There’s no better way to get a new perspective on a band, a sound, or a scene than a change in venue. I had a major one this year when I moved from Chicago to Los Angeles to attend grad school at USC. I got a brief taste of the LA punk scene, I hit up two LA festivals, and I absorbed the LA venues, all with their own legacy and character that’s apart from Chicago.

2015 saw a blockbuster new album from Adele, what is likely Coldplay’s final record, a seminal album of our times from Kendrick Lamar and many more. But the Top 5 albums on this countdown are personal, emotional, melancholy, and yet still invigorating and entrancing.

Brian Welk’s Best Albums of 2015 by Ampersandla on Mixcloud