The following is an excerpt from an article posted on KSDBFM.org on July 26, 2016.
It’s been a great year in music thus far. Our exec staff weighs in on their favorite albums through the first half of 2015 (Spoiler alert: a lot of us like the Kendrick record).
Willy Evans – Production Director
5. Courtney Barnett- Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit
I could have easily put Sleater Kinney, Drake, Sufjan, Young Thug, or even Shamir in this slot, but I decided to go with Courtney Barnett’s debut full length album. This album is the kind of post-grunge music that we here at KSDB pound back like an overweight tourist at an all you can eat oyster bar, but this oyster had just enough pearls in it that I was forced to hack it back up and examine it more closely. Featuring some of my favorite tracks of the year, Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit is a wonderful album.
4. Vince Staples- Summertime ’06
Vince Staples’ followup to last year’s Hell Can Wait- EP is an hour long 20 track behemoth of an album, and its final track cuts Vince off mid-sentence. From start to finish this album is packed to the gills and it hits far more than it misses. I’ve had less than 2 weeks to listen to this album, and I’m sure it’s only going to improve with repetition.
3. Earl Sweatshirt- I Don’t Like S**t, I Don’t Go Outside
I Don’t Like S**t, I Don’t Go Outside is a completely different animal from 2013’s Doris. It’s almost like Earl is trapped in slow motion. By far the darkest album on my list, Earl is like the weird squid creature in The Fellowship of the Ring who is going to grab you by the ankles and drag you down into the depths. You can fight it all you want, but giving in is so much better. After all, if Inside Out taught me anything, it’s that it’s okay to be sad sometimes.
2. Bully- Feels Like
The first time I heard Bully was during their performance at Brooklyn’s Northside festival. They opened for bands like Alvvays, Built to Spill, and Best Coast and for me they were on par with (and occasionally better than) all three. Their debut album Feels Like feels like it was taken from 1990 and magically transported here. Frustrated and self depreciative while simultaneously remaining catchy and upbeat, Feels Like is a modern call back to what made 90s rock great. (Also not to brag, but Alicia Bognanno and I touched the same copy of Surfer Rosa nbd)
1. Kendrick Lamar- To Pimp A Butterfly
The moment the beat kicks in on the first track to Kendrick’s third album feels like sinking into a warm bath. The fluidity of the album consumes you and transports you to Kendrick’s wonderland. It’s a murky world of injustice and outrage, but there is also hope, love, and pride there as well. It’s a hyper-reality, but it never dips too far into fantasy because it’s always grounded in the real world. To Pimp A Butterfly is easily the album I’ve listen to the most this year. This album is so consistent from top to bottom that 11 of the album’s 16 songs are vying for my favorite track (on the album and of the year).