Christmas may bring with it traditions such as hangovers, bad office parties and over-priced Christmas menus in restaurants, but it also brings the tradition of end-of-year album lists for us all to disagree about.
Great fun, and no worse than that other annual tradition of dressing the house so that it resembles the bass player in Slade.
So without rambling on any further, here is the definitive list of the best albums of 2015 (as chosen by me). Hopefully it will prompt you to check one or two out which, after all, is pretty much the point of doing a year-end list.
The Every Record Tells A Story Album of 2015 is…….
1. Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit
Why You Should Listen: Superb debut LP from Aussie singer/songwriter with a stream of consciousness delivery style.
Top Track: Depreston
2. Father John Misty – I Love You Honeybear
Why You Should Listen: Former Fleet Fox kicks life into indie-folk with his lovely beard and great live performances. Oh, and this is a brilliant album.
Top Track: Chateau Lobby #4
3. Gaz Coombs – Matador
Why You Should Listen: It’s as if Thom Yorke recorded a solo album wth actual tunes.
Top Track: Detroit
4. Sweet Billy Pilgrim: Motorcade Amnesiacs
Why You Should Listen: Great vocal harmonies, songwriting and musicianship from Aylesbury’s finest bunch of former folk-tronic indie kids. Or something.
Top Track: Tyrekickers
5. Wand – Golem
Why You Should Listen: Because sometimes you wonder what Marc Bolan would have sounded like had he been into Black Sabbath. From the excellent Drag City label (see also: Ty Segall)
Top Track: Self Hypnosis in 3 Days
6. The Amazing: Picture You
Why You Should Listen: Very English indie-jangly guitar sounds evoking The Smiths, The La’s and The Stone Roses, making dream-pop meets Tame Impala, only better than Tame Impala, from…Sweden. Oh, and a nine minute epic title track.
Top Track: Picture You
7. Shotgun Rodeo – World Wide Genocide
Why You Should Listen: The best metal band I have come across since Mastodon picked up their guitars and started shouting about sea monsters and the like. Shotgun Rodeo takes old-school Metallica, Anthrax and Megadeth influences with even older school Judas Priest, and updates them in a compelling and totally contemporary way.
Top Track: Saving Myself
8. Natalie Prass – Natalie Prass
Why You Should Listen: Gorgeous soulful vocals over Matthew E White’s backing band.
Top Track: Why Don’t You Believe In Me
9. Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats – Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Why You Should Listen: He’s on the Stax label, and it’s like listening to a 2015 lung-busting version of Sam and Dave backed by a garage band.
Top Track: Trying So Hard Not To Know
10. The Charlatans: Modern Nature
Why You Should Listen: There’s some songs on this album that will still sound fresh in twenty years time.
Top Track: Come Home Baby
Finally a mention to those that came close to the top ten, including Sleater Kinney, Drenge, JD McPherson, FFS, John Grant, Mercury Rev and Richard Hawley.
Let me know if you agree or disagree in the comments section below. What was your favourite album of 2015?