There may have been albums released during 2015 that were more "worthy", "important", or "significant", or even (as if it could be measured) "better", or that more closely captured the goddamn zeitgeist, and there are certainly others that I will come back to from this year, either because they are slow builders or because I am a slow learner, but the following dozen albums are the ones that I would scoop up and tuck under my arm as I ran from a burning building:
"No Song, No Spell, No Madrigal", by The Apartments.
"River", by Daniel Bachman.
"Don't Weigh Down the Light", by Meg Baird.
"Silver Bullets", by The Chills.
"Captain of None", by Colleen.
"Songs to Play", by Robert Forster.
"Morning / Evening", by Four Tet.
"From Kinshasa", by Mbongwana Star.
"Vertigo", by The Necks.
"Over and Even", by Joan Shelley.
"Primrose Green", by Ryley Walker.
"Star Wars", by Wilco.
Not really an "album", but as good as anything else on this list:
"Nymphs II", "Nymphs III" and "Fight (Nymphs IV)", by Nicolas Jaar.
Best new old music:
"The Cutting Edge", by Bob Dylan. We may be digging through the entrails, but those are some quality entrails.
"Girl", by Jamie xx. I couldn't completely embrace the album (what Jamie xx gets when he hears steel drums is not what I get when I hear steel drums). But this is as close as it gets to a perfect pop song.
"Leviathan". I thought they didn't make them like that anymore.
"Swamplandia", by Karen Russell. I read for a living; hence I don't read anywhere near enough for pleasure. This book is a few years old now. Has anybody out there read any Karen Russell? Oh, man!