Best New Music of 2015, Part 2: Esoteric

See Part 1 of our series here: http://www.lib.miamioh.edu/blog/best-new-music-2015-part-1-spotify-playlist

A few weeks ago, Amos Music Library debuted Part 1 of our playlist series featuring the best popular music of 2015. The first list presented the top 20 albums from artists with at least 100,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. Today we share our "Esoteric" list. Once again, these top 20 albums have the highest average scores from metacritic.com and rateyourmusic.com; in this case, however, these artists have fewer than 100,000 monthly listeners. Here you'll find some unusual genres and sub-genres with a small number of enthusiastic fans. Looking for Indie Pop sung in Welsh? A radical environmentalism-themed fusion of death metal and grindcore? Folk music from Mali? They're all here!

Listen: https://open.spotify.com/user/amoslib/playlist/04urMLcI5TBENsdf9416bj

Also, please note that some well-received albums are not available on Spotify and are not eligible for our lists. Two such albums (by Joanna Newsom and Steven Wilson) are owned by the library on CD, so be sure to stop by and check those out, as well.

Here are the Top 20 Esoteric albums, in order, with their respective genres:

  • Napalm Death - Apex Predator -- Easy Meat [Grindcore]
  • Cattle Decapitation - Anthropocene Extinction [Deathgrind]
  • Kamasi Washington - The Epic [Spiritual Jazz]
  • Mbongwana Star - From Kinshasa [Tradi-Modern]
  • Dave Rawlings Machine - Nashville Obsolete [Americana]
  • James McMurtry - Complicated Game [Singer/Songwriter]
  • Deafheaven - New Bermuda [Blackgaze]
  • Protomartyr - Agent Intellect [Post-Punk]
  • Israel Nash - Silver Season [Folk Rock]
  • Hop Along - Painted Shut [Indie Rock]
  • Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba - Ba Power [Mande Music]
  • Oneohtrix Point Never - Garden of Delete [Progressive Electronic]
  • Royal Headache - High [Power Pop]
  • The Bad Plus - The Bad Plus Joshua Redman [Jazz]
  • Gretchen Peters - Blackbirds [Singer/Songwriter]
  • Anna von Hausswolff - The Miraculous [Experimental Rock]
  • Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld - Never Were the Way She Was [Post-Minimalism]
  • Chelsea Wolfe - Abyss [Darkwave]
  • Gwenno - Y Dydd Olaf [Indie Pop]
  • Lightning Bolt - Fantasy Empire [Noise Rock]

Check back next week for our third and final list.