#FridayFavorites: Helen's Favorite Albums of the Year

September 25, 2015





For the next few weeks, we're going to let our fall interns take the reins and share with you some of their interests and talents. This week, we introduce our intern Helen. Helen is a junior at DePaul University majoring in Public Relations and Advertising and Communication Studies. Helen loves music, writing, and attending concerts and festivals. After a great year of music, and a summer filled with music festivals, Helen came up with her list, in no particular order, of her favorite albums of 2015 (so far)...






Carrie & Lowell - Sufjan Stevens

Like a lot of Sufjan’s work, this album is tragically beautiful. Staying true to his autobiographical songwriting style, the album tells tales of Sufjan’s complicated relationship with his mother, Carrie. Carrie abandoned Stevens’ family when he was just one year old, and they intermittently re-connected throughout his life up until her death in 2012. Stevens has an impressive discography, so this album being called "one of his best" is not something to take lightly. Seeing Sufjan Stevens on tour twice this year performing Carrie & Lowell moved me to tears, so I highly recommend giving this one a listen.






If I Was - The Staves

I’m usually more drawn to male voices when I listen to music, but there is something irresistible about the beautiful harmonies these three UK sisters put out. The influence of producer Justin Vernon (who has worked with artists ranging from The National to Kanye West) is evident and adds layers deeper than just harmonies with an acoustic guitar. If I Was is full of songs about heartache that are sure to pull at your heartstrings and give you goosebumps. 







To Pimp A Butterfly - Kendrick Lamar

After obsessing over good kid, m.A.A.d. city since it’s release in 2012, I was thrilled when I heard that I would be getting more Kendrick in 2015. To Pimp A Butterfly surely did not disappoint.  Similar to good kid, m.A.A.d. city, this latest album is a tale of transition for Kendrick. He connects his own transformation to that of a butterfly, while covering deep topics like race and violence. This powerful album has already been called "a classic" by fans everywhere.







The Story of Sonny Boy Slim - Gary Clark Jr. 
I have played Gary Clark's record Blak and Blu on repeat for the last three years, patiently waiting for more. When I saw him in June at Bonnaroo, he played a ton of new material and I couldn't wait to listen to it more. Finally, he released The Story of Sonny Boy Slim earlier this month, and although I have only listened through it a handful of times since its release two weeks ago, I can't get enough of it and I know it will be another album that I listen to countless times.








Dark Bird is Home - Tallest Man on Earth

I will never get tired of Tallest Man on Earth. This summer I got the chance to see him twice, and it made me fall in love even more. Dark Bird is Home is the Tallest Man on Earth's (Kristian Matsson) fourth studio album, and it's got that great Bob Dylan-esque sound with a twist. Kristian surprised me this summer by being one of the best performers I've ever seen. His energy is contagious and it is clear while listening to this album.

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