Behind killer albums from artists like Nervosas, All Dogs and Saintseneca, the Columbus music scene continued to extend its national reach in 2015. Here are the records I found myself returning to most often over the course of the year.

Behind killer albums from artists like Nervosas, All Dogs and Saintseneca, the Columbus music scene continued to extend its national reach in 2015. Here are the records I found myself returning to most often over the course of the year.

Honorable Mentions: The Wet Darlings: Beautiful Things (self-released), Bicentennial Bear: Doubt & Distortion (self-released), Gelatinus Cube: Twenty Four Hour Rock 'n' Roll (self-released), Counterfeit Madison: Palms Were a Bad Choice (self-released), The Kyle Sowashes: Everybody (Anyway)

10. Minority Threat: Culture Control (self-released)

The debut EP from the hardcore crew is both brief and brutal, with the four-piece ripping its way through minute-long songs about police brutality ("Protect and Serve"), cultural appropriation ("Whitewashed") and economic inequality ("Pay to Live," damn near an epic at a runtime of 1:35).

9: Giant Claw: Deep Thoughts (Orange Milk)

If vintage 16-bit video game systems could talk, their language might sound something like the latest from electronic producer Keith Rankin, aka Giant Claw. The songs here are tightly composed, building around warm, digital beats that make the impending robotic takeover sound not only inevitable, but inviting.

8. The Sidekicks: Runners in the Nerved World (Epitaph)

The Sidekicks recorded its latest alongside celebrated producer Phil Ek (Built to Spill, Fleet Foxes), who pressed the musicians to dig deeper and push harder than they ever had in the studio. After an early crisis of confidence - "Everyone's first day was rough," drummer Matt Climer said late in 2014 - the bandmates regrouped, emerging with a nervy, joyous, heartfelt record that, like a musical El Niño, should continue to provide warmth when the temperatures eventually plummet.

7. Nes Wordz: Stupid Genius (Chief Execs Entertainment)

Onstage, Nes Wordz is pure, unbridled energy (see our top concert picks), but Stupid Genius highlights the (pardon me here) genius at play when the rapper slows things down. Tracks like "Winner" reveal the intricacies of his lyrical Wordz-play like a video of a magician divulging the secrets of his or her trade when the tape is played back at half speed.

6. Saintseneca: Such Things (Anti)

On Such Things, the former folkies largely shed the label, digging in for series of tightly composed pop-rock jams that marry big ideas (songs question existence, human consciousness, spirituality, etc.) to effortless melodies that'll have most listeners reaching to turn the volume up.

5. Mark Lomax, II and Eddie Bayard, #BlackLivesMatter (self-released)

The collaborative album between the two jazz players, written and recorded in response to the ongoing Black Lives Matter Movement, contains great reservoirs of anger (note the album opening "Amerikkka," which includes a sample lifted from a raging sermon by Chicago pastor Jeremiah Wright) and sadness (at times, Bayard's horn appears to weep). Though the two principles never speak a word, the music still manages to say volumes.

4. Rashad: The Quiet Loud (Elev8tor Music)

In an early December interview, Rashad described his sophomore full-length as "a reflection on my life in music," and the songs echo this, tracing the singer's evolution from a child obsessed with jazz and soul titans like Billie Holiday and Marvin Gaye to a young man grooving to more modern practitioners like Blackstreet. Though Rashad pays homage to the source material throughout, the sound that emerges is his own, with songs like "Knock Twice" blurring the lines between hip-hop, soul and R&B.

3. The Receiver: All Burn (Kscope)

The latest from the brotherly duo is lush and atmospheric, building around gauzy layers of synthesizer, propulsive drums, and singer Casey Cooper's vocals, which tend to blanket the songs like untouched snow. Though musically pristine, the songs are anything but settled, with lyrics that trace the arc of a romantic relationship as it navigates turbulent emotions like jealousy, anger and resentment.

2. (Tie) All Dogs: Kicking Every Day (Salinas)/Yowler: The Offer (Double Double Whammy)

2015 belonged to Maryn Jones. In addition to helming albums both as a solo artist (Yowler's slow, moody The Offer) and with the scrappier, more pop-rock oriented All Dogs (Kicking Every Day), the musician continued her role as a key cog in Saintseneca and helped spearhead a late-spring showcase designed to make the local music scene more inclusive. We can't wait to see what she's lined up for an encore.

1. Nervosas: Nervosas (Dirtnap)

The songs on Nervosas' latest might be rooted in heartbreak -singer/bassist Jeff Kleinman and guitarist Mickey Mocnik parted ways prior to recording sessions, and the frontman compared the subsequent songwriting process with couples therapy -but the music never wallows or exhibits any give, centering on drummer Nick Schuld's tireless kitwork, Kleinman's blunt-edged vocals and Mocnik's ever-impressive shredding, which sends sparks shooting in all directions like a chainsaw taken to steel rebar.