Jess' Favorite Albums of 2015

Here are my favorite albums (so far) from this year. The list is very eclectic, and some things are easier to digest than others. I like all of them, so I don't see any sense in ranking. Instead, they're in alphabetical order by album title. 

While I think it's good to dissect and talk to other people about individual musical elements that influence what I like, each album on this list is ultimately chosen based on my gut reaction, so I'm leaving out any commentary and letting each album speak for itself. 

I'm always fascinated by the way my gut will respond very differently to two albums that have very similar individual elements, or respond differently at different times of life...or even time of day. My gut reaction changes as I change. I can only speak for what I'm drawn to at this moment and reserve the right to change my mind at any time. :) 

If our lists have some common albums, I'd love to know. If you think I might like something that you don't see, I'd love to know that, too. Comment away. If we don't like each other's favorites, no hard feelings. I still think you're super-cool.

I've included embedded playlists whenever I could so you can preview the tracks right here. Consider buying what you like so that artist can afford to make another album next year.

Fair warning: there's a few explicit tracks in here. 

Jim O'Rourke - Simple Songs

Jim O'Rourke - Simple Songs

Patterns and Shapes

I just spent the last 30 minutes having my mind sufficiently blown by Vi Hart on the topic of 12-tone music, thanks to Boing Boing and my friend Alan. I think it's safe to say that 12-tone music isn't everyone's favorite stuff, although I was one of the oddballs in school who loved studying and performing it. Thankfully, Ms. Hart has made it accessible using laser bats, nursery rhymes, wit, and humor, and for good measure, she throws in some ideas about copyright and the meaning of life. (It's super-fun, but probably not for kids.) It's the best 30 minutes I've spent on YouTube in a long time. Maybe ever. Don't skip a minute. The last segment won't make sense without the rest, and the last part was pure joy for me. 

Related to Stravinsky and the human brain's obsession with finding patterns, you should check out this Radiolab segment. You could skip to 7:33, but the beginning will help it make more sense: