The ATH Top 50 Albums of 2015

Albums ListYear-end lists are everywhere…and I can see why they’re important to people. But, seeing as we generally walk off the beaten path more often than not, our list of the Top 50 Albums of 2015 is in no particular order, save alphabetically. It seems pointless to rank one piece of art higher than another, especially when the four of us at ATH all have varying tastes. We just put this list together of the albums we loved the most this year. Are we saying they’re better than records by Grimes or Kendrick Lamar? No, we’re just saying that these are the records we loved more than others. So, you can read on for what we thought was hot.

Also…put links to individual stores where you can buy the albums from the bands…as that’s how we all survive in this music world.
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Top Austin Albums Of 2015

Best ATX 2015It’s that time of year when we all throw arbitrary numbers at you, trying to convince you that our tastes are the best. But, I’m going to try taking a slightly different approach this year, giving you just a list of great Austin records that came out this year, but with no numbers or anything. These are just the LPs that connected with me in some way or another throughout 2015. There’s no particular order, just a bunch of records you should probably own. Also, I added some helpful BUY links for you to take you right to where you can get the goods. Just take my word for it and go buy those things.

Sweet TalkDouble Perfect

Stephen Svacina takes on our mundane world, turns it into catchy pop punk, and leaves it memorable. Recommended for those who like high energy tunes that you’ll remember for the rest of your times.  BUY

ReservationsTaking Time

‘To be honest.’ some records hit all the right notes, and hit home. The full length debut by Jana Horn and Reservations is just that. Well-crafted, sincere. A joy of orchestrated indie folk.  BUY

Lochness MobstersWar Tuna

Immediate disclaimer. I helped put this record out. These boys take on the modern Austin cliche of garage-psych and turn it into a sweaty party that’s been proven to rile up audiences, then flip the world upside down by breaking into Beastie Boys. Too good.  BUY

VideoThe Entertainers

Snarling rock n’ roll, no holds barred. I mean come on, you can’t discard the fact that Third Man Records had a hand in getting these tracks out. People are taking notice.  BUY

The Zoltarss/t

Jared is another of Austin’s artists that probably doesn’t get nearly the amount of credit that he deserves, crafting some of the best guitar pop. Pop songs like the one’s on this album aren’t written every day, and when they are, they last in your memory forever. BUY

Stiletto FeelsThe Big Fist

Geoff Earle makes good on his promise to get everyone grooving, while still supplying enough grit to make it important. One of the most diverse in sound to come out of the city; you’re bouncing to electronic elements before guitars jump in to guarantee that this is more than just a programmed, laptop affair.  BUY

Grape St.Wallpaper

Another batch of hooks. Another batch of songs from Curtis O’Mara. If you know me, you know I’ll never get tired of listening to his work. Some guys just get you.  BUY

Spray PaintDopers

I have to apologize to Spray Paint, as this is the only record of theirs that’s going to make it onto my list this year. Maybe people are tired of these guys, but how can you look away when they’re just continuing to release solid album after solid album. It should say a lot that even when they’re so prolific, they never seem to leave you with a track that you can throwaway.  BUY

Single Lashs/t

Lurking beneath the belly of Austin’s rock n’ roll scene is a slowly blossoming shoegaze/indiepop scene. There’s this dense coat of atmosphere coating the album, making it perfect for those who seek darkness reinforced by standard pop structures. BUY

BOANMentiras

If I were still into making mixed CDs for people, “Babylon” would be one of the opening moments; it’s perfect in both it’s simplicity and its construction. One of the few electronic Austin acts that really matter.  BUY

XetasThe Redeemer

How do you take the tenacity and fuel of a great live band, then capture it on tape? Well, Xetas did it, and you’ll be remiss for skipping over the record.  BUY

InstituteCatharsis

A few years ago everyone was raging about The Men. That was fair, but if you’re looking for solid rock n’ roll, I hate to tell you that Institute does it better. Catharsis is one of those albums that seems timeless from the moment you press play; it sounds familiar, yet the songs brim with attitude and execution that you’re not going to find in many scenes.  BUY

Good FieldFuture Me

Indie rock is only sustainable when it’s executed perfectly. These guys nailed it on this go round, giving us the “Business.” Smells like Spoon, sounds like awesome.  BUY

Abram Shook Landscape Dream

Guys. Abram Shook. How many times do we have to tell you. ABRAM SHOOK! Another perfect collection of songs.  BUY

FFFX: Team ATH Recap

FFFX BannerThere was a lot of talk this year comparing Fun Fun Fun Fest to ACL this. Perhaps it is the proximity with the second weekend, perhaps the tenth anniversary. FFFX returned to it’s original home with a few tweaks to the layout to accommodate demands by Parks and Recreation department. I understand the city wants to protect the competing interests investments, but without events like FFF, this land is kind of under-loved. Let’s get through to the thoughts from our team that had boots on the ground and away from the grounds, too.

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ACL Recap From Team ATH

ACL 2015 Banner WE1…with links to all the pics from Weekend Two.

This past weekend, team ATH hit up Zilker Park with a few hundred thousand of our closest friends to catch some live music at what has become one of the most popular music festivals in the country. We were treated to absolutely perfect weather for braving crowds and jamming out without dying of sweat and dehydration. Wether you’re looking to relive, or to decide who should be on your weekend 2 must see list, we’ve got the highlights of weekend 1 for you. Read on for each member of team ATH’s winners and losers and awards of the first weekend of ACL 2015 and see some lovely B.Gray pics.

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ACL Interview: Waters

watersHere we are peeps, ACL is now a few short days away and I hope everyone is ready and raring to go in the heat.  The ATH crew is certainly amped for the weekend while we struggle to survive the long work week ahead prior to all the fun times.  Today I’m excited to be continuing our ACL coverage with a nice interview from ATH approved band Waters.  Leading man and creator of the group Van Perszaowski offers up the responses.  Hit the jump for more.

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ACL Interview: Amason

amasonCompared to yesterday, I’m already feeling a bit more prepared for ACL coming up in a couple of weekends.  As we do every year, we’ll be working hard trying to interview as many bands will have us leading up to the festival.  Today I’m pumped to be kicking things off with new Swedish super group Amason.  Band member Nils Tornqvist was kind enough to answer a few of my burning questions.  Follow the jump for more.

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ATX Popfest 2015

ATX Popfest 00It all started when Nathan ran his mouth about getting a bunch of bands together to celebrate just how damn good Austin’s Pop scene is right now. It is a renaissance. With long time ATH faves like Shivery Shakes, She Sir, Young Girls (HTX) and Letting Up Despite Great Faults, Popfest had a number of shiny new things to shimmy to including Templo X, Summer Salt, Polio Club, (new to me) MCG and new old friends in Tres Oui to round things out. Well, OK, Tres Oui is kinda Literature, but not really, so still “new”…

Pics and recap? Sure.

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Say Hello To Sidewinder & Graham Williams

Red7It’s well known around these parts that our beloved music scene in Austin is ever changing, and though some may go into panic mode, we here at ATH understand that change is all part of the industry.  With that said, I’m sure many of you have heard the sad news about the closing of prized venue Red 7 come this September.  While we mourn the loss of one of our favorite venues in town, let us rejoice in the news of a new venue in the Red River District.  The newly crowned Sidewinder will open in October, shortly after the closing of Red 7, and will occupy a totally revamped and remodeled space formerly known as Red Eyed Fly.  With all the creative minds on the list of those involved, this is definitely something to be excited about.  The Chronicle was one of the first to break the news.

With all the craziness currently going on in and around Red River (Cheer Ups rock wall, closing of Holy Mountain/Red 7, new venues, etc.) it seemed like a great time to speak with someone in the know.  Step in Transmission Events founder Graham Williams.  We sent Graham a few questions about his new venue and the current state of the live scene in Austin.  He has a lot to say and any real music fan in town should take his thoughts into consideration.  After the jump you can get his thoughts.

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Festival Recap: Eaux Claires

oh clair bannerEau Claire, Wisconsin is a long ways a way from Austin, but not too far away in terms of mindset: here, we call our city the Live Music Capital of the world, and in the Eau Claire is the Music Capital of the North. Nestled in the Chippewa Valley and overlooking the the river, we were treated to three days in the woods with 22,000 of our newly formed friends celebrating music, arts, and the spirit of the river valley. At the center of it all was the man who dreamed up such a festival: Justin Vernon, who, alongside Aaron Dessner, brought all of us together in essentially his backyard to experience something greater.

Read on for our recap of the inaugural Eaux Claires Music and Arts Festival and see some pictures from the fest.

**Feature Photo Courtesy of Graham Tolbert

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