that we've rubbed the gunk out of your eye sockets after our hyper-short hibernation, we're ready to stare 2016 straight in the face.
not before making a massive playlist of our favourite 2015 tracks.
In random order:
Aphex Twin (obvs.) - Kanye West(thank you for our wedding song, sir.) - Damon Albarn (Didn't get the accolades he deserved for that album, I think.) - Protomartyr ('Dopecloud' should be at least a minor radio hit.) - Jaakko Eino Kalevi (Most likeable talent for 2016.) - Kendrick Lamar (obvs.) -Father John Misty (Only gave the album a proper chance after being mentioned on Anziz Ansari's show.) - Seymour Bernstein (Loved the documentary, loved the soundtrack.) - Father (Played this one a lot.) - Rival Consoles (Great electro-mixtape fodder.) - Bill Wells & Aidan Moffat (Deserves so much more attention: bleak, effective and lyrical. Definitely top 10 of 2015 for me.) - Girl Band(Best surprise for me in 2015. Original, spiky, funny and sharp stuff.) - Gwenno (As seen on most 'best-of' lists.) - D'Angelo (Yeah yeah 2014 release, but it was the last week of December so...) - Young Thug (obvs.) - Tobias Jesso Jr. (Most likely to have a radio hit played to death in 2016) - Erykah Badu (obvs.) - Drake (obvs.) - Mbongwana Star (Most effective name to drop if you need to shut down one of those insufferable 'tipped for 2016' conversations) - Julia Holter (again, list-maker favourite), Earl Sweatshirt (in retrospect, one of the bravest releases of 2015) - U.S. Girls (a lot of feminist releases on our list this year, this one was bit overlooked, I'd say. Deserves more ears.) - Abra (Love this song. Curious to see if the mainstream picks this one up. Late discovery for me.) - Kate Tempest (Yeah yeah 2014 release but since I've been mostly playing it this year, she's in.) - JLin (Smart beats, that.) -Sufjan Stevens (list-makers favourite) - Föllakzoid (A favourite amongst record-shop personnel, I've noticed. Release on the strongest small(ish) label of 2015: Sacred Bones. - Tame Impala (obvs.) - Arca (Most boundary-pushing of 2015. Vinyl seems to be sold out everywhere thanks to an eager architect & designer-crowd shopping for their painfully aesthetically accurate crates, but I won't hold that against him.) - Travi$ Scott (N° 1 on our 2015 list) - Dawn Richard (Name to watch for 2016. Juicy background story, original sound.) - Die Verboten (The Dewaele Brothers, Riton & Fergus. Everybody's in beach shorts) -The Internet (Better and better each release.) - Baloji (Belongs in all lists like these.) - Oneohtrix Point Never (list-maker favourite) -Unknown Mortal Orchestra (The one you should have bought for your friends this Christmas.) - Pond(Tame Impala's backing band surprised the world - and I'm guessing themselves- with a spaced-out little gem. - A$AP Rocky(obvs.) - Blanck Mass (Sacred Bones again: well-shaped noise and great cover art) - Vince Staples (list-makers must-have), Hans Zimmer (I saw 'Interstellar' twice and listened to its soundtrack waaaay to much when it came out. What a master.) - Max Richter (Music most listened to while loading the dishwasher in 2015) - Deerhunter (Don't forget about these guys. Stronger songs and deeper sound every year.) - Disasterpiece (New cult favourites for 2016) - Pusha T (obvs. "These are not new problems. These are old ways." will probably remain my favourite lyric this year.) -Rihanna (Those Paul McCartney squeaks make me smile every time, even after a zillion plays in supermarkets, subway stations, etc.) - Deafheaven (Most famous in really small circles.) - Junglepussy (This track made me laugh so hard. Can't repeat it due to being a white male. But I can listen to it, cover my face, shake my head and chuckle again and again...) Kaytranada (Most likely to make the world swoon in 2016.) - JME (Deserves more hype, people.) - Mumdance(Relentless.) - Jamie XX (obvs.) - Romare (Ninja Tune is alive and well.) - Little Simz (UK favourite - rooting for her to grow bigger in 2016.) - Kode 9 (Lost his partner Spaceape and made an album full of beats that hammer against the dark, you can feel him trying to open cracks to let the light in.) - Jenny Hval ('Take care of yourself' is one of my favourite songs of 2015. No sing-along stuff, but vulnerable and personal and completely unique. Sacred Bones again.) Helen (one of those albums that ended up on a lot of 'best-of' lists even though they barely surfaced in the mainstream all year) - Hills (Wig out! Also one of those music-shop favourites) - Wiley (25 MC's is an instant classic of the genre.) - The Game (One of those albums that you unexpectedly keep coming back to.) - Roots Manuva (Don't forget about this guy.) - Tyler, the Creator (Leaves most of today's pop and hip-hop artists in the dust, exploring new territory (on his socks, I might add). - Four Tet (list-maker essential) - Eartheater (Late discovery for me.) Future (obvs.) - Death Grips (Still ripping it apart.) - Skepta (Pressure is on for 2016.)