I love music! I used to run a music blog for years. I've been making year-end lists for a long time now. Since we're about halfway through 2015 lemme show you what I've been digging.
Kamasi Washington - The Epic. The spirit of Bitches Brew is alive and well in Kamasi Washington. He has played on Flying Lotus and Kendrick Lamar's albums but is now stepping out on his own in a big way. This album is a three-hour triple album. It's also the best jazz record in decades. The Epic is an ambitious tour-de-force that takes the listener on a cosmic spiritual journey.
Tobias Jesso Jr. - Goon. I get weak in the knees for a simple man at a piano pouring his heart out. There are some elegant and beautiful songs on Goon. If you're ever stuck hopelessly stuck in traffic on the 101-S at ten-thirty at night for the fourth night in a row throw on "Hollywood" and just let all the sadness out. Somewhere Randy Newman is nodding his head in approval over this album.
Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly. I feel like I'm not smart enough to properly understand every hidden meaning or metaphor that can be found on this record. It's not as accessible as Good Kid Maad City but man is this an ambitious followup. This is the hip-hop version of A Love Supreme.
Alabama Shakes - Sound & Color. Sweet down-home southern-fried blues rock. What's not to love? "Gimme All Your Love" is my favorite song of the year thus far.
My Morning Jacket - The Waterfall. My Morning Jacket is one of my favorite bands and to be honest my love for them had been slipping away album after album. But The Waterfall is a balanced and beautiful return to form for them. It's their best record since Z and showcases everything they do great, from quiet folksy harmony to thunderous rock jams. Great great record.
Toro y Moi - What For? Toro y Moi almost entirely drops his synth-pop sound he's been building for years and gains a new fan by doing so (me). What For? is a bright glossy psych-rock album filled with some of the best production I've heard since Daft Punk's Random Access Memories. Great summer album.
Sleater-Kinney - No Cities to Love. Sleater-Kinney returns from a long hiatus and it's like they never went away. This record is right up there with some of their best work. Welcome back ladies!