Best Music Of 2015 Staff Picks – Ryan O’Shaughnessy

How long have you been with Live in Limbo and what do you do for the site?

Just over a year. Mostly, I take pictures, but sometimes I also throw in a review and answer Year in Review surveys.

What were your three favourite albums of 2015?

  1. Grimes – Art Angels
    This album is pure pop perfection with no filler at all. Been on repeat since it was released last month.
  2. Jamie xx – In Colour
    I’ve always liked The xx but listening to their albums left me wanting something a bit more. In Colour was it.
  3. Beach Slang – The Things we do to Find People Who Feel Like Us
    As a fan of The Replacements and other early 90s rock bands, this album does nothing but just bring a great feeling of joy and nostalgia. It’s been quite some time since any album has done that for me. 

What was the most underrated album of 2015?

Hop Along – Painted Shut
Maybe not critically, as this album scored some pretty decent reviews, but just one of those bands that never really got the attention that they deserved. Top 5 album of the year.

What were your three favourite songs of 2015?

  1. Jamie xx – “Loud Places”
    Listening to In Colour I remember that moment where this song started and I was immediately hooked. Sometimes songs just grab you and this one did just that.
  2. Kurt Vile – “Dust Bunnies”
    Probably my new favourite track from Kurt. As great an opening track as “Pretty Pimpin’” is, it was this track that really solidified b’lieve i’m goin down as one of the best albums of the year.
  3. Kendrick Lamar – “King Kunta”
    At the beginning of the year, it seemed like everyone was questioning why Kendrick Lamar was headlining pretty much every music festival this year…then this track (and To Pimp a Butterfly) dropped.

How many concerts and/or festivals did you go to in 2015?

20-25. Maybe more, though I am not 100% sure.

What were your three favourite concerts of the year?

  1. Badbadnotgood & Ghostface Killah @ The Opera House, February 21st
    Not so much a showcase of Sour Soul as much as it was a chance to see my favourite Wu-Tang member with an extremely talented backing band. This was one of those concerts that I’ll be looking back on for years.
  2. Constantines @ Lee’s Palace, September 26th
    I love The Cons. To see them shake things up a bit from their earlier tour dates and even throw some new songs in there just pumped me up that much more. 
  3. Beirut @ Danforth Music Hall, November 13th
    As I was at home the night of this show, and hearing of the attacks in Paris at The Bataclan, I must admit that going to see a band wasn’t on the top of my priority list. When Zach Condon came onstage and greeted us with “For Paris” it gave me chills. What followed was a reminder of why people go to shows in the first place, as an escape or release, to have a good time, and nothing could have captured that more beautifully than Beirut.

What was your favourite festival of the year?

Toronto Urban Roots Fest.

Who was your favourite festival headliner?

Alabama Shakes @ Field Trip.

Which artist or band won 2015?

Tobias Jesso Jr. who released a solid album and got a nod of approval from Adele. 

What/who was the biggest musical disappointment for you?

Adele. Don’t get me wrong, “Hello” was great, but 25 just doesn’t match up to 19 or 21.

In your opinion, what was the biggest music story?

Meow the Jewels actually got made and it wasn’t that bad. 

What was your favourite new musical discovery of 2015?

Beach Slang

Who should we be looking out for in 2016?


Who do you hope goes on tour next year?

I was going to say Bruce Springsteen, but then he announced a tour. Got my tickets! Pretty pumped!

Who’s going to be headlining (or at least playing) all the 2016 festivals?

Beach House

Is there anything else you want to say about 2015 or predict about 2016?

Toronto Blue Jays. World Series Champs.

About author

Ryan started shooting concerts way back in 2006, and has had the priveledge of shooting for many different sites throughout the years, including his own, Tunes in T.O. With Tunes now used as a portfolio site, Ryan has offered his talents to Live in Limbo as a writer/photographer. Ryan loves hockey, the music of far too many artists to list, scotch and Toronto. To read about these, or see pictures of his dog, follow him on Twitter & Instagram @TunesinTO