What I listened to in 2015

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Looking back, it feels as if this is what I've always done -- seeking out new music, challenging myself to give unfamiliar genres a try, discovering brand new favourites. And yet it was only last year that I made the conscious choice to do so; until 2014, it was virtually all 90s, all of the time.

This year I think I've actually done even better than last year.

Top 10 artists listened to in 2015

  1. Sleater-Kinney
  2. Baby Chaos
  3. The Joy Formidable
  4. Dr Dre
  5. The Beatles
  6. Paul Simon
  7. Public Service Broadcasting
  8. Guns N' Roses
  9. Metric
  10. Belle and Sebastian

Six of the top ten had new album releases this year, although I didn't really enjoy Metric's latest one as much as their older material. Belle and Sebastian's latest also didn't really do that much for me, so I'm surprised it managed to beat artists like Jamie xx and Faith No More to make it onto the list. Earlier release dates are probably to blame.

Also of note is that, since this is entirely a Spotify-powered list, The Beatles managed to reach #5 on the strength of only a single week's play since having their back catalogue added to the service on Christmas Eve.

Top 10 albums listened to in 2015

  1. Sleater-Kinney — No Cities to Love
  2. Baby Chaos — Skulls, Skulls, Skulls, Show Me the Glory
  3. Dr. Dre — Compton
  4. Public Service Broadcasting — The Race For Space
  5. The Joy Formidable — The Big Roar
  6. Jamie xx — In Colour
  7. The Joy Formidable — Wolf's Law
  8. Taylor Swift — 1989
  9. D'Angelo — Black Messiah
  10. Foals — What Went Down

Six releases from 2015 (seven if you count D'Angelo's long-awaited third album, which actually came out in mid-December last year but was too late for most end-of-year lists), and the top four were probably my favourite albums of the year as well.

Thanks to a recommendation from Jon Hicks a while back, The Joy Formidable has become my go-to "don't know what else to listen to" soundtrack this year and one of my favourite bands. Hopefully there's a new album and a tour to look forward to in 2016.

Track of the year

According to my Last.fm profile, the track I listened to the most in 2015 was Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You. I have now schooled my youngest daughter on the importance of logging into your own account on Spotify before using it.

I think my actual favourite track this year was by the #2 band on both lists, Baby Chaos. The Scottish rock band were first active in the 1990s before folding after a handful of well-received albums, but were tempted out of retirement by Ginger Wildheart. The hugely impressive Skulls, Skulls, Skulls, Show Me the Glory followed, including this track -- Blackbirds:

Matthew Pennell

Designer, developer, writer, runner, gamer, devil's advocate, INTP. Senior designer for Booking.com. Founder, Refresh Cambridge.
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