Folk Alley’s Best of 2015 – Matt Reilly’s Top Albums of the Year


Matt Reilly’s Top 5 Albums of 2015

I’m not particularly fond of best of, year-end lists because I’m invariably going to have to snub somebody who deserves to be on the list. This year the pattern continues as 2015 was a banner year for names we know putting out great albums.

Without further ado:

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Patty Griffin, ‘Servant of Love’ (Thirty Tigers)
We all know Patty is a master at crafting great songs. ‘Servant of Love’ comes on the heels of her breakup with a certain rock star (think weighted balloon airship), and there is some bite to this record. While she maintains otherwise, it’s doubtful this record could have been made under different circumstances. I think we all come out winners on this one. iTunes * Amazon.com

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Glen Hansard, ‘Didn’t He Ramble’ (ANTI-)
Hansard is well known for his love of the busking lifestyle and the artists that live that life. That love definitely shines through on this record with its earthly feel. Well-crafted songs that in no way are a downer. iTunes * Amazon.com

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Israel Nash, ‘Israel Nash’s Silver Season’ (Thirty Tigers)
Obvious Neil Young comparisons aside, this record feels like the wide open space of Texas where it was recorded. This is an album that requires you to pay attention. Let yourself get immersed in this one, you’ll be glad you took the time. iTunes * Amazon.com

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Laura Marling, ‘Short Movie’ (Virgin)
I love Laura Marling because she channels classic British Folk all while moving the genre forward. She’s clearly an old soul. ‘Short Movie’ continues the trend of Marling playing with intricate phrasing and angular song structure. It’s fascinating and familiar all at once. iTunes * Amazon.com

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Jason Isbell, ‘Something More Than Free’ (Thirty Tigers)
This is a truly remarkable record because it takes the mundane and makes it extraordinary. The heartbreak and struggle in the songs, especially “Speed Trap Town,” makes this album more relatable the older you get. iTunes * Amazon.com

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