AudioStream's Best Albums of 2015

As you probably know, I post a Download Of The Week every Friday. What you may not know is this is one of my favorite features on AudioStream because it's the reason we're here—music. I always enjoy reading other "Best of..." music lists [footnote 1] so I thought I'd put one together. Here we have nearly all of 2015's DotW picks in one easy container. I've left out older recordings, I did cheat a few times, so what we're looking at and listening to are (mainly) my top picks for new music in 2015. Enjoy!

In chronological order:

D'Angelo and the Vanguard, Black Messiah (HDtracks)

Sleater-Kinney, No Cities To Love (HDtracks)

Bjork, Vulnicura (Bleep)

Áine O'Dwyer, Music For Church Cleaners vol. I and II (MIE)

Viet Cong, Viet Cong (Boomkat)

Egyptrixx, Transfer of Energy [Feelings of Power] (Boomkat)

Ibeyi, Ibeyi (XL Recordings)

Via Tania, Via Tania and the Tomorrow Music Orchestra (Bandcamp)

Ólafur Arnalds and Alice Sara Ott, The Chopin Project (Presto Classical)

Nils Frahm, Solo (

Colleen, Captain of None (Boomkat)

Milford Graves & Bill Laswell, The Stone (Back In No Time) (M.O.D. Technologies)

THEESatisfaction, EarthEE (Bandcamp)

Julia Holter, Don't Make Me Over (Boomkat)

Circuit des Yeux, In Plain Speech (Bandcamp)

Loren Connors, Blues: The 'Dark Paintings' of Mark Rothko (Family Vineyard)

Shana Cleveland & The Sandcastles, Oh Man, Cover the Ground (Amoeba Records)

Algiers, Algiers (Matador Records)

Ilyas Ahmed, I'm All Your Own (Bandcamp)

Sharon Van Etten, I Don't Want To Let You Down (Bleep)

Jamie xx, In Colour (xx)

Bomba Estéreo, Elegancia Tropical (Soundway Records)

Sufjan Stevens, Carrie and Lowell (Bandcamp)

Various, Remembering Mountains: Unheard Songs by Karen Dalton (Boomkat)

Dawn of Midi, Dysnomia (Erased Tapes)

Omar Souleyman, Bahdeni Nami (Bleep)

Ducktails, St. Catherine (Bleep)

FKA twigs, M3LL155X (Boomkat)

Nisennenmondai, N' (Bandcamp)

King Midas Sound / Fennesz, Editions 1 (Ninja Tune)

Low, Ones and Sixes (Sub Pop)

Julia Holter, Have You In My Wilderness (Bleep)

Aphex Twin, drukQs (Bleep)

Joanna Newsom, Divers (Drag City)

Drinks, Hermits On Holiday (Bandcamp)

Fille Qui Mousse, Trixie Stapelton 291 - Se Taire Pour Une Femme Trop Belle (Bandcamp)

Jacques Coursil, Trails of Tears (Bandcamp)

U.S. Girls, Half Free (HDtracks)

Sturgill Simpson, Metamodern Sounds In Country Music (Bandcamp)

Kurt Vile, b’lieve i’m goin down (Matador Records)

Carter Tutti Void, f (x) (Boomat)

Footnote 1.
The Quietus Albums Of 2015
NPR Music's 50 Favorite Albums Of 2015
Paste: The 50 Best Albums of 2015

JIMIXY's picture

Aphex Twin, drukQs was not released in 2015, I think you might mean Syro

Michael Lavorgna's picture
That's one of my cheats.
CG's picture

I note a high proportion of black and white cover art. Very nice!

Michael Lavorgna's picture
KeithR's picture

you and I have similar taste - so refreshing not to see a bunch of dull audiophile stuff :)

jbucko's picture

Fun to see Sufjan on this list! Probably my favorite album (and best concert) of the year. Beautiful and haunting. Though admittedly, I own it on LP :)

limahuli's picture

While the Drinks album is indeed available on Bandcamp, it's actually on Tim Presley's Birth label, he said, pedantically.

Michael Lavorgna's picture
It's the source and link to the download. I thought it more useful:-)
circlark's picture

For you Tidal users out there, I collected everything that was available into the following playlist. Enjoy!

circlark's picture

1) Thank you Michael!
2) Full agreement with jbucko: Sufjan Stevens put out my favorite album this year, and I'll never ever forget that concert. What did you think about during the lights?

Michael Lavorgna's picture
That was very nice of you.


garrettnecessary's picture

Have you heard the version of Black Lake performed on the Viol Organista on Vulnicura Strings? It's kind of amazing musically. It will test the bass on your speakers as well.

Ejlif's picture

Michael, I remember seeing your musical taste years and years ago. Your music tastes have kept me a fan of your writing over the years. Once again excellent list. I will be checking out the ones I'm not familiar with.

Michael Lavorgna's picture
Sal1950's picture

Guess I must be at a complete disconnect. I never heard of a single album or artist?

Michael Lavorgna's picture
Lots of new music to explore!


biglebowski's picture

For those who like listening to compressed audio whilst ensconced comfortably within their walled garden ;-)

Michael Lavorgna's picture
Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together.


jwh9's picture

in that iTunes setting & you have something like Bit Perfect your garden walls will let a little more light in as Bjork's Vulcinura encoded ALAC is available via Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound UK.