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Top 10 Albums of the Year: Public Top 10 and Contributing Lists

Public Top 10

  1. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly
  2. Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell
  3. Tame Impala, Currents
  4. Father John Misty, I Love You Honeybear
  5. Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
  6. Grimes, Art Angels
  7. Titus Andronicus, The Most Lamentable Tragedy
  8. Beach House, Depression Cherry
  9. Panda Bear, Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper
  10. Sleater-Kinney, No Cities To Love

Thanks to everyone who submitted lists for our Public Top 10! This was quite a success, we had so many great lists submitted. Here are a selection; we received lists from all over, many from lovely former KJHK staff, KU staff, and KU students.


(A Selection of) Contributing Lists: 

Emilie Stafford – KJHK alumni; former DJ and Music Director from Hutchinson, KS

  1. Tame Impala, CurrentsTame Impala Currents
  2. Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell
  3. Father John Misty,  I Love You, Honeybear
  4. Panda Bear, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper
  5. Alpine, Yuck
  6. Ducktails, St. Catherine
  7. Tennis, Ritual in Repeat
  8. Mac DeMarco, Another One
  9. Leon Bridges, Coming Home
  10. Lianne La Havas, Blood

“2015 has been one of my favorite years for music. It was very hard to choose just ten. The ones listed are the albums I had the deepest connections with. “Currents” was easily my top pick with its depth and freshness while still sounding like the Tame Impala I adore. “Carrie and Lowell” is hauntingly beautiful, practically spiritual (and seeing Sufjan live is nothing short of a religious experience). Newcomer Leon Bridges hooked me line and sinker with his classic style and stunning vocals. Each of these albums I listen to on repeat and enjoy immensely!”

Mitch Raznick – KJHK alumni; former Live Music Director from Omaha, NE

  1. Young Fathers, White Men Are Black Men TooWhite_Men_Are_Black_Men_Too (1)
  2. Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell
  3. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly
  4. Shlohmo, Dark Red
  5. Hiatus Kaiyote, Choose Your Weapon
  6. Tame Impala, Currents
  7. Beach House, Depression Cherry
  8. Earl Sweatshirt, I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside
  9. Deafheaven, New Bermuda
  10. Ta-ku, Songs To Make Up To

It’s really hard to pick a list of favorite albums throughout the year without a specific taste. My taste ranges from trip-hop to powerviolence and everything in between, so it’s really difficult to rank which album was better than the next; each was made with such different compositions, ideas, moods, etc. So when it comes down to it, I just kind of think about which ones I listen to most, and rank them with that in mind. I guess that might mean these could be a little out of order, but these are my top 10 albums of the year nonetheless, and I wouldn’t really recommend one over another. Just listen to them all if you haven’t already. I promise you won’t be mad. If you do end up being mad… sorry.”

Matt Primovic  KJHK alumni; former Station Manager, Student from Overland Park, KS

  1. Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell61HaPDwGHgL._SY300
  2. Tame Impala, Currents
  3. Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
  4. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly
  5. Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment, Surf
  6. Panda Bear, Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper
  7. Natalie Prass, Natalie Prass
  8. Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear
  9. Beach House, Depression Cherry
  10. Björk, Vulnicura

Jake Waters – KJHK alumni; Former Programming Director from Lawrence, KS

  1. Oneohtrix Point Never, Garden Of Delete416XqjdYwiL._SY300_
  2. Mountain Goats, Beat the Champ
  3. 2814, 新しい日の誕生
  4. Waxahatchee, Ivy Tripp
  5. Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell
  6. Beach House, Depression Cherry
  7. Alex G, Beach Music
  8. Tobias Jesso Jr., Goon
  9. Neon Indian, Vega Intl. Night School
  10. Lou Barlow, Brace The Wave

Adam Miller – KJHK Alumni; former DJ from Los Angeles, CA

  1. Pale Fires, Mammothmammoth
  2. Rajas, Infidelic
  3. Title Fight, Hyperview
  4. Ohnomoon, VVV [EP]
  5. Lower Dens, Escape From Evil
  6. The Kickdrums, Breathe Again [EP]
  7. Color Therapy, Mr. Wolf Is Dead
  8. Steady Suns, F L O R A
  9. Street Joy, Street Joy
  10. XETAS, The Redeemer

DJ ThatOld is still kickin’, if in a different place. Good tunes for folks, if they are interested. It’s been a pretty decent year in music.”

Sydney Bernstein – Overland Park, KS

  1. Shannon & the Clams, Gone By the Dawnrsz_shannonandtheclams_lp2
  2. Mac DeMarco, Another One
  3. Of Montreal, Aureate Gloom
  4. Chastity Belt, Time To Go Home
  5. Ghostface Killah & BADBADNOTGOOD, Sour Soul
  6. Colleen Green, I Want To Grow Up
  7. Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
  8. Beach House, Depression Cherry
  9. Björk, Vulnicura
  10. Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell

This was super hard, yo. 2015 was pretty tight.”

Zach Bailey – Overland Park, KS

  1. Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear8a2cb994
  2. Vince Staples, Summertime ’06
  3. Everything Everything, Get To Heaven
  4. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly
  5. Boy & Bear, Limit of Love
  6. Angus & Julia Stone, Spotify Sessions
  7. Disclosure, Caracal
  8. Rihanna, Kanye, & Paul McCartney, FourFiveSeconds
  9. George Ezra, Wanted On Voyage
  10. Justin Bieber, Purpose

Ethan Hoffman – Nashville, TN

  1. Grimes, Art Angelsgrimes-art-angels-cover
  2. Sufjan Stevens, Carrie and Lowell
  3. Villagers, Darling Arithmetic
  4. Beirut, No No No
  5. Of Montreal, Aureate Gloom
  6. Mikal Cronin, MCIII
  7. Waxahatchee, Ivy Tripp
  8. Thee Oh Sees, Mutilator Defeated At Last
  9. Deerhunter, Fading Frontier
  10. Tyler, The Creator, Cherry Bomb

Keil Eggers – KU Staff from Lawrence, KS

  1. Titus Andronicous, The Most Lamentable Tragedytitus andronicus
  2. Sahtyre, LSD (SAga)
  3. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly
  4. Lupe Fiasco, Tetsuo & Youth
  5. The Game, The Documentary 2
  6. Fashawn, The Ecology
  7. Denmark Vessey, Martin Lucid Dream
  8. Wavves, V
  9. Busdriver, Thumbs
  10. Vince Staples, Summertime ’06

I tried to include projects that were interesting concept wise, even if the end result isn’t the most polished.”

Rhiannon Pearon – Lawrence, KS

  1. Purity Ring, Another EternityPurity_Ring_-_Another_Eternity
  2. Florence + The Machine, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
  3. Carseat Headrest, Teens of Style
  4. Beach House, Depression Cherry
  5. Grimes, Art Angels
  6. Jamie xx, In Colour
  7. CHVRCHES, Every Open Eye
  8. Lana Del Rey, Honeymoon
  9. Marina and the Diamonds, Froot

“Long live purity ring.”

Eric Havens – KU Staff from Kansas City, MO

  1. Waxahatchee, Ivy Tripp61H9zrtTOFL._SY300
  2. Sleater-Kinney, No Cities to Love
  3. Du Blonde, Welcome Back To Milk
  4. Torres, Sprinter
  5. Veruca Salt, Ghost Notes
  6. Peaches, Rub
  7. Girlpool, Before The World Was Big
  8. Sarah Jaffe, Visions
  9. Grimes, Art Angels
  10. Angel Haze, Back to the Woods

Ally Stanton – KU Staff from Lawrence, KS

  1. to pimp a butterflyKendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly
  2. Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
  3. Original Broadway Cast, Hamilton
  4. Leon Bridges, Coming Home
  5. D’Angelo and The Vanguard, Black Messiah
  6. Brandi Carlile, The Firewatcher’s Daughter
  7. Chris Stapleton, Traveller
  8. Florence + The Machine, How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
  9. Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear
  10. Tame Impala, Currents

Conor Taft – KU Staff from Naperville, IL

  1. Titus Andronicus, The Most Lamentable Tragedytitus andronicus
  2. My Morning Jacket, The Waterfall
  3. D’Angelo and the Vanguard, Black Messiah
  4. Wilco, Star Wars
  5. Blur, The Magic Whip
  6. Orignial Broadway Cast, Hamilton
  7. Sleater-Kinney, No Cities To Love
  8. Blitzen Trapper, All Across This Land
  9. Beach Slang, The Things We Do to Find People Who Feel Like Us
  10. Leon Bridges, Coming Home

Ailecia Ruscin – Auburn, AL

  1. Various Artists, Lawrence Kansas Punk Rock Vol. 1a3373636113_16
  2. Various Artists, Van Life LFK Mixtape Compilation 2
  3. Junglepussy, Satisfaction Guaranteed
  4. S, Cool Choies
  5. Sia, 1000 Forms of Fear [Deluxe Edition]
  6. Radkey, Dark Black Makeup
  7. Chastity Belt, Time to Go Home
  8. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly
  9. R. Ring, Loud Underneath
  10. Beach House, Depression Cherry

Gareth Skarka – Lawrence, KS

  1. Rhiannon Giddens, Tomorrow Is My Turnrhiannon giddens tomorrow is my turn
  2. Duran Duran, Paper Gods
  3. Original Broadway Cast, Hamilton
  4. Muse, Drones
  5. Mark Ronson, Uptown Special
  6. Roisin Murphy, Hairless Toys
  7. Florence + The Machine, How Big How Blue How Beautiful
  8. Ghost, Meliora
  9. New Order, Music Complete
  10. Foo Fighters, St. Cecilia

Kylie Hiatt – KU Student from Wentzville, MO

  1. Major Lazer, Peace is the Missionmajor lazer
  2. The Neighbourhood, Wiped Out
  3. Chainsmokers, Bouquet
  4. Madeon, Adventure
  5. Lil Dicky, Professional Rapper
  6. Glanatis, Pharmacy
  7. Joywave, How Do You Feel Now?
  8. Disclosure, Caracal
  9. X Ambassadors, VHS
  10. Yellow Claw, Blood for Mercy

Keeler Montgomery – Lawrence, KS

  1. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterflyto pimp a butterfly
  2. Hot Sugar, God’s Hand
  3. Girlpool, Before The World Was Big
  4. Earl Sweatshirt, I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside
  5. Sir Michael Rocks, Populair
  6. D.R.A.M., Gahdamn! [EP]
  7. Goldlink, After That We Didn’t Talk
  8. Nickelus F, Triflin
  9. Tame Impala, Currents
  10. A$AP Rocky, At Long Last A$AP

“If I had another week King Krule would prolly make the cut.”

Jon Allen – Rochester, MN

  1. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterflyto pimp a butterfly
  2. Panda Bear, Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper
  3. Matthew E. White, Fresh Blood
  4. Wolf Eyes, Twister Nightfall
  5. Lightning Bolt, Fantasy Empire
  6. Sexwitch, Sexwitch
  7. Battles, La Di Da Di
  8. Sleater-Kinney, No Cities To Love
  9. Albert Hammond Jr., Momentary Masters
  10. Oddisee, The Good Fight

Ross Finocchiaro – KU Student from Omaha, NE

  1. Deerhunter, Fading Frontierdeerhunter
  2. Beach House, Thank Your Lucky Stars
  3. Screaming Females, Rose Mountain
  4. Beach House, Depression Cherry
  5. Built To Spill, Untethered Moon
  6. Royal Headache, High
  7. Lil’ Ugly Mane, Trick Dice
  8. Aphex Twin, Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments Part 2
  9. Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear
  10. Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Trevor Bashaw – KU Student from Manhattan, KS

  1. Teen Suicide, DC Snuff Film / Waste Yrselfteen suicide
  2. Girlpool, Before The World Was Big
  3. Tame Impala, Currents
  4. Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell
  5. Made In Heights, Without My Enemy What Would I Do
  6. Grimes, Art Angels
  7. Björk, Vulnicura
  8. Shamir, Ratchet
  9. Purity Ring, Another Eternity
  10. Le1f, Riot Boi

Austin Becker – KU student from Shawnee, KS

  1. Sometime-I-SitCourtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
  2. Tame Impala, Currents
  3. CHVRCHES, Every Open Eye
  4. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly
  5. Leon Bridges, Coming Home
  6. Drake, If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late
  7. Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color
  8. Desaparecidos, Payola
  9. Dawes, All Your Favorite Bands
  10. Adele, 25

Will Webber – KU Student from Prairie Village, KS

  1. Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell61HaPDwGHgL._SY300
  2. Madlib, African Ear Wax
  3. Kamasi Washington, The Epic
  4. Travis Scott, Rodeo
  5. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly
  6. Destroyer, Poison Season
  7. Grimes, Art Angels
  8. Jay Rock, 90059
  9. Jamie xx, In Colour
  10. Deerhunter, Fading Frontier

Christos Anastos –  Mansfield, KS

  1. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterflyto pimp a butterfly
  2. Tame Impala, Currents 
  3. Jamie xx, In Colour
  4. Deafheaven, New Bermuda
  5. Grimes, Art Angels
  6. Dr. Dre, Compton
  7. FKA Twigs, M3LL155X
  8. Björk, Vulnicura
  9. Miguel, Wildheart
  10. Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit

Nick Spacek –  Lawrence, KS

  1. Night-Birds-Mutiny-At-Muscle-BeachNight Birds, Mutiny at Muscle Beach 
  2. Worries, Imaginary Life
  3. Ultimate Painting, Green Lanes
  4. Leon Bridges, Coming Home
  5. Thundercat, The Beyond/Where Giants Roam
  6. Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
  7. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly
  8. Viet Cong, Viet Cong
  9. Radkey, Dark Black Makeup
  10. Adele, 25

A strange mix of danceable music and angry angry music.”

Ian Hrabe – Spring Hill, KS

  1. The Mountain Goats, Beat the ChampBeatthechamp
  2. Courtney Barnett, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
  3. Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear
  4. Hope Along, Painted Shut
  5. Laura Stevenson, Cocksure
  6. Mikal Cronin, MCII
  7. Jeff Rosenstock, We Cool?
  8. Julien Baker, Sprained Ankle
  9. The Tallest Man On Earth, Dark Bird Is Home
  10. Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell

Less a best of and more of a personal favorites from the little indie rock bubble I live in.”

Kendrick Ducksworth – KU Student from California

  1. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterflyto pimp a butterfly
  2. J Cole, 2014 Hills Drive
  3. The Internet, Ego Death
  4. Adele, 25
  5. Mac Miller, GO:OD AM
  6. Logic, The Incredible True Story
  7. Imagine Dragons, Smoke + Mirrors
  8. Passenger, Whisper II
  9. A$AP Rocky, At Long Last A$AP
  10. The Wonder Years, No Closer to Heaven

Apparently I didn’t listen to a lot of albums this year…”

Brad Girard – Lawrence, KS

  1. Toughies, Tough Enoughtoughies
  2. Drake, If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late
  3. Tame Impala, Currents
  4. Van Morrison, Astral Weeks [Reissue]
  5. Jamie xx, In Colour
  6. Father John Misty, I Love You, Honeybear
  7. Meek Mill, Dreams Worth More Than Money
  8. Rev Gusto, Burnt Out Friends
  9. Deerhunter, Fading Frontier
  10. The Weeknd, Beauty Behind The Madness