Todd Richardson

Anxious Sound

Anxious Sound — AOTY

The Best Albums
of 2015


Sitting quietly in scorching reimagined suburbia

Deafheaven, Luna


2015.19

The Original Faces
Helen
2015.18

A Folk Set Apart
Cass McCombs
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2015.17

A Year With 13 Moons
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma
 
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2015.16

Barrow
Cemeteries
2015.15

The Republic
Sam Prekop
2015.14

Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper
Panda Bear
 
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2015.13

New Bermuda
Deafheaven
2015.12

Fading Frontier
Deerhunter
2015.11

Sonnet
Benoit Pioulard
 
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2015.10

Lo
Crosss
2015.09

Sun Coming Down
Ought
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2015.08

Lightless Walk
Cult Leader
 
2015.07

Have You In My Wilderness
Julia Holter
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2015.06

Hermits on Holiday
DRINKS
2015.05

The Deal
SUMAC
 
2015.04

The Agent Intellect
Protomartyr
2015.03

Self Portrait
Loma Prieta
2015.02

S/T LP
Viet Cong
 

2015.01

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.