Author Topic: 2019 end of year list (Read 3,300 times)
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 2019 end of year list
« Dec 15, 2019 14:39:38 GMT »
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:D It is hard to rank GBV, I had an incredible time but they did a ton of new stuff out of the 7000 songs they performed plus ended with Baba O'Riley which I fucking hate. It was a dream come true to finally see Pollard and as wonderful as it was that Janelle gig was just utter perfection from the second she came on until the very end when she caked her face with mud :D It's probably on Iplayer or youtube if anybody hasn't seen it.

I would just like to add to my gig list, though it didn't make the cut the GBV Euroheed fest of covers bands night was just such a joyous experience. It didn't feel right including it but it deserved a mention.

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« Dec 15, 2019 16:10:56 GMT »
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40-31

40: Rustin Man - Drift Code

Bass player from Talk Talk with his first solo record. Gotta be honest, I'm yet to really click with Talk Talk but this really grabbed me. His voice & some of the production sounds spookily like Black Star Bowie, obviously not as incredible, but a fine piece of art rock in its own right.

39: Terry & Louie - A Thousand Guitars

Two of the surviving members from The Exploding Hearts make a record that sounds like The Exploding Hearts. Power-pop meets garage goodness, wears its heart on its sleeve to the point of being cheesy yet those hooks are just killer. 

38: jonatan leandoer127 - Nectar

Hadn't heard of this artist before. Young Swedish bloke who released trap rap records under the name of Yung Lean and was apparently hugely popular, changed his name now makes well crafted indie-rock.

37: Sleeper and Snake - Junction and High

Understated indie-pop goodness by half of the worlds greatest band... TERRY


36: Ian NoeBetween the Country

Nothing new to be heard hear, just classic Americana singer/songwriter kinda stuff. This has filled the void since Ryan Adams has been cancelled. It's definitely a little safe sounding, though he has such a wonderful rich voice that it suckers me in each time. There's & a real John Prine kinda vibe about his work. Could see this appealing to the likes of JP, SRK & Brad,  I'm surprised this guy has remained so under the radar. Think he's pretty young too so I'm hopeful he will only improve

35:  Better Oblivion Community CenterBetter Oblivion Community Center

Lovely collaboration, record is short & sweet & Conor Oberst as a songwriter I feel is getting better with age. Not everything quite lands, but there's some great material on this thing.

34: Leonard Cohen - Thanks for the Dance

This was an unexpected surprise. When this was announced I was very sceptical, especially as the sample track was barely a minute long. However, his son Chris, Feist, Beck & Damien Rice ect have done a fine job turning the vocals they were left with into songs worthy of fitting Leonard's name. It probably helped that I'd recently read the last couple of collections of poetry that he'd written & some of that material ended up on here. Probably my favourite of his records since I'm Your Man, though I'm due a revisit of some of his last few records so don't quote me on that.

33: Danny Brown - uknowhatimsayin¿

Q-Tip did a great job on production here keeping everything on point. Loved this when it leaked, it hasn't had the same kind of staying power, perhaps because it feels a lot less ambitious to me than Atrocity Exhibition. Still a fine half hour dose of hip hop bangers.

32: Uranium Club The Cosmo Cleaners

American art-punk/post-punk. Big Devo vibes from this, quirky & satirical spoken word lyrics throughout.

31: Dumb - Club Nites

The latest edition of I-Can't-Believe-It's-Not-Parquet-Courts. I'm a total sucker for this kinda sound. "Beef Hits" is one of my tunes of the year. Was mad about this when it leaked, haven't returned to it a great deal but there are some absolute tunes on here. 




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« Dec 15, 2019 16:32:09 GMT »
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30-21

30: Ryan Porter - Force for Good

Kamasi Washington's trombone players new record. This basically features the same lineup of musicians that Kamasi uses so you get him on Tenor Sax, thundercat on electric bass, Tony Austin on drums & so on so you know what you're getting. The compositions perhaps aren't as memorable as those found on Kamasi's but there's still some wonderful material on this thing. Mostly comes alive on the longer 9+ jams, though there's a lovely cover of Stevie Wonders Blame It on the Sun too.

29: Slag Queens - You Can't Go Out Like That

Really fun, kinda throwaway Post-Punk from Tasmania with a danceable edge. Like Le Tigre meets Pixies. I'd definitely call this one of the real unheard gems I found this year, it only has about a dozen ratings on RYM.

28: Malibu Ken - Malibu Ken

Superfun hip hop record that dropped early in the year. A 35 minute blast of electro beats you can move to. I'm not huge on Aesop Rock's style or lyrics, but it fits the style Tobacco's production was going for. Definitely feels more like a mix-tape that was created quickly, but that adds to the charm. Reminds me of the more rap orientated tracks from the 1st Neon Neon LP.

27: Ty Segall - First Taste

Ty's 3000th album.

26: Louder than Death - Stop Und Fick Dich!

snot-nosed fast and frantic garage-punk. This features King Khan & TBH is the best thing he has done in a long time. Sounds like it was written in one afternoon and recorded in one take, great stuff

25: Wand - Laughing Matter

Cool psych with some great guitar parts. To my ears it sounds like if Radiohead had made a record in 96 between The Bends & OK Computer.

24: KAPUTT - Carnage Hall

Glasgow band on the home of TERRY Upset the Rhythm. It's post-punk, but not the brooding miserable type. This has more in common with the b-52s & Talking Heads in the rhythmic sense. Lots of frantic tunes with SAX freakouts! A ton of fun, hope to catch them live soon.

23: Kim Gordon - No Home Record

I'm surprised it took Kim this long to do a solo record, but it was worth the wait. It's completely all over the place in the best possible way, yet still is unmistakably Kim Gordon.

22: Stella Donnelly - Beware of the Dogs

This record has some real staying power with me. On the surface it is this jangly/twee indie-pop thing that also sounds a bit Britpop at times, but what really makes this stand out are Stella's lyrics. Very blunt & to the point with some serious themes, yet they manage to be playful and full of humour too. Think I'm an absolute sucker for Aussie female singing voices too.

21: Kate Tempest - The Book of Traps and Lessons

Lyrically perhaps even more on point than "Let Them Eat Chaos", though musically I feel that record was more appealing. This one feels more like a straight up poetry recording with some accompanying music rather than a meshing of both worlds. Either way, another top notch record from Tempest.

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« Dec 15, 2019 16:59:51 GMT »
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20-11

20: Kali Malone - The Sacrificial Code

American drone artist living in Stockholm. This record consists of lengthy minimal pipe organ compositions that meander & never really move anywhere. This isn't something I'd usually gravitate towards but I've found the record incredibly hypnotic. It has become my go-to record for reading or if I'm having trouble sleeping. It moves so slowly & carefully that when slight changes happen it feels so much more powerful. Not a record to stick a track on and sample, just something to jump in deep with and let it wash over you. I definitely want to try out more of this kinda thing next year

19: Guided by Voices - Zeppelin Over China

People have always cried out for Pollard to cull the amount of songs on his releases, yet his 32 song double record was by far the best & most consistent of the 3 records they put out. There's not much that would be knocking on the very best of GBV, but my god Pollard was in fine creative form for these sessions. Barely a bad track on the entire thing.

18: Budos Band - V

Been a fan of the Budos band for a while. Their music is usually a nice blend of Jazz, Funk & psych. This time around they've gone hard on the psych for a much darker & broodier record. It still grooves & is playful like their previous work, yet this time around a lot of their songs feel like they were being made for a movie with an epic training montage before a brawl. Really dig this new darker direction.

17: R. Stevie Moore - Afterlife

So this is basically R. Stevie Moore re-recording some of his better known material in a nice studio, which I guess would be sacrilege to some people but as someone who's dipped into a bunch of his records this is the first time everything has landed wonderfully. I'd say this is a really great place for newcomers to be introduced to his weird & wonderful style of pop music. A cult artist if there ever was one. He has 100s of albums, I'm tempted to go through his entire back catalogue like I did GBV & dig out all the gold.. maybe next year.

16: Pozi - PZ1

Debut from 3-piece post-punk group featuring the drummer from Dustins Bar Mitzvah. I love how snappy & to the point their tunes are, plus the inventive use of violin instead of a guitar gives their tunes a bit of a fresh sound.

15: Frankie & The Witch Fingers - Zam

This record flew completely under the radar. Psychedelic Garage-rock from Indiana. It's like the perfect middle ground between Ty Segall, Oh sees & King Gizzard, big grooves mixed with crunchy guitars. Great record start to finish, well produced whilst still sounding like a band performance. I've no idea why this hasn't gained more attention, I saw them play at the moth club and it was only maybe a third full.

14: Kaleta & Super Yamba Band - Mèdaho

This is a record I found digging through RYM's genre charts. I'd never heard of Kaleta before, an artist from Benin, but is based in New York. Kaleta has fronted various Afrobeat bands for years, this record here with The Super Yamba Band is just some killer Afro-beat. Really great production on this thing, great bass lines, rhythmic drums & a really cool keyboard sound throughout. One of my favourite discoveries of the year.

13: Mount Eerie With Julie Doiron - Lost Wisdom Pt. 2

I'm no expert on Phil Elverum's career, infact I've only heard the past two records. But I really appreciate how musical this one is compared to his past two records. Yeah sure, it's still miserable as fuck & still minimal, yet the use of electric guitar & also the addition of Julie Doiron's vocals make this a lot more appealing to me than "Now Only", which felt like "A Crow Looked at Me" part II without the same emotional weight behind it. Hope to explore his back catalogue some time. "Widows" is fucking outstanding, I think after hearing him so quiet for so long then that electric guitar kicks in, powerful stuff.

12: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Ghosteen

Musically feels more in tune with Nick & Warren's soundtrack work, I wonder how much input the rest of the Bad Seeds got to have on this one. Still, devastatingly beautiful. I doubt it'll ever be one of my go-to Nick Cave records, but one that on the rare occasion I reach for it I'll be reminded what a wonderful piece of work it is.

11: Ana Frango Elétrico - Little Electric Chicken Heart

Anyone that appreciates the likes of Jorge Ben, Milton Nascimento or even Os Mutantes should definitely check this out. It's MPB, but doesn't feel like a retro-rehash. The production makes it feel modern. The records full of catchy & playful melodies. The whole thing clocks in at shy of the half an hour mark & covers a ton of ground in that time. This will probably appeal to the SFA fans on here too, fantastic arrangements throughout.


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« Dec 15, 2019 17:30:08 GMT » -
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10-01

10: Julia Jacklin - Crushing

One of my favourite openers on a record this year. I love her voice. Lyrically great & when she & band lock in they have a certain mood & feel about them which really hits home. Kinda wish there was more of that instead of perhaps more stripped back numbers but either way, outstanding record.

09: Jenny Lewis - On The Line

Maybe my favourite of Jenny's solo outings yet. Beck & RYAN ADAMS do a wonderful job with the production. The songs themselves are kinda simple, yet catchy as fuck. Have found myself coming back to this record a ton plus I can't stop fucking singing the chorus to Rabbit Hole in my head.

08: Sleaford Mods - Eton Alive

Might be my favourite record of theirs yet (mind you I've still not heard their earliest records). Musically it feels like a slight progression, it's still minimal as fuck - yet I feel they've added a welcome layer of thickness to the sound, either way it fits perfect for Williamson's vocals. Lyrically some of the best stuff I've heard of his. FINALLY fucking saw them live this year too and it was everything I could have wished for.

07: The Juan Maclean - The Brighter the Light

I frickin' loved their last record "In A Dream" that came out five years ago, I wasn't sure they were even going anymore. Where that record was a LCD Soundsystem Electroclash/Nu-disco type affair, they've returned as pretty much a straight up house outfit. The record appears to have been completely ignored & even the people that have heard it on RYM don't appear to be too thrilled with it. Quite surprised because this thing is a beast. It has been one of my favourite records to listen to whilst out and about throughout the year.

06: Little Simz - Grey Area

Absolutely banging hip hop record. I know it isn't her debut (still need to check out her first two records actually) but what an arrival she has made here, sounds completely fully formed as an artist. Lyrically for the most part its interesting, her flow is killer & Jesus, the production on this thing (those bass lines) is as good as anything I've heard this year. 35 minutes, no fat. One of thee great British Hip Hop records IMO. Can't wait to see what she does next.

05: Cate Le Bon - Reward

I'm still undecided to whether I prefer this to Crab Day, but either way, Cate has made two outstanding records in a row. I love how simple the song arrangements are, it feels so effortless. The production is spot on & the use of her voice has never been better. The sound of an artist completely on top of their game.

04: Tyler, the Creator - Igor

This record really caught me by surprise. I went from being obsessed with Odd Future & his Yonkers single to being bitterly disappointed with everything he has done since. I gave this a go due to the glowing reviews & at first it did nothing for me, but I kept coming back to it until I realised what a bloomin wonderful record it is. I just love how all over the fucking place it is. It feels like a mix tape in its truest form. I'll just quote baz cos he summed it up beautifully "i don't even consider tyler a rapper anymore. actually not sure who of relevant, boundary pushing artists i do think of as pure rappers. the new generations are far too immersed in so many influences that just pure spitting kinda makes you seem as outdated as someone like eminem. which probably explains why there haven't been many 'pure hip hop' albums of quality this year, the best music expands upon that."

03: Filmmaker - The Love Market

I always feel like a fraud including any type of dance music on my lists as it's a genre I know so little about, yet every year there's always one or two records that really grab my attention. This was something I found whilst browsing through RYM. It's a one person industrial / Techno artist from Columbia. This shit is absolutely banging. There's a huge John Carpenter meets that awesome synth score from the first Terminator kinda vibe running through it, yet it hits hard. I tried another record from Filmmaker also from this year and it didn't grab me like this one. Looking now I've just realised this crazy bastard has released 7 full lengths & 2 EPs this year so I'm going to have to go through to see if there's anything else that speaks to me like this record did. Big drum sounds & I appreciate that it's only 34 minutes in length, too often house/techno records I try last for fucking ever & I lose interest. This is just so on the money for a casual like myself.

02: Black Midi - Schlagenheim

so, so, so, so, so magnificent.

01: Richard Dawson - 2020

Have gone back and forth with this and Black Midi, tbh I might change my mind tomorrow. But today I'm going for 2020. This record just flawed me from the 1st time I heard it. Musically I love how ambitious it is, yet it still remains accessible & playful. Lyrically though is where this thing really becomes special for me. It has been a long time since I've sat down and studied every lyric of a record & this is as good as anything I've ever heard tbh. In my 20s Original Pirate Material spoke to me like no record had before, summed up the Britain I lived in whilst I was still full of optimism & bravado. Well this kinda serves as the sad late 30s sequel where any kinda optimism has been beaten out of me & replaced by the grim reality of this hateful & backwards nation that we are all now forced to live in. Yet at the same time, Dawson's lyrics (despite the desperate themes) still manage to be full of humour, even if it is often self-deprecating. I'm not overstating when I say that Jogging is one of my all-time favourite songs now, I've found myself punching the sky whilst listening to it far too often. There is 1 or 2 numbers on here that don't quite live up to the rest which is preventing me calling this a masterpiece, but even if it isn't quite at that level, Dawson has made the record that moved me most this year.

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 2019 end of year list
« Dec 15, 2019 18:49:02 GMT via mobile »
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Good list, although having a big white man as number one kinda diminishes it.

There are 2 or 3 I will probably check, although I still have to do the write up and work on the decade list.

I'd say Julia Jacklin is a bit of a lesser Angxx Xxsen (spoiler) circa 2016, the voice is very similar at times, but there is nothing actually wrong with that. Another spoiler is that I actually enjoyed more Cate le Bon producing than on her own record, although Home To You is one of my songs of the year.

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« Dec 15, 2019 22:41:44 GMT » -
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TOP 10 ALBUMS NOT FROM 2019 THAT I LISTENED TO FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 2019 AND REALLY LIKED

I spent the early part of the year listening to a lot of compilations. I especially got into a lot of the soul jazz records compilations so they make up a decent part of this list. They are such a great way to discover new music and I'm yet to hear a bad one.

1, Various Artists – Basement Beehive, The Girl Group Underground (2018)
2, Various Artists – Soul of a Nation: Jazz is the Teacher, Funk is the Preacher: Afro-Centric Jazz Street Funk and the Roots of Rap in the Black Power Era 1969-75 (2018)
3, Albert Ayler – Albert Ayler in Greenwich Village (1967)
4, Miles Davis – Bitches Brew (1970)
5, Alice Clark – Alice Clark (1972)
6, Various Artists – Soul of a Nation: Afro-Centric Visions in the Age of Black Power (2017)
7, Archie Shepp – Fire Music (1965)
8, Bill Orcutt - A History of Everyone (2013)
9, Alice Coltrane - Ptah, the El Daoud (1970)
10, Various Artists - Studio One Funk (2004)


TOP 10 GIGS OF 2019


1, Ride @ Norwich Waterfront

My last gig of the year and the best. Not as good as them doing Nowhere in full the other year but my 3rd time seeing them was actually my first time seeing them do any new material and the tunes from the 2 post comeback albums all sound strong live. Ride are one of my favourite bands and live is where they are in their element.

2, Noel Gallagher @ Earlham Park Norwich

I know this is about the most unpopular thing I could post on here, but I had a fucking great time at this gig. Went with a big group of mates, bumped into a few old mates I’d not seen for years, sun was shining, I even enjoyed some of Razorlight in support. Noel’s band has improved since adding the scissor player and additional female vocalists and I was well happy to finally hear Dead in the Water live. He may be a potato, but he can still put on a great gig.

3, Sleaford Mods @ Norwich Waterfront

Always a brilliant gig when Sleaford Mods are in town and it was good to see them back at the smaller Waterfront venue after they sold out the much bigger UEA last time out. Jason had some new moves and they played plenty of the new album which is up there with their best.

4, Idles @ Norwich UEA

I’d been dying to see them and was excited to finally get the chance. It was everything I’d hoped it would be, the energy and noise they create is mind-blowing. Would potentially be higher if it wasn’t for the fact, I had to miss the last few songs due to transport home.

5, The Comet is Coming @ Norwich Arts Centre


Nearly didn't go to this as I was feeling like shit and it was sandwiched between Primal Scream and Ride in a 3 day run. So glad I did go as it was fucking brilliant. Felt more like a rave at times than a gig and the energy in the room was incredible. Always a pleasure to watch Shabaka play but the two others guys were brilliant too. I much prefer Sons of Kemet to The Comet is Coming on record but having seen both live this year it was these who won that battle hands down.

6, The Good the Bad and the Queen @ Norwich UEA


Easily the biggest surprise of the year for me. I had no intention of going to this gig but the day before I found out I had won a pair of tickets in a competition. I found the albums fairly forgettable and had seen them headline Latitude years ago and felt Albarn hid behind the piano too much and it just didn’t work too well live. This time around it was completely different and from the very start he brought the charisma and showmanship he does to his Blur shows to this band too. Musically the band were astonishing and it was a pure pleasure just watching Paul Simonon play bass.

7, Paul Weller @ Thetford Forest

Seen Weller numerous times over the years. I always find with him it’s a very good 8/10 kinda night but nothing more. This was probably the closest things have got to that next level. The setlist was excellent with a few different Style Council numbers along with some Heavy Soul tracks I’d not heard live before. It also took on extra significance as I went with my Dad who passed away a couple of weeks later. Weller was his favourite musician and it will always be a nice final memory of my Dad.


8, Dry Cleaning (supporting Bodega) @ Norwich Arts Centre

Life Without Buildings are one of my favourite ever bands and I never got to see them live. Dry Cleaning are basically that band reincarnated though and they sound fucking brilliant. Blew Bodega off the stage completely for me. First time I’ve felt like that about a support band in a few years.

9, Squid @ Latitude Festival


Latitude was all about the smaller acts for me this year and Squid were the highlight. Great tunes and look like they’re having great fun onstage. Always a fan of a singing drummer too, well, apart from Phil Collins. It’s great to see a new wave of exciting British guitar bands finally breaking through this year and Squid are at the forefront of that.

10, Julia Jacklin @ Latitude Festival


Julia has released one of my favourite albums of the year. I was a bit concerned her style of music might get a bit lost in a mid afternoon 2nd stage festival set but this was utterly captivating and beautiful. Made me love the album even more.


TOP 40 ALBUMS OF 2019

40, W.H Lung – Incidental Music




Members of the Latitude forum go crazy about this lot and they’ve topped a couple of the record store end of year lists too which was nice to see. I quite enjoyed them live but did click a lot more thanks to the release of this album. It’s got that epic vibe combined with a bit of weirdness that Funeral era Arcade Fire and mid-career British Sea Power had, also a bit of krautrock influence thrown in too.


39, Khana Bierbood – Strangers from the Far East




About this time last year, I got into the Guruguru brain label in a big way. This was their only new release of 2019 and it maintains the quality of their previous releases. Garage rock from Thailand isn’t something I’ve had a lot of experience of before, but this is a really fun album. The tune “Bad Trip” is the big standout for me and the album is nice and short which is how I prefer my garage rock unlike say King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard who string stuff out way too long for my liking nowadays.


38, Jenny Lewis – On the Line




The Voyager was excellent, and this is a really worthy follow up. Loads of big tunes on this with “Red Bull and Hennessey” being a standout. I think the only reason this hasn’t placed higher is that I’ve not particularly been into listening to this style of music that much this year after hammering it a few years ago. Bonus points for the cover artwork thought.

37, Yungen Blakrok – Anima Myserium




Female hip hop artist from South Africa who has released an absolute banger of an album. It’s pretty dark and atmospheric and is consistently good throughout. I know little about her other than this album and that she was on the Black Panther soundtrack. Need to check out her previous album.

36, The Murder Capital – When I Have Fears




Really enjoyed this. They seem to get the same irrational hate from people that Idles get but they are proper. This is the album I was hoping Fontaines DC would make but while they were a bit of a let down this ticks all the boxes. Also reminds me a bit of Interpol when they were good in places.

35, Ruby Rushton – Ironside




British jazz group who are clearly influenced by all the classics – Coltrane, Davis et al. Not massively original but the artwork is cool and the music sounds great.

34, Bill Mackay and Katinka Kleijn – Stir




I got into Bill through his Ryley Walker collaborations and have been a fan of his work since. I’d never heard of Katinka Kleijn before but she is a Dutch cello player based in Chicago. Together they have made an album that crosses through numerous genres including folk, jazz, prog and classical and it’s pretty far out. I’ve been listening to this kind of thing more and more lately and these type of collaborations seem to allow artists to really lose their inhibitions and go for it.

33, Solange – When I Get Home




A Seat at the Table seems to be the album that gets all the critical acclaim but I actually prefer this. It’s a bit more abstract and experimental but continually hits the spot with it. The short length of the tracks works for me too.

32, Glad2mecha and Ill Treats – The Return




Jazzy hip hop with an old school vibe. Don’t know much about these at all but it fits my old man taste in hip hop perfectly where I want everything to sound like it was released in the early 90s.

31, Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah – Ancestral Recall




In recent years I’ve developed a big love of jazz and also a big love of Saul Williams. This is a jazz album that Saul Williams features heavily on so is perfect for me. Loads of energy here and a big African influence. Only criticism would be that I do much prefer the tracks Williams is on.

30, Jake Xerxes Fussell – Out of Sight




I loved his last album, and this is a great follow up. He combines original tunes with traditional folk songs that he totally makes them his own. The opening tune is based on an old recording of a fishmonger and he turns it into the most beautiful Americana/folk tune. I find his work to have a real timeless feel to it and the quality is consistently excellent throughout.


29, William Tyler – Goes West




I was a big fan of his last album but must admit on first listen I wasn’t quite so sure about this one. It seemed like a slightly blander version of Modern Country and almost veering on lift music in places. After a few listens it really connected with me though and has been something I’ve constantly returned to throughout the year. He carries the American Primitivism sound into the modern day perfectly while honouring the likes of Fahey but keeping things fresh.

28,Health&Beauty – Shame Engine/Blood Pleasure



I came across these guys as they supported Ryley Walker on one occasion when I saw him and sometimes play as his backing band. I wasn’t that fussed by their last album but this is great. Clocking in at just over an hour long it has an epic sprawling feel and has a slight Neil Young vibe but with some prog and jazzy moments too. The song “Clown” is just stunning.

27, Bill Callahan – Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest




It’s felt a long 6 years since his last album, so I was eagerly anticipating this. There are some great tunes on this but at 20 songs feels a bit much at times. Had it been trimmed slightly this could have been really special but as it stands it is another fine addition to a pretty excellent canon of work.

26, The National – I Am Easy to Find




I know they’re pretty unpopular on here nowadays, but I still consider them to be one of the acts of the last decade. This is another album that feels a bit too long, but I still found myself returning to it time and time again. The fact they’ve freshened up their sound by focusing more heavily on female vocals actually really works. I was a bit hesitant about that at first because Matt’s vocals are one of the big standouts of The National’s sound for me but as I said, it works. It’s one of those albums where I seem to have a new favourite song each time I listen to it. Great band!

25, Charles Rumback and Ryley Walker – Little Common Twist




A fairly new release so I’ve not had loads of time to get familiar with this but anything Ryley Walker is involved with will appeal to me. An instrumental album that follows up their collaboration from a few years back this is slightly more ambient but still combines Rumback’s jazz drums with Walker’s folk guitar. Some real beautiful moments on this.

24, Craig Finn – I Need a New War




When Craig Finn started releasing solo albums my viewpoint was, I always enjoyed them but would rather listen to a new Hold Steady album. This year we had both and SPOILER Finn’s album has charted for me and The Hold Steady hasn’t. He really seems to have found his niche as a solo artist and some of the cheesiness that creeps into The Hold Steady at times is missing from his solo work. I think his voice and lyrics really suits the slightly more reflective nature of these songs and he is a brilliant storyteller.

23, Ride – This is Not a Safe Place




Similar to Weather Diaries, I was initially a bit disappointed with this only for it to grow and grow throughout the year. It was seeing them live again recently that really helped me to click with this. Future Love is my most played song of the year and I love everything about it. There’s still some moments that don’t work (15 minutes being particularly awful) but overall the good outweighs the bad and when it is good it is really quite something.


22, Jessica Pratt – Quiet Signs




Another of my most anticipated albums this year and she totally smashed it. Only criticism is that it’s only 27 minutes long. It’s a beautiful, haunting 27 minutes but it flies past so quickly it would have been nice to maybe have another song or two.

21, Drahla – Useless Coordinates




There’s been a refreshingly decent number of great new young guitar bands emerging in Britain this year such as Squid, Dry Cleaning, Black Midi, Black Country New Road and Drahla. These lot immediately grabbed my attention as the comparison with Sonic Youth is clear for all to see. The addition of saxophone gives them a bit more originality and reminds me a bit of some of the no-wave acts like James Chance and The Contortions. It’s another album that flies by but is full of youthful energy and I can’t wait to see where they go from here.

20, The Good People – Good for Nuthin’




I knew I’d love this as soon as I saw the artwork. Another hip hop album steeped in 90s influences and even includes guest appearances from legends such as Large Professor and Lil Fame. They also released an EP this year that I didn’t like quite as much but this is brilliant.

19, Florist – Emily Alone




It wouldn’t be an end of year list without at least a couple of overly earnest folky female singer songwriters in my list so here is another! This came out on the day my Dad died and I was listening to it a fair bit around that time. I believe she wrote this album around the time her Mum died so I guess thematically it kinda clicked with me. “Moon Begins” is one of my most played tracks of the year.

18, Liam Gallagher – Why Me Why Not



It’s fucking Liam Gallagher. It’s still inconsistent but the highs are really good. The likes of Once and Now That I’ve Found You haven’t left my turntable all year. My daughter also really loves this album and watching Liam Gallagher footage on YouTube so it’s been a good bonding experience for us.

17, Bill Mackay – Fountain Fire




Bill’s second entry on my list this year after his collaboration with Katinka Kleijn earlier. This is a bit more of a straightforward psychedelic folk album and the best thing he’s put his name to in his career so far for me. Great to hear more tracks with vocals on this time around too as they really suit these tracks.

16, Gang Starr – One of the Best Yet




What a massively unexpected surprise this was when it was announced only a few weeks prior to release. Like with a lot of posthumous albums my expectations were pretty low but this is pure gold and right up there with the albums from their prime. It’s so good to hear Guru again and DJ Premier does a great job with the beats. Some decent guests appear too and the track with J Cole is especially moving.

15, Eli Winter – The Time to Come



I discovered this fella on a compilation album Ryley Walker had put together for the Tompkins Square label. He’s a young guitarist doing the American Primitivism thing and this album is just stunning. The guitar playing is top notch and the way the drama builds in each song is expertly done.

14, Durand Jones and the Indications – American Love Call




Proper retro sounding soul music. Every song on this is a winner and while it hasn’t been on rotation for me quite so much recently, I hammered this for the first half of the year. Part Al Green, part Sam Cooke and a definite Gil Scott Heron vibe too. Can’t recommend this enough.

13, Cate Le Bon – Reward




I’ve always admired her older work but this is a real step up. It’s maybe slightly more melodic and a little less weird than some of her other material but gets the balance right for me. There’s actually some really quite touching moments on this.

12, Richard Dawson – 2020




He’s been getting rave reviews from people whose taste I trust for years but I’ve just never got him. Even on first listen to this album it just didn’t work for me but I’m so glad I persevered. Lyrically it is stunning, totally real and musically inventive too. I definitely need to revisit his back catalogue.

11, Thurston Moore – Spirit Counsel




As you can imagine, a 2.5 hour long album consisting of 3 songs wasn’t the easiest thing to get into. On first listen I was intrigued but didn’t see myself coming back to it anytime soon. Despite this, I found it to have a weird addictive quality and I came back to it time and time again. This coupled with the Kim Gordon album (spoiler, it’s still to come in my list), made me revisit Sonic Youth and Thurston’s previous solo work and have a bit of a phase obsessing with them again. I think this is quite special and would love to see Thurston exploring this avant garde sound further.

10, Steve Gunn – The Unseen Inbetween




Another artist I have enjoyed the work of over the years, but this has really taken things up a notch or two. This was released pretty early in the year, but I have continuously come back to it and it sounds better and better each time. It gives me the same vibe Kurt Vile at his best does and makes me want to go on a massive road trip across America.

9, Julia Jacklin – Crushing




I thought this album was decent but nothing more to begin with. It really gets under your skin though and has continued to grow over the year. Seeing her at Latitude made it click even more and it is a subtle gem of an album. Definitely her best work so far.

8, Michael Chapman – True North




This album gives me the same vibe I got from the last Leonard Cohen album he released shortly before his death. It’s very much written from the perspective of an older man becoming aware of his own mortality and realizing he doesn’t have too long left. Thankfully Michael Chapman is still with us though and while I find his career somewhat hit and miss, this is definitely a late career masterpiece.

7, Kim Gordon – No Home Record




I still can’t believe this record is released by someone in their late 60s. This album has more ideas, attitude and creativity than just about any other album on my list. Gordon manages to keep some of the sound that made Sonic Youth one of my favourite ever bands but combine it with a more modern sound incorporating some electronic beats. I hear something new that grabs my attention on every listen still at the minute. I completely love this album and had it been out for longer it would be potentially be even higher in my list.

6, Bill Orcutt – Odds Against Tomorrow




Bill Orcutt is one of those names I’d seen about but never listened to until this year. His earlier work is sometimes a tough listen takes the instrumental blues guitar he plays into Beefheart/Zappa type territory. This new album though tones down the experimental sound and is actually quite beautiful. I can imagine some of his long-term fans finding this a bit of a sellout record (don't think that's actually true though) but I totally love it. The guitar playing is incredible and still goes off on enough tangents to keep things interesting. I can totally see the influence this has had on the likes of William Tyler too.

5, Sleaford Mods – Eaton Alive




I love everything about Sleaford Mods and chances are if they release an album it will be high up on my end of year list. This kind of reminds me of their earlier sound but with bigger more electro beats. Jason seemed to have a bit more vitriol to his lyrics again and the tunes are there. Shocking album title though.

4, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Ghosteen




Most years when it comes to compiling my end of the year list, I have a pretty clear idea of what my number 1 record will be. 2019 was a complete exception to this rule. Any album from this point onwards could easily have been my number 1 and it has been a painful decision over the last few weeks placing these 4 in order. The first 3 songs on this album are pretty much perfect. It’s Nick Cave at his most emotive, powerful best and if the rest of this album continued like that it would easily be my album of the year, if not decade. While the quality never really dips too much, I do feel as if there is a slight lull in the second half of side 1, especially against Cave’s stupidly high standard. The final tracks bring the quality back up and this is another stupidly good addition to the back catalogue of probably my favourite musician in the world right now (sorry Neil Young).

3, Black Midi – Schlagenheim




Black Midi are technically superb and this album is full of vibrancy and ideas that you only tend to find on a young band making their debut LP. There’s so much going on that maybe it doesn’t always quite hit the spot hence it missing out on my top spot in the end but for the most part this is an absolute killer debut album.

2, Dry Cleaning – Sweet Princess/Boundary Road Snacks and Drink




Yeah, I know this is technically 2 Eps but fuck it, they released it as basically an album in the end so I’m having it. What a band, what a fucking band. Life Without Buildings put out one of my favourite ever albums and this is the closest thing I’ve ever heard to recapturing that sound. Everything about this just works for me and is exactly the kind of music I want to be listening to. So exciting to have a flurry of new British guitar bands like this in 2019.

1, Little Simz – Grey Area




I’d never even listened to her before this year and was gutted to find out I had missed her do a Norwich gig a while back. This album is just hit and after hit though and it is impossible to pick a highlight because every track sounds like a single. A faultless record from a young rapper at the top of her game and a worthy album of the year.






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« Dec 16, 2019 11:57:22 GMT »
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Great lists fellas! Loads of stuff on both I wanna check out.

I've just about finished my first pass at the Top 50. No write-ups yet, and the order might change as I revisit some stuff, but happy with the progress I'm making.

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« Dec 16, 2019 18:40:17 GMT »
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I don't know whats more AIDSY, Barny's ruining Christmas by his painfully slow twitter roll-out, or JP including a compilation to which half of the music was technically released in 2018. Nobody respects the soapbox code anymore. Without rules we are nothing but savages.

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« Dec 16, 2019 18:43:29 GMT »
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But I'm glad to see Richard Dawson end up high on JPs list. HIV DENIED

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« Dec 16, 2019 19:30:12 GMT via mobile »
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It is funny because I went to listen to that Juan McLean record and it seems it is a compilation too

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« Dec 16, 2019 20:51:23 GMT via mobile »
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Nah. A few of the tracks were released as singles over the past 2 years but it has been released as an album

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« Dec 16, 2019 21:15:57 GMT »
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pitchfork describes it as a compilatation of old singles pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/the-juan-maclean-the-brighter-the-light/

resident advisor says it is a compilation that is paving the way for a PROPER album next year www.residentadvisor.net/news/43928

looks like barny well and truly found you out bruv

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« Dec 16, 2019 21:42:35 GMT via mobile »
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DRAMA

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« Dec 16, 2019 21:54:24 GMT »
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I will not be attacked this way. Goodbye

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« Dec 16, 2019 23:23:24 GMT via mobile »
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My god, when did this forum become full of such pissy bitches?



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« Dec 17, 2019 5:57:15 GMT via mobile » -
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It’s an album

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« Dec 17, 2019 6:38:23 GMT via mobile »
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« Dec 17, 2019 6:51:33 GMT via mobile »
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It is ok mate. Just don't any Jam or Style Council records to the decade list and we will get along

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« Dec 17, 2019 8:38:10 GMT via mobile »
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mahoney Avatar
It’s a compilation album



Good to see you finally agree mate. You gonna adjust your list?

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