Riki Michele Push 90x90 Well, 2015 is half-way over and we've been listening to some music that we think you should also.


We're ripping through 2015 and at the Tollbooth we've been listening to music that we think you should also. Below you'll find an interesting variety and maybe some new found treasure. So here are some of our writers' picks from the first half of 2015. (The lists are in no particular ranking order.)


Larry Stephan

Riki Michele - Push Indie veteran Riki Michele thankfully returns with her lovely and distinctive vocals paired with a sound that will be a balm to your soul. Exquisitely produced by Margaret Becker, the music is beautifully in harmony with Riki Michele's compositions.

Waterdeep - Waterdeep Seemingly drawing from a bottomless well of inspiration, the Chaffers have produced a 23-song double record of such variety and attention to detail that it is mind-boggling. With these two albums of their unique alt-pop music teeming with twists and turns musically and lyrically, Waterdeep brings us perhaps their best overall work to date. There just seems to be no end to their creativity.

The Gray Havens - Fire and Stone Fire and Stone contains endlessly interesting lyrics, vocals, and music. This second release, from one of the most original sounding artists in Tollbooth land, actually manages to surpass their stellar 2013 release Where Eyes Don't Go. Some of the best producing and arranging of the year.

Jessi McNeal - Promised Land  A blues-tinged Americana record filled with candid real life lyrics and heartfelt, soulful vocals.  Her first full-length studio album reveals the depth of Jessi's writing and is paired with the perfect amount of tastefully arranged instrumentation. With songs about struggles, family, and our never-ending need of God's grace, this is a significant and beautifully executed recording.

Andrew Osenga - Flesh  The third in his series of crowd funded EPs is a rocker with brutal honesty about life pouring out of every song. There is some truly compelling songwriting here, and all presented with Osenga's always impressive guitar work and vocals.


Bill Mallonee - Lands and Peoples It's been said that listening to a Bill Mallonee record is akin to reading a good book. Lands and Peoples is no exception. If you like music that is literate, clever, and downright authentic this, and virtually any Mallonee record, is worth your time.

(Worth checking out: Josh Garrels - Home; Balla Dear - Balla Dear; Seryn - Shadow Shows)


Marie Asner

Passion of the Christ Anniversary Edition Soundtrack With added music not heard in the film.

Alexandre Desplat - Imitation Game soundtrack  Nominated for 2015 Academy Award along with his "Grand Budapest Hotel" soundtrack that did win.

Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir - Pray A 300-voice choir that has soul and a touch of jazz.

Dennis Warner- Rubber Rubber Bleep Bleep -   Songs for children and adults.


Shari Lloyd
Burlap to Cashmere - Freedom Souls
Future of Forestry - Pages
Sufjan Stevens - Carrie & Lowell
Kevin Max - Broken Temples
Sweet & Lynch - Only to Rise
Mumford & Sons - Wilder Mind

Scott Mertens
My Morning Jacket - The Waterfall
Jon Foreman - The Wonderlands : Sunlight
Future Of Forestry - Pages
Mumford & Sons - Wilder Mind