The Future of Music Online 2015

social media iTunes Spotify Music Industry Music Trends Future of Music Music Technology Music Online Future of Music Online The Future of Music Online 2015 Music Trends 2015 2015 Album Release Schedule Key Sounds 2015 + -

NOTE - this blog post will be updated throughout the year, particularly the Album Release Schedule ...


2014 was an excellent year for music all in. Not much rock really, but plenty to get excited about. There are not as many big releases forthcoming in 2015, which seems destined to be the year of the blockbuster movie. Nevertheless there are lots of minor music industry intrigues happening - especially Apple’s imminent launch of iTunes Streaming. There are also a number of new artists exploring interesting diections in 2015 ...



Top 10 Albums of 2014


  1. St Vincent - St Vincent
  2. LP1 - FKA Twigs
  3. Goddess - Banks
  4. Cut Your Teeth - Kyla La Grange
  5. Beauty is Pain - Rebecca & Fiona
  6. The Inevitable End - Röyksopp
  7. Chiaroscuro - I Break Horses
  8. Blue - Iamamiwhoami
  9. Kiasmos - Kiasmos
  10. No Mythologies to Follow - Mø

[for a greater selection see Best of the Year 2014 article]


Top 10 Tracks of 2014


  1. B a NoBody / Blud - Soak
  2. Chandelier (Four Tet Remix) / Free the Animal - Sia
  3. Prince Johnny / Digital Witness - St Vincent
  4. Hideaway / No Enemiesz - Kiesza
  5. Tough Love (Cyril Hahn Remix) / Say You Love Me (Gorgon City Remix)- Jessie Ware
  6. Two Weeks / Pendulum - FKA Twigs
  7. Rather Be / Real Love - Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne
  8. Beautiful / Hey QT - A.G. Cook / Sophie
  9. Change / Beggin for Thread - Banks
  10. Do It Again (Original) / Monument (TIE) - Röyksopp and Robyn

[for a greater selection see Best of the Year 2014 article]



My Top 21 Online Music Discovery Resources (alphabetical)


Every day / week I get a number of new release prompts - automated subscriptions from most of the following list. I follow several hundred favourite bands / musicians / DJs on Facebook now and for the last few years these have been the source of a surprising proportion of new likes for me. If you want to check out a known-name band, then it’s difficult to do much better than - to check to see if an entire album is worth buying - Spotify or Deezer are essential resources. For more obscure / left-field bands, you can usually find these on SoundCloud or Bandcamp. A very high proportion of these resources focuses on electronic music, which is of course my primary music of choice:

5 Musical Trends for 2015



iTunes Streaming vs Spotify - iTunes feted to launch its Beats-infused streaming service - will be interesting to see how it stacks up against Spotify and Deezer


New Playlist Algorithms - 21st Century music is governed by playlists, not albums and not radio. Whoever provides the smartest playlist algorithms / technologies will have a significant advantage in the streaming wars


Album Apps - The best way to make a whole album appealing is to wrap it in an innovative multimedia extravaganza - strangely not many have tried since Björk’s pioneering Biophilia - released more than 3 years ago


Innovative Releases - Iamamiwhoami’s latest opus ’Blue’ was released as a somewhat convoluted and impossible-to-navigate multimedia extravaganza website - it proved Mensa-level difficult to actually download the full album from this website - somewhat reminiscent of early website navigation failures - you can’t have the whole navigation bases on ’Easter Eggs’. Should be plenty mileage here for whoever manages to achieve a decent version of this kind of thing...


Smart Headphones - I love my Philips Fidelio M1BTs and I mostly use them to listen to my 300+ iTunes playlists. I like how when you hit play with nothing selected on Music, the iPhone just starts playing a random selection of tracks. Would be great if there was a ’More Like This’ button on the headphones which when you hear a track you particularly like, can generate an automatic playlist to fit that same mood!


10 New Artists for 2015 (alphabetical)


  • Ben Khan [Deep Electronic Pop]
  • Ibeyi [Soulful Percolated Pop]
  • Kacy Hill [Futuristic R&B]
  • Kwabs [Contemporary Soulful Pop]
  • Låpsley [Ethereal Electronic Pop]
  • Seinabo Sey [Soulful Pop]
  • Shura [Contemporary R&B-inflected Pop]
  • SOAK [Ethereal Singer / Songwriter]
  • Tourist [Dance-inflected Electronic Pop]
  • Years & Years [Dance-inflected Electronic Pop, tour with Clean Bandit]

[for a greater selection see Sound of 2015 article]



5 Key Sounds / Themes for 2015



Bubblegum Bass / PC Music - A.G. Cook, Sophie, Hannah Diamond, Danny L Harle et al - most definitely the sound of now, cross-fertilising J-Pop / K-Pop dynamics with UK pop dance production


More 90’s Dance / Urban House - Clean Bandit and Kiesza brought back the sound of 90’s clubbing last year, expect more of the same in this year’s charts


Return of the Funk - Mark Ronson bringing back the funk, UK bass music getting more funky, could even see the return of Funky House


Futuristic R&B - Following on from The Weeknd and FKA Twigs, we now have Kacy Hill and other similar forward-looking artists putting their own spin on R&B


Synthpop - Following on from the success of Chvrches and the ’Drive’ OST, the resurgence of synthpop did not really happen in 2014 as expected; ’The Guest’ Movie also benefited from a superb Synthpop soundtrack - including the fabulous Clan of Xymox and SURVIVE - the success of this should provide more of a springboard into 2015


2015 Essential Album Release Schedule




Above & Beyond - We Are All We Need

Armin Van Buuren - ASOT Year Mix 2014 (Dec Digi Release)

Belle and Sebastian - Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance

Björk - Vulnicura - || Album of the Month ||
Chicane - The Sum of its Parts

Dawn Richard - Blackheart

Emika - Klavirni
Étienne de Crécy - Superdiscount 3

Mark Ronson - Uptown Special

Marsheaux - A Broken Frame (Cover of Depeche Mode album)
Mikky Ekko - Time

Nina Kraviz - DJ Kicks




Charli XCX - Sucker

Ibeyi - Ibeyi - || Album of the Month ||

Imagine Dragons - Smoke + Mirrors

Indiana - No Romeo

Johan Agebjörn - Notes

John Carpenter - Lost Themes

Joker - The Mainframe

Spor - Caligo

Susanne Sundfør - Ten Love Songs




Aero Flynn - Aero Flynn - || Album of the Month ||

Cameo Culture - Burning Bright

Karin Parks - Apocalypse Pop

Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly

Madeon - Adventure

Madonna - Rebel Heart

Marina and the Diamonds - Froot

Olafur Arnalds & Alice Sara Ott - The Chopin Project

Palmbomen II - Palmbomen II

Prodigy - The Day Is My Enemy

Purity Ring - Another Eternity

Reso - Ricochet

Toto - Toto XIV

Tuxedo - Tuxedo
Twin Shadow - Eclipse




Ava Luna - Infinite House

Daktyl - Cyclical

Passion Pit - Kindred

Say Lou Lou - Lucid Dreaming - || Album of the Month ||

Young Thug - Barter 6




Alesso - Forever

Digitonal - Beautiful Broken

Emika - Drei - || Album of the Month ||

French Horn Rebellion - Next Jack Swing Pt.1 Remixes

Róisín Murphy - Hairless Toys

Samaris - Silkidrangar Sessions

Sóley - Ask the Deep

Vanbot - Perfect Storm




Abra - Rose

Bang Gang - The Wolves are Whispering

Florence + The Machine - How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

Francesca Belmonte - Anima

Galantis - Pharmacy

Giorgio Moroder - Déjà Vu

Hudszon Mohawke - Lantern

Jaga Jazzist - Starfire

Jamie XX - In Colour

Late Night Alumni - Eclipse - || Album of the Month ||

Leftfield - Alternative Light Source

Major Lazer - Peace is the Mission

Muse - Drones

Of Monsters and Men - Beneath the Skin

Sarah Cracknell - Red Kite

Soak - Before We Forgot How To Dream

Tove Styrke - Kiddo




Felix Da Housecat - Narrative of Thee Blast Illusion

Groove Armada - Little Black Book

Gunship - Gunship

Halleluwah - Halleluwah

Jessica 6 - Capricorn EP

Lianne La Havas - Blood

Little Boots - Working Girl

Nervo - Collateral

MS MR - How Does It Feel?

Omar Souleyman - Bahdeni Nami

Prides - The Way Back Up

Public Enemy - Man Plans God Laughs

Tame Impala - Currents - || Album of the Month||

Years & Years - Communion

Zedd - True Colors




Eton Messy - Compilation

Georgia - Georgia

Julio Bashmore - Knockin’ Boots

The Weeknd - Beauty Behind the Madness - || Album of the Month ||




a-ha - Cast in Steel

Carly Rae Jepsen - E•MO•TION

Chvrches - Every Open Eye

Disclosure - Caracal

Ella Eyre - Feline

Julia Holter - Have You In My Wilderness - || Album of the Month ||

Kaskade - Automatic

Kwabs - Love + War

Lana Del Rey - Honeymoon

Metric - Pagans in Vegas

New Order - Music Complete

Peaches - Rub

Rudimental - We The Generation

Synkro - Changes

U.S. Girls - Half Free

VV Brown - Glitch




Basement Jaxx - Junto Remixed

!!! / chk chk chk - As If

Janet Jackson - Unbreakable

Jean-Michel Jarre - E-Project - || Album of the Month ||

Joanna Newsom - Divers

Mapei - Hey Hey

Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm - Collaborative Works

Seinabo Sey - Pretend

Special Request - Modern Warfare

St Germain - St Germain




Adele - 25
Arca - Mutant
Björk - Vulnicura Strings
Deerhoof - Fever 121614 (Live)
Ellie Goulding - Delirium
ELO - Alone In The Universe

Floating Points - Elaenia

Grimes - Art Angels - || Album of the Month ||

Jamie Woon - Marking Time
Justin Bieber - Purpose
Kate Boy - One




Coldplay - A Head Full of Dreams

Troye Sivan - Blue Neighbourhood





AlunaGeorge - TBA
Amanda Mair - TBA
Annie - TBA
The Avalanches - TBA
Brazilian Girls - TBA
Burial - TBA
The Cardigans - TBA

Chromatics - Dear Tommy
Danny Brown - TBA
Daroc - TBA
Desire - TBA
Dev - TBA
Frank Ocean - Boys Don’t Cry
Garbage - TBA
Glass Candy - Body Work
Gwen Stefani - TBA
Hard-Fi - TBA

James Blake - Radio Silence
Kanye West - TBA

Labrinth - Take Me To The Truth
Moko - TBA
Mylo - TBA
Nite Jewel - TBA
No Doubt - TBA

Poliça - United Crushers
Portishead - TBA

Radiohead - TBA
Robyn - TBA
Solange Knowles - TBA

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