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.

Submerge-15-Hannah Jane Kile


Hannah Jane Kile
Little Blue Heron

She’s a little bit country & a little bit folk but sounds as magnificent as a young Bonnie Raitt or Emmylou Harris at their finest.

Submerge-14-Todd Morgan


Todd Morgan and the Emblems
Sweet Pretender

Not to be confused with any ‘50s rock ‘n’ roll impersonator, Morgan has grown into his own style, sound and artistic identity.



The South Sac Mack

The things you like about ‘90s G-funk era rap without being dated or lost in nostalgia. Shouts to Sac RT.



Joseph in the Well
Joseph in the Well EP

Runs the gamut of raw emotions, from pensive melancholy to basic happiness. Violin in hand, Kye reminds us what it means to be human again.



Nocturnal Resurrection

Female-fronted symphonic metal group with musicians who are developed well beyond their ages.

Submerge-10-Dog Party


Dog Party
VOL. 4

This local punk rock duo’s songs make it obvious that, although they are young, they’ve been playing music together for over a decade.



Yellow Tape Activities

Mozzy keeps it spunky with gangster tales vivid enough to make regular people curl up into balls and cry for humanity’s broken state.

As If Ideas 10


As If

Sac’s best band left for the 24/7 pulse of NYC long ago, but we revel in !!!’s blend of dance-punk & house that levels up w/ each release.

Submerge-7-Death Grips


Death Grips
The Powers That B – Part II: Jenny Death

Surprise! Death Grips is still grinding out industrial punk—ducking, weaving and biting the genitals off its number one enemy: You.

Submerge-6-Two Sheds


Two Sheds

On Assembling, Caitlin Gutenberger wrote 20 songs in about two days. The result was a textured masterpiece, and one of the best LPs of 2015.

Submerge-5-Sea of Bees


Sea of Bees
Build a Boat to the Sun

Julie Baenziger radiates in these dreamy, yet contemplative, explorations of the vagaries of life while also rejecting its limitations. ?

Submerge-4-Little Tents


Little Tents
Fun Colors

Little Tents’ tight 7-song debut playfully riffs along the margins of punk & emo w/ harmonies & hooks galore. Solid songs, fun titles.

Submerge-2-So Stressed


So Stressed
The Unlawful Trade of Greco-Roman Art

Chaotic & beautiful. A frantic, hard-hitting, very weird hardcore album from Sacramento’s nosiest trio. Synth in place of bass, nice touch.

Submerge-3-Sister Crayon


Sister Crayon

Sleek, percussive, w/ mercurial energy that changes midstream like a silvery sea creature. Sister Crayon’s most powerful statement to date.



Unanswered Hymns

Churning guitars and wraith-like female vocals create the year’s most haunting metal album … from this or any city. Sprawling, epic doom.

See our national 2015 list