TOP 5 RELEASES OF 2015 | Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr (The Primal Music Blog & Wozniak)


In her time, Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr has attended raves and rock clubs. She enjoys pedals, pizza and spy dramas. Sarah also plays guitar in Edinburgh-based noisemakers Wozniak and is co-founder of Morningside Young Team who put on gigs and put out records for discerning audiences who enjoy fuzz and confusion. The Primal Music Blog has been blessed to have somebody as committed to writing about the underground shoegazing scene as Sarah is. We’re looking forward to what she comes up with next year. Below are her top 5 releases of 2015:

” There’s been an avalanche of amazing music in 2015, and I have got to say thanks to Primal for helping me discover so much. Since taking on my privileged role as Primal reviewer, I’ve discovered lots of cool new stuff, and the eclectic collection of shows has helped too. So, thank you Primal! Choosing a top 5 is tough, and if I did it tomorrow, it would almost certainly be totally different. But here goes.”

1. Waxahatchee – Ivy Tripp.

My top release of 2015 is Ivy Tripp by the wonderful ‘Waxahatchee’. The confessional, yet artful, lyrics, that strong 90s vibe and her glorious voice just make it un-putdownable. There is more electric guitar on this than the first album which just makes it even more perfect in my eyes and ears. I still have not got over the disappointment that she didn’t play at Primavera, despite being on a European tour at the time. Maybe next year. (Chosen track: Under a rock).

2. HYLA – Fever Calls Late.

Roogaze has been quite a thing in 2015, and to my mind, HYLA are all that’s good about it. With this fine EP, the Perth-based band nodded to the greats of gaze, but twisted sounds to fit their own vision. Weightless Cloud is simply one of my songs of the year. There was talk of an album in 2015 – I’m waiting!


3. Revolution – The Shoegaze Revival.

2015 has been a revolutionary year for shoegaze. With the triumphant return of Slowdive ringing in everyone’s ears at the end of 2014, the stage was set for a few other ‘old favourites’ to dust off the stripy tees and EHX Small Stones. That’s all very cool! However, shoegaze has been thriving quietly in the underground for the past 20 years. And that’s where Revolution comes in. Featuring 30 bands from 16 countries, it’s a statement of the strength, scale and scope of the shoegaze scene. Curated by scene fulcrum Shauna McLarnon, this is a mighty collection of sounds and a clear statement that shoegaze is healthy and growing, not just a nostalgia trip.


4. Sonic Youth – Goo.

Goo wasn’t released this year. In fact, it turned 25, and that caused me to revisit it. A lot. It sounds as fresh and anarchic and vital as it did when I was first gifted a hand-written taped copy from my husband-to-be. And regrettably, the lyrical themes remain relevant with many aspects of female identity and experience under examination. My favourite track is Tunic, possibly of all time.

5. Warpaint – I’ll Start Believing.

Warpaint are an amazing contradiction – at once huge and mainstream (their most recent release was premiered on Radio 1) and at the same time, hugely, vastly under-rated. Anyway, they make unique, incomparable music and are happy to do exactly what they want, how they want. This track is an excellent example of that. Having decided that they’d had enough of the routine of making and album and then touring the album, they said in 2015 they’d just release tracks as and when they were ready and they felt like it. So far, there’ve only managed 2, but it’s clearly about quality.

2015 has been a pretty good year for music I’ve been involved in creating too. Thanks to everyone who has supported Wozniak’s work this year. And of course one of our highlights was playing in Dublin and getting to meet Primal head honcho Del Chaney in real life!


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