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The Music 2015 Writers' Poll: Tara Johnston

23 December 2015 | 2:02 pm | Tara Johnston

album of the year

  1. Sufjan Stevens — Carrie & Lowell
  2. Laura Marling — Short Movie
  3. Father John Misty — I Love You, Honeybear
  4. Florence + The Machine — How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
  5. Belle & Sebastian — Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance
  6. Courtney Barnett — Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit
  7. Young Fathers — White Men Are Black Men Too
  8. The Tallest Man On Earth — Dark Bird Is Home
  9. SOAK — Before We Forgot How To Dream
  10. Szymon — Tigersapp

song of the year

  1. Florence + The Machine — Ship To Wreck
  2. Torres — Sprinter
  3. Ainslie Wills — Drive
  4. EL VY — Return To The Moon (Political Song For Didi Bloome To Sing, With Crescendo)
  5. Kurt Vile — Pretty Pimpin

Artist of the year

  1. Sufjan Stevens
  2. Florence + The Machine
  3. Ryan Adams
  4. Kendrick Lamar
  5. Tame Impala

International artist Performance

  1. Sufjan Stevens
  2. Florence + The Machine
  3. Caribou
  4. Belle & Sebastian
  5. Future Islands

Australian artist Performance

  1. No. 1 Dads
  2. Meg Mac
  3. Gordi
  4. Angus & Julia Stone
  5. Paul Dempsey

top tv show

  1. Mad Men
  2. Nashville
  3. Girls
  4. The Affair
  5. Poldark

Top movie

  1. Me And Earl And The Dying Girl
  2. Testament Of Youth
  3. Dior and I
  4. Cinderella
  5. Inside Out

top website

  1. Buzzfeed
  2. The Onion
  3. Junkee
  4. The New York Times
  5. Tom and Lorenzo

2015 highlight of the year

Sufjan Stevens for releasing Carrie & Lowell, an album that had such genuine emotion, heart, and honesty to it. I can actually only listen to the song Fourth of July if I can fully focus on it and take stock after. Stevens had been tinkering around and generally being a bit goofy for the last few years, so for him to put this painstakingly thoughtful and beautiful album out into the world was gobsmacking. It doesn't feel like many artists today put themselves out there to this degree, to this depth. Harrowing.

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prediction for 2016

I look forward to more amazing, thoughtful, full-throttle cool-pop from female artists like Daughter, hopefully Haim, Sydney artist Gordi, and Meg Mac. I think the 'boutique' festival trend will settle a bit and a few might quietly disappear, while a few others will more firmly establish themselves. It does become hard to keep track of them all. I also predict CDs will soon become even more endangered, and occupy just a fraction of their current space at JB Hi Fi. Streaming or vinyl it is, folks.