In terms of listening to things I hadn’t heard before, July was quite a slow month. My health hasn’t been too kind to me, so I mostly stuck to things I was familiar with for comfort, and what I did listen to for the first time this year I drew from my collection. So, to make this a more worthy blog post, as well as those albums I listened to for the first time this year, I’ve also included all the repeat listens I made, and have included a new highlight track to check out.
If you have Spotify, you can follow my 2019 playlist here, where I’m continually adding a track from every album I’ve enjoyed this year (the ones I can find on Spotify, at least), as well as the individual songs I’ve liked.
Albums I hadn’t listened to this yet this year:
Outer Spaces, ‘Gazing Globe’ – Dreamy singer-songwriter style indie rock. Definitely one of the best albums to come out this year. Highlight: ‘I See Her Face’.
Friends, ‘Manifest’ – Hook-laden pop music. Fun, playful, summery, and indulgent. Highlight: ‘A Thing Like This’.
Arctic Monkeys, ‘Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino’ – When I heard the cosmic lounge rock of this record last year, it quickly became my favourite AM release. I love how much grows on you with every listen, and how off the beaten Arctic Monkeys track the band went with this one. Highlight: ‘American Sports’.
Semifinalists, ‘Semifinalists’ – Indie rock/pop that draws heavily on 70s and 80s influences, joyous and undeniably catchy. This band were way too underrated and everybody needs to hear them. Highlight: ‘You Said’.
David Bowie, ‘The Next Day’ – The first album of new material Bowie put out in ten years and deserved all the praise it got on release. Highlight: ‘The Next Day’.
Last Days of April, ‘Might As Well Live’ – On this album LDOA bring a more slightly more saccharine flavour to the indie-emo table they’ve laid for fans in the past. This album is second to none, as you’d expect. Highlight: ‘Melbourne’.
British Sea Power, ‘Do You Like Rock Music?’ – It took me years to start listening to British Sea Power, purely because I didn’t like their name. As soon as my friend played this to me I was sold. It’s rich, climatic, and lifts you off your feet. Highlight: ‘No Lucifer’.
The Kinison, ‘What Are You Listening To?’ – A post hardcore/punk band that exist somewhere between the brashness of The Blood Brothers and the kookiness of Les Savy Fav. Coming up during the Myspace explosion, they were unfortunately overlooked. Highlight: ‘You’ll Never Guess Who Died’.
Albums I’d already listened to this year:
Pedro the Lion, ‘Phoenix’ – Emotional steady-rocking indie. Highlight: ‘Powerful Taboo’.
Sun Kil Moon, ‘I Also Want to Die in New Orleans’ – I listened to this again whilst in the bath dying with the flu. I’ve been getting more and more into this. Highlight: ‘Day in America’.
Parquet Courts, ‘Wide Awake’ – Bridging the gap between punk and indie. My highlight this time around is appropriately one of their more tender tracks. Highlight: ‘Tenderness’.
Haim, ‘Days Are Gone’ – Pop rock to not feel guilty about. My daughter loves this album at the moment, so it’s been played a lot this month. Highlight: ‘If I Could Change Your Mind’.
The Appleseed Cast, ‘The Fleeting Light of Impermanence’ – Another fine album by one of the finest bands going. Blending post rock, emo, indie, and experimental. Highlight: ‘Last Words and Final Celebrations’.
Settlefish, ‘The Plural of the Choir’ – Italian indie-emo with plenty of art rock and continental influence. Highlight: ‘The Marriage Funeral Man’.
Forth Wanderers, ‘Forth Wanderers’ – Slacker indie with vocals that soar over the top of the instrumentation. Highlight: ‘Temporary’.
Sunny Day Real Estate, ‘How It Feels To Be Something On’ – 90s emo. A must-hear album. Highlight: ‘Guitar And Video Games’.
The Appleseed Cast, ‘Sagarmatha’ – This album grows on me more the more I listen to it. I feel it’s underrated amidst their incredible discography. Highlight: ‘Raise the Sails’.
Individual songs I hadn’t heard before:
Land of Talk, ‘Heartcore’ – Luscious. The vocal melodies here are pure pop brilliance. My mate pointed out a similarity to Fleetwood Mac which I can’t stop hearing now he’s said it.
Gemma Hayes, ‘Out Of Our Hands’ – More great pop music.
Tennis System, ‘Turn’ – They’ve been touring the US with The Appleseed Cast, so I thought I should check them out. A three piece rock band with a huge sound, and touches of post-punk and shoegaze.
Penelope Isles, ‘Leipzig’ – Indie rock. A really nice song.
Maricka Hackman, ‘the one’ – Funky indie with a hint of Blondie peeking through.
Metronomy, ‘Walking In The Dark’, ‘Salted Caramel Ice Cream’, ‘Lately’ – Based on these three playful and summery singles, the new Metronomy album is shaping up to be a good one. The videos are worth a watch on their own merit too.