BEST OF 2015: EDITORS PICK

It’s been another jam packed year of huge festivals, headlining live tours, one-off music shows and intimate gigs for us here at Gigslutz. We’ve brought you the best of (and sometimes the questionable) live music, album reviews, record releases and videos. We’ve updated you with the latest news, treated you to exclusive releases before anybody else has taken a  listen and given away more exciting prizes than you could wish for. Not to mention some of the great chats we’ve had with some of your favourite artist and bands, including some of the biggest names in music, both past and present, as well as introducing you to the newest and most exciting names on everyones playlists.  It’s been a cracking year for music, and we hope you’ve enjoyed the ride just as much as we have.

So without getting too emotional as we enter the new year, the Gigslutz editorial team takes a look back at what made their year so special. 2016 we’re ready for ya.

Steven Aston-Editor

Favourite Album of 2015?  New order –Music Complete

Favourite live music event?  Shiiine on weekender. Those who were there will know!

Favourite solo artist of the year?  It hasn’t exactly been a vintage year for solo artists. I enjoyed the Jamie XX album though so I’ll go for him.

Favourite band of 2015? New Order. Still doing it better than the rest – brilliant album and live gigs.

Please don’t follow us into 2016…The NME. what a load of shit that turned out to be.

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Paul Sng- Editor-At-Large

Favourite Album of 2015? Sleaford Mods – Key Markets. Obviously partisan, but I’ve not heard much else this year that even comes close to being as good.

Favourite live music event?  Happy Mondays at Shiiine On festival. The first time I’ve seen them since they got back together – still got it.

Favourite solo artist of the year?  John Grant. Bleak, yet beautiful songs and a compelling storyteller. The anti-Ed Sheeran.

Favourite band of 2015? The Hollywood Brats. Read Sick On You by Andrew Matheson to find out why.

Please don’t follow us into 2016… The Conservative Party. One can hope…

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Mari Lane- Assistant Editor/New Music Editor

Favourite Album of 2015?  Slaves – Are You Satisfied? Probably my most listened-to album of 2015, Slaves’ Are You Satisfied? is an offering filled with an incredible high energy and refreshing punk ethos. Oozing their own unique, magnetising charisma and raucous power, Slaves have shown themselves capable of greatness with this debut.

Favourite live music event?  The Julie Ruin at The Electric Ballroom, Camden. As people who know me – or indeed read me – will probably know, Kathleen Hanna is a huge hero of mine. And so, it was a wonderful honour to finally be able to share a room with her in June. After years spent seeking refuge in the anger of Bikini Kill, dancing around my bedroom to Le Tigre and generally being obsessed with everything Riot Grrrl, The Julie Ruin exceeded all expectations and proved to be the highlight of my year.

Favourite solo artist of the year?  Courtney Barnett. Having released one of my favourite albums of the year, Sometimes I Sit And Think And Sometimes I Just Sit, I struggle to think of anyone cooler in the world of music right now than Courtney Barnett. And, after I was lucky enough to catch her live for the second time at Green Man Festival this year, her unmatched passion and rip-roaring grunge-rock only confirmed what an awesome artist she is.

Favourite band of 2015? Hinds. In a year that’s been pretty bleak in many ways, the buoyant, infectious charisma of Hinds is just what the doctor ordered. Oozing their fantastically catchy own brand of lo-fi garage rock, with feisty, energy-fuelled tracks such as ‘Bamboo’ or their Thee Headcoats cover of ‘Davey Crockett’, I can’t wait to hear what the Spanish collective have in store for us in 2016.

Please don’t follow us into 2016… As far as music goes, I tend not to pay much attention to stuff I don’t like; if I’d rather not listen to it, I don’t… So, I won’t be name-dropping any hardworking-but-not-to-my-taste artists here. Instead, how about leaving ridiculous notions such as racism and sexism firmly in the past, where they belong? And, with them, some of the ridiculous characters who promote such ideas? Just a thought.

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Dan Bull- Reviews Editor

Favourite album of 2015? New Order – Music Complete. Sad but true: The fact that Hooky isn’t involved in this album is almost irrelevant. The music, however, is completely relevant, with Elly Jackson, Brandon Flowers and Tom Rowland assisting to create one of the best dance/rock crossovers of the year, also building the foundation for, arguably, their best live dates ever.

Favourite live music event? British Summer Time. Not a real festival (no chance of playing Portaloo roulette here) but one of the best festival line-ups of the year, with a rare but on-point set from The Strokes, and Blur handing out ice creams at what is essentially their second home just some of the highlights.

Favourite solo artist of the year? Tei Shi. For ‘Bassically’ alone, which you may have missed but is one of the most mesmerising singles of the year, blending a deceivingly powerful vocal with loops that crescendo like an atom bomb viewed through a kaleidoscope. The rest of her Verde EP is pretty damn good too though.

Favourite band of 2015? Future Islands. 2015 saw the Baltimore-trio escape from beneath their viral video cloud, with appearances at the majority of major UK festivals cementing their status as one of the best live acts in the world right now, where frontman Samuel Herring resembles a man possessed by his own words. And now we play the waiting game for the follow up to last year’s Singles and the band’s return to the road.

Please don’t follow us into 2016… Music snobbery. Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Ellie Goulding, Adele, Miley Cyrus et al have all released well-written, self-penned pop bangers this year. And you’re definitely listening to at least one in secret.

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Katie Muxworthy- Features Editor

Favourite Album of 2015?  POND-Man It Feels Like Space Again.

Favourite live music event?  British Summer Time-The Strokes. Did far too much dancing to one of my favourite bands playing a rare headline slot. Dreamy.

Favourite solo artist of the year?  Mac Demarco. Can’t get enough of this boys hazed out slacker style with his sweetly romanticised lyrics, catchy hooks and laid back musicality. Also, bloody brilliant live. If you’re yet to listen to Another One, get it on repeat.

Favourite band of 2015? King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard OR Fat White Family. Cheating, I know, but I couldn’t pick. King G for their infinite ability to create fuzzy clashing psychedelic garage that I can’t sit still too and FWF for being fucking mental on stage, and making me sing ‘Touch the Leather’ every time I touch something, well, leather.  Two bands that really don’t take themselves too seriously, and that’s only ever a great thing in my books.

Please don’t follow us into 2016…Donald Trump?

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Matt Tarr- Urban Music Editor

Favourite Album of 2015?  Jme – Integrity>‘ It was Jme’s first album in 5 years, was full of solid tracks, brilliant features and hit number 12 in the Official UK chart; what more can you say?

Favourite live music event? Reading Festival – Reading never lets you down and has such a wide variety of music. From newer acts such as Clean Cut Kid and Lady Leshurr to huge names like Limp Bizkit and Metallica, this year totally smashed it.

Favourite solo artist of the year?  Stormzy – Stormzy has had one of the most succesful years out of any UK solo act from any genre in 2015. Releasing his music independently and hitting the top 20 with a freestyle was a highlight, plus he won two MOBO Awards – what a guy.

Favourite band/group of 2015? Section Boyz – Released their debut album which made it into the UK Top 40, won several awards and announced their first ever UK tour, plus ‘Trappin Ain’t Dead’ & ‘Lock Arf’ are two of 2015’s biggest tracks.

Please don’t follow us into 2016… X Factor. The fact that the show’s winner Louisa Johnson didn’t even make the top 5 with her winners single says all you need to know about the failing programme. Give it up Cowell.

Jme (Boy Better Know)

Jme (Boy Better Know)

Melissa Svensen- News Editor

Favourite Album of 2015? I’ve been pretty impressed with albums this year, but the winner for me has to be Sufjan Stevens – Carrie and Lowell. It’s really sad, but such a beautifully written album and I’ve had it on repeat pretty much constantly since it came out.

Favourite live music event? I was tempted to say Blur at Hyde Park, but I think I’ll go for Isle Of Wight Festival. Blur, Fleetwood Mac, Paolo Nutini, The Black Keys?! So perfect.

Favourite solo artist of the year? Could go for Sufjan Stevens again but I think Frank Turner wins it. He always wins it.

Favourite band of 2015? Typical, but Wolf Alice. They deserve it more than anyone and their album is one of the best debuts ever so it couldn’t really be anyone else.

Please don’t follow us into 2016… It’s a completely pointless wish but a girl can dream of Catfish And The Bottlemen staying in 2015, right? It would be really nice if their incredibly average music and sexist attitudes, as well as Van McCann’s irritating face, didn’t come with us into the new year

Frank Turner Live @ Masquerade - Credit Nicole C. Kibert

Rachel Young- News Editor

Favourite Album of 2015? The Strypes- Little Victories. Probably the most predictable thing I’ve written in the past twelve months (not to mention unforgivably biased) but my favourite album of 2015 just has to be The Strypes sophomore Little Victories. Everything about it reminds me of summer and pending time with some fantastic friends – what more could you want?

Favourite live music event? Kendal Calling. There’s something about being knee high in mud, wearing a cheap “waterproof” Primark poncho, eating overpriced noodles and having a dance at the indie disco that is just so appealing. Kendal Calling was by far the highlight of my summer and is up there with my favourite festival line up I’ve been lucky enough to witness. It really does have everything; from small, up and coming bands to Ricky Wilson prancing around the stage showing off.

Favourite solo artist of the year? Kendrick Lamar. I’ve really tried hard this year to broaden what I listen to on a daily basis and due to Hip Hop comfortably finding its feel and becoming cool again, I no longer had to hide the odd track in a Spotify playlist along with guitar bands. Arguably one of the best Hip Hop albums of the last ten years was released by Kendrick this year, with every track being simply incredible. I’m converted thanks to To Pimp A Butterfly.

Favourite band of 2015? Blossoms. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve seen Blossoms in 2015, from tiny secret sets at festivals to DJ sets in Jazz Clubs, they’ve been everywhere. I’m so excited to see what the lad’s debut album sounds like next year, not to mention their inevitable conquer of the charts.

Please don’t follow us into 2016… Paul McCartney, isn’t it time to retire now?

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Becky Rogers – News Editor

Favourite album of 2015?

Kevin Parker can never do any wrong so Tame Impala’s Currents kept his high standards and eye for perfection. It’s everything you’d expect from Tame but with that little bit of extra coolness; ‘Let It Happen’ is 8 minutes that you won’t regret losing.

Favourite live music event of 2015?

Even with festivals treating me well this year with getting to see the likes of Temples, The Libertines and Foals (the best 18th birthday surprise), the best live event will always be Mac DeMarco’s set at Rough Trade East in September. I may seem like a big of a superfan having seen him twice in London and then in Birmingham on his last UK tour, but getting to see the intimate show was something special. Rocking up to the record shop and to instantly see Mac outside ready for a chat made it all a bit surreal, but then with singalongs to Frankie Valli and Mac’s own riffs and solos been sung back to him, and then a final goodbye with some pictures with Mac in the photobooth, it was a Mac fan’s dream show.

Favourite solo artist of 2015?

Late 2015 saw the return of Archy Marshall, aka Zoo Kid and King Krule, with his new album A New Place 2 Drown so it’d be hard to pick anyone other than Archy. It’s a little more laidback than 6 Feet Beneath The Ground, but now under his own name it’s as if Marshall’s got a bit more comfortable with making whatever he wants to make. Just check out ‘Swell’ and you’ll never turn back.

Favourite band of 2015?

It’s a difficult one but the band that really stands out for me is Föllakzoid. Having never heard of them before my friend’s band Sky Children supported them in Birmingham earlier this year, their Chilean cosmic-psych is something you can listen to for hours and pretty much got me through hours of A-level revision. If you’re up for getting led into a hazy psychedelic trance then I’ve found your answer.

Please don’t follow us into 2016.. 

Catfish and the Bottlemen and The 1975. It’s understandable, isn’t it?

What have been your 2015 highlights?! Tweet us and let us know @gigslutz_

Have a decent New Year.  Gigslutz Team x