Top Overlooked Records of 2015 |

THEESatisfaction – EarthEE

This record had a lot of buzz when it first came out and we sold a fair amount on the initial green vinyl run, but it faded away after that. The Seattle rap duo of Cat Harris-White and Stasia Irons created a strong sophomore record with EarthEE. Maybe they do not seem to fit with the rest of Sub Pop’s indie roster, but they most definitely belong as they are the true definition of an Indie sound. They hit the road this year as the opening act on some dates of the high profile Sleater-Kinney tour and won over audiences at each gig. Hard to label, but an easy listen that we recommend adding to your collection!

Villagers – Darling Arithmetic

Conor O’Brien, the Villagers front man, has one of those unique voices that begs to be praised for its lilt and narrative complexity. They strip out the huge arrangements from previous records and rely on O’Brien’s voice and an acoustic sound that never dominates or hibernates. Some have compared this record to the Sufjan Stevens Carrie & Lowell for its deeply personal recounting. Being overlooked can be tagged to each of their previous records too (2010’s Becoming a Jackal and 2013’s {Awayland}), so no matter where you start to discover Villagers, you will not be disappointed.

Hop AlongPainted Shut

France Quinlin, the lead singer of Hop Along, has a true rock voice and offers up a master class on the indie rock genre on Painted Shut. This quartet succeeds at interweaving complex rock melodies with lyrics that are both intense and compelling. We thought this was going to be a huge record this year, but whether it was poor marketing or simply lost in the crowd, it certainly deserves to be sought out.

Jessica Pratt – On Your Own Love Again

Don’t feel bad, we missed this one too and only recently have had it available in the store. Pitchfork aptly compared her as a “stately composite of Nick Drake and Joanna Newsom.”

She has a voice that is as strong and as alluring as her guitar play. The record seems daunting at first - the sounds are not a usual form - but that is what makes this record so coercive and fascinating. Take a deep dive and plan to stay in the water until the skin on your fingers wrinkles.

Beirut – No No No

So much was made of how short this record was that maybe that kept people from giving it a chance. Yes, it is only 29 minutes long, but the nine songs more than make up for the EP length LP’s brevity. Beirut singer and songwriter Zach Condon has the ability to create the 3-minute indie pop song that seems immediately simple and catchy, but when you peel back the layers you realize how elaborate they are. A horn section often sounds out of place on a modern record, but Condon uses them like an author creates a setting. While this does not have the grandeur of Beirut’s The Rip Tide, it should not be overlooked because in this case, it’s not the size that matters.


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.