2015 Best Music pt. 1 – Jeff the Brotherhood

I’ll start off by listing the first of several artists that you won’t find on any of the “best of” lists in most music magazines and websites. Sure, a few of the top picks by Uncut, Pitchfork, Metacritic and the like are worthy; I’m thinking specifically of Courtney Barnett, Kendrick Lamar and Sleater Kinney (all of which will be in my top 25 songs of 2015). But those artists get enough attention, and I’d like to promote the lesser knowns, who have released albums just as awesome as those three.

  1.  Jeff the Brotherhood –  Wasted On The Dream; Global Chakra Rhythms

Well, JtB is hardly unknown, but their strong early 2015 release, Wasted On The Dream, was a regular repeat listen all year on my iPod. Certainly slicker than their previous seven albums, I, for one, appreciated the tighter, yet more adventurous arrangements. And who would have expected a guest turn from rock legend Ian Anderson for a kick-ass flute solo on “Black Cherry Pie.” The place where Weezer meets the Meat Puppets. With flute.

If you don’t “get” this music video, as I didn’t at first, watch the video below to appreciate JtB’s strange homage brilliance.

This would have been enough to place JtB in my top 10 of 2015, but apparently, the stoner brothers Orrall weren’t all that thrilled with all the Weezer comparisons and didn’t gel with their big label management, so they parted ways, and, filling out their band with an additional guitarist and a bassist, went back to their early, jammy, spacey roots with the November release, Global Chakra Rhythms. I haven’t had time to let this one sink in as much as Wasted On The Dream, but on just a couple listens, it’s apparent that the brothers are inspired and perhaps back in their more comfortable element. It’s certainly exponentially less hooky, but the perfect album to put on at the end of a party, when everyone is chillin’ and reclining on soft furniture.

 

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