Albums of the Year – Numbers 40 to 31

So here we go with our Spend Matters Top 40 Albums of 2015! Today we have numbers 40-31.

40 Peace                            Happy People

A collection of bouncy indie-dance songs that make up in energy for the slight lack of killer tunes compared to their stunning debut In Love from 2013.

39 Soak                                Before We Forgot How To Dream

A Mercury nominated album from this Irish 18 year old (18!) with folk, pop, acoustic and indie influences to the fore on this atmospheric and emotional debut. Intimate but with hints of adolescent melodrama, she has huge potential but this is a very strong album in its own right.

38 Chvrches                       Every Open Eye

This builds nicely on their successful debut, without showing a huge step forward in terms of approach. Tuneful electro-pop topped off with Lauren Mayberry's vocals which are arguably rather lovely (me) or irritating (my wife).

37 Jamie XX                       In Colour

Much higher than this in many “best of” lists, the favourite for the Mercury Prize at one stage, a cornucopia of different styles of (broadly) dance music, with a range of guest vocalists. It is not all "in your face" stuff, some is a bit more like The XX, and that variation perhaps is why it is not higher here in our list; we loved some tracks, really weren’t so keen on others.

36 Halsey                           Badlands

A bigger success in the USA than the UK so far, the talented 18 year old from New Jersey has some of that atmospheric Lana del Rey or Lorde-type electropop sound with a bit of R’n B sensibility. She knows how to write a good tune as well and this is an interesting and enjoyable debut from a young woman who may well do even greater things in the future.

35 Kacey Musgraves      Pageant Material

Hard to top her stunning debut, and nothing here quite as brilliant as Merry-Go-Round, but more witty and clever country-pop songs with lyrics that can be emotional or funny and often subvert some of country music’s deepest traditions!

34 Father John Misty     I Love You Honeybear

Another album that did very well in many lists, clever songs and lyrics (in fact, some of the best lyrics anywhere this year) from singer-songwriter Josh Tillman's alter-ego. Acerbic, funny, ironic, with good tunes too.

33 The Weeknd              Beauty Behind the Madness

Maybe this should be higher, I'm slowly appreciating just what a talent this Canadian singer, songwriter and producer is (real name Abel Makkonen Tesfaye). "I Can't Feel My Face" was a huge hit this year, and he may be the closest to the "new Michael Jackson" we're going to get.

32 Drenge                         Undertow

Two early twenties brothers (drummer and guitar/ vocals) from the UK’s Peak District added a bassist for their second album, a dark and gripping rock / punk collection with nods to Nivana and QOTSA. They sound angry and committed, and are good live too.

31 Foals                               What Went Down

Perhaps little less dance influenced than their previous works, ands some critics saw it as a bit of a naked attempt to break into the “stadium rock” circuit with a slicker sound than their previous work. But it is hard to argue with the riff-tastic power of tracks like What Went Down (although Spanish Sahara remains our fave Foals tune of all time).

More tomorrow!

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  1. Nancy Clinton:

    Hi Peter – Great list – surprised The Weekend ranked so low – but hey – we’re 17 !
    In our opinion Halsey needs to be much higher on the list – best song ever – however, we don’t know yet what’s ranked higher – so will reserve judgement til we see the rest of the positions.
    Lizzy Newton and Katie Evans

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