2015 has been one of those memorable years for Lemonade Magazine. We started out the year with a completely new website and changed our philosophy on how to bring new music news to you. We also embarked on a couple trips that brought us all together for our first team concert and so many other great things! So in keeping with a tradition that has dated back since the start of Lemonade Magazine, here are my favorites from 2015.
2015 Favorite Album: Alyosha by Joshua Powell & The Great Train Robbery
This album, Alyosha, was a brilliant re-imagining of what folk music should and could be. The elements of psychedelic rock, but still maintaining the down home feel of folk has really set this album by Joshua Powell & The Great Train Robbery so far apart from the rest that it has its own genre tag of psych-folk. Who would have guessed that would be a thing?
2015 Favorite Song: “Monster” by Colours
The Florida duo, Colours, who’s new album, Ivory, is not due out until February 2016, released one of their singles, “Monster” ahead of the album. It is ridiculously good. It has elements of old school R&B with new electro-pop infused beats. They will probably draw a lot of comparison to The Weeknd with its dark and edgy sound. Definitely need too keep an eye out for them to make a big splash in 2016, but for now, they earned my favorite song of 2015.
2015 Favorite EP: Bound and Tethered by Bound and Tethered
Montreal-based folk duo, Bound and Tethered, comprised of Stefanie Parnell and Chris See Hoye, had made waves in the Montreal, QC community with their debut self-titled EP. Its sweet and captivating sound will draw comparisons to The Civil Wars without the strife and anguish that eventually tore them apart. The stripped down acoustic sound is refreshing and draws you in with their poetic lyrics and great harmonies.
2015 Favorite New Artist: Elline
Elline just kind of showed up out of nowhere this year. A recent graduate of Berkelee School of Music in Boston, the now Los Angeles-based artist is just getting start, but her EP, Stained Glass, is full of potential and is so polished. The lead single, “Smoke and Mirrors,” takes us back to when R&B was classy and all about the artist’s ability to make musical poetry. The future is bright for the young and talented Elline.
2015 Favorite Male Artist: Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar is changing the definition of rap. Seriously. He is a genius and his album, To Pimp A Butterfly, is just another example of the direction we want rap to go. This album is deep, ironic, theatrical, eerie and most importantly musical with hint jazz and funk. This is a game changer and Kendrick Lamar is the architect.
2015 Favorite Female Artist: Adele
I had a really difficult time choosing who my favorite female artist was for 2015. I had thought to choose an indie artists like Mimi Page or Wafia, then I had a notion to chose another major label artist like Ellie Goulding. They have all had great years, but let’s be honest, 2015, even though her album, 25, was not released until November, Adele has owned this year. It started with the anticipation of her first album release in nearly 5 years, then the release of the first single and video, “Hello”, which had 27.7 million views in the first 24 hours and now has more than 750 million views in less than 2 months. “Hello” was also the first song to ever record over 1 million downloads in the first week in the US. Adele‘s 2016 North American tour which has multiple dates for locations like Los Angeles (6), New York (6), Toronto (4) and even Seattle (2) sold out in less than 10 minutes. How can you compete with that sort of dominance?
2015 Favorite Band/Duo: Florence + The Machine
I could have chosen a number of bands that have had a fantastic 2015 (X Ambassadors, Imagine Dragons, Muse among the other candidates and I loved them all too), but Florence + The Machine‘s album, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, was something that was completely unexpected and so amazing. The concept album was a revelation for the UK band and it is a masterpiece of lead singer Florence Welch’s personal struggles through the previous few years. It is brilliantly constructed, produced, written and delivered.
2015 Favorite Music Video: “WTF (Where They From)” by Missy Elliott featuring Pharrell Williams
What is there to say about the rap icon, Missy Elliott? This video was amazing. It incorporated Missy Elliott‘s unique style and flare for the dramatic, but maintained a sense of dignity for the dancers and performers. I mean, how can you go wrong with Elliott dressed as a disco ball and a puppet version of Pharrell Williams? I don’t think you can, which is why it got my nod for favorite video in 2015! (Honorable Mention goes to Smoke Season for “Loose.” That is one amazing video and I cannot wait for the other three parts!)
2015 Favorite Moment: Evanescence in Concert
In November I was fortunate enough to be able to catch my favorite band, Evanescence, in concert. I had waited for nearly 13 years for this moment to be able say that I finally checked them off my bucket list and it was special for me. It was a great time with Head Writer Wyndi May, as we had to make a quick trip down to Los Angeles to catch them at The Wiltern. You have read my concert review, I hope. If not, I linked it for you.
I look forward to what is in store for Lemonade Magazine in 2016 and I hope everyone reading this has a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!
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