Johnny Feeney’s Albums of 2015

Johnny Feeney's albums of 2015

The reliable musical sage that is Johnny Feeney, steps up on this soapbox to share his favourite records from 2015.

Johnny’s guest posts are always insightful, interesting and always add an extra flavour the blog and I look forward to reading them – surely I’m not alone? 

A massive thanks to Johnny for taking time out to write this up, and on that note, I’ll leave you with his 25 albums of 2015……

25. Grimes – ‘Art Angels’

24. Floating Points  – ‘Elaenia’

23. Public Service Broadcasting – ‘The Race For Space’

22. EL VY – ‘Return To The Moon’

21. Julia Holter – ‘Have You In My Wilderness’

20. Girl Band – ‘Holding Hands With Jamie’

19. Trembling Bells – ‘The Sovereign Self’

18. Courtney Barnett – ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit’

17. Stealing Sheep – ‘Not Real’

16. Nadine Shah – ‘Fast Food’

15. C Duncan – ‘Architect’

Glaswegian Christopher Duncan’s Mercury-nominated debut album is a beautiful piece of dreamy, baroque chamber pop, heavily layered with more than a hint of Grizzly Bear about it.

14. Unknown Multi Orchestra – ‘Multi-Love’

The Auckland/Portland band’s fantastic third album chronicles a soured polyamorous relationship. A lovely lo-fi record full of psychedelic grooves and some of the sleaziest, funkiest guitar lines you’ll hear this year.

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BarryGruff Albums of the Year (2015)

BGs Albums of the year 2015So it is that time of year again, lists, lists and more lists. Well, not be out done, here are my 41 (yes 41, and yes it’s a weird number) albums of 2015.

It has been such a good year for new albums, probably the best since I started the blog back in 2010. So much so that there is very little difference between the top 5, top 10, top 15 and so on. So without further ado, here are my favourite records from 2015:

There is also a Spotify playlist of the Top 20 albums, to save you time and hassle (it’s here).

41. Only Real – Jerk At The End of the Line’

40. Rozi Plain – ‘Friend’

39. Wildling – ‘Molecules To Moon’

38. The School – ‘Wasting Away And Wondering’

37. Sweet Baboo – ‘Boombox Ballads’

36. The Stammer – ‘Days In Between’

35. SexWitch – Sex Witch’

34. Faith Healer – ‘Cosmic Troubles’

33. Girl Band – ‘Holding Hands With Jamie’

32. Joanna Gruesome – ‘Peanut Butter’

31. Fort Romeau – ‘Insides

30. Soft Serve – ‘S/t’

29. Applescal – ‘For’

28. Zefur Wolves – ‘Zefur Wolves’

27. Hot Chip – ‘Why Make Sense?’

26. Drenge – ‘Undertow’

25. The Charlatans – ‘Modern Nature’

24. Gaz Coombes – ‘Matador’

23. Bill Ryder-Jones – ‘West Kirby County Primary’

22. Drinks – ‘Hermits on Holiday’

21. The Expert – Dynamic Drift

20. Boxed In – ‘Boxed In’

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Guest Post: Johnny Feeney’s Albums of 2015 So Far

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The ever knowledgeable Johnny Feeney returns to the blog once again, to share an eclectic selection of his favourite records from the year so far.

Always insightful and interesting, his guest posts always add an extra flavour the blog and I for one look forward to reading them – surely I’m not alone?

A huge thanks to Johnny as always, and on that note, I’ll leave you in his very capable hands.

10. Stealing Sheep – ‘Not Real’

The second album from Liverpool’s Stealing Sheep is awash with quirky, catchy psych-folk/pop songs with a habit of having disconcerting false endings to continually keep you on your toes while listening.

09. Slaves – ‘Are You Satisfied?’

While there’s no shortage of two-piece rock bands around at the moment, Slaves’ debut album delivers enough memorable tunes with primitive, meaty hooks and thundering drums to stand out from the crowd.

08. Thee Oh Sees – ‘Mutilator Defeated At Last’

With only 9 songs and 33 minutes long, San Francisco’s ultra-prolific Thee Oh Sees’ ninth album in seven years is a brilliant, brief blast of fuzzy, distorted psych/garage rock.

07. Viet Cong – ‘Viet Cong’

The Canadian drone-rockers’ self-titled debut album is hypnotic, repetitive and bleak but absolutely compelling. Expect stuttering, industrial beats and mazing guitars.

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Stealing Sheep – ‘Not Real’ (Gwenno Remix)

Gwenno Stealing Sheep

Liverpool trio Stealing Sheep – Becky Hawley, Emily Lansley and Lucy Mercer – released their second LP back in April. Slightly odd, peculiar but brilliant new record, it is one this year’s favorite records so far.

The trio’s sweet and heavenly voiced psych-pop, choral harmonies and quirky delivery is immersed in a colourful mix of electronics and leftfield ’80s pop, incorporating synthesizers and drum machines to their psych-folk tendencies, it is an admirable evolution of their sound. Equally meritorious is their label mate and former Pipettes front-woman, Gwenno‘s remix of the title track. Stealing Sheep‘s utterly contagious, infectiously off-kilter pop gem ‘Not Real’, is transformed into a blissed-out chugging, hypnotic electro-kraut-pop jam. An insistent, urgent backbeat gives shape to the more dreamy, ethereal tones and the echoing vocals flashes of psych moments only add to a most ear-catching, immersive and irresistible of tunes. Ruddy marvelous!

Stealing Sheep’s Not Real is out now, while Gwenno’s album, released late last year, is getting a reissue later in 2015.

BarryGruff’s Albums of 2015 So Far……

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I’m not exactly the best at keeping you and the site up-to-date with album reviews, to be honest, it’s the old enemy time. Discovering the hours to scribble some thoughts about this album or that has become rather elusive, but thankfully finding time to listen to albums, and music in general, is less of an issue.

Here are a list of my most listened and loved records of 2015 so far with Spotify links and playlists for overall albums of 2015. There are plenty of playlists on Spotify and Soundcloud and on the blog too. Oh, and with regards to albums *cough, cough*, you can still download GruffWuff, a 19 track compilation celebrating 5 years of BarryGruff, for FREE from bandcamp, *cough, cough*.

Top 24 albums of 2015 so far…

01. Czarface – ‘Every Hero Needs A Villain’

02. H. Hawkline – ‘In The Pink Of Condition’

03. Villagers – ‘Darling Arithmetic

04. Blur – ‘The Magic Whip’

05. Ghost Culture – ‘Ghost Culture’

06. Boxed In – ‘Boxed In’

07. Django Django – ‘Born Under Saturn’

08. Girlpool – ‘Before The World Was Big’

09. Stealing Sheep – ‘Not Real’

10. The Charlatans – ‘Modern Nature’

11. Courtney Barnett – ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit’

12. Gaz Coombes – ‘Matador’

13. Hot Chip – ‘Why Make Sense?’

14. Applescal – ‘For’

15. Public Service Broadcasting – ‘The Race For Space’

16. Jamie xx – ‘In Colour’

17. Sen Segur – ‘Films’

18. Zefur Wolves – ‘Zefur Wolves’

19. Faith Healer – ‘Cosmic Troubles’

20. Mowbird – ‘One-Offs’

21. Joanna Gruesome – ‘Peanut Butter’

22. Fort Romeau – ‘Insides’

23. Rozi Plain – ‘Friend’

24. Pale Honey – ‘Pale Honey’

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Stealing Sheep – ‘Not Real’

Liverpool trio Stealing Sheep – Becky Hawley, Emily Lansley and Lucy Mercer – have a new album coming out in mid April.

Entitled Not Real, it follows their 2012 slow-burning but splendid debut, Into the Diamond Sun, and the first single to be released is title track, ‘Not Real’. As much psych as folk, experimentation was never ever far away, and it is this trait which manifests itself once again (albeit in a different form). Imbued with a dreamlike surrealism, ‘Not Real’ is utterly contagious. An addictive and instantly memorable chorus combines with sunny melodies and a bouncy, strutting rhythm, for what is a colourful mix of electronic music and ’80s pop, incorporating synthesizers and drum machines to their sweet and heavenly voiced psych-pop. A tantalizingly marvelous listen. The song’s video is an equallt surreal and colourful trip, check it out below.

Stealing Sheep’s Not Real is out April 14 via Heavenly.

Album of the Week: Stealing Sheep – Into The Diamond Sun

It’s difficult to know where to begin with Stealing Sheep but eclectic would be a good start. The Liverpool trio’s debut album Into The Diamond Sun is a heady cocktail of sounds, rather than been a scattered or confused, it is neatly sown together with layer upon layer of harmonies and a splendid array of psychedelic folk influences.

Into The Diamond Sun manages a perfect balance between the catchy and the interesting. Everything thing about their folk-tinged pop revolves around their vocal arrangements and the wonderfully dreamy three part harmonies, which are simply sublime. The album flows very nicely, peppered with electronic drones, hand claps and lavish guitar effects; it is these experimental eccentricities which embellish the record.

It feels both spooky yet somewhat uplifting, from the meandering ‘Circles’, ‘Gold’ and ‘Shark Song’, to the touch more lively ‘Genevieve’ and ‘Liven Up’. It is all crafted with a deft touch, like intricate brush strokes coming together to create a wonderful portrait. Lyrically too, Into The Diamond Sun is a just as colourful patchwork of vivid imagery.

Into The Diamond Sun is instantly lovable, in fact, it is utterly contagious. All in, a superb first effort.

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Introducing: Stealing Sheep

Stealing Sheep are a three-piece girl group from Liverpool who, by all accounts, have been creating quite a stir on the other side of the Irish Sea.

On listening to the trio’s impeccable sweet voiced blend of folk and psychedelic infused pop, it easy to see why. A bit off-kilter, Stealing Sheep are far from purveyors of impregnable avant garde sounds, it is in fact, utterly contagious. A gentle eccentricity and surreal lyrics are matched and merged with a consonance of enhancements, as wonderfully dreamy three part harmonies and folk elements shine through a hazy mist of mystical electronic drones, hypnotic beats and effects.

The Liverpudlian girl-trio’s debut album Into The Diamond Sun is out September 3rd. With what we’ve got here already, it is certainly more than promising, the LP could be quite special. They also play Galway and Dublin on November 2nd and 3rd respectably.

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