Next Tuesday sees us return for our eighth year with all our usual features but this time with some changes afoot. Normal service resumes next week with the first Top 30 chart to drop two weeks later on February 17. We think you'll be pleasantly surprised.
In what will be rather a surprise to our regular visitors, Baltimore quartet Lower Dens have taken out our number one track of 2015 with the stirring album track, 'Your Heart Still Beating'. It's always an extensive and time consuming process pulling all the disparate threads together to compile end of year blog lists and selecting our favourite 100 songs of the year, let alone our favourite, has never been easy. And so it was with 2015, a year that produced a plethora of outstanding tracks.
Much of what features in our Top 100 stems from this year's forty installments of our Top 30 chart and again features a range of musical genres and diverse music approaches (straight rap, hip hop and metal aside). Like the Top 30, the Top 100 is based on immediate and easily digestible independently made and released tunes that are nonetheless interesting and often left field, much like any independent chart should be. As in keeping with our policy of only featuring music that is released independently of the three major labels, no major label released tracks were eligible for the list.
Thanks to all the independent artists we've featured on the site this year and a special thanks to those who have got in touch via e-mail or social media. We can't feature it all but appreciate your endeavours nonetheless. You are why we do this.
Thanks to all our regular and random visitors. The fact that you get something out of our endeavours spurs us on to keep doing this. Have a great holiday break and see you all again next February.
The 100 is divided into ten sections of ten tracks from 100 to 91 and so on right down to 10 to 1.
You'll find every single track in ascending order counting down in our Top 100 Player beginning from number 100.
Use or Media Player's scroll bar to start from any number.
Boasting a spiky yet dream like clarion call like guitar riff, angular bass and a incredibly catchy chorus, River Of Longing is arguably the best thing the Brisbane quartet have done. Add in contemplative verse arrangements and a determined outro and you have an amazing array of musical ideas packed into four a quarter minutes of pure joy.
This track by the Nashville singer/songwriter Liza Anne gripped us for weeks here with its simple chord structure, gorgeously laconic beat, embellished guitar work and earnest vocals. It's very different to the rest of the more staid tracks on her album, Two and represents a more than triumphant foray into pop territory.
On the surface, this opus from U.S expats Ought is as dense as it is bleak with frontman Tim Darcy's ascerbic take on the never-ending, repetitive and meaningless core at the heart of modern suburban life. But Darcy would have you focus on the punchline and the title of the track is telling, that amongst all the predictable drudgery there is beauty to be found if you are prepared to be released from the straightjacket to find it.
'Mentiras', a swirling and sprawling mechanical yet emotional electronic masterpiece from the Texan duo BOAN was always going to feature highly in our list this year. Jose Cota delivers intersecting, celestial like, horizontal walls of synth with a menacing underbelly of slowed arpeggio bass while Mariana Saldano contributes a purposeful almost break type beat and sings every spare word rather ice like in Spanish to great effect.
'Your Heart Still Beating' from the Jana Hunter led Baltimore quartet Lower Dens was never released as a single by the band and indeed just trying to find it as a stand alone piece of media is still not easy - (the one found below is very unofficial sporting a very old picture of Hunter). That aside, it's simply an outstanding mix of mesmerising guitar work steeped in shimmering effects and delicate touches kept together by an infectious bass groove and a perfectly stilted beat. We've had it pegged for a high entry ever since we heard it and it's more than deserving of top spot. Pity they didn't release it in it's own right.
Unofficial Video (if it is deleted, the track is in the Top 100 player)
Los Angeles singer/songwriter Julia Holter has taken out our Indie30 Album Of The Year for 2015 for her enigmatic work of cerebral wonder, Have You In My Wilderness. Layering stripped down avant garde art pop with shapeshifting orchestral compositions, uber subtle elements of free jazz and poetic lyricism that is storytelling at its finest, its an album that will reward your patience in spades, an album that will stand the true test of time. Beating out the compellingly brutal honesty of Norwegian artist Jenny Hval's Apocalypse Girl and the ultra modern electronic pop of Grimes's Art Angels, at two and three respectively was never going to be easy. At number four lands the elaborate Divers by the preposterously good Joanna Newsom which in our eyes stands as the best of most cohesive of her four records. Rounding out the Top 5 is the restless and cryptic second record, Sun Coming Down from American expats, Ought.
The remaining albums that make up the top te include the one of the best comeback albums you'll hear by Sleater-Kinney, No Cities To Love (6), the disciplined, yet emotively melodic Escape From Evil by Lower Dens (7) and the sonically manipulative and mysteriously scenic Sauna by Mount Eerie (8). At nine and ten respectively stand our first two albums of the week for the year, Jessica Pratt's crystalline and personal On Your Own Love Again and Viet Cong's self titled creative monster.
Before you explore the entire list of 30, three brief notes. Firstly, Indie30 does not feature releases by the three major labels and their subsidiaries and therefore none appear in this list. Secondly, we also do not feature the genres of straight rap, hip hop or metal. Thirdly, the list simply reflects our opinion.
Overall, 2015 stands out as another great year in music full of orginality and creativity and we believe these independent albums reflect just how healthy music is right now. So without further discussion, get stuck in to the list in full detail with media at the link below.
Well that's it folks. After another forty editions since February, the Top 30 is done and dusted for another year, it's seventh. Jack Tatum's Wild Nothing project, much loved here, is set to release a new record on February 19 next year, Life Of Pause. Two tracks surfaced this week to whet the appetite. The propulsive and hypnotic, 'To Know You' is our selection of the two and that debuts at 16.
Brisbane jangle pop trio The Goon Sax are set to also release a record next year, their debut Up To Anything. The second single from it is the off kilter slacker, 'Boyfriend'. It's at 23.
Greta Kline, aka Frankie Cosmos has a blink and you'll miss it 4 track EP with an electronic approach out titled Fit Me In. Totalling less than seven minutes, the EP sports the economical, 'Young' which packs quite an emotive punch in its two minutes. That's at 28.
Junior Boys take out our final number one of 2015 with the Detroit fused 'Big Black Coat' while Empress Of rockets to three second week in with the September released 'How Do You Do It'. Mass Gothic, who also debuted last week also moves into the top ten at seven with 'Nice Night'.
As this is the last chart for 2015, these thirty tracks will appear in the player until mid-December when we release our Top 100 Tracks of 2015. In the meantime, we continue with our 2015 In Pictures series taking in some of the great gigs and places we've been lucky enough to attend and visit this year. Look out for our Top 30 Albums of the Year in December too.
We hope you've enjoyed the Top 30 this year and have discovered some great new music. Enjoy this last installment. All details HERE.
16. To Know You
Wild Nothing (USA)
From the forthcoming album, 'Life Of Pause', Captured Tracks. Out Feb 19, 2016.
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