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(in 140 Characters or Less)
Words by Submerge Staff
Like holiday party hangovers and overly optimistic new year’s resolutions, year-end best album lists are a dime a dozen. So what makes ours so special? Well, for one thing, we made it. And we obviously have the kind of refined musical palate you don’t just find by clicking around on the damn internet. More importantly, we split this year’s Top 30 albums list into two distinct portions: 15 albums with connections to the Sacramento area, and 15 albums from the world beyond. There are, of course, many, many, albums that came out over the last year deserving of praise, but these 30 were our favorites. Why? Our staff explains, with Twitter-esque succinctness.
Choose Your Weapon
I bet Jamiroquai is in his room enjoying this amazing, raucous, jazzy neo-soul album right now. Silky Rhodes piano over Roy Ayers grooves.
To Pimp A Butterfly
One of the most timely pieces of street-influenced hip-hop shimmers w/ brilliant musicianship, immense production and one talented emcee.
Equal parts punk, folk and indie music led by a female singer who can lull you into a sleepy daze or kill you in any moment on Painted Shut.
Their third album on Hardly Art/Burger Records, La Luz is a badass, Seattle-based lady surf rock band. Weirdo Shrine will make you a Luzer.
A mix of religious imagery, Slavonic chanting & monolithic black metal conjuring images of Satanic rituals performed in a Catholic church.
No Cities to Love
After a 10-year studio hiatus, the original Riot Grrrls have re-emerged and released a collection of enthralling, liberationist sonic waves.
Slick, suave and oh-so smooth. Over Jake One’s funky beats, Mayer Hawthorne is finally making the kind of R&B tunes that suit him best.
The Cairo Gang
Bonnie Prince Billy smoking hash with old Fresh & Onlys while tickling Greg Cartwright and James Mercer’s moody taints.
Angular post-punk from Canada featuring members of the sadly defunct Women. For fans of Echo & The Bunnymen and Joy Division.
Intertwining African music, Congolese to be exact, with psychedelic, post-punk & modern electro sounds. Will blow your mind rhythmically.
Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker is a psychedelic pop rock genius. Take an interstellar trip with his latest, on which he played every note.
Carrie & Lowell
A cathartic journey: Sufjan returns to his trademark sparse, moody instrumentations. Exorcising family demons never sounded so lovely.
Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
Delivering on the promise of a great 2014 EP, Aussie grungester Barnett broke out big in ‘15 with a critical and commercial homerun.
Something More Than Free
Gritty blue collar Americana from a songwriter filled with addiction and regret that weaves together stories of passion, sobriety and hope.
VEGA INTL. Night School
Less chill, more thrill. A glitzy paean to Italo-disco & intoxicated nocturnalia. Don your transparent raincoat & get on the dancefloor!??