Andy Peterson's picks his top albums of 2015
10. King Midas Sound ft. Fennesz- Edition #1
Kevin Martin (AKA The Bug), poet Roger Robinson and singer Kiki Hitomi joined forces with Viennese avant garde composer Christian Fennesz to chart almost certainly the most enveloping travelogue of the year. The journey itself proved deep and magical.
9. Gengahr - A Dream Outside
One of the features on 21st century music is how 2nd and 3rd generation disciples of truly great bands - in this case golden oldies like the Beach Boys and Teenage Fanclub - are managing to make their inspirations sound so cool. London quartet Gehgahr replaced the now departed retro-future outfit Avi Buffalo in our hearts, to great effect.
8. Romare - Projections
Taking his nom-de-plume from 20th century African American collage artist Romare Bearden, Archie Fairhurst created a similarly patchwork canvas which fused jazz, funk, soul and hip-hop into truly fascinating shapes and rhytyms.
7. Sleaford Mods - Key Markets
On which Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn faced down a real conundrum: how to keep evolving but retain the middle aged spit and vinegar that made 2014's Divide & Exit essential listening. Approach ? More expletives, more satire, more personal politics, along thistime with actual songs. Lovely.
6. Years & Years - Communion
Given that the field of pretty boys singing pretty songs is such a constantly choked one, Communion had to be a tour de force just to help Years & Years build on their initial promise. Reassuringly for the trio songs like Eyes Shut and Real proved them to be no fluke.
5. Foals - What Went Down
It's a horrible cliché, but you got the feeling that Yannis Philippakkis had spent his life working up to this point, the moment where the Oxford quintet reinvented stadium rock minus the hollow emoting, What Went Down's effortless power and craft taking Foals to a next level they look like dominating for years to come.
4. Tame Impala - Currents
Ah. The old confound-your-audience trick. Recording at home, Kevin Parker ditched the more cloistered approach of previous album Lonerism and went full on pop on our asses, throwing in glittering melodies, soulful hooks and synths a go-go. A little unfocussed yes, but Currents more than made up for it's filler with it's charm and new found ambition.
3. Jamie XX - In Colour
The culmination of five years work, In Colour was not only the dazzling which Jamie Smith had been signposting via brilliant snippets like Girl, it also managed to capture the anticipation, euphoria, desperation and comedowns of life spent after dark. Dance music for anyone who has a heart.
2. Father John Misty - I Love You, Honeybear
OR, the moment Josh Tillman's loveable, sociopathic rogue supplanted fellow misanthrope John Grant as the most copelling alchemist of self loathing and doubt, turning this toxicity into gorgeous, bittersweet tales of love amongst the emotional rubble.
1. C Duncan - Architect
The highly prodigal son of two classically trained musician parents, Christopher Duncan's meticulous attention to detail could possibly have marred a collection of songs any less exquisite than this. Built painstakingly in his Glasgow flat layer by layer, Architect sounded however like the work of an ensemble cast made up from members of Fleet Foxes, period Aztec Camera and a dozen barber shop quartets. Architect's vision deservedly won him many admirers - and a surprise Mercury Prize nomination.