So every year I realise I take this task WAY too seriously and that hardly anyone really cares, but making a list of my favourite album releases of the year is a challenge I set myself at the end of December, partly cos I love sharing my favourite music with others, hence my previous career.
The second reason I like to make a list of favourite albums is that it forces me to also check out other End Of Year lists in case I missed anything that made those lists. I definitely have a “fear of missing out” condition! I trawled through tons of Year-End lists and listened to pretty much everything I hadn’t already heard. And I discovered some real undiscovered gems.
Working at home so much means I listen to a LOT of music of all genres. Except ska! A lot of albums I’ll listen to once but the ones I really like get added to my Roon library. I guess most people don’t know what Roon is still but I absolutely love it and it’s what I use to play most of my music. I’m using it as I’m typing out this post in fact.
Anyway, if you’re reading this, I guess you may be interested in what I made of the albums released in 2019. My absolute favourite release came out in August. Tool’s first album in 13 years. On the morning of release, I turned all my devices off and indulged myself, listening… properly listening… to the album in full. And it blew me away. I know it seemed to divide fans. Some called it a masterpiece, others said it was boring. For me, it requires the listener’s full attention. It’s not a background album. It also needs a good sound system or quality headphones to be enjoyed fully.
My music tastes are extremely varied and although I love Michael Kiwanuka, The National, Beck, Billie Eilish and Lucy Rose, I also love a lot of extremely heavy bands. Combining all those artists would be a bit weird I think so I have split my lists, and accompanying playlists, into the heavy and non-heavy categories. Tool falls somewhere between the two really but they are nowhere near as heavy as some of the bands in the Heavy list. I’m rambling…. so here goes.
MY FAVOURITE ALBUMS OF 2019 (MINUS THE HEAVY STUFF)
1. Tool – Fear Inoculum
2. Michael Kiwanuka – KIWANUKA
3. The National – I Am Easy To Find
4. The Murder Capital – When I Have Fears
5. Noah Gunderson – Lover
6. Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow
7. Cage The Elephant – Social Cues
8. Patrick Watson – Wave
9. Silversun Pickups – Widow’s Weeds
10. Beck – Hyperspace
11. Lucy Rose – No Words Left
12. Cultdreams – Things That Hurt
12. The Black Keys – Let’s Rock
13. Fontaines DC – Dogrel
14. Little Simz – GREY Area
15. Wrest – Coward Of Us All
16. Loyle Carner – Not Waving, But Drowning
17. Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
18. Faye Webster – Atlanta Millionaires Club
19. FKA Twigs – Magdalene
20. Local Natives – Violet Street
21. Refused – War Songs
22. Elbow – Giants Of All Sizes
23. The Chemical Brothers – No Geography
24. Dave – Psychodrama
25. Vampire Weekend – Father Of The Bride
26. Chelsea Wolfe – Birth Of Violence
27. The Paper Kites – On The Corner Where You Live
28. Glen Hansard – This Wild Willing
29. Caroline Spence – Mint Condition
30. Jordan Rakei – Origin
You can listen to my fave songs of 2019 on Spotify here. Some are just singles, some are album tracks. Enjoy!
The Tidal version. I use Tidal much more than Spotify because of the sound quality.
I really hope you guys find something you love that maybe you haven’t heard before…
And now for the heavy stuff…
This list includes a lot of bands I only discovered in 2019 as well as one of my all-time fave bands, Norma Jean. The list varies from metallic hardcore to black metal, deathcore and… Alcest 🙂
MY FAVOURITE ALBUMS OF 2019
1. Throes – In The Hands Of An Angry God
2. Norma Jean – All Hail
3. Thy Art Is Murder – Human Target
4. Panzerfaust – The Suns of Perdition – Chapter I: War, Horrid War
5. Venom Prison – Samsara
6. Misþyrming – Algleymi
7. SECT – Blood Of The Beasts
8. Ossuaire – Premiers Chants/Derniers Chants
9. Full Of Hell – Weeping Choir
10. Sūrya – Solastalgia
11. Fit For An Autopsy – The Sea of Tragic Beasts
12. Varials – In Darkness
13. Friendship – Undercurrent
14. Implore – Alienated Despair
15. HATE – Auric Gates Of Veles
16. Aoratos – Gods Without Name
17. Fuming Mouth – The Grand Descent
18. Ithaca – The Language Of Injury
19. Worsen – Cursed To Witness Life
20. Abigail Williams – Walk Beyond The Dark
21. SeeYouSpaceCowboy – The Correlation Between Entrance and Exit Wounds
22. Alcest – Spiritual Instinct
23. Whitechapel – The Valley
24. Cattle Decapitation – Death Atlas
25. Gatecreeper – Deserted
26. Mastiff – Plague
27. Employed To Serve – Eternal Forward Motion
28. After The Burial – Evergreen
29. Despised Icon – Purgatory
30. This Gift Is A Curse – A Throne Of Ash
Turn the volume up!
And if you’re not really familiar with this type of music, maybe have a listen anyway. It may not be what you expect. Or it may be worse. You have been warned!
And finally, my Top 15 concerts of 2019. I told you I had varied tastes!
1. The National @ Place Des Arts
2. Nails @ Club Soda
3. Fontaines D.C. @ Osheaga
4. Weezer + Pixies @ Bell Centre
5. Billie Eilish @ Place Bell
6. The Bronx @ Foufs
7. Misþyrming @ Messe Des Morts
8. Thy Art Is Murder @ MTelus
9. Fever 333 @ Place Bell
10. Chelsea Wolfe @ Le National
11. Jenny Lewis @ l’Astral
12. Arkells @ Mtelus
13. Lingua Ignota @ La Sala Rossa
14. Deafheaven @ Corona Theatre
15. Maggie Rogers @ Mtelus
Here’s to another 12 months of amazing music. Look after your hearing. Thanks for reading.