The 50 Best Albums of 2015

The votes are in and our music team has spoken. From Sleater-Kinney to Sleaford Mods, we recap 50 of 2015’s finest releases

Feature by Music Team | 07 Dec 2015
  • Top 50 Albums

Our album of the year for 2015 is No Cities to Love, the surprise comeback album from Olympia, Washington trio Sleater-Kinney. To mark the band’s victory, we spoke to guitarist Carrie Brownstein about their secret practice schedule, live return, and a glimpse of the band’s plans for the future.

Sufjan Stevens’ seventh studio album Carrie & Lowell came in second, while Compton hip-hop virtuoso Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly was our readers’ choice for album of the year and came third in our countdown. Dumb Flesh by Blanck Mass and Julia Holter’s To Have You In My Wilderness round off our top five. The most recent work from Norwegian artist Jenny Hval, Edinburgh trio Young Fathers, Father John Misty, Kurt Vile and Bjork also feature in our music team's most favoured releases of the last twelve months.

Beyond the upper reaches of the chart, 2015 was packed with compelling records from established acts and newcomers alike. Unexpected releases from San Franciscan alternative metal progenitors Faith No More and indelible gangsta rap maestro Dr Dre are joined in our top twenty by debut full-length records by Melbournian songwriter Courtney Barnett and Calgary post-punks Viet Cong, while efforts by previous cover stars – from the likes of Chvrches and John Grant, through Hudson Mohawke, Oneohtrix Point Never and East India Youth – flesh out what, in hindsight, transpired to be a wildly varied year for music where no one genre took the lead.

Read our full top 50 albums of 2015 list below – and let us know who we’ve blatantly overlooked in the comments.

Click each artwork for our original revew.

The Skinny's Albums of the Year

1. Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love [Sub Pop]

Sleater Kinney - No Cities to Love 

• Read Gary Kaill's new interview with Carrie Brownstein

2. Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell [Asthmatic Kitty]

Sufjan Stevens - Carrie and Lowell 

• Read Tom Johnson's new reappraisal of the record and recent live review of Sufjan in Edinburgh

3. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly [Aftermath / Interscope]

Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly 

• Read Katie Hawthorne's new reappraisal of the record

4. Blanck Mass – Dumb Flesh [Sacred Bones]

Blanck Mass - Dumb Flesh 

• Read Duncan Harman's new reappraisal and interview with Benjamin John Power  

5. Julia Holter –  Have You In My Wilderness [Domino]

Julia Holter - Have You In My Wilderness 

• Read Joe Goggins' new reappraisal and interview with Julia Holter

6. Jenny Hval – Apocalypse, girl [Sacred Bones]

Jenny Hval - Apocalypse, girl 

• Read Simon Jay Catling's new reappraisal of the record and June cover story interview with Jenny Hval

7. Young Fathers – White Men Are Black Men Too [Big Dada]

Young Fathers - White Men Are Black Men Too 

• Read Chris McCall's new reappraisal and interview with 'G' Hastings

8. Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear [Sub Pop]

Father John Misty - I Love You Honeybear 

• Read Katie Hawthorne's new reappraisal and interview with Josh Tillman 

9. Kurt Vile – b'lieve i'm goin down [Matador]


• Read Claire Francis's new reappraisal of the record

10. Björk – Vulnicura [One Little Indian]

Björk - Vulnicura 

• Read Gary Kaill's new reappraisal of the record

11. Faith No More – Sol Invictus [Ipecac / Reclamation]

Faith No More - Sol Invictus 

• Read Dave Kerr's new interview with Roddy Bottum

12. Django Django – Born Under Saturn [Because Music]

Django Django - Born Under Saturn 

• Read Katie Hawthorne's April interview with Dave Maclean

13. Waxahatchee – Ivy Tripp [Merge]

Waxahatchee - Ivy Trip 

14. Titus Andronicus – The Most Lamentable Tragedy [Merge]


15. Dr Dre – Compton [Aftermath / Interscope]


16. Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit [Milk!]


• Read Will Fitzpatrick's April interview with Courtney Barnett

17. Deerhunter – Fading Frontier [4AD]


18. Dutch Uncles – O Shudder [Memphis Industries]


19. Viet Cong – Viet Cong [Jagjaguwar/Flemish Eye]


• Read Dave Kerr's live report from SxSW

20. Sleaford Mods – Key Markets [Harbinger Sound]

Sleaford Mods - Key Markets 

• Read our 2014 interview with Jason Williamson 

21. CHVRCHES – Every Open Eye [Virgin]

CHVRCHES - Every Open Eye 

22. Beirut – No No No [4AD]

Beirut - No No No 

23. Outfit – Slowness [Memphis Industries]

Outfit - Slowness 

24. Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress [Constellation]

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress  

25. Destroyer – Poison Season [Dead Oceans]


26. Joanna Newsom – Divers [Drag City]


27. LoneLady – Hinterland [Warp]


28. Low – Ones and Sixes [Sub Pop]

Low - Ones and Sixes 

• Read our recent interview with Alan Sparhawk

29. Tame Impala – Currents [Fiction]

Tame Impala - Currents 

• Read our new interview with Kevin Parker

30. John Grant – Gray Tickles, Black Pressure [Bella Union]

John Grant - Gray Tickles, Black Pressure 

• Read John Nugent's October interview with John Grant

31. Beach House – Depression Cherry [Bella Union]


32. Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool [Dirty Hit]

Wolf Alice - My Love Is Cool 

• Read Gary Kaill's March interview with Ellie Rowsell

33. Enablers – The Rightful Pivot [Lancashire and Somerset]


34. Everything Everything – Get to Heaven [RCA]

Everything Everything - Get to Heaven 

35. Hudson Mohawke – Lantern [Warp]

Hudson Mohawke - Lantern 

• Read Dave Kerr's live report from SXSW and Tom Short's June interview with Ross Birchard

36. And So I Watch You From Afar – Heirs [Sargent House]

And So I Watch You From Afar - Heirs 

37. Garden of Elks – A Distorted High [Song, by Toad]

Garden of Elks 

38. The Phantom Band – Fears Trending [Chemikal Underground]

The Phantom Band - Fears Trending 

39. Blur – The Magic Whip [Parlophone]

Blur - The Magic Whip 

40. Floating Points – Elaenia [Pluto]

Floting Points - Elaenia 

41. Oneohtrix Point Never – Garden of Delete [Warp]

Onohtrix Point Never - Garden of Delete 

• Read Jon Davies' November cover story interview with Daniel Lopatin 

42. Ought – Sun Coming Down [Constellation]

Ought - Sun Coming Down 

• Read Katie Hawthorne's September interview with Ought's Tim Darcy

43. Errors – Lease of Life [Rock Action]


• Read Tom Short's recent reappraisal and Simon Catling's May cover story interview with the band 

44. Deafheaven – New Bermuda [Anti-]


45. East India Youth – Culture of Volume [XL]


• Read Katie Hawthorne's August interview with William Doyle

46. EL VY – Return to the Moon [4AD]

EL VY - Return to the Moon 

47. Deradoorian – The Expanding Flower Planet [Anticon]


48. Foals – What Went Down [Transgressive]


49. Belle & Sebastian – Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance [Matador]

Belle and Sebastian - Girls in Peacetime  

• Read Joe Goggins' recent reappraisal with commentary from Chris Geddes, plus Katie Hawthorne's January interview with the full band 

50. Gnod – Infinity Machines [Rocket]

Gnod - Infinity Machines 

• Read Simon Catling's April interview with Gnod's Paddy Shine