Michael Gagen Of Arcane: Top 10 Of 2015

As you could probably guess, this week is all about discussing our favorite albums from 2015. However, we decided to have a few special guests also discuss their top 10 albums from the year, and why they placed where they did. Today, we have Michael from Arcane, who’s latest record made it onto our top 50, and rightfully so! Check out his picks below!

AOTY2015-GuestList-Arcane-CityColour

Dallas Green’s goddamn voice. Enough said. Favourite track: Blood

AOTY2015-GuestList-Arcane-TesseracT

Tesseract’s last few releases have left me a little bit cold; but I’ve always felt their production was stellar and reason enough to listen, so I went into this one with some hesitations. Thankfully there was a more straight ahead sensibility and an evolution here from previous albums that feels a little bit more cohesive and well thought out. Bit of a surprise to be honest. Favourite track: Hexes

AOTY2015-GuestList-Arcane-Decembrists

Have always had a soft spot for this amazing Indie band, and despite the fact that the more progressive end of their song craft seems to be getting weeded out of their sound with each new release, Colin Meloy’s got a way of writing a folk song that can hit you in the pit of your stomach. Favourite track: Low Carolina

AOTY2015-GuestList-Arcane-Dumbsaint

Really proud to be from the same country as these guys. Panorama in 10 pieces is an audio visual freakout you definitely need to check out if you haven’t already. Favourite track: Long Dissolve / Temps Mort

AOTY2015-GuestList-Arcane-Leprous

Too many great riffs, too many impossible syncopations, too many great melodic choices, some pretty spectacular performances technically and Jens Bogren’s production is perfectly balanced and transparent. Favourite track: Third Law

AOTY2015-GuestList-Arcane-DearHunter

Continued genre-mashing awesomeness from a band that can quite literally do no wrong. Favourite track: A Night On The Town

AOTY2015-GuestList-Arcane-Bjork

Apparently this is a breakup album? I don’t know. She’s as incredible as always, phrasing, articulation, chords, melody, emotion, the works. It’s bizarre because I’ve listened to this album a lot in the past few months; and it feels like something I listened to years ago, but I cannot put my finger on it, and at the same time it’s new and dark and alien. Favourite track: History Of Touches

AOTY2015-GuestList-Arcane-GodIsAnAstronaut

One of the most consistent and challenging bands in post rock. My favourite thing about them is that they are genuinely unafraid to write a simple melody and let it stand on its own. The whole album is pretty wonderful and needs to be done in a single sitting, but if I was to pick a favourite song; the textures at the start of the title track are really, really beautiful and the way that track builds is pretty spectacular. Favourite track: Helios/Erebus

AOTY2015-GuestList-Arcane-Cloudkicker

Ben Sharp’s Cloudkicker project consistently moves from strength to strength, I admire him a lot. Woum is a beautiful wash of new school guitar music and it’s most similar aesthetically to his 2011 release ‘Let Yourself Be Huge’, which is a favourite. Put it on whilst you’re reading. Favourite track: Plurals

AOTY2015-GuestList-Arcane-GYBE

Despite the fact that it’s not the best GY!BE album; Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress is hands down the most abrasive, the most beautiful and the most thought provoking release of 2015. Favourite track: Peasantry or ‘Light! Inside of Light!’

Honourable Mentions: Sunn0))) – Kannon, Faith No More – Sol Invictus, Florence And The Machine – How Big How Blue How Beautiful, Bob Dylan – Shadows In The Night, Steven Wilson – Hand. Cannot. Erase.

-HB

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