Northern Irish acts rounding off our Top 50 of 2015.
2015 has been another fantastic year for lovers of all things indie-folk and alt-country. We’ve discovered a whole stack of new acts, caught some momentous shows like Van on Cyprus Avenue, and had the pleasure to meet and chat to some great people along the way. We’ve listened to more music around here than we thought was humanly possible and while it’s probable this running order will change and likely we’ve forgotten a few classic records, here is our editor’s pick of what got us going in the last twelve months.
41. Matt McGinn – Latter Day Sinner
Beautifully composed, laid back, Northern Irish craftsmanship at its very best with stunning cover art by Mark Reihill.
42. Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard – Django and Jimmie
Aged 78 and 82, the inseparable Butch and Sundance of country music are still releasing classic records with hit potential.
43. Frank Turner – Positive Songs For Negative People
A sixth album from the former punk, dealing with the past but looking to the future with elements of folk in with the rock.
Frank Turner's 'Positive Songs for Negative People' comes in at number 43.
44. Boduf Songs – Stench Of Exist
Brooding sonic tones, loaded with atmosphere that impact like a slow firm punch to the gut. It’s more than worth the effort.
45. ANAMAI – Sallows
Ethereal, understated folk is the side-project of HSY’s Anna Mayberry. Performing as ANAMAI since 2013 there’s a simple elegance.
46. Beans on Toast – Rolling Up The Hill
More of the same from Jay McAllister, razor sharp wit, Essex charm and vicious turn of phrase but this time with a softer side.
47. Malojian – Southlands
Another Northern Irish entry just breaking into the Top 50 from Stevie Scullion with finely produced, folk-pop tuneage.
48. Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band – So Delicious
Foot stompin’, whoopin’ and a-hollerin’ from the in-fom Reverend’s big damn band. More of a force live but still a great record.
49. Anthony Toner – Miles and Weather
Wry tales from the road from a veteran of the Northern Irish folk scene with lyrical honesty and catchy melodies aplenty.
50. Bill Wells and Aidan Moffat – The Most Important Place In The World
The dark underbelly of today’s folk scene, Wells and Moffat are the counterfoil of all that’s twee much like Arab Strap two decades before.
Stevie Scullion's Malojian released 'Southlands' in 2015 to critical acclaim.