AllMusic 2015 Year In Review

Favorite Singer/Songwriter Albums -

 From veteran singer/songwriters like James Taylor, Richard Thompson and James McMurtry to up-and-comers like Brandi Carlile, José González and Tobias Jesso, Jr., there was plenty to enjoy from these sincere, often-solitary performers.
So There

Ben Folds

So There

A remarkably Folds-branded set of his piano rock songs with experimental chamber ensemble yMusic and piano concerto with the Nashville Symphony.

Who Is the Sender?

Bill Fay

Who Is the Sender?

After a four-decade break, the British songwriter delivers his second gem in three years with producer Joshua Henry.

West Kirby County Primary

Bill Ryder-Jones

West Kirby County Primary

The introspective bard of West Kirby turns up the guitars on his warm and weary third album.

The Firewatcher's Daughter

Brandi Carlile

The Firewatcher's Daughter

The singer/songwriter gets appealingly messy with this vibrant, beautiful collection.

Faith in the Future

Craig Finn

Faith in the Future

The Hold Steady leader presents his second solo album, where he comes off as an eccentric Springsteen of indie rock.

Wisdom, Laughter and Lines

Jacqui Abbott / Paul Heaton

Wisdom, Laughter and Lines

An equally satisfying, style-sampling follow-up to their 2014 reunion hit (in the U.K.) from the former Beautiful South bandmates.

Complicated Game

James McMurtry

Complicated Game

The outstanding singer/songwriter dials back on politics but is as incisive as ever as he sings of a handful of American lives.

Before This World

James Taylor

Before This World

After a 13-year hiatus, the singer/songwriter begins to write originals again with this relaxed record.

On Your Own Love Again

Jessica Pratt

On Your Own Love Again

Second album from California singer/songwriter thankfully does little to change the strange radiance established on her debut.

John Howard & the Night Mail

John Howard / John Howard & the Night Mail

John Howard & the Night Mail

Teaming up with a guitar-bass-drums trio, the majestic pop singer/songwriter turns in one of his best albums.

Sermon on the Rocks

Josh Ritter

Sermon on the Rocks

After cutting a somber breakup album, the songwriter gets back in the swing of things on this lively and literate set of tunes.

Vestiges & Claws

José González

Vestiges & Claws

Poetic, existential masterpiece of warm, harmonically enveloping folk from the Swedish artist.

Absent Fathers

Justin Townes Earle

Absent Fathers

Companion piece to 2014's Single Mothers that extends the songwriter's song cycle on broken families and failed relationships.

Bittersweet

Kasey Chambers

Bittersweet

Australian singer and songwriter goes it (relatively) alone, and delivers a dozen great songs and heartfelt performances.

After

Lady Lamb / Lady Lamb the Beekeeper

After

Second proper album from this singer and songwriter mixes up folk, pop, and indie rock with real smarts and palpable joy.

Fast Food

Nadine Shah

Fast Food

Tackling more topics but coloring everything cursed, this sophomore release is as beautiful and as bloody as Shah's debut.

Natalie Prass

Natalie Prass

Natalie Prass

A gorgeous fusion of Laurel Canyon singer/songwriter folk and Southern soul on this impressive debut from the former Jenny Lewis sidewoman.

Hollow Meadows

Richard Hawley

Hollow Meadows

The Sheffield songwriter and guitarist shines a light directly on his craft in an expert collection of intimate songs.

Still

Richard Thompson

Still

The British folk-rock icon goes into the studio with Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, who helps him sound just like himself.

Carousel One [Deluxe]

Ron Sexsmith

Carousel One [Deluxe]

The amiable Canadian troubadour's 14th record is more casual and light-hearted than his previous couple of efforts.

Primrose Green

Ryley Walker

Primrose Green

The Chicago guitarist pays homage to the influences of Tim Buckley, John Martyn, and more on this stoned, sensual set.

Goon

Tobias Jesso, Jr.

Goon

Earnest snapshots of heartache and relationships govern this simple but surprising debut from the eerily '70s singer/songwriter-evoking Canadian.