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Best Music Of 2015

David Dye's Top 10 Albums Of 2015

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toggle caption John Vettese/WXPN

Kamasi Washington.

John Vettese/WXPN

David Dye has been hosting NPR's World Cafe for almost 25 years. Needless to say, he's heard his fair share of music in that time, but each year offers something new and different to love.

This year, Dye fell for a mix of albums spanning many forms of rock, plus a splash of jazz. Check out his 10 favorite albums of 2015 below.

David Dye's Top 10 Albums Of 2015

Cover for Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit [LP]

1. Courtney Barnett, 'Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit'

  • by Courtney Barnett

It's always been about lyrics for me, and Courtney Barnett's second full-length collection — wise, clever, honest, down-to-earth, subtly powerful — doesn't disappoint. Throughout the year, this was the album I turned to most often. And, yes, it rocks.

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Song
Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit [LP]
Album
Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit [LP]
Artist
Courtney Barnett
Label
Mom + Pop Music
Released
2015

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Cover for The Epic

2. Kamasi Washington, 'The Epic'

  • by Kamasi Washington

With high-energy players and an open, joyful sound, the West Coast steps up with the jazz album of the year. Kamasi Washington's band, string section and choir combine many musical elements majestically. At three discs, The Epic is almost too much to take in, but that's OK — I've got time.

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Song
The Epic
Album
The Epic
Artist
Kamasi Washington
Label
Brainfeeder
Released
2015

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Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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3. Father John Misty, 'I Love You, Honeybear'

  • by Father John Misty

From one of the most notoriously cynical and intelligent musicians in the business comes a surprisingly heartfelt album. Who would have guessed?

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Cover for In Colour

4. Jamie xx, 'In Colour'

  • by Jamie xx

While I was paying so much attention to Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim in The xx, I missed how much more was going on underneath them, courtesy of producer Jamie xx. I love the vibes of his sublime solo debut.

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Cover for Carrie & Lowell

5. Sufjan Stevens, 'Carrie & Lowell'

  • by Sufjan Stevens

I still need to spend more time with this record in order to fully decipher both its many layers and Sufjan Stevens' deceptively straightforward songwriting.

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Song
Carrie & Lowell
Album
Carrie & Lowell
Artist
Sufjan Stevens
Label
Asthmatic Kitty Records
Released
2015

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Cover for Little Neon Limelight

6. Houndmouth, 'Little Neon Limelight'

  • by Houndmouth

What gets me with Houndmouth is how well this band looks back in time musically. But Little Neon Limelight isn't just about a retro sound; it's also about songs, two amazing lead voices and equally impressive harmonies.

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Song
Little Neon Limelight
Album
Little Neon Limelight
Artist
Houndmouth
Label
Rough Trade
Released
2015

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The Arcs, Yours, Dreamily. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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7. The Arcs, 'Yours, Dreamily'

  • by The Arcs

Some might complain about the downtempo nature of this record in comparison to Dan Auerbach's other band, The Black Keys. But I love the contrast, as well as the depth of the production.

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Song
Yours, Dreamily
Album
Yours, Dreamily
Artist
The Arcs
Label
Nonesuch
Released
2015

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Phil Cook, Southland Mission. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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8. Phil Cook, 'Southland Mission'

  • by Phil Cook

The great guitarist and sideman Phil Cook, from Megafaun and Hiss Golden Messenger, unleashes his formidable songwriting on the album he's been working on all his life.

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Song
Southland Mission
Album
Southland Mission
Artist
Phil Cook
Label
Thirty Tigers
Released
2015

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Cover for Currents

9. Tame Impala, 'Currents'

  • by Tame Impala

Currents represents a bit of a left turn for Tame Impala lead singer and songwriter Kevin Parker. I love the production, but I love the songs even more.

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Song
Currents
Album
Currents
Artist
Tame Impala
Label
Interscope
Released
2015

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Hop Along - Painted Shut Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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10. Hop Along, 'Painted Shut'

  • by Hop Along

Whether smooth or abrasive, Frances Quinlan's vocal delivery is vulnerable and amazing. Don't dismiss the rest of this Philly band, either.

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Song
Painted Shut
Album
Painted Shut
Artist
Hop Along
Label
Saddle Creek Records
Released
2015

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