As news feeds and magazines are plastered with lists of the year’s best music, we rounded up 2015’s local releases. A standout album is more than just a collection of catchy singles; it’s a carefully curated work that grows and develops with each song. These notable Boston-bred releases charmed our team and successfully captured those elements: 1. Latrell James – Twelve Rapper/producer Latrell James gave us 12 reasons this past May why he’s regarded as one of Boston’s best lyricists. His album, Twelve, offers candid lines like “I grew up with my own Heathcliff and Clair/to have both of your parents in your household is rare.” On top of original production from James and his brother, Twelve is an album that young people everywhere can relate to and find new meaning with each listen. 2. Darlingside – Birds Say A gulp of refreshing indie folk, Birds Say touches unexpected places — a bubbly soft drink that tickles your nose instead of your tongue. 3. The Ballroom Thieves – A Wolf in the Doorway Swell and sway with the sweet harmonies of this wholesome folk trio. Less a work of dainty dancers and more of weathered sailors, there’s a roughness and grit that comes with many of the tracks. All little pigs and folk fans should welcome this Wolf with open arms. 4. Ripe – Hey Hello A fresh, groove-filled jam from funk’s forbidden fruit. Jovial vocals and warm blasts of horns are a welcome change from the sullen garage rock prominent in our local music scene. 5. Michael Christmas – What A Weird Day The sequel to Is This Art?, October’s What a Weird Day expands Michael Christmas’s regular-guy-rapper repertoire, this time featuring many different producers and high-profile guest artists like Mac Miller and Logic, both of whom Christmas has now toured with. An 18-track medley of Christmas’s experiences since leaving Boston to pursue music professionally, What a Weird Day solidifies Christmas as a national presence. 6. Oh Malô – Blue, Red, Orange Oh Malô’s three-part indie-rock EP is an example of a concept album done right. Each part highlights a particular emotion and follows the breakup motif. 7. Vundabar – Gawk Chunky bass-laden riffs support buoyant vocals; a tight and mature sound for this young act, Gawk presents baroque-pop earworms and a glimpse of Vundabar’s darker side. 8. Palehound – Dry Food Female-driven, melancholy noise-rock courtesy of Ellen Kempner. Honest and raw, Dry Food is more about human nature than dog sustenance. 9. Mad Satta – Break Me Free Begins with danceable modern funk before stepping back to melt you with smooth, silky, soulful sounds. Or, as we mentioned earlier this year, “an oh-so sensual groove that whispers please don’t show this to your parents.” 10. These Wild Plains – These Wild Plains Rock ‘n’ roll guitar solos with a touch of twang, thanks to harmonica and acoustic guitar picking. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window) One Response Flying Tides December 22, 2015 A few good ones on this list, but where’s “Suffolk County”? Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.