The 40 Best Albums of 2015: Part Four – The Top Ten!

And here we have it: the top 10 albums of the year. We won’t waste any time and shall get right into proceedings – however if you want to look back at part one, head HERE, part two is HERE and part three from earlier today is HERE.


10. Florence And The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

“Less drama but more real emotion – the third record from Florence Welch & company is their best yet.” – Jules LeFevre


9. The Weeknd – Beauty Behind The Madness

“If you’ve been rolling with The Weeknd since his early mixtapes, chances are this debut full length album won’t have come as much of a surprise. He’s only in his mid-20’s, but the way Abel Tesfaye sings about sex, drugs and late night booty calls is incredibly intoxicating, especially when, if you take away that enticing R&B backbeat and strip it down to just some of the lyrics, the guy in the narrative is pretty shit most of the time. “Angel”, “Can’t Feel My Face” and “Shameless” are easy favourites, demonstrating range, a build in motion and some confident statements that make you tune in every time.” – Sosefina Fuamoli


8. Alabama Shakes – Sound and Color

“This album is the quintessential, and necessary retro blues and soul preservation jam. Brittany Howard’s ranging vocals are suspended over ectstaticly energised guitar and bass lines.” – Lachlan Mitchell


7. Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear

Josh Tillman fell head over heels in love and wrote the most simultaneously bleak, romantic and hilarious album you will ever have the pleasure of listening to. I Love You Honeybear is a gushing profession of love cast within a bleak and apocalyptic image of modern America. Pretty much, the world is a shit horrible place, but at least we found each other to battle it together “naked getting high on a mattress as the global market crashes”. – Michael Lean


6. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly

“Wildly original, musically and lyrically, this is an album that will be studied in universities in years to come. It’s a beautiful and complex exploration of some pretty thorny issues that is still pretty danceable.” – Ingmar Duldig


5. Art of Sleeping – Shake Shiver

“This is my most played Australian album of the year. Aside from the fact that these guys are insanely nice, it’s really cool to see how far they have come and how much their sound has progressed since their inception three years ago. A very solid debut offering full of ambitious, moody alternative rock, my standout tracks would be “Bleeding Out” and “Crazy”.” – Bridget Hustwaite


4. Foals – What Went Down

What Went Down is the fourth album from Oxford-outfit Foals, playing up the darker, intense side of the band with soaring synths and hollering vocals, the latter curtesy of an almost larger-than-life front man Yannis Philippakis. Echoes of the band’s post-punk and math-rock foundations combine with new experimental forays into afro-beats and electro-synths to create what is essentially a distilled version of everything that has come before. This fourth record is not so much a consolidation of what we know to be Foals, but the perfection of a sound that had always just slipped out of reach before now.” – Clare Armstrong


3. Tame Impala – Currents

“Tame Impala’s third record was one of the most highly anticipated and hyped albums of 2015. Yet appearing as nonplussed as ever, frontman and creative mastermind Kevin Parker barely batted an eyelid when the album leaked a week early – not that this really made any difference in the end. Parker’s abilities as a producer are really brought to the fore on this record from the disco funk soundscape of ‘Let It Happen’ to the dreamy “Eventually” or the perfect guitar riff in “Less I Know The Better” – every element is precisely arranged and executed. Tame are a creative force to be reckoned with and it should be no surprise that they’re besting quite a few end-of-year-lists yet again” – Clare Armstrong


2. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit

“It’s so hard to put into words how much I enjoy this album. Courtney Barnett’s genius lyricism combined with perfect pop rock grooves and dark, wailing guitar riffs makes for a perfect debut record in my eyes. Fuck the haters. Barnett is taking over.” – Lauren Connelly


1. Gang Of Youths – The Positions

“This album is just ridiculous. The most complete, end to end album that I’ve heard this year.” – Gemma Bastiani

“An incredible album by a talented young band. The record is filled with songs encompassing raw emotion; one suitable in keeping you company for when you feel most lonely. An honest gem you could ever find in your local record store; a timeless entity for a debut album.” – Jana Angeles

“Ridiculously complete for a debut album. Having seen them three times prior to the album’s release, it was great seeing the band develop and introduce more of the LP’s tracks into their live sets. I still remember seeing “Radioface” back in February at Goodgod, and thinking it was the most glorious track ever.” – Dylan Marshall

“Definitely the Australian Album of the Year in my book, The Positions is a brilliant debut for a band who still has so much left to say. Never musicians to rest on any laurels, the album pulls punch after punch even in the quieter moments on the record. “The Overpass” is heartwrenching, while “Restraint & Release” and “Radioface” burst with moments of furious elation. A rollercoaster of feels you’re happy to be onboard for.” – Sosefina Fuamoli

Stay tuned to the AU as we expand on our selections here and deliver our Top 40 Australian Albums of 2015!


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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.