As we like to do at the close of every year, Speak Into My Good Eye invites bands from all over our coverage scope to share their favorite releases. We say good bye to another great year of music in 2015 as Joshua Holland of NJ rockers Zoo Keys give us his top 15 albums and singles.
Check out the selections and stream Zoo Keys’ 24 Hour Songwriting Challenge submission, “Automne Eternelle,” below.
Much like The War On Drugs last year, I was happy to see one of Philly’s best kept secrets gain proper recognition again in 2015 with what became the definitive album of my spring. I listened to this one from beginning to end more times than any other, always finding something new in all the intricacies of both the instruments and Frances Quinlan’s highly unique voice.
2) Beach House – Depression Cherry
Beach House has long been a source of mood music for me, taking the forms of a backdrop for freezing cold midnight walks on the TCNJ campus years ago or an ethereal melody droning above the hum of my Husqvarna mower in this summer’s sweltering heat. In both cases, their songs have become entrenched in different zones of my memory. Being lucky enough to have TWO Beach House albums come out this year was quite a gift.
3) Tame Impala – Currents
All you really need to know about this one is that I paid $25 for really crappy earbuds at LAX so that I could listen to this album on my red-eye flight back home to Philly following my west coast expedition this summer. While I will likely always associate this album with claustrophobically squeezing myself between two random dudes for a several hour flight, something about the Capri Sun liquid metal quality of the songs (reaffirmed by the album cover) provided a much-needed escape from the confines of the cramped space.
4) Leon Bridges – Coming Home
Being a Sam Cooke junkie, I was blown away by Leon Bridges’ music when it first came into my life this year. Seriously though… I feel like this guy is an alternate universe, reverse Marty McFly who just wanted to cut a rug at the Enchantment Under The Sea dance, but somehow got mixed up in a crazy Doc Brown plot and was shot out into 2015 to spread smooth soul jams to the masses.
5) Telekinesis – Ad Infinitum
In several ways, I consider Michael Benjamin Lerner to be my cooler, more talented, way more successful long-lost older brother. We’re both drummers who also play a bunch of other stuff and even sometimes sing from behind the kit. People have occasionally compared our musical styles and voices.
Above all else, I have always admired the way he has been able to balance the desire to control his music creation as a solo artist while bringing it to life with a full band when the time is right, which I was happy to do myself this year with Zoo Keys. His latest album showcases his newfound love of synths, reminding me to never stop evolving.
6) Deafheaven – Brought To The Water
7) Beach House – Thank Your Lucky Stars
8) The Dodos – Competition
9) Lithuania – Hardcore Friends
10) Lower Dens – Escape From Evil
11) Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
12) Cold Fronts – Forever Whatever
13) Frank Cervantes – Lost Country
14) Wavves/Cloud Nothings – No Life For Me
15) Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
1) “Sparks” – Beach House
2) “Dopamine” – DIIV
3) “Sister Cities” – Hop Along
4) “To Die In L.A” – Lower Dens
5) “Back To Back” – Drake
6) “Feel The Lightning” – Dan Deacon
7) “Walk The Wire” – Boy & Bear
8) “Let It Happen” – Tame Impala
9) “Brought To The Water” – Deafheaven
10) “Coming Home” – Leon Bridges
11) “Farmers Road” – Telekinesis
12) “God In Two Persons” – Lithuania
13) “Surreal Exposure” – Ducktails
14) “Waves” – Echo Lake
15) “Flesh Without Blood” – Grimes