2015 has been a strong year for British music, from Wolf Alice’s breakthrough debut, the return of British icons New Order, to Paul Weller continuing his legacy. Here’s part one of our countdown of our twenty British favourites from 2015.
New Order – Music Complete
Returning with their first studio album since 2005, the mainly self-produced ‘Music Complete’ saw New Order sounding fresher than they had in years. Predominantly an album made for the dancefloor, tracks such as ‘Plastic’ and cowbell-infused ‘Tutti-Frutti’ recall the heydays of Manchester’s legendary Haçienda.
Paul Weller – Saturns Pattern
Opening to rave reviews, ‘Saturns Pattern’ proved the Modfather wasn’t ready to be labelled as a heritage act just yet. Weller once again reinvents and experiments with his sound, flirting with psychedelic influences - perhaps peaking on album centrepiece, the ambitious ‘Pick It Up’.
Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool
2015 has been a huge year for North London’s Wolf Alice. ‘My Love Is Cool’ was named by many as one of the strongest debuts of the year, a sell-out tour and Mercury Music Prize nomination followed alongside the album, ranking high in many year-end lists. It’s easy to see why when listening to tracks like the anthemic ‘Silk’ and single ‘Giant Peach.
Aphex Twin – Syro
The long-awaited LP from the enigmatic Richard D James did not disappoint. His first full studio album since 2001’s ‘Drukqs’, ‘Syro’ seemed to herald a flurry of Aphex Twin activity in 2015 with the EP ‘Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments pt2’ quickly following.
Sleaford Mods – Key Markets
Following their relatively unexpectedly successful 2014, Nottingham’s Sleaford Mods kept up the momentum with 2015’s politically charged ‘Key Markets’. The album targeted a wide range of subjects lyrically - from politicians to male-supermodel David Gandy - never losing their trademark wit and sharp observations of modern-day Britain.
Real Lies – Real Life
One of the year’s most underrated new bands, Real Lies take influences from the early-90’s Madchester rave scene and incorporate them into something truly modern. Tracks such as early single ‘Dab Housing’ show a legitimate, rowdy point of view accompanied by a euphoric backing, whilst ‘One Club Town’ is an all-out party number and all the better for it.
Foals – What Went Down
Quietly making themselves one of Britain’s biggest bands, ‘What Went Down’ was a relatively unexpected follow up to 2013’s ‘Holy Fire’. Noticeably louder than their previous work, rumours of headline slots at next-years Glastonbury Festival quickly started amassing once released.
Gaz Coombes – Matador
Largely seen as the album where the former Supergrass frontman finally matured, ‘Matador’ won itself critical acclaim and a Mercury Music Prize nomination upon release earlier in the year.
Circa Waves – Young Chasers
Joining Hooton Tennis Club as one of Liverpool’s breakthrough acts of 2015, Circa Waves lively ‘Young Chasers’ brightened up a dreary March. Strong hints of noughties indie influence combine with straightforward guitar-pop for a blast of a debut album.
Hooton Tennis Club – Highest Point in Cliff Town
Signed to the legendary British indie label Heavenly Recordings, Hooton Tennis Club played a storming set at our recent Subsonic Live event. Their debut album ‘Highest Point In Cliff Town’ quietly became one of the best British debuts of the year, appearing in many end of year polls.