Favorite Albums of 2015

It’s been an incredible year for music, with a steady increase of new festivals all over the world its a great time to be a concert goer. This year I have decided to put together a list of stand out albums from 2015, these albums all affected me in some way which had me coming back to them time and time again. I was also very lucky to have had the opportunity to shoot each band over the past year, from small intimate venues to huge outdoor festivals.  

I absolutely can not wait to see what’s in store for 2016.

In no particular order :

Kendrick Lamar  /  To Pimp a Butterfly

To Pimp a Butterfly took some time to grow on me, however after having the opportunity to see this man in action at WayHome this past summer, there is no doubt that Kendrick Lamar is the real deal and deserving of his high praise throughout the music industry.

Viet Cong  /  Viet Cong

Viet Cong came out of the gate flying in early 2015 proving that their post-punk energy made them an early contender for album of the year. The band cemented that status when they refused to cancel their tour and played multiple shows while drummer Mike Wallace had a broken hand showing intense resilience and power.

Death Grips  /  Jenny Death (The Powers That b)

After supposedly disbanding in July 2014, Death Grips follow through on their promise of finishing their double LP The Powers That b with Jenny Deathwhich is technically their sixth album in only four years. Known for changing up their sound with each album Death Grips sound the most rock and roll they ever have here, with big full sound and live guitars over MC Rides out of control screaming.

Courtney Barnett  /  Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Courtney Barnett’s witty, rambling lyrics caught the attention of North American crowds with her first single Pedestrian At Best from the brilliant Sometimes I sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. The Australian born singer songwriter is looking to have a ton of success this side of the border with a killer set during WayHome last summer.

Moon King  /  Secret Life

The Toronto born duo Daniel and Maddy could not have imagined the critical reception of Moon King’s first full length Secret Life on Last Gang Records. With it’s amazingly explosive opening track Roswell, the album bounces along with strong pop influences, vocal harmonies and swirling guitars. 

Lower Dens  /  Escape From Evil

I was unaware of Lower Dens until I photographed a NXNE showcase last June at the Horseshoe Tavern with Moon King. They quietly took the stage and busted into their first single To Die In L.A. off their third album Escape From Evil. With it’s 80’s tinge and driving baselines, I was immediately hooked and constantly found myself coming back to this record.

Jamie xx  /  In Colour

The debut studio album In Colour from The xx member Jamie Smith took everyone by surprise and quickly became a record many found themselves grooving to this past summer. From the opening bass heavy banger Gosh, to the reggae influenced I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times) [ft. Young Thug and Popcaan] this has been on regular rotation since it’s release.

Future Islands  /  The Chase

I know this is not a full length LP from the 80’s inspired Baltimore based Future Islands, but any new music from this synth pop threesome is welcome. With only two songs to digest here, The Chase gives us an opening base heavy track to shake our butt’s to which leads into the catchy haunting ballad Haunted By You. The raw emotional energy of their live performance was my number one show this past year at WayHome.

Majical Cloudz  /  Are You Alone?

The minimalist sound of Majical Cloudz new album Are You Alone? is no departure from 2013’s Impersonator which is not a bad thing. Devon Welsh’s beautiful spoken word poetry is on display over this entire record starting with their first single Downtowneerily creeping along with the haunting synth of Matthew Otto.

Is it really this fun when you’re on my mind

Is it really this cool to be in your life

Godspeed You! Black Emperor  /  Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress

The fifth album Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress from Montreal based post-rock band Godspeed You! Black Emperor not only exceeds expectations, but is also the first to feature completely new material since the band re-formed in 2010. After winning the Polaris Prize in 2013 stating “organizing a gala just so musicians can compete against each other for a novelty-sized cheque doesn’t serve the cause of righteous music at all”, they opted to give the money to prisoners in Quebec to have musical instruments if they need them.


METZ did nothing but practice and tour for over five years before they decided to hit the studio for their first record, and it ended up being with one of the biggest labels in rock music Sub Pop Records. The Toronto noise outfit followed up their debut album last year with the blisteringly loud II, proving once again that they are indeed this city’s hardest working rock band.

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