12 Days of AOTY: #1

To go alongside our 12 Days of Giveaways, we’ll be posting our personal album of the year lists one by one, from 12 to 1. Each member of our staff (we’re recruiting, by the way) wrote a bit about why x album made y place on their list.

painted shutHop Along – Painted Shut
I didn’t enjoy a more “complete” album this year more than Hop Along’s Painted Shut. There’s no filler and every track has its place on the album. Frances Quinlan’s vocal performance is enough to earn the top spot on my list. (Tim Mulhern)

okEskimeaux – O.K.
I am not sure what Zack thought of Eskimeaux’s O.K. but I’m sure it was good. When I know, you’ll know. (Zackary Kiebach)

Skylar Spence – Prom King
The disco revival is here and it’s name is Skylar Spence. “Can’t You See” is dripping with enough thick bass and tasty guitars to make even the most leaden of shoes dance. Front to back, Prom King is the dance party you’ve only had in your dreams; and DeRobertis sounds like such a fantasy when he croons: “Oh darling, won’t you believe me / I’ll love you ’til the record stops.” (Nick Benevenia)

to pimp a butterflyKendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
It doesn’t get better than this. Ambitious, intelligent, multidimensional, and ever-so-relevant – Kendrick outdid himself here, and that’s saying something. Sure, he’ll probably lose the Grammy to Taylor Swift, but that’s not why classic albums are made. (Eli Shively)

Silverstein – I Am Alive In Everything I Touch
15 years after forming, Silverstein continues to put out some of the best material of their career. The band continues to allow their post hardcore sound to grow, especially with the breath of fresh air that lead guitarist Paul Marc Rousseau has brought in. Vocalist Shane Told has experimented with both new screaming and singing techniques, which has done even more to make this album stand out. I knew from the very first single that this would be my album of the year; Silverstein’s energy is still second to none. (Scott Fugger)

to pimp a butterflyKendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
Kendrick’s third album is a collection of incredibly intense and experimental songs. The album shows him at his best lyrically, tackling depression, white supremacy, capitalism and his own demons through incredibly articulate and poetic lyrics. When laid over jazz/funk instrumentals, the album stands out as the year’s highlight. (James Jaskolka)

teens of styleCar Seat Headrest – Teens Of Style
Even though this is mostly a compilation of rerecorded songs from two previous albums, Car Seat Headrest’s Matador debut nonetheless bristles with Will Toledo’s trademark passion and heady songwriting. From what I can judge from the internet, a good many people who listened to this instantly fell in love with the band. Are you one of them? (Jack Potz)

before the world was bigGirlpool – Before the World Was Big
My most anticipated release of this year and also my favorite. A two piece band that made me reconsider everything about music. Simple and honest but also anything but simple. Cleo and Harmonies harmonies are tranquilizing at times (especially when acapella). They openly criticize the way our world works on some tracks, others serve as a type of documentation of their rapidly changing lives. This album has placed them as some of my role models and they’re not even 20 yet. (Madi Guzman)

the albumMath The Band The Band – The Album
2015 has been a real downer. Everything’s messed up. I didn’t vote. I’m just now finding out that I apparently didn’t listen to a shitload of really good music that came out and I now have to find time to listen to all of it and still somehow make room for what 2016 has to offer. Walking a very fine line between power pop and punk, The Album reminded me to keep having fun, even while everything around me was burning to the ground. (Hayley Ionia)

25Adele – 25
I was scared to listen to this album and put it off for as long as I could. Once I listened to it, I almost punched myself for not listening to it sooner. This is the album many people have been waiting for and it delivered. It is ballad-heavy, but Adele’s subtle edges and strong voice really make it a winner. 25 was pure perfection. I don’t believe anyone who doesn’t have anything nice to say about this album. (Angela Flores)

harmlessness artThe World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die- Harmlessness
I never thought TWIABP had a masterpiece in them. From Whenever, If Ever to the scattered EPs that ranged in quality, I didn’t expect this. Harmlessness contains the most exciting songwriting I heard this year paired some of the most meaningful song content I’ve heard in 2015. I fell for this album so hard and I had no problem letting Harmlessness become so close to my heart. (Kyle Kohl)

winter breakWinter Break – Winter Break
Springing forth from the ashes of the California DIY mainstays Summer Vacation, Winter Break have released the most exciting punk record of the year. This album sees Winter Break further exploring the sound they solidified as Summer Vacation, but growing more mature and at times much darker. This album has an amazing amount of variety on it, from the appropriately titled “Folk Song,” to straight-up punk-rock bangers, to the mellowed out and bass-led “4:49.” Lyrically, Winter Break consistently hits it out of the park, effectively balancing fun songs about feeling weird because you forgot your watch at home with devastatingly honest lyrics like “I hate you when I’m bored when I’m happy to long / and I know it’s gotta end.” If this band is not on your radar, they should be. And I mean, the albums free for download on Bandcamp, so what do you have to lose? (Corey Purcell)

to pimp a butterflyKendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
It was good. (Mark Garza)

Mark Garza

About Mark Garza

Mark Garza is the co-founder and owner of Funeral Sounds. They also work as a freelance publicist for Dragonfoot PR, and is listed at the "Lazy Web Guy" at Texas Is Funny Records. They need money. Hire them to make your website or something.

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