top5Sure, there are still two plus months to go in 2015, but now is as good a time as ever to start getting our heads around the best album of the year. An there have been a lot of gems. Falcon’s Nest favorite Paul Weller came out with a new one, JD Souther made his first appearance in years, Emmy Lou and Rodney dished up another set, and The Darkness even crawled back from the abyss to come up with a solid record. Toto, Bryan Adams, and U.F.O. also have released not spectacular, but listenable sets. In short, it has been a very good year, and here are some of the leading contenders to make the top 5 list.

Chris Stapleton – Traveller

You would be hard pressed to find a record that is pound for pound better than this one. Steve Dalrymple of Mojo calls this one the best album of the year, If the year is 1973 that is. And he is spot on. This one blends old school Outlaw Country with songwriting that will touch the soul, and a voice that will melt the ice in your whiskey glass.

Dawes – All Your Favorite Bands

No band waves the Cosmic Cowboy Laurel Canyon vibe quite like Dawes, and with All Your Favorite Bands they turn the mojo up even a little higher. The songwriting is contemporary, top notch, and very poignant while the musicianship continues to impress.  Only nine songs here, but every one is a keeper and the title track might be the best song we have heard in several years.

The London Souls – Here Come the Girls

The perfectly named London Souls are just two guys, a guitar player and a drummer that have come up with a formula that combines the 60’s psychedelic vibe of the Loving Spoonful, with Matthew Sweet Power Pop along with a slight Replacements feel to give the songs a Garage texture. This is good carefree stuff. ‘When I’m With You” is worth the price of admission alone on this one.

The Deslondes – The Deslondes

The Deslondes are branches from the Hurray for the Riff Raff tree. They are Americana, with some severe old school Country roots, with some surf guitar thrown in to keep things as cool as the other side of the pillow. The song titles alone will bring you on board with “Fought the Blues and Won,” “Less Honkin’ More Tonkin’ and “Low Down Soul” as stand outs. Make this one a new find for you and tell your friends.

Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I just Sit

Besides being the drop the microphone winner for best album title of the year, this one will grow on you with multiple listens. Groovy Aussie accent aside, Courtney Barnett is a superb guitar player and a songwriter that has come into her own with this one.