The 40 Best Albums of 2015: Part Three – 20 to 11

Today we continue our top 40 albums countdown, kicking off with an artist who’s just about to hit our shores for Falls Festival and some anticipated sideshows… If you’d like to look back on part one of our countdown, head HERE, and part two is HERE.

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20. Leon Bridges – Coming Home

“Leon Bridges has produced a debut album that has ‘classic’ written all over it. A retro soul album that has brought the 25 year old’s voice to more people around the world, Coming Home is an album that, yes, pays homage to the R&B and soul greats who came before, but remains fresh and contemporary in its delivery to appeal to today’s popular music demographic.” – Sosefina Fuamoli

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19. Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool

My Love is Cool has shown Wolf Alice to be band not content with resting on any laurels associated with the ’90’s grunge’ label some have given them since their breakthrough in the last year. Ellie Rowsell‘s development as vocalist and guitarist has seen material take on many different layers; there’s some tough thrash-pop here, some shoegaze Rock thrown down without abandon there. The band shows great potential of what is still to come but doesn’t take any prisoners either, which is what makes My Love is Cool such a great listen.” – Sosefina Fuamoli

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18. Muse – Drones

“Concept albums are rare and sometimes they don’t work out well but that didn’t deter Muse and once they have proven that they accomplish anything. Going back to basics on this album was also a good move and you can tell as most of the songs on this album is are more straight forward and easier to get into than their last album. Highlights include “Psycho”, “Reapers”, “The Handler”, “Dead Inside” and the epic “The Globalist”, which sees the band once again prove how bombastic they can be.” – Stuart Sevastos

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17. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell

“Written from the heart, Carrie & Lowell is at once delicate and majestic, delving into universal human themes with an intimate, personal story at its centre. The music takes on a life of its own.” – Antigone Anagnostellis

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16. Laura Marling – Short Movie

“Laura Marling rarely does any wrong and her fifth album is a testament to that opinion. An album reflective of Marling’s move to LA and her experiences, Short Movie sets itself apart from previous material with electric guitars and lyrical voraciousness. Marling’s storytelling rarely falters and Short Movie is no exception.” – Lauren Connelly

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15. ALPINE – Yuck

“When “Foolish” was first released I kinda thought ‘Yuck’, but after a few plays, those harmonies had me hooked and every song on this album is just a heavenly escape.” – Steph Payton

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14. CHVRCHES – Every Open Eye

“With the trio’s sophomore release Every Open Eye, CHVRCHES have created a perfect follow-up: something that flows effortlessly, and is consistently full of wonderful goodness.” – Jana Angeles

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13. Jamie XX – In Colour

“Perfectly produced start to finish, In Colour feels like an outlet for Jamie XX when he just wants to make The xx‘s material less open and simple and more house inspired. It’s made up of flawless instrumentals like “Gosh” and “Hold Tight” and tracks that could come straight off an album from The xx like “Loud Places”, with Romy and “Stranger in a Room” with Oliver. There’s also the somewhat misfitting upbeat banger “Good Times” with Young Thug, but it’s such a great summer track, I’m definitely not complaining.” – Aidan Hogg

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12. Kamasi Washington – The Epic

“Kamasi came out of nowhere and slipped straight into the forefront of ‘album of the year’ lists with this ambitious project. Playing like a new-age Sun Ra, the jazz prodigy messes with structure and form to bring us some truly innovative, enjoyable works that seamlessly flow as consistent, powerful pieces. The Epic is breathtaking at the worst of times, mind-blowing at the best.” – Chris Singh

“This jazz saxophone record creates mystical landscapes of lonely nights and limitless highs that are ever-present in this highly layered and even psychedelic LP that immerses you in a wave of color. The Epic is a 3 CD, 172 minute creation that features tracks with an average length of 10-12 minutes. In a big year for Washington, he was also featured on Kendrick‘s To Pimp A Butterfly LP.” – Lachlan Mitchell

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11. Hermitude – Dark Night Sweet Light

“I can’t really find fault with this duo and this album seriously had some of my favourite releases from the year. Hermitude just manage to mix and match their genres so well to bring out the most unique party tracks.” – Steph Payton

Stay tuned for our top 10 albums of 2015!

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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.

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