We know you have waited. We for sure have. Well here it is, on December 8 when else? The best albums of the year, the epic music year of 2015. Thanks for reading, tonnes of brotherly and sisterly love to ya´ll.
1. Dawes – All your favorite bands
”I hope your brothers El Camino runs forever.” Hearing the line from the titlesong on Dawes new album we knew the contest was over. We had a winner. The LA-band created the best album of 2015 – no doubt. First and foremost this is an album, the way they used to be back in the days. 9 song united, depending on each other. We saw the band live – and man they folk-rocked the shit out of us. Produced by Dave Rawlings, the sound is pitch perfect, the songs very Springsteen-esque, very beautifully damn good. So thanks to the brothers Taylor and Griffin Goldsmith, Wylie Gelber and Tay Strathairn, you made our year. We hope you always stay togheter!
2. Florence + The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Everytime Florence + The Machine release a new album you instantly know that it will be filled with magic. After seeing her energy on stage in Slottskogen at Way Out West this year, I am sure. She is the one. This album is an a to z album, every song is so real. My favorite song? ”Queen Of Peace” and all of the other… For me, this is an instant classic.
3. Daniel Norgren – Alabursy
Swedish blues-crooner-americana-folklorer Daniel Norgren broke us down into pieces this year. He took a big leap into divine earthy heartfelt music and we followed him all the way into eternity of the green woods. This guy is pure genius and we’re proud being along for the ride. May Daniel Norgren forever do whatever he is doing.
4. Natalie Prass – Natalie Prass
Debut albums, gotta love them. This is no exception, except that this sounds like someone who has found her sound a long time ago. Natalie Prass self-titled album is filled with so much emotions and instruments that is just fill upour chilled-dark-frozen Nordic hearts with warmt and hope. Though melancholic in lyrics there is a joy in the sound. Brilliant. Just brilliant.
5. Houndmouth – Little Neon Limelight
Houndmouth got us all fired up. All four bandmembers share the microphone and made an album so full of vibrant life that we just wanna hit the street and raise our glass to the future. It’s Dylan back in the heydays, it’s The Band and Buddy Holly all intwined with producer Dave Cobbs rooty sound. Can’t stop listering to this one, pure gold.
6. Father John Misty – I love You, Honeybear
Josh Tillman, former Fleet Foxes drummer (2008-2011) created a great story-telling album and added humour to that… The result, something very comfortable, sticky and dirty. And totally awesome. Old school sounds in a new dress. Father John Misty made a large album, with extra cheese. Orders up!
7. John Moreland – High On Tulsa Heat
Big man John Moreland does what every singer-songwriter out there aim for. He makes it raw, honest and unique. The songs hits our soul with every bit of temper. It’s down to the core, a knockout of emotions, and an album that we’ll keep close to our heart forever and ever.
7 close calls – 7 great albums we also adored 2015.
- Gill Landry – Gill Landry
- James McMurtry – Complicated Game
- Jason Isbell – Something more than free
- Joe Pug – Windfall
- Banditos – Banditos
- Slowgold – Stjärnfall
- Kristofer Åström – Fine Line
• Justin Sawicki from Hamilton, Ontario have made a totally independent record. The kind we love.
The LP was made entirely in his home studio, the only finger prints on it are his and those of his close friends. This is what it is all about! The music is very rooty and down to the bone. You feel the songs, hollow and honest.
The self titled album, the second from Sawicki, is released Dec 11 – til then enjoy great song The Upsala Trees.
Amanda Werne, a super talented musician residing in Gothenburg on the west coast of Sweden, is really something else.
Her Project Slowgold is pure gold. Dreamy Prairie Rock with Nerves from out of this World. The lyrics are like dancing poetry, that takes your mind to places you thought you’d never see again. Painting Pictures so vivid you can almost smell them.
The Music has references in 70’s rock, but feels so fresh and new that you’d Think that she has created her own genre. Her voice is in perfect tune with the poetry of her Music. The fact that she sings in Swedish only makes it even more personal and more intimate.
Having released ”Stjärnfall” in may this year, she now released her second album this year ”Glömska” . Sounds like a lot? I want more! I just can’t get enough of this.
• Londoner John Joseph Brill left the capital and his heavy-rock-band past and moved to Liverpool in 2013 where he holed up with a pile of Neil Young, Leonard Cohen and David Bowie records. He found his true voice, a brandy-warm baritone that breaks us down. JJ got the soul-gripping ability to capture eternity with a lonely tune. Strong, emotional, beautiful.
Ahead of a new EP release due 2016, check out song The Grape and The Grain. Speaking about it he explains ”It’s a very personal song about loss. The loss of a lover, the loss of a future but at the same time its tinged with hope. That naïve, yet charming hope that maybe, just maybe if I don’t think about it for long enough then the fucked up thing might not happen.”
• 32 year old Swede Sofia Assarson is part of our local favorite band Castlewoods – together with Maja Fredriksson and Johanna Lannerö. A folk-indie kind of vibe, from Joni Mitchell via Kate Bush to Beach House.
The debut album was recorded at Studio Oodion, in classic Music A Matic’s headquarters in Gothenburg. Where both Håkan Hellström and Joakim Thåström been before. It was intense, nine days recording with Swedish snuff and late night whiskey along with studio owner Henryk Lypps homemade fish soup and technician Thomas Andréns endless patience.
– It was magic! Now we just wanna hit the road and play live. An album today is an expensive business card, a chance to introduce ourself to the world, says Sofia. Right now she lives in Berlin. Doing her thing.
– I write new material and network. Berlin is beautiful, to meet and jam together, sleeping on someone’s couch. I wanna make a living in music and there are no shortcuts. It’s about working hard.
Next thing for Castlewoods?
– We just got a tour booked in northern Europe through a booking agency and concept called Meta Projects. They chose us among a number of different bands and have a true love for Swedish folk-indie. It´ll be six dates in Germany and Amsterdam for starters, says Sofia.
3 short Sofiafacts
• Lives: Gothenburg & Berlin.
• Reads: Right now the latest books of Haruki Murakami and Patti Smith.
• Listens to: Gillian Welch, Katzenjammer, José Gonzales, Jessica Pratt, I Wish I Was A Fish.
Until the album arrives, check out this vid; beach-India-style.
Patrik Jakubowski, who is normally found behind the bass in punkgrungerockers Riddarna, releases his first solo EP Ocean. Kentuckyseven is very proud to exclusively give you a first taste of the EP that’ll be out tomorrow November 18.
Ocean is a thing of nature. We join Jakubowski in his green mode. Forest and moss, river and sky. The smell of pine needles and resin thru the air. The acoustic guitar is there to guide us, a Fleet Foxes kind of vibe. Mezmerizing, hypnotizing.
The theme that pervades Ocean is a desire to be wild and totally unrestrained surrender to nature’s wild grip. The EP, which is co-produced by Bob Hund’s Christian Gabel, give promise of more shimmering songs around the corner. We, for sure, are spellbound.
• Watch this guy Jack Conman do his debut single Misty Central (via Warren Records) in his own, massive way. The young Englishman – 18 year old! – is a phenomenally talented singer-songwriter who hammer out the songs on his guitar.
This track is the first taken from the upcoming debut EP Euphoria Springs. Enjoy!
Debut albums are always interesting. The sense of something that has been evolved for years… Erased and restarted. Anxiety and joy. Letting go of a dear friend. Showing the rest of the World what you are.
Horse Dance from Swedish Josefin Öhrn + The Liberations is no exception. This is an album that will keep you at your feet. The soundscape with all its darkness and electronic emotions is purely magnetic. I was hooked from the first note in ”Dunes” down til it fades away in ”Talk”.
This is an album that has this genuine feel of depth, integrity and overwhelming emotions. Josefin Öhrns voice must have been meant to do this, for ever.
‘Horse Dance’ was released on Ltd colour vinyl, CD and DL on 6th November 2015 (Rocket Recordings).
Listen to the first single, ”Take me beyond”:
• Two years ago Troels Abrahamsen sat down in front the piano at home, after years of writing his songs on the computer.
”Since my childhood the piano has had a central role in my life. Therefore it was a success to be back at the piano and have direct contact with an instrument again. For me it became an opportunity to create something new and start over again”, says the great Dane.
EXEC is Troels Abrahamsen new solo project and The Explanatory Gap makes for a truly captivating first single. It is taken from forthcoming album The Limber Real, due for release on February 12, 2016.
This is Antony & the Johnson meeting John Grant having coffee with Tvärvägen drinking beer with Broken Twin walking with Angel Olsen listening to Possessed by Paul James. Analogue music straight from the heart, a Nordic psalm we believe in.
”Where do these white chalk lines come from, that separate us as we run, around this track…” Let this one sink in, folks.