Favorite 2019 Albums

There's now so much music flooding the internet that you could listen to entirely new music 24/7 and not even hear a fraction of it. Platforms like Spotify and Pandora thrive off of this endless novelty. But once in a while it's good to take a step back and revisit the albums that really stood out. And since the calender year for music publications seems to end in mid-November, here's the albums that stood out to me.

  • Anamanaguchi - [USA]
  • Anna Meredith - FIBS
  • black midi - Schlagenheim
  • clipping. - There Existed an Addiction to Blood
  • Fontaines D.C. - Dogrel
  • G. S. Schray - First Appearance
  • Girl Band - The Talkies
  • Gong Gong Gong - Phantom Rythym
  • The Hecks - My Star
  • The Hu - The Gereg
  • I Hate My Village - s/t
  • Ifriqiyya Electrique - Laylet El Booree
  • Innercity Ensemble - IV
  • Lightning Bolt - Sonic Citadel
  • Lingua Ignota - Caligula
  • Liturgy - H.A.Q.Q.
  • The Membranes - What Nature Gives... Nature Takes Away
  • The Murder Capital - When I Have Fears
  • NOV3L - Novel
  • Otoboke Beaver - Itekoma Hits
  • Richard Dawson - 2020
  • Snapped Ankles - Stunning Luxury
  • Squid - Town Centre
  • Swans - leaving meaning.
  • Three Oh Sees - Face Stabber
  • Tyler, the Creator - Igor
  • Vanishing Twin - The Age of Immunology

We live in a time when people all around the world are interconnected in a way unprecedented in human history, where billions are stepping out of poverty into middle class life, in a world which is connected where endless unique sub-cultures are constantly forming and evolving, and everything we thought we might have known about the world even just a generation ago is being turned on its head. It's on the crest of this wave of culture that bands like the French-Tunisian Afriqiyya Electrique (Africa Electric) are blasting out a brand of music that sounds totally new, something born from two established strains of music, Western heavy rock and Saharan folk song, while at the same time sounding like neither. Rarely have two cultures collided and melded with each other in such force and originality.

A little closer to home there's the incredibly talented and young band black midi rocking as ferociously as the greatests bands of the post-punk era. Michael Gira is back with yet another revival of the venerable Swans, and it's sounding vital as ever. Girl Band released a sophmore album about as loud and frenzied as their previous album Holding Hands With Jamie. On the other side of the planet the female quartet Otoboke Beaver continued the proud Japanese tradition of making absolutely bonkers noise rock with their album Itekoma Hits.

Anywhere you look in the world today, it seems, people are hellbent on making new sounds, on mixing the old with the new, and connecting different musical cultures. Going into the next decade this trend shows no sign of slowing down.