It's hard enough defining what exactly "country music" is nowadays, let alone trying to pinpoint who fits into its finer sub-genres. But when critics' brains fail to churn out worthy explanations, there is always a failsafe: Turn to the music.

That's what we've done in order to select 2015's best Americana, alt-country and folk albums. Rather than trying to find the right words to tell you about these seemingly under-the-radar genres, we want to let the music speak for itself. Sure, we throw in our two cents about each album, but the music tells the real story ... and we've managed to find the 10 best storytellers of the year.

Flip through the photo gallery above to see The Boot's picks for the best Americana, alt-country and folk albums of 2015 -- and share your favorites with us in the comments section below!

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