The 20 Best Albums Of 2015 (Q2)

MOJO recommends the best music released in April, May and June.

50-Best-AlbumsQ2-2015-Q2

SPRING BRINGS MANY things: blossom, lambs and fortunately – with Record Store Day in the middle of it – lots of new album releases.

Blur returned with their first album for over a decade. Paul Weller and Young Fathers followed up thought-provoking records with even more innovative visions, while the likes of Leon Bridges, Jamie xx and Matthew E White enhanced their burgeoning reputations.

Following on from our selection of the best releases of the year’s first three months, MOJO’s staff and writers have sprung into action to assemble the best albums of 2015’s second quarter (ie. April, May and June), and here are our Top 20.

BlurThe Magic Whip

Blur
The Magic Whip

PARLOPHONE
“For a collection with an eye on the setting sun and the slow decline, it's a fine late flowering. If they've made it, finally to the end, there's nothing to regret here.” Victoria Segal

Leon BridgesComing Home

Leon Bridges
Coming Home

COLUMBIA
“He's only 25, but with his clean cut image and authentically retro approach to music-making this honey-voiced dancer/choreographer-turned singer comes across like a late-‘50s/early-’60s throwback.” Charles Waring

Chastity Belt Time To Go Home

Chastity Belt
Time To Go Home

HARDLY ART
“Across the album, the guitars lurch and skip, the voice soars and dips, which makes you feel giddy and drunk and perfectly matches the daft-then-melancholy lyrics.” Anna Wood

East India Youth Culture Of Volume

East India Youth
Culture Of Volume

XL
“William Doyle, aka East India Youth, has barely tinkered with the formula for his second full-length record – a good thing, as his proprietary blend of home-spun techno and forlorn songcraft proves fertile ground.” Stevie Chick

The Fall Sub-Lingual Tablet

The Fall
Sub-Lingual Tablet

CHERRY RED
“The most on-message Fall album since The Infotainment Scan. Rejoice-ah! ” Andrew Perry

Bill Fay  Who Is The Sender?

Bill Fay
Who Is The Sender?

DEAD OCEANS
“Songs that leap out and penetrate to the heart.” David Sheppard

Mbongwana StarFrom Kinshasa

Mbongwana Star
From Kinshasa

WORLD CIRCUIT
“This album has more daylight than a summer solstice.” David Hutcheon

My Morning Jacket The Waterfall

My Morning Jacket
The Waterfall

ATO/CAPITOL
The Waterfall suggests My Morning Jacket have made their own big decision. It’s coherent without sacrificing quirk and charm." Keith Cameron

Jaakko Eino Kalevi Jaakko Eino Kalevi

Jaakko Eino Kalevi
Jaakko Eino Kalevi

WEIRD WORLD/DOMINO
“The most coherent album so far from the former Helsinki tram driver is a gem.” Kieron Tyler

Jim O’Rourke Simple Songs

Jim O’Rourke
Simple Songs

DRAG CITY
“Far from simple, these are songs of achingly delivered, baroque pop complexity.” David Sheppard

Palma VioletsDanger In The Club

Palma Violets
Danger In The Club

ROUGH TRADE
“Pulsing with youthful rebellion, Palma Violets sound wildly bacchanalian." Paul Stokes

Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow Ex_Machina

Ben Salisbury & Geoff Barrow
Ex_Machina

UNIVERSAL/ INVADA
“Minimal anodic drones disrupted by distant sour notes of ambient noise, naive piano melodies engulfed in waves of metal racket, all underlining that all is not well in this new technological Eden.” Andrew Male

Boz Scaggs A Fool To Care

Boz Scaggs
A Fool To Care

429
A Fool To Care has scarcely a weak note, let alone track.” Geoff Brown

Richard Thompson Still

Richard Thompson
Still

PROPER
“If this was a new act people would be falling over themselves to sing its praises, but Thompson raised the bar so high so many years ago that this is simply what's expected of him.” Mike Barnes

Various Artists  Shirley Inspired

Various Artists
Shirley Inspired

Earth Recordings
“Given that she never wrote a single song, Collins might seem a surprising subject for a tribute album. Yet somehow it all makes sense.” Pete Paphides

Thee Oh Sees Mutilator Defeated At Last

Thee Oh Sees
Mutilator Defeated At Last

CASTLE FACE
“Adds sophistication to the band's trademark thrash-psych.” Stevie Chick

Kamasi Washington The Epic

Kamasi Washington
The Epic

BRAINFEEDER
The Epic boldly aims to overhaul jazz for the progressive hip-hop generation.” Andy Cowan

Paul Weller Saturns Pattern

Paul Weller
Saturns Pattern

PARLOPHONE
“There's a newly relaxed vibe, a sense that anything might be allowed to happen, and results tend towards the quietly strange and pleasingly enigmatic.” Danny Eccleston

Jamie xxIn Colour

Jamie xx
In Colour

XL
“In Colour presents the full spectrum of Jamie xx's talents, from subversive pop producer to ambient soundtrack conductor.” Priya Elan

Young Fathers White Men Are Black Men Too

Young Fathers
White Men Are Black Men Too

BIG DADA
White Men Are Black Men Too places Young Fathers firmly alongside Suede, Dizzee Rascal and Arctic Monkeys in the pantheon of those whose post-Mercury follow-ups confirm they know exactly where they're going and aren't going to let a modest prize distract them.” Ben Thompson

 

And don’t forget there’s amazing music from the past to be discovered amongst MOJO’s 10 Best Reissues Of 2015, April to June.

We hope our selections will make your life better, but let us know either way via www.facebook.com/MOJOmagazine or www.twitter.com/mojomagazine.

NB. The best albums of 2015 are listed in alphabetical order, not ranked in terms of relative brilliance (yet…).