Well, would you look at that: July is already here, and that means we’re already halfway through 2015! This year has been chock-full of of really interesting storylines in emo music, and rock music in general. Fall Out Boy have released their most polarizing album to date, Walk the Moon have become the darlings of mainstream pop radio, twenty|one|pilots notched a well-deserved #1 album in the country, and I haven’t even mentioned yet that Thrice and Acceptance got back together! In addition to the stories we’ve been dissecting throughout the year, there’s been some awesome music to digest, as well. As always, I should warn you that this is only my opinion, and in no way a sweeping statement of what’s good and what’s not. Take a look at the five albums that have been blasting through my speakers so far this year!
5. The Story So Far – The Story So Far
The crown princes of pop-punk have returned this year with their third-full length, and although it’s mostly more of the same in terms of Parker Cannon’s lyrical content, the band around him have vastly improved, making this the band’s most instrumentally diverse of their career. Cannon’s vocals have improved as well, making this another worthy effort from a band that continues to grow.
4. The Early November – Imbue
If you’ve ever wondered what it would sound like if a band aged like your favorite wine, look no further than The Early November. After roaring back to life with In Currents in 2012, Ace Enders unleashes his full vocal arsenal like never before, especially on the uproarious “Better This Way.” After providing a great example for younger bands with their melodic emo in the early 2000s, the band have created a new identity for themselves as a well-rounded indie/rock band, changin musical styles expertly while maintaining plenty of emotional power.
3. Dance Gavin Dance – Instant Gratification
It would have seemed impossible just a few years ago to think that Dance Gavin Dance would have created an album that would be considered among the best of its given release year. But here we are, and here’s Instant Gratification, an album that’s, well, a very gratifying set of songs for anyone who’s ever enjoyed the band’s groove-heavy post-hardcore. Now settled in as the band’s clean vocalist, Tilian Pearson continues to prove himself as one of the singnature voices of the scene, and he and Jon Mess blend beautifully throughout the album. With their vocalists in perfect harmony and Will Swan’s unique guitar work in full force, the band reaches new heights on tracks like “On The Run,” which showcases the band at their very best.
2. Death Cab For Cutie – Kintsugi
The world seemed to have forgotten about Death Cab For Cutie for a while. They released the sub-standard Codes and Keys, and when it was announced that Chris Walla was departing, the entire band’s future was uncertain. However, they’ve rebounded wonderfully, with the heartache-rittled Kintsugi. Returning to the signature sadness that made them such a breakthrough artist in the emo genre produces incredible results, including “Little Wanderer,” a sure-fire contender for one of the best songs of the year.
1. Turnover – Peripheral Vision
For the second straight year, a band I’d never listened to before has come across my iPod and made me absolutely fall in love with their album. This year, it’s the tunes of Turnover, a band who combine the vocal layering of Lydia’s Illuminate, the twinkly aesthetic of bands like Dikembe, and the emotional nostalgia of Have Mercy to create a sound all their own. The music has a cinematic feel to it, which will inevitably cause listeners to recall moments of their lives while listening to the painstakingly personal lyrics. It’s music that makes you reminisce and think, which is truly the mark of an album that will stay with people for a very, very long time?
So, what did you think of my list? Full disclosure: this year has been super busy for me, and I’ll openly admit that I haven’t been as up-to-date as I’d like to be with new music this year. That being said, what did I miss? What do I need to check out? Leave it in the comments, or continue the conversation with me on Twitter!