It’s not that Lys Guillorn is a recluse: she’s always playing out around Connecticut, on her own and as part of other bands, and it’s not uncommon to bump into her in record stores or taking in a show where she isn’t playing. But Guillorn has always been elusive as a recording artist.
With very few exceptions, bands that break up nowadays reunite eventually. So there was an excellent chance that Sleater-Kinney wasn’t finished for good when the band split in 2006. All the same, who would have expected the trio would return with an album as good as “No Cities to Love?”
JD McPherson’s first album “Signs & Signifiers” was sometimes seen as a novelty for its loving take on the vintage sounds of 1950s rhythm and blues, from a guy who looked, and sounded, the part. His second album shows that McPherson is so much more than a rock ’n’ roll recreationist.
Best Albums of 2015: ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit’ by Courtney Barnett (No. 3)
With a dry wit and a languid Australian twang, Courtney Barnett is a master at finding the dark humor in awkward situations on “Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit.” It’s her debut LP, and No. 3 on my 2015 top-10 list. (I reviewed the album for Paste.)
It’s always risky assuming that a singer’s songs are autobiographical, unless he tells you otherwise. John Moreland is frank about the source material for “High on Tulsa Heat,” his third solo LP and No. 4 on my top-10 albums countdown.
Mackenzie Scott refers to the second Torres album as her “space cowboy” record. It’s an intriguing description, but it barely hints at the subtext: “Sprinter” is a cry of liberation, and also No. 5 on my list of the best albums of 2015.
One review of Jason Isbell’s latest complained that “Something More Than Free” is “an album that contains too few surprises,” as if albums should be akin to haunted hayrides or new puppies under the Christmas tree.
Frances Quinlan sings like she means it. The Hop Along frontwoman is a force on “Painted Shut,” the Philadelphia band’s second full-length album and No. 7 on my ongoing countdown of the top 10 albums of 2015.