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Top 10 Local (NY) Albums of 2019

Every year for my blog, besides a Top 10 Albums list and a Top 20 Songs list, I also do a Top 10 Local Albums list for albums by artists, indie and otherwise, from the New York and Tri-State Area. Here's this year's list.
10Dream Theater
Distance Over Time


I've always been a little up and down on this progressive metal band. They have a storied career and are well respected (and they're even members of the Long Island Music Hall of Fame), but their style isn't really the prog rock of old that I love. Nevertheless, Distance Over Time was a pleasant surprise, and a nice recovery from 2016's ambitious but overbloated 2016 double LP The Astonishing. So kudos to these guys for a nice comeback.
9Xeno and Oaklander
Hypnos


Sputnik Music describes Xeno & Oaklander as "a minimal electronics girl/boy duo based in Brooklyn, NY." They remind me of early Eurythmics. The music is ice cold, but oh so good.
8Laura Stevenson
The Big Freeze


Laura Stevenson is a Rockville Centre gal, although her voice and her music sound southern to me. She's been heavily involved over the years with Jeff Rosenstock's Bomb the Music Industry! project. In spite of the album title, a lot of the music on here is more like the aural equivalent to warm, glowing embers.
7Melanie Martinez
K-12


This is another concept album from the controversial Long Island pop artist Melanie Martinez. In this one, we take a musical journey as we follow her Cry Baby character from kindergarten through senior year of high school, as she encounters mean girls, abusive boys, evil teachers and a whole lot of sex. I love the ambition of this project, and there's some really good material on here.
6Vampire Weekend
Father Of The Bride


While this LP is perhaps a little overlong (there are 18 tracks here), I thought it was a step back up after 2013's Modern Vampires of the City for this New York-based indie rock band. It's nice to have these guys back.
5Lisel
Angels on the Slope


Lisel is the pseudonym for Eliza Bagg, from the New York indie pop band Pavo Pavo. This is her first solo album, and it's a very beautiful one. The music is here is delicate and ethereal, and very joyful. I'm hoping she continues to create solo music, because I really connected with this one.
4Barrie
Happy To Be Here


This is another dreamy kind of LP. It's the debut album of a female-fronted pop rock band from Brooklyn. The vibes are mellow, the music is gentle, and the LP is a definite winner.
3Ingrid Michaelson
Stranger Songs


New York songstress Ingrid Michaelson has been an amazingly consistent artist over the years. On this, her seventh studio album, she draws inspiration from the Netflix Sci-Fi show Stranger Things. As always, her voice is lovely here, and her pop instincts are right on.
2Bayside
Interrobang


In a list that is dominated by the ladies, Bayside breaks through again. What can I say, I love these guys, and Interrobang is up there with their best work. This pop punk band has been around for close to two decades now, and they show no sounds of slowing down. And Anthony Raneri is still one of the best vocalists and best lyricists out there.
1Charly Bliss
Young Enough


This Brooklyn-based power pop band are clearly hitting their stride. Young Enough contains 11 tracks worth of very consistent, extremely well-crafted pop rock. I caught them this summer at Radio City Musical Hall (opening for Chvrches), and their energy and enthusiasm were infectious. Eva Hendricks' voice is a little unusual, but it really works with the material. I'm excited to see where this band goes from here -- I'm really rooting for them.
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