We feel pretty confident proclaiming 2015 the best year for new music this decade, and we'd even go so far as to say it's been arguably our favorite year in the history of this site. So many stars seemed to serendipitously align this year — our 10th as a blog — for sounds that veered right into our own personal, sometimes insular little lane: the triumphant return of Grimes; the improbable meteoric rise of Leon Bridges from seemingly out of nowhere (i.e., right here in our own backyard); a sweet, thoroughly relatable, '90s-hip-hop-inspired record from Panda Bear (our favorite artist); twoBeach Housealbums in the span of two months; D'Angelo with probably the best show we've seen since the last time he rolled through town 15 years ago; Grouperstarted a pop group; the summer of Jamie xx; and on and on. If 2015 had seen the release of Dear Tommy and new music from Shabazz Palaces or Burial (all still possible, I suppose), our blog might have imploded.
With all of that said, I still feel like we went as deep as ever this year, and as always, there were some genuinely incredible hidden gems to uncover if you spent a little time digging. Let us know how your year went as you check the full list of our 50 favorite records of the year, and lose yourself in our nearly 3-hour-long spotify playlist:
Animal Collective unveil the opening track and lead single from their forthcoming album, the ecstatic and kaleidoscopic Avey Tare + Panda Bear duet "Floridada". The new LP Painting With, which features contributions from John Cale and Colin Stetson (and a dope Bea Arthur sample, RIP), is out February 19, 2016, on Domino...
Panda Bear low-key dropped a bumping new bonus track that's only available on the digital download card that's packaged with the physical version of his awesome new Crosswords 12" EP, out this Friday on Domino...
"Swallow at the Hollow is a mix of things I made around the same time as all the Grim Reaper tracks. They kind of feel like scribbles or doodles and for some reason or another I couldn't find my way of singing with them...
Nestled between San Francisco and the notorious Alcatraz lives Treasure Island. A bit haunted with history in its own right, for the past eight years it's become home to the Treasure Island Music Festival. Steeped in a fog that continually rolls throughout the day, a sea salt whispered haze illuminated the thousands crowding the tiny space. And though the San Francisco music scene has arguably transformed since the festival's inception, what continues to thrive is the spirit that inspires all who come to make art in the city by the bay. Intimate, curated and sincere. — Claire McKinzie
Animal Collective, who recently finished recording their forthcoming record at LA's EastWest Studios, have re-launched a new + improved myanimalhome.net to announce a limited (2000 copies) new 3xLP live boxset, from their show at 9:30 in Washington, DC, in June 2013. Listen to the live version of Feels classic "Did You See The Words" from the record below, check the tracklist after the jump, and pre-order here to get an instant digital copy of the record.
Panda Bear keeps the PBVSGR-related gems coming with his brand new Crosswords EP, featuring a new mix of the album highlight, along with a glorious studio version of live favorite "Jabberwocky", re-worked versions of "The Preakness" + "Cosplay", and new track "No Man's Land" (fka "Papadum"), which gets a trippy animated visual by Patakk:
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