The Fifty Best Albums of 2015
Over the course of a few solitary days spent putting together the longlist of Best Fit's favourite albums of 2015, it hit me just what a great year it is for the concept behind an "album".
GoldLink's And After That We Didn’t Talk is a triumphant debut, a record that cements his status as a trailblazer in modern hip-hop both for his pioneering, house-influenced sound and his gifts as a skilled, charismatic storyteller.
Given that the words are sung predominantly in a tongue classified as a ‘co-official language’ by the EU (there are twenty four ‘official’ languages’) the melody and mood have to work harder than they would if sang in a familiar language. The task is to grab attention and empathy and convey the emotion of the lyrics in musical rather than literal form and Gwenno pulls this off beautifully.
Y Dydd Olaf is a marvellously magical mixture of elation, anger and sorrow and is very lovely indeed. With the opening salvo of her solo career Gwenno has added another album to the growing list of this year’s highlights.
It’s the plethora of new directions pushed in that makes this such an engrossing, worthy follow-up to Movement. While still creating boundless, exceptional fringe-pop, on Platform Herndon is finding countless new ways to hold our attention: deploying a greater sense of narrative, an emboldened melodic arsenal and enough enthusiasm to remind us why she remains a vital voice in peripheral pop.
This isn’t dewy eyed nostalgia all weighed down with rose tinted reverence, though: he makes a respectful nod to the past by rifling through jungle and garage and so on, but each track feels like a poignant and yet propulsive reflection of Jamie’s personality and experiences. It’s almost enough to make you want to sell all your earthly possessions, move to east London and take up skateboarding just to encounter some of the wasted romance and wide eyed club sub cultures that In Colour is so clearly steeped in.
Jamie XX may have spent his years patiently absorbing the minute details of UK dance music, but by now he feels like one of its driving forces: a voyeur-cum-auteur who with In Colour will surely come to define so many of those subcultures that he was inspired by himself.
Apocalypse, girl is staggering in so many ways; funny, shocking, engaging, musically ambitious and uncompromising. Music which delivers instrumentally, lyrically and thematically is hard to come by butJenny Hval carries everything off with an almost unbelievable aplomb.
Forget your fears of this being allegedly experimental or difficult music…not just one of the best of 2015, Apocalypse, girl is one of the best records in a very long time.