With that in mind, for 2015, here were my top ten picks (and song suggestions for your listening fulfillment):
For months, I swore this girl was a Brit, as her music has this insanely, effortlessly cool Brit girl charm (see also: Adele, Duffy, Ellie Goulding). But no... she hails from the grand ol' U S of A. I love her. Her entire album is just so, so addictive and upbeat. And the girl is like, 23? I can't.
Maybe the best break-up song I've heard in a while. So raw, so relatable. I have this album on vinyl and listen, in its entirety, weekly. Best accompanied by hot tea and a snuggly lapdog. And a rainy morning, if you can finagle that type of magic.
FJM might win the award for most DGAF personality, and I freaking love him. He somehow is crazy eccentric and yet ridiculously charming--and the man's talent knows no bounds. Bonus: saw him at ACL and his show was PHENOMENAL. He totally called out some VIP-ticket holding hipsters and it was hysterical.
Mr. Shakey Graves will forever and ever have a piece of this Texas girl's heart. The man has this rasp that will straight up melt you, and watching him perform will make you weak in the knees. He's one of those that makes me so head-over-heels with the whole indie music scene--those people who really, really pour their hearts and souls into music because they love it so damn much. And it is the coolest thing in the world to witness. Again, entire album? Solid gold.
Hozier's debut album was one of my most played in 2015, with good reason. Still kicking myself that I missed his three-show stint in Nashville last March... I really, really love "Work Song." I daresay there isn't a more gritty, take-your-breath-away kind of album that has come out in recent years. That Irish drawl and guitar combo will get you every time.
God love a Texas girl, am I right? I remember hearing about KM from a college friend many years ago, and didn't think much of it... so many move to Nashville in pursuit of The Dream, you know? But as I dug more into her album (and I don't listen to country often at all), I just developed the grandest of girl crushes. She, too, flashes this a DGAF attitude, albeit in a different way. I love her honest, playful portrayal of small town life... I can't get enough.
This is an older song from Mr. LS, but I really, really love it. It hits home with the whole "attempt on figuring life out" realm. I saw him play last fall here in Nashville, and again, there's just something about those indie rock guys who leave it all on the stage. I mean, he had his MOM come up and sing with him... how cool is that?
Maybe the sexiest, playful song of this past year. They describe themselves as "progressive bluegrass," and the bass lines and banjo are just so ridiculously cool. I really, really hope I get the chance to see them play this year.
Dan Auerbach's new side thing is really taking off... I had the chance to see them a few weeks back at the Ryman and had the best time. Auerbach (better known as half of The Black Keys) is so painfully talented, and has this showmanship that is unparalleled. The whole brass setup of the Arcs was the icing on top of a really cool night.
Ahhh, which brings me to my latest favorite Nashville band. I love the way they align quippy, unexpected music with the most fun lyrics. Anytime this one comes on the radio, I'm a little nervous I'm going to blast my speakers all to hell, because I cannot listen loudly enough.
And in conclusion, 2015's best shows were:
- Shakey Graves
- Father John Misty
- Zac Brown (!!!)
- Ed Sheeran
- Walk the Moon
In 2016, my musical goals are set on seeing The Bahamas, Kopecky and The Punch Brothers... wish me luck!
What about you? What has been your favorite jam lately?