Best Debut Albums of 2015

This past year was a great year for debut albums, and especially a mammoth year for women in music. About 65 percent of our debut selections are from some very talented women. While we could have easily added a few more records to this list, we like to keep it selective. When it comes down to what exactly makes a “best debut album of 2015”, there are a lot of factors at play, but for us, all the debut records listed below were constantly on repeat throughout the year. From hip hop, rock, pop, electronica and more — these debut albums were each extraordinary in their own way.

In alphabetical order by first name, take a look at Grimy Goods’ selections for the best debut albums of 2015.

Casey Veggies — Live & Grow (Epic)

Casey Veggies

The 22-year old Inglewood rapper has been hustling since 2007 to make a name for himself in the hip-hop world. Getting his start with OFWGKTA, Veggies has taken a big leap with his Live & Grow debut. From approachable pop-infused tracks such as “Tied Up”, to the smooth soulful wonder of “A Little Time” and the hard-hitting flow of “I’m Blessed” — Veggies has made it clear he’s a hip hop force to be reckoned with.
Stream the album.

5 Underground Hip Hop Acts You Need to See at SXSW feat. Casey Veggies


 

Courtney Barnett — Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit (Mom+Pop)

courtney-barnett

This Aussie singer-songwriter evokes memories of ’90s rock with her Nirvana-like riffs and Kurt Cobain stream-of-consciousness lyrics. Though bangers like “Pedestrian at Best” and “Nobody Really Cares If You Don’t Go to the Party” stand out, her slow-tempo “Depreston” is a candidate for one of the best-written songs of 2015. There’s nothing to not like on this record.
Stream the album.

Courtney Barnett tops two nights at The Roxy with charismatic performances


 

GEMS – Kill the One You Love (Carpark Records)

GEMS

LA-based shadow pop duo composed of Lindsay Pitts and Clifford John Usher have delivered a dazzling debut record. The 10-track collection of succulent songs shine with atmospheric soundscapes blasting through infectious harmonies. Like a siren, Pitts’ alluring vocals seduce your senses without letting up. Kill the One You Love is the perfect album to loose yourself (or make love).
Stream the album.

Little Boots brings out the “Working Girl” and works The Echo into a dance frenzy, GEMS open


 

Halsey — BADLANDS (Astralwerks)

Halsey
Alt-pop is very in these days and few have cashed in on that fact as big as the 20-year-old Halsey. She’s blowing up like gangbusters and with a number of catchy radio-friendly tracks off this album at her disposal, the sky is the limit. “New Americana” is the unofficial outsiders anthem, but there’s a lot of quality throughout the record, like on personal favorites “Roman Holiday” and “Strange Love.”
Stream the album.

Halsey rips industry at first sold-out Fonda show, teens scream, riveting alt pop performance


 

Jamie XX — In Colour (Young Turks)

photo by Flavien Prioreau
Starting his musical career as 1/3 of the London-based indietronica trio, The xx, Jamie xx has come into the limelight with the release of his solo debut record, In Colour. The album is a colorful gumbo of sonic pleasures. From the dramatic beats of “Stranger in a Room” to the anthemic soulful sounds of “Loud Places” (which features xx band mate Romy), Jamie has produced a pristine record full of hearty sounds that don’t just stick to one tempo or style.
Stream the album.

Jamie xx blasts the Echoplex with “In Colour” at sold-out performance


 

Leon Bridges  — Coming Home (Columbia Records)

Leon Bridges
Bringing back those sweet yesteryear sounds, Leon Bridges has managed to woo us with his tender doo wop and soul renditions. With a classic voice, Bridges is comfort food for the ears (and soul). While songs like “Pull Away” will softly serenade you, tracks like “Flower” and “Smooth Sailin;” will have you clapping your hands and dancing the night away.
Stream the album.

A dapper Leon Bridges takes Fonda Theatre on a sonic trip through time


 

Meg Myers — Sorry (Atlantic Records)

meg myers sorry
We’ve followed Meg on Grimy Goods for well over a year now and she blew us away with her debut full-length. Though long-time favorites “Desire” and “Make a Shadow” are great, new tracks “Sorry” and “Feather” were somehow a step forward for the young brooding songstress. Myers has found her niche in the angsty alt-rock scene and she definitely moved the needle with this one.
Stream the album.

An interview with Meg Myers: figuring things out as she goes along


 

Natalie Prass — Natalie Prass (StarTime International)

Natalie Prass
Prass’ fragile-sounding vocals soar on her full-length debut. Standout tracks “Bird of Prey” and “Why Don’t You Believe in Me” are master class, and Prass has an extremely capable backing band behind her as she alternates between piano and guitar. It is reminiscent of Jenny Lewis’ debut album with The Watson Twins, which was a little bit folk and a little bit country. Prass ironically was a member of Lewis’ touring band before going out on her own for this album.
Stream the album.

Outside Lands day one rocks with performances by St. Vincent, Strand of Oaks, Natalie Prass & more


 

Ryn Weaver — The Fool (Interscope Records)

ryn weaver
Weaver put the internet blogosphere on notice when her single “OctaHate” dropped seemingly out of nowhere. She captivated a large fanbase with her stylish songwriting and pop melodies, her hook-writing strong on songs like “Promises,” “Stay Low” and “Sail On.” Weaver boasts a “zero fucks given” attitude that carries well on this album and promises much more in the future.
Stream the album.

Out from under the microscope: an interview with rising pop-star Ryn Weaver


 

Shamir — Ratchet (XL Recordings)

SHAMIR
Bringing forth a vibrant blend of electronic, soul and disco. This young Las Vegas native may only be 21 years old but he knows how to stir up a sweaty good time on the dance floor. While Shamir has the ability to create one of the hottest dance floors with songs like “Call It Off” and the playfully bratty “On The Regular,” Shamir can also break it down simply and beautifully with the folk-inspired song “KC”.
Stream the album.

Recommended: Stream Shamir’s debut album “Ratchet” — straight up electro-soul-disco


 

Wolf Alice — My Love is Cool (RCA Records)

wolf alice
This was one of the more anticipated albums of the year and it was well worth the wait. Though their hit “Moaning Lisa Smile” was a throwback to the ’90s-grunge era (very Alice in Chains-ish), the album explores a lot of different sounds and genres and it is strong from beginning to end.
Stream the album.

Wolf Alice show fans’ love for them is cool at sweltering Fonda gig


 

Will Butler — Policy (Merge Records)

will butler album
The younger of Arcade Fire’s Butler Bros., Will took a big step from under the spotlight of older brother Win with his debut album. There’s a little bit of Neil Young meets Elvis Costello on here, particularly with the single “Anna.” It’s eclectic and unique — just as you’d expect from a member of the Arcade Fire clan. Stream the album.

Will Butler of Arcade Fire takes infamous energy to Troubadour for solo gig


 

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

BORNS — Dopamine (Interscope Records)
Tobias Jesso Jr — Goon (True Panther Sounds)
Jacco Gardner — Hypnophobia (Polyvinyl Record Co.)
James Bay — Chaos and the Calm (Republic Records)

Advertisement

Which debut albums were your favorite of 2015? Let us know in a comment below!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *