In no particular order, here are five full length albums that made a serious impression on me this year.
On Blonde – Yukon Blonde
Yukon Blonde followed up Tiger Talk with another banger full of synth-heavy sing-alongs, of course the release of a new album came with a heavy tour schedule including one of my favourite performances at the inaugural WayHome Music and Arts Festival. Check out what Dave had to say about the album here.
Rookie – Aukland
I’ll admit a bit of bias here. Full disclosure: Aukland are good friends of mine, and I happened to be present during a part of the recording process for this album, but bias aside, it is a really great record, and a very strong debut. Expect big things from this band in 2016. Read my full review here.
Play for Keeps – The Elwins
2015 was definitely the year for Keswick’s the Elwins. After signing with Canadian independent record label, Hidden Pony at the end of 2014, they didn’t waste any time, and released Play for Keeps and armed with the catchiest of indie rock/surf pop they not only played, they won. Songs like It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over, So Down Low and Show Me How To Move and of course the videos that accompanied them, were on my brain frequently, and made the soundtrack to many a rock-out.
Goon – Tobias Jesso Jr.
I had never heard of Tobias Jesso Jr. until my girlfriend told me about how amazing he was, the next thing I knew, he was on the Polaris Prize shortlist, and making music with Adele. While his album, Goon isn’t the catchiest, and I didn’t find myself rocking out or humming it to myself, I 100% understand how it ended up on the Polaris short list. The quality of the music and the lyrics, are undeniably amazing. There’s definitely a little John Lennon/Paul McCartney solo influence.
Club Meds – Dan Mangan + Blacksmith
I’ve always been a fan of Dan Mangan. His brand of folk-rock was something I really enjoyed. A few years ago, Mangan took some time off to concentrate on being a father, and when he came back, he decided to share the spotlight with the band that had been backing him for a while, and thus emerged Dan Mangan and Blacksmith. This is the first album under the new name, and also much more of a rock album full of loops, and synths. It came out almost a year ago, and therefore might have been forgotten on many year-end lists, but not this one. Definitely looking forward to a follow up.