood

Buffy has been writing and singing invigorating songs of resilience and cultural revitalization for decades. She stayed true to her roots and gave us a powerful record about politics and love. It crosses genres, and mobilizes millions.

pairs well with: running, dancing, getting close with your lover and decolonization

Kat McLevey, Evergrown

pairs well with: night swimming. bicycle rides. road trips. candlelight.

Grimes, Art Angels

[kad_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9XKLqGqwLA” ]

This album is so effing delicious. I can’t turn it off. Perfect pop beats, hooks, vocal effects, chorus’, tender melodies and riffs. Lyrically, she’s throwing punches and delivering motifs that don’t usually find themselves in this genre. She’s a game changer. And she’s blowing my mind.

pairs well with: vigorous dancing, lasers, sweating (for just about whatever reason), smashing the patriarchy

Ilia Nicoll, i in team

[kad_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ky_rA9QqY6Y” ]

pairs well with: getting drunk at home with one of your favourite people. skinny dipping. an unexpected adventure. fireworks. 

Joanna Newsom, Divers

Newsome somehow managed to make this record both her most complex, and most accessible. It’s a mouthful, but it goes down easy. Few artists teach me as much as Newsome does. She encourages me to broaden my mind with her poetry as well as her profound melodies, arrangements and instrumentation. Divers is captivating. I find it hard to do anything else but sit and listen when I play this record.
pairs well with: sitting. sipping something you really like. a long train ride.

Jessica Pratt, On Your Own Love Again

pairs well with: misty morning walks along the water, stretching, rain, tea, a grey wool coat

Bjork, Vulnicura

Would Grimes and Newsom be making the music they are if not for Bjork? We’ll never know. And really, I don’t want to consider the state of art without Bjork’s influence. This album is softer than her others. It’s remarkably personal. It’s a breakup album and love hurts. This record brings all of the very deep feels. But it’s still a Bjork album, so all of these deep feels present themselves in a way you didn’t even know they could.

pairs well with: heartbreak. wine. lifting free-weights in your mirror pumping up your broken-hearted body so you can keep on living and love again.

 

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