Published Dec 10, 2015The December/January issue of Exclaim! is the perfect way to take a look back at 2015 in music. Out now all across the country, our year-end issue is jam packed with all sorts of reflections on and celebration of the past year in music, including interviews, reviews and other features about what your favourite artists got up to these past 12 months.
Gracing the cover of this issue is Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes. We caught up with the lead vocalist/guitarist to reflect on the group's huge year. Our feature explores Howard's powerhouse vocals, the band's tireless work ethic and a very special jam session with none other than Prince.
In our Best of 2015 section, you'll find our top 10 underrated records and smaller features on the sonic and aesthetic revival of late '60s and early '70s songwriters, five LPs recorded in the name of fun and a look at a spectacular year for women in metal music, among others. Further explorations of some of music's biggest trends in 2015 will soon make their way online, but you can read them now by grabbing a copy of the issue: we've explored the latest crop of rising hip-hop and R&B stars furthering the "Toronto Sound," named the artists who created challengingly brilliant records this year, groups forever indebted to the work of Sleater-Kinney and many more.
The subject of this month's Questionnaire is iconic soul singer Sharon Jones, who took some time to tell Exclaim! about getting back to nature, the importance of perseverance and the disappointment of meeting Aretha Franklin. Meanwhile, our Music School feature shines a light on Toronto duo Beliefs, who spoke to us about their gearhead tendencies. Members Josh Korody and Jesse Crowe detail the numerous guitar mods and effects pedals they used in searching for headroom in their broad, disorienting shoegaze sound.
Our year-end issue is also packed with a ton more interviews with the season's most buzzed-about artists; Joanna Newsom explores the layers of meaning in her latest LP Divers, while Brampton native Alessia Cara talks about staying grounded after the success of her debut album, Know-It-All. Montreal's Foxtrott discusses shedding the synth-pop mantle with her debut A Taller Us, while GoldLink defines the meaning of "future bounce" on And After That We Didn't Talk. We also spoke to Deantoni Parks about recording his challenging new record Technoself, and the Wainwright Sisters about exploring motherhood on Songs in the Dark.
You can also check out web exclusive interviews with artists like Freddie Gibbs, Ryan Lenssen of the Most Serene Republic, Stephen O'Malley of Sunn O))) and many more, or track down a street box or head to your favourite local coffee shop, concert venue or record store to get your hands on Exclaim!'s year-end issue now.