The 25 Best Albums of 2015

As 2015 draws to a close, it’s time to look back on the last 12 months in music and as tradition goes, this involves the unveiling of our 25 Best Albums Of The Year.

– as always, it has been a struggle, we have fought and bled and finally agreed on the 25 best records of 2015. The ones we’ve played most, that has gotten us most excited or are just too good to ignore. We, as you can see, listen most to music in the, so called, roots oriented genres. However, we do listen to all kinds of music, it’s just that there aren’t that many good albums (in our views) in the other “genres” this year.

What did we get wrong? What did we miss? Well, nothing of course, this is THE list. No, just kidding, this is our view of the year in music, and as we have said many times before, we only write about the stuff we like and we can not reach everything.

Click on the covers or the title and see a post on each album.

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dec 31: Paul Westerberg was born in 1959

Misdirection is my path. How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him lost?
~Paul Westerberg (2012 interview)

Reading music is like listening to flowers. I don’t understand the concept.
~Paul Westerberg

Any musician who can stop.. may be a musician, but they’re no artist. If it’s in your blood, it can’t stop flowing.
~Paul Westerberg

Paul Westerberg – Dyslexic Heart (Official Music Video):

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Great Album: Chris Stapleton – Traveller


I’ve got a problem but it ain’t like what you think
I drink because I’m lonesome and I’m lonesome ‘cause I drink
~Whiskey and You

“A lot of my earliest memories of music were listening to music in the car with my dad, he listened to a lot of outlaw country, Merle Haggard and things like that and then old R&B: Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin. Hopefully, some of this record reflects some of that and I think that he would have liked it. I like to think he would have, anyway.”
– Chris Stapleton (PasteMagazine)

Really, it’s unfair to peg him as country’s savior: because records like this transcend genre altogether, created to mend souls, not sales.

Chris Stapleton released one of this year’s strongest albums back in back in May. It’s a fantastic record of soulful country songs. When I say soulful, I mean that the whole album is dripping with just as much soul as country. This isn’t a new thing in country music (or the soul genre, for that matter), but it has been very long since we’ve heard it done this good.

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Great Album: Daniel Romano – If I’ve only one time askin’

“George Jones sang about the old country legends; «You know this old world is full of singers, but just a few are chosen to tear your heart out when they sing.» Daniel Romano is one of the chosen.”
– Jan Eiesland (Dust of Daylight)

“I just want to make it as good as it was, that’s the only real goal, the difference between Taylor Swift and what I do is like the difference between The Bourne Identity and Hud: It’s too slow, too black-and-white, too much dialogue. They’re like, ‘When’s someone going to shoot someone in the face?’ ”
– Daniel Romano

Daniel Tavis Romano (born 1985) is a Canadian Juno-nominated country musician and visual artist based out of Welland, Ontario, where he was born and raised. He is primarily known as a solo artist, but he is also known for his membership in Attack in Black and also for his collaborations with Julie Doiron and Frederick Squire. He has also produced and performed with City & Colour. He released his 5th album in 2015.

If I’ve Only One Time Askin’ is a triumph, a massive step forward musically and lyrically, this is pure country music done by a man that loves it.  Daniel Romano plays like there is no bro-country, like there is no pop-country, he pours his heart out into classic country song writing. This album should be Daniel Romano’s big break-trough album. We love it.

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Great Album: Jason Isbell – Something More Than Free

jason isbell something more than free

[about the album title]
It seemed to be a good point of reference for the sort of life that I have now. Freedom is a means to an end. Very often you hear people putting so much emphasis on having the freedom to choose, and living the lives that they want. And I understand that I have been very fortunate to be born into certain circumstances that allow me to do whatever I want to do, for the most part. But freedom can also be enough rope by which to hang yourself. I went through a long period of time where I didn’t have to answer to anybody, so I made a lot big mistakes: things that I don’t necessarily regret now — because I learned from them — but I overdosed on that freedom for a while. I think as you get older, if you mature and grow in the right way, then eventually you realize it’s not really freedom that you’re fighting for. It’s what that freedom can get you. It’s freedom combined with the ability to make good decisions and align your priorities correctly. The ability to make those decisions is a privilege that not everybody has.
~Jason Isbell (to Caitlin White –

The Alabama-raised songwriter’s new collection, set to his trademark country-tinged soft rock, is populated with everyday snapshots from the modern South — from the young man fleeing his too-small hometown in “Speed Trap Town” to the law-defying South Carolinian telling a “bullshit story about the Civil War” on the murky blues rocker “Palmetto Rose.” On the latter, Isbell ponders hundreds of years of national history with conflicting shame and pride, before arriving at a very American conclusion: “I follow my own free will,” he sings, “and I take in my fill.” It’s a master class in songwriting from an artist who’s never sounded more confident.
~Jonathan Bernstein (

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Great Album: John Moreland – High On Tulsa Heat

john moreland high on tulsa heat

I’ve had people tell them I make them cry, but that doesn’t mean [my music] is sad. I want to dig deep because I don’t have it in me to write about surface-level stuff and I think people equate that with sadness. That’s not sad, that’s just emotions. That’s what “feeling stuff” is like.
~John Moreland (to Marissa R. Moss @

Like Tom Waits on “Waltzing Matilda” or Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska, Moreland’s a master of the eerily emotive, roots-rocking folk song, that all hinge on his uncanny ability to conjure lines that hit exactly in the most tender spots: loneliness, heartbreak, humanity. “I keep mining the horizon,” he sings on “Cherokee,” “digging for lies I’ve yet to tell.” Moreland’s been poked at for being overly somber, but it’s not his fault that the truth hurts.

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