mardin65
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music of 2019 ranked

So 2019 is wrapping up and it was a decent year overall for music. Here are my favorites of the year
1Big Thief
U.F.O.F.


What an assume year it was for Big Thief as they released not one but two well deserved critically acclaimed albums. For me I give the nod to this one as my favorite album of the year. I found myself constantly returning to this disc almost every day since its release. Adrienne Lenker and company deliver a strong set of lush folk songs. My favorite track is the delicate folk of “Cattails”. Everything about it is great from the lyrics, the vocals, musicianship and the melody It has a very rustic feel to it as I can imagine Adrienne and the rest of the band on some back porch playing it. The title track is also a favorite with lyrics about an extraterrestrial friend that seems to be leaving Adrienne for good. It has dream pop vibe to match the subject matter. Then there is the song "Orange" a fragile folk song with only Adrienne on guitar. UFOF is Big Thief's best record to date.

Favorite songs: Cattails, UFOF and Orange
2Sharon Van Etten
Remind Me Tomorrow


How do you return after a long hiatus during which you had a baby and starred in a TV show ? Well in the case of Sharon Van Etten you do an album that sounds different than your previous ones. The songs on Remind Me Tomorrow we’re done on Piano this time instead of guitars. The album Is more electronic oriented and it still sounds just as good as what she has done before. “Seventeen”, “Comeback Kid” and “Jupiter 4”, the album’s main singles, are catchy and features her most impassioned vocals. Then there is “No Ones Easy To Love”, the most underrated track on here. It has a throbbing bass line and stately synths anchoring her vocals. It’s a bold move on her part but she does manage to make it work.

Favorite songs: Seventeen, Stay, Comeback Kid and No Ones Easy To Love
3The National
I Am Easy to Find


I think it’s safe to say that the National rival Spoon in being one of the most consistent bands in music today. With this their eighth album they deliver another strong album with many highlights. From the skittering synths of the opener “You Had Your Soul with You” to the melancholic closer “Light Years” this is the National at the top of their game.

Favorite songs: Rylan, Oblivions, Not In Kansas and Hey Rosey
4Deerhunter
Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?


Even though it’s a slight step down from their previous releases, this album still has enough to recommend it. The album still shows the band’s ability to be experimental and accessible as well. Songs like the harpsichord laden opener “Death in Midsomer” and the shimmering synths of “Plains” still make this a worthwhile listen.

Favorite songs: Death in Midsomer, Plains and What Happens to People
5Angel Olsen
All Mirrors


With All Mirrors Angel Olsen continues to move away from the folk music of her earlier albums to go on to becoming a bonafide pop star. The songs on here feature grand orchestral production flourishes to make her songs shine. Of course all those touches would be for nothing if the songwriting was weak but luckily Angel is in fine form here.

Favorite songs: Lark, All Mirrors, Spring and New Love Cassette
6Weyes Blood
Titanic Rising


Titanic Rising is an album that harks back to some of the singer songwriter albums of the seventies but while still retaining its own individuality. Natalie Mering aka Weyes Blood goes for a bold sound and it succeeds. From the celestial “Andromeda “ to the bouncy “Everyday” this an album that sparkles. But the real highlight here is the song “Movies” where her voice sounds like it’s soaring to the heavens over a bed of watery synths. It’s one of my favorite songs of the year. I can’t wait to see what she does next

Favorite song: Andromeda, Everyday and Movies
7Lana Del Rey
Norman Fucking Rockwell!


I always liked Lana Del Rey's music but with this album I am now officially a fan. NFR is a sharp focused pop record of piano ballads, folk rock and exquisite psych pop all in one magnificent stew. With this album she officially solidifies her position as genuine master of pop songcraft.

Favorite song: Venice Bitch, Mariners Apartment Complex, Fuck it, I Love You
8Chromatics
Closer to Grey


Since 2012’s “Kill For Love”, The Chromatics have been promising its follow up “Dear Tommy” for years now. However, in 2017 they destroyed all the copies of the album with promises of redoing it. Well this year they broke their silence by releasing a completely different album. “Closer to Grey” may not have been what we expected but it’s still a fine collection of the band’s dark synth pop. From the nocturnal pop of “Light as a Feather” to the R &B influenced “Touch Red” this is enough to tide us over.

Favorite songs: Touch Red, Twist the Knife and Closer to Grey
9Bill Callahan
Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest


Bill Callahan has always been a reliable artist whose records never fail to disappoint. This hour long record is no exception as he delivers his most personal album whose songs deal with his new status as a husband and father. It's a profound piece of work that shows Callahan's growing maturity as a songwriter

Favorite songs: Watch Me Get Married, Call Me Anything, Angela and Circles
10Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
Ghosteen


With Ghosteen Nick Cave rounds out a trilogy of albums that started with 2013’s Push The Sky Away. It’s a beautifully haunting record that deals with the tragic death of his son. The songs on this double album will definitely touch your soul and even make you ponder your place in the world.

Favorite songs: Waiting For You, Bright Horses, Ghosteen Speaks and Hollywood
11PUP
Morbid Stuff


A fine collection of songs by this punk band. Morbid Stuff is PUP's best record to date with some of their most confident set of songs. From the fiery title track to the introspective Scorpion Hill every song here is a highlight

Favorite songs: Morbid Stuff, Kids, Scorpion Hill & Bare Hands
12Kevin Morby
Oh My God


Kevin Morby is another artist who released several great albums over the last decade. Oh My God is Morby’s most ambitious work to date that showcases his excellent songwriting abilities.

Favorite songs: No Halo, Piss River and Hail Mary
13Sudan Archives
Athena


A wonderfully unique album by this L.A. based singer whose music is a glorious fusion of R & B mixed with her electrifying violin playing. The songs on here are some of the most gorgeous music that i heard all year. With Athena Sudan Archives establishes herself as an artist worth following.

Favorite song: Down On Me, Did You Know & Glorious
14Finn Andrews
One Piece at a Time


The debut solo album by the Veils singer is a wonderful collection of songs set to piano, strings and other instrumentation. Songs like the lush “Al Pacino/Rise and Fall” and the bright “Spirit in the Flames” are elegant tracks that shows Andrews skills as a songwriter. It was unfortunate that this album didn’t get as many accolades as some of this year’s other releases which is a shame. It’s one of this year’s best albums

Favorite songs: Al Pacino/Rise and Fall, Spirit in the Flame and One by the Venom
15Pixx
Small Mercies


The second album by Hannah Rodgers aka Pixx is an interesting piece of work. Where her debut dealt with issues of anxiety and other issues of a personal nature Small Mercies is a more outward looking album. Tracks like “Hysterical” and “Peanuts Grow Underground use sparkling synths to tackle issues of sexism and gender inequality. Small Mercies is an album that tackles big themes in an infectious way.

Favorite songs: Hysterical, Peanuts Grow Underground
16Vampire Weekend
Father Of The Bride


Their first album in six years is an eighteen song opus that expertly blends many musical styles such as R & B and country to give us their most vibrant album yet

Favorite songs: Harmony Hall, This Life, Married in a Gold Rush and Sunflower
17Jessica Pratt
Quiet Signs


A wonderful album of beautiful folk tunes that hark back to the sixties and seventies without coming across a mere imitation. Jessica Pratt has a voice that's pure as honey as she sings these wonderful hypnotic songs.

Favorite songs: Fare Thee Well, Poly Blue and Here My Love
18Charly Bliss
Young Enough


The second album by this band is another set of muscular power pop. From the explosive opener “Blown to Bits” right until the blistering closer “The Truth” this is an album that will grab you and never let you go until the end.

Favorite songs: Blown to Bits, Capacity and Young Enough
19Better Oblivion Community Center
Better Oblivion Community Center


Solid collaboration between Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers. Both singers really worked well together and gave us a number of memorable songs from the Americana of “Service Road” to the ultra catchy “Dylan Thomas”. Here is hoping that they get the chance to work with each other again.

Favorite song: Dylan Thomas, Service Road and Big Black Heart
20Bruce Springsteen
Western Stars


On Springsteen’s nineteenth album he delivers a set of songs that evoke wide open roads and others images of the West. It’s a record with wide screens appeal that recalls the 60s music of Southern California.

Favorite songs: Hello Sunshine, Western Stars and The Wayfarer
21Faye Webster
Atlanta Millionaires Club


Third album by this singer-songwriter is a wonderful collection of languid folk that also incorporates elements of R & B to create an album of memorable songs.

Favorite songs: Room Temperature, Kingston, Pigeon and Come to Atlanta
22Bedouine
Bird Songs of a Killjoy


Another artist who followed up a well received debut with an even better second album. A wonderful folk album combining gentle melodies, deft songwriting and great singing this is one of the best folk albums of 2019

Favorite songs: Echo Park, Bird, One more time and Dizzy
23Bob Mould
Sunshine Rock


Bob Mould proves once again that despite being over 50 he can rock out harder than people half his age. Sunshine Rock is another strong album full of his signature loud but still melodic power pop.

Favorite songs: Sunshine Rock, Camp Sunshine, What Do You Want Me to Do
24Sasami
Sasami


Every year there is always that one record that surprises me and becomes one of my favorites of the year. The prize this year goes to this wonderful debut by Sasami. It’s an album of catchy Dream pop with subtle hooks and lush atmosphere from an artist worth watching.

Favorite songs: Free, At Hollywood, Morning Comes
25Swans
Leaving Meaning


Shorter in length then previous releases the newest album by the Swans is a hypnotic collection of songs that never get too abrasive. The songs here unfold at a much calmer pace with arrangements that still sound hypnotic as ever. With this album the Swans end this decade on a high note.

Favorite song: Leaving Meaning The Nub
26Wilco
Ode to Joy
27Fontaines D.C.
Dogrel
28(Sandy) Alex G
House Of Sugar
29Mikal Cronin
Seeker
30Foals
Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost - Part 1
31Jay Som
Anak Ko
32Girlpool
What Chaos Is Imaginary
33Sleater-Kinney
The Center Won’t Hold
34Hiss Golden Messenger
Terms of Surrender
35Stella Donnelly
Beware Of The Dogs
36American Football
American Football (LP3)
37Michael Kiwanuka
Kiwanuka
38Lady Lamb
Even in the Tremor
39Holly Herndon
PROTO
40The Japanese House
Good At Falling
41Aldous Harding
Designer
42The Mountain Goats
In League With Dragons
43Beirut
Gallipoli
44Belle and Sebastian
Days Of The Bagnold Summer
45Ty Segall
First Taste
46Nilufer Yanya
Miss Universe
47The Twilight Sad
It Won/t Be Like This All the Time
48Sebadoh
Act Surprised
49Local Natives
Violet Street
50Big Thief
Two Hands
51Julia Jacklin
Crushing
52Cass McCombs
Tip of the Sphere
53Hatchie
Keepsake
54Titus Andronicus
An Obelisk
55Purple Pilgrims
Perfumed Earth
56Swervedriver
Future Ruins
57SACRED PAWS
Run Around the Sun
58Jade Bird
Jade Bird
59Guided by Voices
Zeppelin Over China
60Redd Kross
Beyond The Door
61Frankie Cosmos
Close It Quietly
62Foals
Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost - Part 2
63The Highwomen
The Highwomen
64A.A. Bondy
Enderness
65Ex Hex
It's Real
66The New Pornographers
In the Morse Code of Brake Lights
67Priests
The Seduction of Kansas
68Ladytron
Ladytron
69Vivian Girls
Memory
70Fruit Bats
Gold Past Life
71Lambchop
This (is what I wanted to tell you)
72Of Monsters and Men
Fever Dream
73Bleached
Don't You Think You've Had Enough
74Patio
Essentials
75The Black Keys
Let's Rock
76Amyl and the Sniffers
Amyl and the Sniffers
77Bon Iver
i,i
78Whitney
Forever Turned Around
79Tacocat
This Mess Is a Place
80The Hold Steady
Thrashing Thru the Passion
81Emily Reo
Only you can see It
82The Head And The Heart
Living Mirage
83Imperial Teen
Now We Are Timeless
84Elva
Winter Sun
85The Tallest Man on Earth
I Love You. It's a Fever Dream.
86Andrew Bird
My Finest Work Yet
87Possible Humans
Everybody Split
88Purple Mountains
Purple Mountains
89The Murder Capital
When I Have Fears
90Crumb
Jinx
91Joyero
Release the Dogs
92Girl Band
The Talkies
93A Winged Victory for the Sullen
The Undivided Five
94Coldplay
Everyday Life
95Death And Vanilla
Are You a Dreamer?
96Cate Le Bon
Reward
97Fat White Family
Serfs Up!
98Kishi Bashi
Omoiyari
99Pip Blom
Boat
100Slaughter Beach, Dog
Safe And Also No Fear
101Laura Stevenson
The Big Freeze
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