Best releases of 2015

By Managing Editor

2015 marked an exciting and significant shift in the music that will come to define the 2010s—away from the more commercial, manufactured acts like Katy Perry or Miley Cyrus and toward more indie, alternative sounds like those of Tove Lo or Banks. Below are my picks for the five best releases of the year.

A$AP Rocky


Released May 26

Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky showed major growth in his sophomore album through genre-bending tracks like “L$D.” With standout tracks like “Everyday” and “Electric Body,” Rocky solidified his star potential. He even took the album on tour with rapper Tyler, The Creator that was almost as creative and visually appealing as the series of music videos released to promote the work.



Released Nov. 20

Adele’s long-awaited third album took the world by storm and has continued to sell hundreds of thousands of copies weekly since its release. The album has relatable, yet emotional, themes such as making peace with growing up into adulthood in tracks “When We Were Young” and “Million Years Ago” and longing for a lost love in the piano-driven “All I Ask.” 

The Weeknd

Beauty Behind the Madness

Released Aug. 28

The Weeknd is known for his dark themes of sex, drugs and self-loathing. Beauty Behind the Madness continues tackling those themes but strays from his more experimental approach present in his earlier albums for a traditional pop sound. The album allowed The Weeknd to break into mainstream markets without sacrificing his artistic integrity. Standout tracks include “The Hills,” “Tell Your Friends” and “Prisoner,” which features Lana Del Rey.


Art Angels

Released Nov. 6

Grimes’ new album Art Angels is a feminist anthem—and not because she wrote, recorded and engineered the entire project by herself.  The album is an unlikely blend of bubblegum, pop and punk that takes a stand against the music industry. The album’s lead single, “Flesh Without Blood,” rejects the “Barbie doll” image forced on many female artists.  In “California,” Grimes proclaims her music comes from her soul, rather than a thirst for fame. Grimes is reclaiming her identity and her artistry.

FKA twigs


Released Aug. 13

Pronounced “Melissa,” electro-R&B musician FKA twigs’ third EP is an assertion of her femininity. The EP was released with a high-concept, 16-minute video that explores themes of pain, femininity, sex and power. The album is sexy, dark, unsettling and weird, following in the footsteps of twigs’ previous works. M3LL155X is twigs’ most intellectually stimulating, yet most accessible project yet. Every one of its songs are powerful, important and sonically pleasing.