Todd Richardson

Sitting quietly in scorching reimagined suburbia

Deafheaven, Luna

19
The Original Faces
Helen
18
A Folk Set Apart
Cass McCombs
17
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A Year With 13 Moons
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma
16
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Barrow
Cemeteries
15
The Republic
Sam Prekop
14
Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper
Panda Bear
13
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New Bermuda
Deafheaven
12
Fading Frontier
Deerhunter
11
Sonnet
Benoit Pioulard
10
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09
Sun Coming Down
Ought
08
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Lightless Walk
Cult Leader
07
Have You In My Wilderness
Julia Holter
06
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Hermits on Holiday
DRINKS
05
The Deal
SUMAC
04
The Agent Intellect
Protomartyr
03
Self Portrait
Loma Prieta
02
S/T LP
Viet Cong
01
Noyaux
Benoit Pioulard

For many months in 2015, I was convinced Crosss' Lo — my 10th ranked album — would end the year atop this list; so strong and abundant was the year's new music. Ultimately, though, the highest ranking could only go to Noyaux, one of two new recordings released by Benoit Pioulard this year (the other, Sonnet, also made this list).

Noyaux seemed to come out of nowhere — I wasn't expecting it. Nor could I have expected its visceral impact, which, for me, was profound. Noyaux offers ethereal, wordless soundscapes, in a vein similar to Olan Mill, but with slightly more dissonance. Possibly, this is the sound of the universe expanding. Or the sound of loss. Or the sound of the past unfolding. However you might interpret it, Noyaux is pure sonic, cinematic transport. It's a powerful and hauntingly beautiful experience that elicits emotions that are seldom felt, or that maybe were never before known. That is the purpose of all art, of course, and here Pioulard has done it, and with only four tracks and twenty five minutes, and without words.