Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: My Year in Music

With this being the last day of 2015, I figure now would be a good time to reflect on this year in music. I know I am repeating myself but 2015 for me wasn't that great of a year when the past 3-4 years have been particularly awesome for music. I was rather stunned to see how dull this year have been.

The first three months of 2015 was surprisingly quiet. The only new releases I truly enjoyed was Endless Forms Most Beautiful by Nightwish, The Fog by Pegasus Asteroid, Re/Vision: The SkyQode Tribute Album to De/Vision and Another Eternity by Purity Ring. Sorry to say this but Monument by Angels and Agony and A Sign of Life by Neuroticfish left me a bit disappointed. I just didn't find the music interesting at all. This year was the first time when I did not buy a Blutengel album (usually I do). I'm sorry to say this but Omen was the first album by the band that I did not want to buy. I did not care for any of the singles. Usually the first single or two is a good indicator if I should buy the album or not. Not this time. Another album I thought was downright terrible was Delirium by Ellie Goulding. Grimes put out a much better pop album hands down.

April wasn't much better save for the debut album by Invocation Array A Color For Fiction. May was a bit better with new releases by SPC ECO, VNV Nation, and Camouflage. June was absolutely dead. I did not buy any music that month and that has never happened to me before. I did end up buying the new albums by Ashbury Heights and Frozen Plasma which were in my top 10 of my best of list.

It was not until fall/winter did I start hearing music that grabbed my undivided attention. Every Open Eye by Chvrches, Honeymoon by Lana Del Rey, Ave Maria-En Plein Air by Tarja Turunen, Angels and Ghosts by Dave Gahan and Soulsavers, Drei by Emika, Back to the Woods by Angel Haze, Holoscenic by Conjure One, and finally Art Angels by Grimes. November and December proved to be two very good months for music to this music fan. Nevertheless it does not make up for the fact that this year has been awfully uneven music-wise for me.

As far as concerts goes, I didn't go out to many shows this year because of my two trips to Chicago, a new tattoo, and finally to be honest I was rather burned out and has started getting into photographing non-music related subject matters as another creative outlet. The shows I did go to this year I say seeing the reunited Babes in Toyland (before Maureen got ousted out of the band) at Rock the Garden, seeing Nightwish in Chicago with their new singer Floor Jansen, Covenant at Amsterdam Bar and Hall, and Purity Ring at First Avenue were my faves. I also really enjoyed hip hop Angel Haze's show at The Netherbar although I felt the venue was not right for her. Just too tiny.

With 2016 right around the corner, I am hoping that L7 who has started playing live shows this year will come around the Twin Cities I have only seen them live once as a teenager in 1994 at Lollapalooza. I am also hoping that the recently reunited Lush will tour the midwest, if Minneapolis isn't on their list at least Chicago I hope. I love that this year I have seen some of my favorite bands from the '90s reunite like L7, Babes in Toyland, Sleater-Kinney, 7 Year Bitch (or at least for a new live album), and now Lush. In the new year I would absolutely love to see Curve reunite but I don't think that will be happening any time soon, maybe Cocteau Twins and The Sundays ;).

I don't know what 2016 has in store for me (other than the upcoming Babes in Toyland show at First Avenue), I can only hope for the best. Hopefully less passings like that of Lemmy and Scott Weiland and acrimonious splits like what happened with Babes in Toyland. 

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