This list is for fun (and just my opinion). Many of my favorites hurtled from the orbit of obscurity, but, some didn’t exit the atmosphere. But hey, the cream doesn’t always float to the top. (And sometimes you have to mix metaphors.) I hope you discover a new favorite below and let me know what rocked your world in the comments. To 2015 and beyooooond!
Kishi Bashi // Lighght
Progressive pop masterpiece and my most-played album this year.
John Luther Adams // Become Ocean
Definitive recording of this epoch-defining composition by JLA.
Timber Timbre // Hot Dreams
Sunburned gem that would make Ennio Morricone proud.
Sylvan Esso // Sylvan Esso
Electronic bliss via North Carolina by two former folkies.
Olga Bell // Krai
Dazzling depiction of the Russian “krais” (frontier, or district) by the former Dirty Projectors member.
Battle Trance // Palace of Wind
Breathless sojourn through extended techniques by four tenor saxophones to rule them all.
Danish String Quartet // Wood Works
Top shelf classical quartet tackles the (really) old folk music of Scandinavia.
OOIOO // Gamel
Ecstatic noise pop with Indonesian Gamelan by the former Boredoms member.
Jorge Drexler // Bailar en la cueva
Colorful collection of songs by the Uruguayan musician.
Piers Faccini & Vincent Segal // Songs of Lost Time
Tour of language and genre in this beautiful duet between vocalist and cellist.
Tristan Perich // Surface Image
Epic “piano concerto” backed by forty rapturous 1-bit channels.