2019 has been an eventful year for music, and these are the albums that left the deepest mark in my memory.
20. GRATITUDE – BENJAMIN FRANCIS LEFTWICH
This is such a pure album, it embodies pain and struggles perfectly, still maintaining a glimpse of hope in the sounds and melodies. It is also very simple and minimalistic, giving light to Leftwich’s voice and lyrics.
The best song is: “Look Ma!”
19. DERMOT KENNEDY – DERMOT KENNEDY
It is a solid debut album. Very awaited by Kennedy’s fans, and they for sure were not disappointed. It is a great love album: melodies are sincere and the production is interesting. His voice is one of the best voices around, and it is in full bloom throughout the entire record.
The best song is: “Moments Passed”
18. FINE LINE – HARRY STYLES
Styles’ second album has a youthful dignity. It is at times boring and monotonous, but he has proven to be dynamic and creative in his melodies and sounds. It is, overall, a nice album.
Read our album review.
The best song is: “Fine Line”
17. PONY – REX ORANGE COUNTY
I love this album. The lyrics speak to the listener and it becomes a relatable and understanding story, which Rex narrates with originality and ease. Rex Orange County is surely one of the most promising artists around.
The best song is: “Face to Face”
16. A Life You Would Choose EP – HAYDEN CALNIN
The Australian singer and songwriter is back with a stunning and intimate new EP. It is sweet, delicate, moving. Such a strong statement. Calnin’s voice is as warm as ever and it is of great comfort to the listener.
The best song is: “Warm With You”
15. NOTHING GREAT ABOUT BRITAIN – SLOWTHAI
Honesty is a quality that the British rapper Slowthai does not lack. This record is experimental, aggressive and strong. It depicts intensely and perfectly all the issues and the situations that England is going through, which is not something to be taken for granted.
The best song is: “Gorgeous”
14. PHILOPHOBIA – AMBER RUN
What a third album. Amber Run is one of the few bands that has been consistent throughout their entire career. Every single record is great, and this one, in particular, is transparent and pure. Joshua’s voice is as limpid as ever.
The best song is: “Worship”
13. ONWARDS TO ZION – VANCOUVER SLEEP CLINIC
This record is so nice. I can’t find any other word for it. Everything about it is great, signaling a significant growth in Tim’s career and musical persona. It is a moving and raw record, and it carries some deep meanings within.
The best song is: “Shooting Stars”
12.DOOM DAYS – BASTILLE
Finally, Bastille has found its path again. I did not have high hopes for this record, but I was pleasantly surprised. It flows very well and Dan’s voice is at its best, it is a mature album and we can surely hear the difference.
The best song is: “4AM”
11. HYPERSONIC MISSILES – SAM FENDER
Fender was not afraid to tell his opinions and story, with his voice roaring in every track. It is a very nice indie record, with good structure and meaning behind it.
The best song is: “You’re Not The Only One”
10. GOOD AT FALLING – THE JAPANESE HOUSE
What a record. From the first song, it establishes a balance that I haven’t heard in quite a long time. It has beautiful lyrics, they have gotten me through a rough patch. I love the autotune and the melodies.
The best song is: “Wild”
9. EVERYTHING THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY – BLAENAVON
It is a cool indie/alternative record. Ben’s voice is not as strained as it was in their debut album and it is clearly more personal and fitted for their new sound. Lyrics, production, and melodies are astounding.
Read our album review.
The best song is: “Skin Scream”
8. THE CEILING – JAWS
This is one of my all-time favourite records. This album holds such power: the guitars, the drums, Connor’s voice, the lyrics… It made me fall in love with JAWS, and hopefully, it will do the same with you.
The best song is: “Driving at Night”
7. NOTHING HAPPENS – WALLOWS
Wallows have shown to be original and youthful in their debut album. Very impressive work, it tells a story and it was crafted for everyone. With two singers, the band can add more depth and personality to every track.
The best song is: “Do Not Wait”
6. CASE STUDY 01 – DANIEL CAESAR
This record is gorgeous. It shows off a more sophisticated and passionate side to Caesar, who delivers brilliant vocal performances, especially in the second half. The only flaw of this record is that it is too short. I wish it could go on forever.
The best song is: “ARE YOU OK?”
5. I AM EASY TO FIND – THE NATIONAL
The National is one of my favourite bands. Their lyricism is unsurpassed, they explain and describe things with the words no one else can find. To be honest, this is not their best album, but it carries so much emotion and love that it had to be in the top 5.
The best song is: “Quiet Light”
4. LIFE AFTER – PALACE
The first 10/10 of my career. It is a true and utter masterpiece. The guitar loops, the vocals, the heart-wrenching lyrics. I don’t think any other album has made me cry like this one. It is so moving and stunning.
The best song is: “Heaven Up There”
3.LP3 – AMERICAN FOOTBALL
Top 3! This record is indescribable. It is hard to even find the words to talk about it. Gorgeous is the only word that comes to mind when I listen to it. It is an absolute work of art, under every light.
The best song is: “Heir Apparent”
2. i,i – BON IVER
This…this is such a gorgeous album. It perfectly reflects Justin Vernon’s genius, the improvements in the production and instrumentals are vital. Some songs are so beautiful they take your breath away.
The best song is: “Naeem”
ASSUME FORM – JAMES BLAKE
drum roll FIRST PLACE! Honestly, this record has left such a mark not only in our hearts but in history too. It is glorious, an artistic testament. James Blake is one of the best artists of the last decade and this album did nothing but confirm it. I am left speechless every time I listen to it.
The best song is: “Into The Red”
I hope you were able to find your mind on this list, but these are just some of the amazing releases we have encountered this year. Hopefully, 2020 will be just as fruitful.
Happy New Year everyone!