Old Dogs Can Learn New Tricks / A Review of 2015

Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Kyle and I’m a new contributor to hissing lawns as well as a new resident of Savannah. I like electric Neil Young, girl singers, pedals, and “pop” music.

With social atrocities and a sense of real anxiety amongst the political state of the world, along with the content overload the Internet provides, it’s sometimes hard to follow the music scene.

In 2015 we saw many of our favorite artists ascend to new territories; some chose to magnify the chaos, others decided to escape with big hooks and euphoria.

Kendrick Lamar, the street preacher, released a ferocious album about the social injustice, police brutality, racial disparity of America, and, let’s not forget, getting a whole ton of pussy. Viet Cong, half comprised of the wonderful but ultimately tragic band, Women, returned with the most stark post-punk albums in years. Bringing a relentless thrashing of noise and dissonance, the band has evolved the genre’s figurehead while, lyrically, reminding us that technology is slowing destroying our culture and sense of “self”. (How thoughtful, right?)

On the flipside, Grimes beat the hype and deservingly ascended the throne of DIY pop star with the most fun and eccentric dance album in years. Lower Dens turned down the broodiness of their past records and elevated into a very sexy 80s band. And My Morning Jacket reminded everyone that they aren’t just a festival headliner and that they can use synth pads that would make the likes of Washed Out envious.

Ulimately, artists we’re accustomed to have changed and this year we saw a lot of it. The new prince of rap is more like a queen, Wilco made a song that sounds like T. Rex. The world’s biggest douchebag is now the most beloved. You never know what’s up anyone’s sleeve anymore, it truly is dizzying. In ending this post, I’ll give you quotes from my two favorites of the year that leave me with a little relief. “Take your handicaps / Channel them and feed them back / Til they become your strengths / All our love its all the same” or in other words… “I fucked up homie, and you fucked up homie, but if God got us, we gonna be alright.”

Here’s a playlist of my picks for best songs of 2015: