11 saddest songs of 2015

The Overdub writers (me, me, and me) have taken it upon themselves to scour the internet for the 11 saddest songs of the year. It took some digging, but we think we did a good job. We added comparative sadness levels for emotional compartmentalizing.

11. Sufjan Stevens – “Death with Dignity”

Sadness level: accidentally snuffing out the life of a lightning bug while trying to catch it like some oaf.

10. Sufjan Stevens – “Should Have Known Better”

Sadness level: Mark Hamill’s IMDB page.

9. Sufjan Stevens – “All of Me Wants All of You”

Sadness level: when the cheetah finally catches that antelope you’ve grown emotionally attached to on Planet Earth.

8. Sufjan Stevens – “Drawn to the Blood”

Sadness level: discovering Party Down isn’t getting a third season.

7. Sufjan Stevens – “Eugene”

Sadness level: guys that wear their letterman jackets to their high school reunion.

6. Sufjan Stevens – “Fourth of July”

Sadness level: passing a box of abandoned baby kittens on a country road.

5. Sufjan Stevens – “The Only Thing”

Sadness level: the empty feeling that accompanies finishing a book series and realizing you’ll never see those characters again.

4. Sufjan Stevens – “Carrie & Lowell”

Sadness level:  that episode of Scrubs where the guy was in the other guy’s head the whole time and then he’s at a funeral woah.

3. Sufjan Stevens – “John My Beloved”

Sadness level: Finding out your best friends are in a group chat that you aren’t included in.

2. Sufjan Stevens – “No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross”

Sadness level: this Calvin and Hobbes comic strip.

1. Sufjan Stevens – “Blue Bucket of Gold”

Sadness level: crying Native American pollution commercial.

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15 most overlooked albums of 2015

I was going to make a top 50 albums of the year list, but then decided that you don’t need yet another blog telling you how great Poison Season and To Pimp a Butterfly are. So, I decided to do something a bit different and more in the vein of this blog. Here are the best, most overlooked albums of the year. Enjoy!

 

15. Charlie Brand – Monsoons

Monsoons is nothing like the over the top saccharine melodies Charlie Brand helped create with Miniature Tigers. It’s sweet, gentle songwriting with the occasional spaceship noise thrown in for good measure.

[pop]

spotify:track:0kaMr5NTugvfBDVmcRPmlx

 

14. Macross 82-99 – CHAM!

Die-hard future funk and vaporwave fans might not like where Macross, future funk’s most talented and prolific producer, has gone with his newest effort. There will be those that are sad that he’s drifting away from funking up old Japanese disco deep cuts. But they’re wrong. With CHAM! he manages to strike the perfect balance between delivering atypical, future funk bangers for his old fans, and branching into exciting, fresher hip hop-influenced sounds.

[future funk]

spotify:track:1mfcYIaZ2xiXv9q75sxdnP

 

13. PWR BTTM – Ugly Cherries

A wonderful debut from PWR BTTM. Ugly Cherries is full of genuinely catchy pop punk anthems that will have you singing along.

[pop punk]

spotify:track:7BmXuPOoGdfemMkZ8WrwZN

 

12. Gengahr – A Dream Outside

A top five debut that was fairly lauded when it came out. Maybe everyone forgot about it because they took the album off of Spotify. Take a hint, guys.

[psychedelic rock]

spotify:track:3SKRVZpKXn1xn4OMhpDpEC

 

11. Dråpe – Relax/Relapse

One of the best, most accessible pop albums of the year. Only one listen required to see the hype.

[pop]

spotify:track:4AYinuRxIRlpAXad3eVtht

 

10. The Districts – A Flourish and a Spoil

If rock & roll is dead than The Districts reanimated the corpse and walked it around in 2015 like a zombie marionette.

[indie rock]

spotify:track:0TFS7bn4ABA17LKL5OVaZ0

9. Chastity Belt – Time To Go Home

Sleater-Kinney released an album this year and this still the best record by an all girl band. I said it. Fight me.

[noise pop]

spotify:track:1yozVRYZeklFX8PHnFHsET

 

8. Marco Vella – Shadow Mountain

Seven of the most perfect electronic and ambient music tracks out right now, and from a complete specter. This debut will blow your hair back and lead to frantic googling of ‘who the hell is this guy?’.

[electronic / ambient]

spotify:track:5YSdEcnGvnryiileXgqoHD

 

7. Sui Zhen – Secretly Susan 

Even if this album didn’t have great jams like ‘Take It All Back’ and ‘Walk Without Me’, it would still be on this list for the album cover alone.

[electronic / singer songwriter]

spotify:track:4leb5wsKBqOiWizUMswScg

6. Title Fight – Hyperview

Ian Cohen agrees with me, this was a top 10 album of 2015.

[melodic hardcore]

spotify:track:3VnlkMjJPOHYfSJlzXMZd5

5. Empress Of – Me

I suppose it’s not overlooked so much as not placed high enough on the end-of-they-year lists. I mean c’mon, this is just a better version of what Grimes tried to do, and there are twice as many bangers.

[dream pop / str8 bangers]

spotify:track:4htgubIqo8b2JD1pR5jYEx

4. Astronauts Etc. – Mind Out Wandering

The only notable source that reviewed this album was Paste, who gave it an 85. Really? Paste? That’s it. What’s the state of music journalism when fucking Paste are the ones with their finger on the pulse. Their office is in Georgia for Pete’s sake.

[dream pop]

spotify:track:1PLM5vxNJC4jUGppoYag3Y

 

3. Roman à clef – Abandonware

Abandonware is 29 minutes of 80’s pop hits that you and your mom can enjoy together. Best debut album of the year award goes to… Roman à clef! Ryan and Jen from Sunny Day in Glasgow, please come to my living room to accept your award.

[pop]

spotify:track:73BUytfxKH8ti3lgnHLTXb

 

2. Evans the Death – Expect Delays

There is a song on Expect Delays called ‘Bad Year’ where Katherine Whitaker cries out, “I’ve had a bad yeaaaarrrr.’ Well, if having a bad time caused these guys to make such a great album, I hope the rest of their lives are terrible. 🙂

[indie rock / noise pop]

spotify:track:52SgV2BUdanHZMr8yMrQlA

1. Vundabar – Gawk

Vundabar are the Drake of indie rock. I’ve never heard an album with so many effortless hooks. Gawk is so incredibly lean that it gives the impression of having been forged over and over in the studio like hot steel, hammering away anything that wasn’t an absolute banger until they were finally satisfied – there’s no fluff here, folks. Every song could have been the single.

[Drake rock]

spotify:track:4SxdYbjtlw9QB2a4tl3qks

 

 

The best albums of October & November 2015

So, if we’re being honest, I didn’t do a best-of list for October not because there weren’t any good albums (October was bonkers), but because I plum forgot. Luckily, since November was disappointing album-wise, as the end of the year often is, I decided to combine the two months into one post. Enjoy.

Dråpe – Relax/Relapse

One of the best, most accessible pop albums of the year. Only one listen required to see the hype.

Favorite song: “Replica”

spotify:track:4AYinuRxIRlpAXad3eVtht

 

Alex G – Beach Songs 

Alex G does it again, nuff said.

Favorite song – “Brite Boy”

spotify:track:2QvIL8AaefwAfRHO7oENYo

 

Neon Indian – Vega Intl. Night School

I’ll admit I was skeptic. My first listen through, all I could think was how much the album sounded like Toro Y Moi’s disappointing third LP, which was just a rehashing of disco but with more reverb. Now this sounds like Neon Indian rehashing and Chazwick’s rehash. But it’s not. It’s soulful, terribly charming, and can stand in its own right as a banger of a record if you ignore its complete lack of innovation.

Favorite songs: News from a Sun (live bootleg)

spotify:track:7ubJ0x5sIpoZaPnXGc49kl

 

Macross 82-99 – CHAM!

Die-hard futurefunk and vaporwave fans might not like where Macross, futurefunk’s most talented and prolific producer, has gone with his newest effort. There will be those that are sad he’s drifting away from funking up old japanese disco deep cuts. But they’re wrong. With CHAM! he manages to strike the perfect balance between delivering atypical, futurefunk bangers for his old fans, and branching into exciting, newer hip hop-influenced sounds.

Favorite song: “I Miss You (feat. Roman)”

spotify:track:1mfcYIaZ2xiXv9q75sxdnP

 

Krts – Close Eyes to Exit

A thumping fever dream of gorgeous beeps and bloops with the odd hip hop feature. It’s quiet and loud and goes 100mph. You’ll fall asleep listening to it and then wake up with your shirt soaked with sweat and gasping, “what the hell is this music?”

Favorite song: “Come to this”

spotify:track:4cmG7pv9XyKnn3x553pf2Z

 

Protomartyr – The Agent Intellect

“Man, I really liked ‘Beautiful Blue Sky’ from Ought’s new album, but I sure wish the album as the whole was better. If only there were another, similar post-punk band that rock even harder.”

Favorite Song: “The Devil in his Youth”

spotify:track:5n5ESg6ZQlrFQ5DpXOjK7J

 

Honorable Mentions

Sea Ghost – SG
Car Seat Headrest – Teens of Style
Violent Mae – Kid
Blessed Feather – There Will Be No Sad Tomorrow
U.S. Girls – Half Free
Kyle – Smyle
Deerhunter – Fading Frontier

 

 

The best albums of September 2015

Empress Of – Me

Straight bangers. Track 1? Banger. Track 2? Banger. Track 3-9? Bangers. Track 10? Banger. Every track banger.

Favourite song: ‘Standard’

spotify:track:4htgubIqo8b2JD1pR5jYEx

PWR BTTM – Ugly Cherries

A wonderful debut from PWR BTTMUgly Cherries is full of genuinely catchy pop punk anthems that will have you singing along.

Favourite song: ‘House in Virginia’

spotify:track:7BmXuPOoGdfemMkZ8WrwZN

Astronauts, etc. – Mind Out wandering

“Thawed-out ’70s tones with sentiments of soul and echoes of modern indie guitar rock, Ferraro’s piano and Rhodes provide nearly as much a presence on each track as his own falsetto.” – from their bandcamp.  A pretty good description of a really good album, the majority of which was recorded live. Another amazing debut.

Favourite song: ‘Up for Grabs’

spotify:track:1PLM5vxNJC4jUGppoYag3Y

Skylar Spence – Prom King

I  T ‘  S      N  O  T     V  A  P  O  R  –  W  A  V  E    B  U  T    I  T ‘  S    S  T  I  L  L     R  E  A  L  L  Y    F U N.

Favorite song: ‘Can’t You See’

spotify:track:563rtG4jPQIqIYLT0hZu32

George Clanton – 100% Electronica

This album is a 100% synth-y chillwave goodness and 100% worth your time.

Favourite song: ‘Keep a Secret’

spotify:track:0dG2KdrMD65kEeWxmF9lu2

More Albums!!

Honorable mentions because this was a fantastic month for music and there are a ton of albums that I didn’t get to touch on:
Julia Holter – Have You in My Wilderness
Ought – Sun Coming Down
Helios – Yume
Carroll – Carroll