Didn’t quite like it at first listening. A bit too busy (elaborate instrumentals, strings, vocals, poetry,…), but got quite addictive after a few times. Absolutely worth the effort (the song starts developing after roughly first 4 minutes). Definitely among the most original (and ambitious) projects of the last year (or longer). And is massive — 4LP set.
Goat: Let it Bleed
Great band from Sweden! An actual hippie commune that lives and plays together (or something like that). A fantastic song (from their 1st LP) with “beautiful” (read authentic) shots of NYC (probably the Bronx) from the 1970s. The song sets the tone for the entire first album, very even throughout.
Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds In Country Music
This is a new (and slightly heretical) voice in Nashville. Could easily define the new direction in country music. A slightly off the main axis, but sufficiently different that it cannot be ignored. Perhaps the biggest innovation in sound is his guitarist, Laur Joamets from Estonia, who played in a hard rock band, but does not seem to be having any problems blending in with Nashville crowd. The licks and sound he produces always respect the tradition, but are, at the same time, unlike anything Nashville has heard before. the songwriting is absolutely mind-boggling.
Jason Isbell: Something More Than Free
Roots rock at its purest and best. Very simple harmonies (I, IV, V and sometime VI minor), but always new and fresh, never repetitive, boring or stale. And there are many of them. Superb band and guitar playing. This shows that sometimes these guys can kick ass even after rehab. Their concerts are a real experience not to be missed.
John Moreland: High On Tulsa Heat
This is a true heavyweight (literally and figuratively). Simplicity, superb song writing, deep lyrics, guitar and voice is all it takes to produce fantastic music. Adding anything on top of it would only hurt.
Alabama Shakes: Future People
Second release by AS, one of the best albums of 2015. All songs are superb. Rarely is an album so even and so good. Their Led Zeppelin covers are spectacular.
Gil Scott-Heron: Work for peace
Aka The Military and the Monetary, from the 1994 album, Spirits. Amazingly fresh despite 22 years of temporal distance.
“If everyone believed in Peace the way they say they do, we’d have Peace. The only thing wrong with Peace, is that you can’t make no money from it.”
When was the last time music was this politically relevant?