It’s been another strong year in the world of music and it’s always hard to whittle your favourite albums down to five but it wouldn’t be this site without doing a ‘Top 5’, would it? We don’t know what the employees of Championship Vinyl would make of 2015’s output but we’re pretty certain they’d find something to love. Anyway, enough rambling and let’s get on with it. Here, in no particular order, are our favourite albums of the past twelve months.
Vennart – ‘The Demon Joke‘
Following the demise of Oceansize and then a few years as Biffy Clyro’s touring guitarist, it was amazing to see Mike Vennart making his own music again. Bringing in his old Oceansize bandmates to provide a helping hand, ‘The Demon Joke’ is full of ambition and mixes prog moments with riffs and even a sing-along moment in the penultimate ‘Operate’.
Everything Everything – ‘Get to Heaven‘
The vibrancy of this album bounced around like the technicolour backdrop the band now play in front of and was as bold as this year’s stage outfit. Taking everything that had served Everything Everything so well and then chucking more into the mix, this album was home to the year’s best song – ‘No Reptiles’.
Hop Along – ‘Painted Shut‘
Joining Saddle Creek proved a masterstroke for the Philadelphia band. ‘Painted Shut’ found them at their most impassioned. Frances Quinlan mixed sentimentality with the perfect amount of yelling and the narratives of the songs – loosely based around two little-known musicians who suffered from mental illness – added an extra layer of depth to an already striking listen.
Villagers – ‘Darling Arithmetic‘
It’s such a shame that ‘Darling Arithmetic’ appeared to go a little under the radar as it found Conor O’Brien at his most intimate and introspective. Covering subjects ranging from his sexuality to politics and the wider world, it had a quiet aggression underlying the beautiful arrangements.
Brawlers – ‘Romantic Errors of Our Youth‘
Brawlers lived up to the huge potential they’d shown with their debut album and even managed to capture the essence of their dynamic live show throughout its quickfire running time. Vivacious from the very first note of ‘Annabel’, the record was full of pop hooks and huge choruses but also had deeply personal lyrics which saw Harry Johns lay his soul bare.
Other albums we’ve been enjoying a lot include Wolf Alice, Marika Hackman, Tellison, Briana Marela, Carnival Youth, Pet Symmetry, Beach Slang, Matt McKee, Laura Stevenson, The Charlatans, The World Is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid to Die, Idlewild, Laura Marling, Foals, Worriers…