Listening Listfully 2015 - Ars Gratia Artis
The Naked and the Dead
[David Lang: anatomy theater]

Listening Listfully 2015 - Ars Gratia Populi

Gramophone in a French trench 1914


[This is the second, in posting order, of two Favorite Musickes of the Year posts. There is some repetition on the introductory paragraphs.]

In 2014, the end of December pulled a fast one on those, this blogger included, who produce "year-end" lists of the best, or of their preferred, recorded music of the preceding year: two notable recordings — Andrew Norman's Play from the Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Black Messiah, the entirely-unforeseen and long-awaited return of D'Angelo—slipped unceremoniously into the world, unable to claim their places of honor on the vast majority of already-published Lists. (Both of those recordingsa have been granted post hoc, de facto 2015 release status for my purposes.)

Now then, with only a few hours left for tricksters to drop new music in 2015, comes the time for what I calculate to be the Tenth Annual edition of fool in the forest's Listening Listfully: cataloguing album/EP-length recordings released in the past twelvemonth that most particularly tickled my fancy. These are personal favorites, as always, rather than "bests"—although I maintain now as I always do that everything here is here because it is genuinely among the best things of the past year, and not simply because I have enjoyed it. There are inevitably many records of quality omitted here, simply because I have yet to listen to them.

For 2015, I have continued my 2014 practice of dividing the larger List in two, very roughly segregating these recordings by application of that old fugitive, "genre". Each list contains thirty (30) entries. Below is the portion of the List encompassing music that is essentially hip-to-be-hep-to-be-cool-to-be-Popular.. The other portion has been posted here.

I have incorporated opportunities to stream most of the Top 20 choices on each list, where possible through the invaluable Bandcamp, and otherwise through [hissss! booo! Compensate musicians fairly, why don't you?!?] Spotify. Bandcamp-linked recordings are purchasable there; for others, I have provided Amazon links. Buying music is good; do it often. 

Flawed, entirely subjective, and internally contradictory as always, here begins The List:

1.    The Epic - Kamasi Washington

2.    Motorcade Amnesiacs – Sweet Billy Pilgrim

3.    Black Messiah – D’Angelo and the Vanguard

4.    Architect – C. Douglas

5.    Infinite House – Ava Luna

6.    Natalie Prass – Natalie Prass

7.    Complete Strangers Vetiver

8.    Divers – Joanna Newsom

[Nothing embeddable available, likes she's Adele or Taylor or the Beatles or some such.]

9.    No No No – Beirut

10.    The End of the Affair – The Singleman Affair

11.    I Aubade – Elvis Perkins

12.    I Had Grown Wild EP – My Brightest Diamond

13.    Radiance & Submission – CFCF

14.    The Colours of Life – CFCF

15.    Currents – Tame Impala

16.    The Fun Rises, The Fun Sets – Van Hunt

17.    Edge Of The Sun – Calexico

18.    Sound & Color – Alabama Shakes

19.    Vestiges & Claws- Jose Gonzalez

20.    Revolutions – Steve Cobby

21.    Takamatsu Station – Ava Luna

22.    Star Wars – Wilco

23.    Songs We Like a Lot – John Hollenbeck

24.    Fresh Blood - Matthew E. White

25.    All Across This Land - Blitzen Trapper

26.    Fear Ritual – Rollmottle

27.    Willow – Germany Germany

28.    Recollected Ambient Works, Vol. 1.5: Discreet Music – Kid606

29.    Recollected Ambient Works, Vol. 1: Bored of Excitement – Kid606

30.    Stench of Exist – Boduf Songs


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