Muruch.com’s Top Albums of 2015

20 Beth May: The Family Arsonist (poetry)


19 Wolf Alice: My Love is Cool

Buy @ Amazon

Wolf Alice Official Site


18 Elise Cabrét (EP)


17 Anielle Reid: Ain’t Like Them (EP)

Buy @ Amazon

Anielle Reid Official Site


16 Kat Robichaud & The Darling Misfits

Buy @ Amazon

Kat Robichaud Official Site


15 Dengue Fever: The Deepest Lake

Buy @ Amazon

Dengue Fever Official Site


14 The Innocence Mission: Hello I Feel the Same

Buy @ Amazon

The Innocence Mission Official Site


13 Darlingside: Birds Say

Buy @ Amazon

Darlingside Official Site


12 Alela Diane & Ryan Francesconi: Cold Moon

Buy @ Amazon

Alela Diane Official Site


11 Hayley Cannon: Who Are You

Buy @ Amazon

Hayley Cannon Official Site


10 Allison Crowe: Sylvan Hour


9 Alessia Cara: Know It All

Buy @ Amazon

Alessia Cara Official Site


8 Chris Stapleton: Traveler

Buy @ Amazon

Chris Stapleton Official Site


7 Andra Day: Cheers to the Fall

Buy @ Amazon

Andra Day Official Site


6 Rhiannen Giddens: Tomorrow is My Turn

Buy @ Amazon

Rhiannen Giddens Official Site


5 Lizabett Russo: Running With the Wolves

(album review)

Buy @ BigCartel

Lizabett Russo Official Site


4 V V Brown: Glitch

Buy @ Amazon

V V Brown Official Site


3 Muruch.com Presents: Allison Crowe

(best of)

Allison Crowe Official Site


2 Muruch.com for RAINN benefit album

(more info)

Donate $10 (or more) at Muruch’s RAINN.org fundraising page to receive the free 25-mp3 album.


1 Brandi Carlile: The Firewatcher’s Daughter

(album review)

Buy @ Amazon

Brandi Carlile Official Site

I debated including the Muruch-curated albums, but they are truly the two albums I have listened to most frequently and loved most intensely this year. Besides, it’s the artists and their music that make them so undeniably spectacular. I was just the DJ. That being said, every time I’ve been asked during the year what I think my #1 album of 2015 would be, my immediate answer has been: “Brandi Carlile’s The Firewatcher’s Daughter.” I love it more with each listen and it has the timelessness of the greatest classic albums.

Laura’s Top Albums of 2014

Guest Post By: Laura

Laura’s Top 25 Albums of 2014:

25. Mary Lambert: Heart on My Sleeve


Buy @ Amazon

Mary Lambert Official Site


24. The Gaslight Anthem: Get Hurt



Buy @ Amazon

The Gaslight Anthem Official Site


23. Jamie T: Carry On the Grudge

Buy @ Amazon


22. Ed Sheeran: X



Buy @ Amazon

Ed Sheeran Official Site


21. John Newman: Tribute



Buy @ Amazon


20. Against Me!: Transgender Dysphoria Blues

Buy @ Amazon


19. Shakey Graves: And the War Came

Buy @ Amazon


18. July Talk: Guns & Ammunition

Buy @ Amazon


17. James Bay: Let It Go

Buy @ Amazon


16. You + Me: Rose Avenue



Buy @ Amazon

You + Me Official Site


15. Spoon: They Want My Soul



Buy @ Amazon

Spoon Official Site


14. FKA Twigs: LP1

Buy @ Amazon


13. Johnny Marr: Playland

Buy @ Amazon


12. Cold Specks: Neuroplasticity



Buy @ Amazon

Cold Specks Official Site


11. St. Vincent: St. Vincent

Buy @ Amazon

St. Vincent Official Site


10. Neon Trees: Pop Psychology



Buy @ Amazon

Neon Trees Official Site


9. Banks: Goddess



Buy @ Amazon

Banks Official Site


8. Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways



Buy @ Amazon

Foo Fighters Official Site


7. Counting Crows: Somewhere Under Neverland



Buy @ Amazon

Counting Crows Official Site


6. First Aid Kit: Stay Gold

Buy @ Amazon


5. Damien Rice: My Favourite Faded Fantasy



Buy @ Amazon

Damien Rice Official Site


4. Hozier: Hozier

Buy @ Amazon


3. Jack White: Lazaretto



Buy @ Amazon

Jack White Official Site


2. Jenny Lewis: The Voyager



Buy @ Amazon

Jenny Lewis Official Site


1. Ryan Adams: Ryan Adams



Buy @ Amazon

Ryan Adams Official Site

Read more of Laura’s reviews at her music blog Lyrique Discorde

*all mp3s, streams & videos uploaded by & posted w/ permission of artists, labels and/or their PR reps


Muruch’s Top 25 Albums of 2013

It’s that time of year again! Below are my personal favorite albums of 2013. This year the list fell together fairly easily – due both to the excellence of the following albums and the lackluster nature of their competition. Though I’m shocked by my #1 album, which only recently knocked two other favorites from the top spot. The top three are really interchangeable, they are far too brilliant and too different from each other to truly rank. But I’ve been playing my #1 album on almost continuous repeat for the past three months, so it’s undeniably my favorite of the moment.

Click on the album titles to read the full reviews, purchase the albums, and, in some cases, watch videos and/or download mp3s. And please feel free to comment with your own favorite albums (or songs) of the year.

*Honorable mention to Sara Bareilles’ The Blessed Unrest, which I only heard for the first time this week – long after having compiled and scheduled my Top Albums list. It’s impossible now to choose anyone to cut just to make room for Sara, but it’s a good album nonetheless.

Muruch’s Top 25 Albums of 2013

25. Rusty Belle: Common Courtesy

…their multi-genre, multi-instrumental style runs the gamut from Americana and folk to rock, soul and blues…bluesy, sparse, soul-rock…delicious shades of Nick Cave

Buy @ Amazon


24. Ian McFeron: Time Will Take You

…What a delight this little folk-rock gem is!…produces the same immediate reaction of refreshment and affection as Adams’ Gold – though there’s more of a classic country-folk swagger.

Buy @ Amazon


23. Valerie June: Pushin’ Against a Stone

…unlike anything you’ve ever heard before…acoustic blues masterpiece swiftly carried along by Valerie’s distintive voice… exquisite marriage of a low-fi folk melody and sweet, plucky bluegrass instrumentation…grinding, funky blues-rock sound associated with bands like The Black Keys and Alabama Shakes, but Valerie’s voice and phrasing give it a soulful, gospel-folk spin

Buy @ Amazon


22. Steve Martin & Edie Brickell: Love Has Come For You

…Comedian turned bluegrass musician Steve Martin and singer Edie Brickell have joined forces…what a delight their collaboration turned out to be! Martin’s deft, delicate banjo playing is the perfect complement for Brickell’s gentle, melodious voice.

Buy @ Amazon


21. Black City Lights: Another Life

…a sexy and very moody collection. At times the band’s dark, trippy electro-pop style sounds like a mix of Depeche Mode, Ultravox, Julee Cruise, Lacuna Coil and MS MR.

Buy @ Amazon


20. One Mile An Hour

…brilliant, self-produced, self-titled debut album, which they accurately call a “complex, introverted outsider-folk record”…airy, panoramic, beautiful, unusual folk music…swirling, psychedelic folk guitar riffs, slightly raspy and softly plaintive vocals. A bit of Ray LaMontagne, a little Elliot Smith, even hints of Jeff Buckley and Pink Floyd and something totally Other – a ghostly, intangible mood. This is why I love music, why I love writing about music. This is inspiration

Buy @ Amazon


19. Varous Artists: Variations on Chopin

…puts an ambient and electro-pop spin on Chopin’s classical melodies…magnificent, mindblowingly lovely…not your standard classical album…absolutely fantastic

Buy @ Amazon


18. Ours: Boxer the Ballet 1

…one of those albums I love more intensely with each listen…pure, old school American rock that often reminds me of classic Foreigner, maybe a bit of Scorpions or even Cinderella…big, theatrical voice of lead singer, Jimmy Gnecco, should also appeal to Muse fans

Buy @ Amazon

Ours – Pretty Pain (mp3)*


17. Ruth Moody: These Wilder Things

…The Wailin’ Jennys are spawning some excellent solo albums…Moody’s angelic, lilting soprano tangles with pop-polished bluegrass and folk.

Buy @ Amazon


16. Ivan & Alyosha: All The Times We Had

…comparison to The Lumineers is still fairly accurate. The two bands definitely share a certain multi-instrumental, melodic sensibility, but Ivan & Alyosha’s music is distinctively different enough to stand on its own merit…as lovely, comforting and encouraging as an old friend…somewhere between Ryan Adams and The Low Anthem

Buy @ Amazon


15. Melissa Ferrick: The Truth Is

…absolutely outstanding…instrumentation is gorgeous, lush and elegantly Southern..phenomenal, thought-provoking

Buy @ Amazon


14. Rykarda Parasol: Against the Sun

…gives her signature noirish rock sound a modern polish without compromising its dark, artistic integrity…Rykarda uses her voice as much as any instrument: haunting moans and surprising ooh la la’s…echoing yelps…melodic whistles…and Mamas & Papas harmonies…the kind of richly layered album that immediately mesmerizes and still gets even better with each listen

Buy @ Amazon


13. Molly Drake

…Nick Drake’s mother. Molly was a very talented poet, composer, singer and pianist whose music obviously had a strong influence on her son’s work. Sadly, Molly’s exquisite music was mostly a family secret during her life and is only now being released to the public…the entire album features Molly Drake’s unusually pretty soprano and piano in a lilting, old-fashioned parlour style of music. Her lyrics, however, delve into the same kind of elegant, poetic, somewhat melancholy introspection that her son would eventually explore

Buy @ Amazon


12. Brooke Waggoner: Originator

…an extraordinary collection…a beautiful, brilliant and absolutely enchanting album…thunderous piano crashes layered over bombastic horns and choral voices

Buy @ Amazon


11. Bing Satellites

I’m bending the rules here a bit, as Bing Satellites has released too many albums this year to narrow down to one and the ambient nature of his music makes it difficult to differentiate one track from another. I especially like his latest release, King Midas in Reverse, and Twilight Sessions: Volume 11. We at the Muruch household have a giant Bing Satellites mp3 playlist that is on almost daily rotation. Bing’s music is the perfect soundtrack for reading and relaxation.

Bing Satellites Official Site


10. Allison Crowe: Heavy Graces

…what a lush piece of work…a touch of Celtic folk in the instrumentation, haunting backing vocals and a slow building, seething tension until Allison unleashes her wail…I predict we’ll be seeing Allison Crowe not once but twice on our best of the year list.

Buy @ Amazon


9. Lucy Schwartz: Timekeeper

…a multi-instrumental, multi-genre sound that encompasses the atmospheric, high energy electro-pop of Butterfly Boucher, the folk revival instrumentation of Mumford & Sons and a dash of Hannah Fury‘s Gothic, antiquarian sensibility

Buy @ Amazon


8. Janelle Monáe: The Electric Lady

…as interesting, diverse and addictive as we’ve come to expect from Janelle and finds her collaborating with Prince, Erykah Badu, Solange, Miguel and Esperanza Spalding…artistic attention to detail combined with a gorgeous voice, a flare both for the dramatic as well as the funky and a science fiction churning imagination continue to put Janelle Monáe into a category all her own: Cyber-Soul

Buy @ Amazon


7. Elton John: The Diving Board

…finds Elton John making a welcome return to his musical roots with a basic piano-bass-drums set-up and features some of his finest piano playing in the past four decades…it’s a sadly rare album these days with lyrics that actually mean something…The Diving Board already sounds like a classic and is a worthy release for the man behind “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Levon” and “Tiny Dancer.”

Buy @ Amazon


6. MS MR: Secondhand Rapture

…dramatic, bombastic, sexy, moody and utterly fantastic…falls somewhere between Florence + the Machine‘s delicious over the top theatrics and Great Northern‘s haunting melodies with a little extra rhythmic oomph…like Kate Rusby fronting a ’90s trip-hop band like Faithless or Morcheeba…basically MS MR are everything I could want in a band…absolutely addictive and will surely be on my best of the year list

Buy @ Amazon


5. Hem: Departure & Farewell

…will be battling Foxygen for my Top Album of 2013…Hem have all but perfected their “Metropolitan Country” sound and singer Sally Ellyson’s voice is truly timeless…a dazzling transcontinental journey — by air and by sea

Buy @ Amazon


4. Trent Dabbs: The Way We Look At Horses

…a masterful and exquisite song cycle that brilliantly bridges the gap between Elliot Smith’s pensive folk-pop and Ryan Adams’ rustic alt-country…I’m so happy and relieved to have fallen in love with this album. I can’t remember the last time I listened to an entire album repeatedly without skipping at least one track…moody, melodic and magnificent. It’s certainly one of the best albums of the year and one whose songs stay with you long after it ends.

Buy @ Amazon


3. Foxygen: We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic

…If Foxygen’s We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic isn’t my #1 of 2013, we have a spectacular year of music ahead of us…the rare album that truly deserves to be called Beatlesque…elements of vintage psychedelic rock, modern indie- and garage rock, a bit o’ The Animals, a splash of Elvis, a smidgen of blues and various other experimental feats that defy category. It’s unusual, innovative and totally fantastic…a sublime slice of pop perfection.

Buy @ Amazon


2. Allison Crowe: Newfoundland Vinyl

…plays like a lovely, vintage collection of traditional Irish and Canadian folk ballads, lively sea chanteys and drinking songs, parlour songs and country tunes with surprising retro, girl-pop harmonies woven throughout…full of dazzling melody and such a unique charm…Allison’s voice is so strong and spectacular, I’m afraid Foxygen has fierce competition here for my favorite album of the year.

Buy @ Amazon


1. Lorde: Pure Heroine

…more than lives up to all the hype…one of those rare song cycles that flows seamlessly from beginning to end and keeps the same level of energy throughout…Lorde’s signature blend of heavy, sporadic beats and witty, sardonic lyrics, which are often written from an outsider’s point of view in a poetic style.

Buy @ Amazon

*all mp3s, streams & videos uploaded by & posted w/ permission of artists, labels and/or their PR reps

Laura’s 2013 Top Albums List

Guest Post By: Laura

Laura’s Top 20 Albums of 2013:

20. Prism :: Katy Perry

Buy @ Amazon


19. Magpie & the Dandelion :: The Avett Brothers

Buy @ Amazon


18. Shangri La :: Jake Bugg

Buy @ Amazon


17. Artpop :: Lady Gaga

Buy @ Amazon


16. Wise Up Ghost & Other Songs :: Elvis Costello & The Roots

Buy @ Amazon


15. Sistrionix :: Deap Vally

Buy @ Amazon


14. New :: Paul McCartney

Buy @ Amazon


13. The 1975 :: The 1975

Buy @ Amazon


12. Long Way Down :: Tom Odell

Buy @ Amazon


11. Like Clockwork… :: Queens of the Stoneage

Buy @ Amazon


10. The Olms :: The Olms

Buy @ Amazon


9. Roaring 20’s :: Rizzle Kicks

Buy @ Amazon


8. Days Are Gone :: Haim

Buy @ Amazon


7. 180 :: Palma Violets

Buy @ Amazon


6. Bad Blood :: Bastille

Buy @ Amazon


5. Innocents :: Moby

Buy @ Amazon


4. Pure Heroine :: Lorde

Buy @ Amazon


3. Seasons of Your Day :: Mazzy Star

Buy @ Amazon


2. Tape Deck Heart :: Frank Turner

Buy @ Amazon


1. The Next Day :: David Bowie

Buy @ Amazon

Read more of Laura’s reviews at her music blog, Lyrique Discorde

*all mp3s, streams & videos uploaded by & posted w/ permission of artists, labels and/or their PR reps

Chelle’s 2013 Top Albums List

Guest Post By: Chelle

Things I was spinning nonstop this year:

8. Fall Out Boy – Save Rock n’ Roll

Buy @ Amazon


7. Bastille – Bad Blood

Buy @ Amazon


6. HAIM – Days Are Gone

Buy @ Amazon


5. Justin Timberlake – The 20/20 Experience part 1

Buy @ Amazon


4. Jay-Z – Magda Carta Holy Grail

Magna Carta Holy Grail


3. CHVRCHES – The Bones of What You Believe

Buy


2. Disclosure – Settle

Buy @ Amazon


1. Everything Everything – Arc

Buy @ Amazon

and like eleventy billion plays of all One Direction albums but I know you don’t wanna talk about that. 🙂

my top track of the year is Chris Malinchak, “So Good to Me.”

*all mp3s, streams & videos uploaded by & posted w/ permission of artists, labels and/or their PR reps