The 2015 Talkies — the Talkhouse Music’s yearly best album poll — revealed that our contributors have some pretty eclectic taste. So, we decided to ask a few of our musician-writers to dive deeper into their lists and make us a playlist featuring their favorite tracks from their favorite albums of the year. Dave Depper, of Death Cab for Cutie, is up first.
— the editors of the Talkhouse Music
Blur – “Go Out” from The Magic Whip
The initial salvo ahead of Blur’s wonderful, unexpected reunion is still its most exciting moment — a skronky blast of 1997’s eponymous Blur languorously emulsified with equal parts Wobble-era PiL and Hong Kong humidity.
Sufjan Stevens – “All of Me Wants All of You” from Carrie & Lowell
The purest distillation of everybody’s favorite griefcore record of 2015 gets bonus points for citing Spencer’s Butte, a splendid day hike in the vicinity of Eugene, Oregon, where I once surprised my great college love with a plate of freshly baked and surely inedible snickerdoodle cookies.
Pure Bathing Culture – “Palest Pearl” from Pray for Rain
Pure Bathing Culture surprised even their most devoted fans when they followed up the dreamy Moon Tides with 2015’s downright peppy, John Congleton-helmed Pray for Rain, but dammit, it worked. “Palest Pearl” is their most successful sortie over pop territory to date.
Julia Holter – “Betsy on the Roof” from Have You in My Wilderness
A journey through half-recalled dreams in song if there ever was one, I’m already hooked by the time the unspeakably gorgeous second half of this song kicks in. And when it does, I’m just dead.
Björk – “Black Lake” from Vulnicura
The brutal, dark heart of Bjork’s unexpected yawp of pain, Vulnicura, simply dares you to listen to every incredulous second of its wounded, bleeding veneer. With strings!
Chvrches – “Never Ending Circles” from Every Open Eye
We all know this one — it’s the first song on an hugely popular, massively anticipated second album. It’s also fucking incredulous, and I dare you to name another song that sounds even remotely like it.
Low – “Lies” from Ones and Sixes
The Low of 2015’s Ones and Sixes is sort of like Star Wars: The Force Awakens – brimming with the emotional touchstones and familiar signposts that delight longtime fans of the institution, but humming with a sleeker, colder, more efficient heart, aiming to please and pulling it off handsomely.
Grimes – “Realiti (demo)” from Art Angels
It speaks to the strength of this humble track, a roughly mixed demo, no less, that Art Angels was one of this year’s best records and still nothing on it came close to bettering “Realiti.”
Empress Of – “To Get By” from Me
My favorite track from one of this year’s more overlooked records, there’s so much syncopation going on during the first twenty or so seconds of this song that it’s almost impossible to determine what the hell kind of groove is being set up — but once everything locks into place, hoo boy, you’re in for a ride, listener.
Carly Rae Jepsen – “Boy Problems” from Emotion
It was tough to pick a favorite pop jam from Emotion‘s embarrassment of riches (we don’t deserve you, Carly), but this one is the most bubblegum and therefore wins my heart. And Carly, hit a boy up sometime.