It has been a strange year in music for me. At 35, I seem to have admitted to myself, at last, that I am maybe getting a little too old to be going to clubs on a regular basis. Hopefully, something will happen that brings the sort of DJ bars to Tokyo that made England such a pleasure to visit earlier this year, but for now, my vinyl is gathering dust and my disco trousers are at the bottom of the wash basket.

This year also brought streaming to Japan in a big way. As a subscriber to Apple Music, I have found myself wondering what people are talking about when they sow disdain for the service. It’s great for listeners and can hopefully help revitalize the music industry. Having access to basically any album I want to listen to has reacquainted me with a lot of indie, jazz and rock sounds that had sort of fallen of the radar in favor of techno in the last few years.

I also started listening to Gilles Peterson regularly, because my dog loves the show. The Awl’s daily music recommendation has also been a pleasure to follow.

Anyway, in short, my music taste sort of changed. So I made a list of favorite albums and a mix of favorite songs. Here they are:

This album started off unlistenable and irritating, but for some reason I kept listening to it. It has shades of Frank Zappa, and I feel like it should still bug me as some sort of hipster homage to earlier music, but it doesn’t. I really like it.

It’s always nice to see a band revisit their older music and come up with something new. Here, Mercury Rev have made an album that sounds like “Deserter’s Songs,” but in 2015, and by an older and wiser group of musicians.

It’s probably my age, but a lot of the directions electronic music has taken in recent years strike me as self-indulgent noise with little evidence of melody. This album, though, is full of nice pop music, which is what most of the electronic scene was about at one time.

A good stoner album. I have heard people say they find it repetitive and bland. I don’t at all.

There’s not much groundbreaking about this album, but it has some very danceable jazz tracks on it. Sometimes sticking to standards works.

The two tracks on here appear to have been fully sampled from sounds off of YouTube, as that’s what this guy usually does. It’s a quality afrobeat/funk EP, but as it lasts about half an hour, I decided to call it an album.

Also a bit shorter than an album, this includes a couple of songs — “Lone Wolf and Cub” and “Nobody Knows” that are among my favorites of the year. Thundercat became more prominent because of his work with Kendrick Lamarr (see below) and deservedly so. Can’t wait to hear new stuff by him this year.

“Don’t Take My Soul” released in 2014 was beautiful. The entire album takes a similar line, with shoegazy guitar and electronic beats. Hardly anyone seems to have heard of Jane Weaver, which is a shame, because she deserves commercial success.

The keyboard/organ guy from Kendrick Lamarr’s album, Bilal has a bit of a Money Mark feel: His album is at times a bit inconsistent in tone, but somehow it works. Another artist who feels like he is at the start of a flourishing career.

Four Tet is Four Tet. He is good. Listen to him.

Most of these sort of lists I have seen do not have “To Pimp a Butterfly” as the No. 1 album, which is weird. Maybe everyone thought everyone else would put it at the top. It will probably end up being the album of the decade. Hip hop had hit a bit of a dead end because of people such as Kanye West, who seemed to think it was some sort of comic book style genre in which people had to be parodies of themselves and show off. The old ways of rap (Guru, KRS-ONE, Tribe called Quest etc.) seemed dead. Lamar brought them back. He put together an album that musically and lyrically is deep, textured and stands up to repeated listens. And thankfully, there is not a single EDM sample on there.

Two 20-year-old women, twins, are behind this album. The songs are just joyous. The simple beats, minimal jazz, beautiful voices and innocent lyrics suggest Ibeyi are having a good time without a care in the world. It’s just nice, which seems rare these days.

There’s also a mixtape of some of my favorite songs from 2015 here.

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