A late winter bus ride through the rolling, tree-lined hills of Appalachia not only introduced me to my two favorite albums in 2015 but confronted me with thoughts of pain and healing, injustice and equality while seated next to a stranger for hours on end. One album brought tears as I pondered the mortality of everyone I loved and my complicated feelings about the West Coast. The other brought anger – and a sense of awe – as it tackled racial inequality from a place of undefeated strength and joy.
2015 featured the aforementioned albums from Sufjan Stevens and Kendrick Lamar plus so many more I loved. Here are my Favorite Albums 2015 listed in descending order.
It’s mid-October, cold weather is a-comin’ and I am unprepared mentally, physically, spiritually, etc. Surprise, surprise. As a means of blocking out the coming winter and ignoring other pressing matters, today I’ve decided to write about 15 songs – my 2015 Favorite Song Nominees, for lack of a better phrase – that will certainly factor prominently on my year-end list.
Songs are listed in alphabetical order according to title. With one notable exception I elected to limit myself to one song per artist Below,. I’ve included my Faves 2015 Spotify playlist, featuring these 15 songs and many, many others. Enjoy!
You won’t find Leon Bridges’s new album at Starbucks. Then again, you won’t find anyone’s new album at Starbucks.
Retro soul artist/high-waisted pants enthusiast Leon Bridges’s debut album, Coming Home, will not be carried at Starbucks when it drops June 23. The Seattle coffee chain stopped carrying CDs earlier this year. Otherwise, Bridges would make a perfect candidate for a “fresh and new” artist whose music goes down easy with your overpriced, sugar-laden coffee drink. Forget that the 25-year-old from Fort Worth, Texas, owns a top-secret teleportation device that allows him to travel between 1965 and the present without any ill effects.
On Thursday, Bridges officially released his fourth song, “River”, and all snark aside, don’t be surprised if it leaves you slack-jawed and misty-eyed when you hear it. It’s the kind of song that would sound good in a park, in a church, in a car with the windows down, pretty much anywhere you can imagine. Bridges could be this year’s Sam Smith (or yesteryear’s Sam Cooke). I know, I know. It sounds too good to be true: the idea of a black man, not a white man, stealing the sound of the black ghosts of R&B past and becoming famous for it. (Couldn’t put the snark aside for long, it seems.)