Our favourite releases for 2015

As the year comes to an end, we’ve been chatting with a few of our pals in the local music scene about our favourite releases of 2015. Though our top picks for the year may be very different, there’s one thing we can all agree on – 2015 was an awesome year for music. 

Spencer Scott

The Mountain Goats – Beat The Champ

As a professional wrestling enthusiast I nearly died when I heard that The Mountain Goats would be releasing a concept album about wrestling, and they delivered on every front. You don’t need to be a wrestling fan to enjoy this album; John Darnielle has such a way with words that he can hook you into anything. On Beat The Champ he spins tales of blue-collar workers sacrificing their bodies to feed their family, of masked luchadors giving everything they have to hear the roar of a crowd, and brutal murders in backstage showers. The whole band are on their game as he explores human stories through the lens of the squared circle. This is the best Mountain Goats album in years.

Spencer is a local singer songwriter, a Triple J SuperUser and an all round top bloke. Scott released a  Split 7″ with Georgia Maq this year. It’s available Now @

Thorin Roulston

Kirsty Larkin – Taking Down The Picket Fence

Kirsty is one of those artists that you never get tired of listening to and her latest album is an absolute cracker. From the opening track of “Bad Mamma” with her signature vocal style , the ballsy “Legitimate” thrust at you like wildfire, the soothing “Picket Fence”, and sultry and stubborn “On The Down Low” she draws you in, slaps you about, and leaves you wanting… Luckily, there are still two more tracks on this EP with “Always” sitting with you for a whole mass of tine, and “Shotgun” wrapping the (do i dare say it?) anthemic musical journey to a close. If you want a smashing experience, contact Kirsty, get her CD. You won’t regret it.

Thorin is a local muso who plays in a number of bands including the ultimate 80s rock experience band, ALL ACCESS 80s!

Dan Beazley

Babaganuj – Can’t Stop

This Brisbane-based band was on the bill for the 2015 BIGSOUND music conference I was lucky enough to attend this year. I looked them up with a bunch of other bands on the bill that I hadn’t heard of before, and I immediately fell in love. They remind me of everything I loved about the mid-90s sounds. The easy comparison to make would be with Aussie band, The Mavis’s, but for me, that doesn’t describe what I fell in love with. It’s jangly, introverted and noisy. This song is my favourite from all their releases, and the accompanying video clip is just spot on. They blew me away when I saw them live, and I can’t wait to be dancing in front of the stage like a total fan boy when they head to Newcastle next year.

Dan is Newcastle Live’s Digital Evangelist. You could follow him on Twitter, but he’d prefer you just followed the Newcastle Live account.

Steven Pickett

Thirsty Merc – Shifting Gears

It’s a Thirsty Merc trademark: accessible subject matter expressed in the form of strong melody over a perfect pop/rock blend that is both inviting and infectious. While some will dismiss it as bland MOR, there are more who will celebrate the survival of music that consists of simply great songs. And, with Shifting Gears, Thirsty Merc don’t disappoint.

Steven is the Managing Director of EAO Entertainment.

Brittany Herron


It was one slightly hungover sunny Saturday morning watching Rage when this very video grabbed me by the eyeballs and hooked me into FIDLAR. At first, I was just in a braindead stupor captivated by the fun clip parodying a bunch of classic 90s music videos in a very home-made way. Then, the song got stuck in my head. For days. I decided to check out what else these reckless LA punk rats had to offer, and soon enough their latest album Too was on my high-rotation playlist. While not usually a fan of punk, the fast-paced fuzzy guitars and bratty attitude of this band amused me, and the track West Coast is my favourite song of 2015. The whole album is an ode to being young, wasted, and irresponsible. Or, you know, just being in your twenties.

Brittany Herron is smiling politely… And, also works in content & promotions for Newcastle Live.


Written by Newcastle Live

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