Best Albums of 2015 So Far

July 30, 2015

The world of music in 2015 just might be the most compelling yet, with the release process as important as the finished product. Over the 30 albums you’ll see here on our “Best Of” list at the halfway point in the year, nearly every band got creative with the way they released the record, from surprise drops (Umphrey’s McGee, Kendrick Lamar) to Kickstarters to our number one album whose release date remained a mystery for longer than expected. 

All in all, 2015 is a sign that the musical landscape is changing, with bands and artists finding unique ways to distribute their music, bucking up against streaming services and owning their work. But as you’ll see on this list, you also have artists making quality, compelling music to go along with their creative release tactics. Take a look below. 

30. Bright Light Social Hour | Space is Still the Place

29. Yonder Mountain String Band | Black Sheep

28. Jaga Jazzist | Starfire

27. Hiatus Kaiyote | Choose Your Weapon

26. Umphrey’s McGee | The London Session

25. Tallest Man on Earth | Dark Bird is Home

24. The Lone Bellow | Then Came the Morning

23. Snarky Puppy | Sylva

22. Desaparecidos | Payola

21. Pond | Man, It Feels Like Space Again

20. Unknown Mortal Orchestra | Multi-Love

19. Screaming Females | Rose Mountain

18. Butch Walker | Afraid of Ghosts

17. The Word | Soul Food

16. Erik Deutsch | Outlaw Jazz

15. Tobias Jesso Jr. | Goon

14. Spirit Family Reunion | Hands Together

13. JJ Grey & Mofro | Ol’ Glory

12. Father John Misty | I Love You, Honeybear

11. Sleater-Kinney | No Cities to Love

10. Jason Isbell | Something More Than Free

9. Guster | Evermotion

8. Kendrick Lamar | To Pimp a Butterfly

7. Houndmouth | Little Neon Limelight

6. Alabama Shakes | Sound & Color

5. Warren Haynes | Ashes & Dust

4. Courtney Barnett | sometimes i sit and think and sometimes i just sit

3. My Morning Jacket | The Waterfall

2. Leon Bridges | Coming Home

1. Tame Impala | Currents