10 Jan MUS(E)ic – the best of 2019
Whether you had a fantastic year or the shittiest one yet, there will always be some consistency in your life, and that’s at least a few great albums per year. 2019 was no exception to this and so before moving on to fresh 2020 content, let’s stop and smell the roses and explore some of the best albums 2019 had to offer (in my opinion). Here are 10 standouts unranked.
Clairo – Immunity
It’s hard to believe that this emotional yet hopeful masterpiece is 21-year-old Clairo’s breakout album. It has a youthful feel yet appeals to everyone and every song sounds perfectly effortless. I can’t wait to see how Clairo’s career goes from here.
KAYTRANADA – BUBBA
Although KAYTRANADA’s 2016 album 99.9% seemed impossible to follow up, the long-anticipated BUBBA did not disappoint. The Montreal producer incorporated some more laid back yet refined beats with an impressive feature lineup including Kali Uchis, Mick Jenkins and Pharrell Williams.
Vampire Weekend – Father of the Bride
I couldn’t think of a better way for Vampire Weekend to return after 6 years than this effortlessly cool and intricate album. It has a way of making you feel instantly joyful and the beginning of Sunflower is probably one of the weirdest and grooviest things I’ve heard in quite some time. Ezra Keonig is truly a genius.
Half Moon Run – A Blemish In The Great Light
If you haven’t listened to the Canadian indie band Half Moon Run yet, this album is a clear indication you need to. It is very instrumentally complex and definitely deserves to be listened to start to finish. The group combines some more dramatic soft-rock songs with others that feel more folky to create a fantastic overall record.
James Blake – Assume Form
There is something so serious and beautiful about this album. It’s definitely a bit weird but I love every second of it. The production is incredible, including some co-production by Metro Boomin, and the tracks most definitely make you feel something. The magical thing is you’re left wondering what exactly it is you’re feeling.
Billie Eilish – WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?
There’s no doubt why this album completely blew up in 2019. It’s so well done that it’s truly hard to believe it was created by a 16-year-old and her brother in their house. From the hard hitting “bad guy” to the cry worthy “i love you”, this really is a masterpiece.
Daniel Caesar – CASE STUDY 01
In CASE STUDY 01, Daniel Caesar sticks to his perfect R&B self while branching out just enough with tracks like “CYANIDE” and “FRONTAL LOBE MUSIK”. I constantly find myself putting this on. There’s no better fit than this album if you’re looking to sit back, relax and reflect on life just a bit.
GoldLink – Diaspora
This explorative album is executed extremely well. GoldLink never fails to demonstrate his ability to collaborate with other artists in seamless and unexpected ways. This time around he includes features by Khalid, WizKid, Tyler, The Creator and many more. The combo of unique rhythms and South African influences make this rap album unlike any other.
Lana Del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell!
Lana never fails to show she is a musical and lyrical goddess. This album is gloomy, elegant, hopeful and real all at the same time. Every component of the album has a purpose. Nothing Lana releases is bad, but this is extra good.
Anderson .Paak – Ventura
Every time I listen to this album I find a new favourite song, and to me that’s a sign of a great album. It’s perfectly groovy and showcases everything Paak does best. While it may not be deeply thought provoking or heart breaking, there’s nothing wrong with a good old pump up album packed with hits. Picking just 3 standouts songs was a huge struggle.