If I look back at 2015, I realize I have not listened to enough music, there’s so much out there and so little time to absorb all these albums, songs released every year. But if I look back at these past months, I can’t forget about these few songs that stand out. I picked these five ones among many others, as they seem to share an expansive and atmospheric sound. There were all released in 2015 and I guess they reflect a constancy, a sort of out-of-this-word symphonic motif, with an out-of-any genre theme. Good luck at categorizing any of them, they are all atmospheric tracks which share a true melancholia or sadness, even turning into tragedy with apocalyptic or death imageries mixed with a real oddness. It must be a sign of the times. They all gave me thrills and chills, and they all want me to sing along…I must have listened to them hundreds of times, so here are five of the best songs of 2015:
Bjork – ‘Stonemilker’: I usually don’t listen to Bjork that much but this song is just stunning, exulting more pain and sadness than anything else I have heard and blowing up into this symphony of strings that can only draw tears from the driest eyes. The 3-D video is also amazing.
Joanna Newsom – ‘Divers’: The emotion seems to be the same, the song sprawls as slowly as the previous one, but the voice is so different… Actually Joanna’s voice is a work of art, going into so many ranges and levels of feelings, and every time she sings this ever-changing refrain about lost love, I die a little bit. Plus, The Paul Thomas Anderson video is also amazing.
Youth Lagoon – ‘Rotten Human’: More pain over a dramatic music which bring beats this time. In fact, that may be the more rocking song of the lot, although it is far more atmospheric than any pop or rock song, it’s overwhelmed by emotion, while the lyrics allude to doom day and self deprecation.
Panda Bear – ‘Tropic of Cancer’: The most symphonic track of his last album, with its harp loop, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker theme and Lennox’s eerie vocals. The beauty of the soaring melody matches its saddest, as the song sprawls as slowly as the arrival of death, the theme of the song. And there’s also a lot of weirdness and mystery in this video.
David Bowie – ‘Blackstar’: One of the most surprising releases of this year, which certainly goes beyond a simple song. Actually, I am not sure you can still use the term atmospheric in this case, it’s a completely separate world built by the super-intriguing 10-minute movie which accompanies the epic song. Is it about ISIS? the end of the world? Death? Bowie as a new prophet? The song cheats a bit in the middle when it becomes a pop song and Bowie seems to review his whole career, but then the mystery thickens again.
better than you remember
it has been four years since her last long player
quickly get your music noticed
A fast rock & roll song performed with a retro punk vibe
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – April 1983 (Volume 14, Number 11)
the final issue edited by Susan Whitall
hard rock meets classic rock meets Americana
Chuck D is at the Grammy Museum
On The Red Carpet For The Screening Of “The Beast Inside” At The Angelica Cinema, Sunday, January 29th, 2023: pictures by Billy Hess
a powerhouse performance by Sadie Katz and SohoJohnny as you never thought you’d see him
that SNL gig was excellent
Miley rises to top of the celebrity food chain