2019: Album By Album (October)

Just when I think there can’t possibly be any more great 2019 releases to come out this year, I discover more. There were some really strong albums that I checked out this month, and as always there’s a few albums in here which are favourites from my collection.

As always, be sure to scroll through my blog to see what else I’ve been listening to this year, and if you like following good playlists on Spotify you can follow mine here, and a enjoy a an ever-growing selection of songs that I’ve enjoyed listening to this year.

    Albums and EPs

Jenny Lewis, ‘On The Line’ – With references to Red Bull and Candy Crush, Jenny Lewis takes that old school country sound and brings it in to 2019. Ear worms galore. Highlight: ‘Wasted Youth’.

Pond, ‘Tasmania’ – Psychedelic rock/pop from Australia, a bit like MGMT when they’re at their most space rock. Highlight: ‘Daisy’.

Strange Ranger, ‘Remembering the Rocket’ – On their new album, Strange Ranger have matured and added new dynamics to their indie rock sound, with more synths and the inclusion of female vocals. Highlight: ‘Living Free’.

The Drink, ‘Company’ – This was the album that got me into The Drink having pleasantly stumbled upon them when looking for new bands to feature in a web-magazine I used to work for. Their sound fuses indie, folk, math rock, and pop to create a noodly yet organic backdrop for Dearhbla Minogue’s haunting falsetto. Highlight: ‘Demo Love’.

Cursive, ‘Get Fixed’ – Having only come back with Vitriola last year, Cursive aren’t wasting any of their time producing this follow up, and they’re not wasting ours either, as it hits hard. Highlight: ‘Horror is a Human Being’.

The Get Up Kids, ‘Something to Write Home About’ – Listening to this album again recently, I realised it was the first second wave emo album I heard, picking it up on CD off the back of one song, ‘Ten Minutes’. Second wave emo quickly became an obsession. Highlight: ‘I’m a Loner Dottie, a Rebel’.

Joey Fourr, ‘Velvet Realness’ = On this second album, Joey Fourr retains his lo-fi odd pop qualities but directs them towards more soulful and r&b-inspired vistas, with added sexual-feel good vibes (although they would have me spelling that ‘vibez’). Highlight: ‘Bath Tiem’.

Danny Brown, ‘uknowwhatimsayin?’ – I’ve been meaning to check out a Danny Brown album in full for a while now. A unique force in hip-hop right now. From what I have heard previously, this new album feel’s like an effort to strip things back a bit, creating something a little more mature. Highlight: (Honestly, every track is a highlight, which is a real credit to the songs Danny Brown is putting forward here ‘Dirty Laundry’.

Laverne, ‘Yarrow’ – Punk rock with a twist of indie. If old Parquet Courts had a baby with Idles. Steve Doesn’t recommended this to me, which is also his no. 1 album of 2018. Check out his website for loads of new music you didn’t know about here. Highlight: ‘Evil Thoughts’.

Mac Demarco, ‘Another One’ – ‘Another One’ feels like the point in Mac’s discography where he hit upon the laid back slacker pop sound he’s known for more recently, as opposed to the noodly indie awash with chorus pedals that he was known for previously. Highlight: ‘Another One’.

Foals, ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, Part 2’ – The more rockier counterpart to their two-album-output this year. It’s not quite as ballsy as I’d anticipated given the build up, but there’s some solid songs on here, and right now I’m preferring it to Part 1. ‘Dreaming Of’ harks back to the staccato math-pop that won me over back in the day. Highlight: ‘Dreaming Of’.

Jimmy Eat World, ‘Surviving’ – I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this new record from Jimmy Eat World as much as I did. It ventures into a new territory a lot, but there are also songs that retain their signature emo rock sound which was a pleasant surprise. Highlight: ‘Recommit’.

Refused, ‘War Music’ – I hadn’t heard any of Refused’s music beyond ‘New Noise’ before going into this album, so I can’t really compare it to their previous releases, so taking this album on complete face value, it’s a solid post hardcore record with a lot to offer. Highlight: ‘Malfire’.

Dry Cleaning, ‘Sweet Princess EP’ – Lofi indie with slight garage tendencies, whilst vocally made up of beautifully un-enthused, conversational, spoken lyrics, as if the vocalist is talking to herself. Highlight: ‘Phone Scam’.

Halls, ‘Infinite Loss, Pt. 1’ – On the first of two new EPs which seemed to have come out of the blue having thought that the chance of new Halls music was off the cards, so a pleasant surprise, the euphoric melancholy is retained as well as the experimental chamber vibes, whilst adding pop sensibilities. Highlight: ‘The Gift’.

Halls, ‘Infinite Loss, Pt. 2’ – I feel like these two new EPs will make up a complete album upon release as they are so undoubtedly tied together in their sound and lyrical themes. At the moment, the first part is the stronger of the two for me, but that’s not to take away from the fact this is a great selection of songs too. Highlight: ‘Face to Face’.

Remo Drive, ‘Natural, Everyday Extended Play’ – Straight off the back of ‘Natural, Everyday Degradation’, this cunningly titled EP sees the band continuing to mature with a sound that is very flattering on them. Highlight: ‘Nearly Perfect’.

    Individual songs I hadn’t heard before

Jenny Lewis, ‘The Voyager’ – An older song from Jenny Lewis, again with that country vibe, but maybe a little more indie-pop influence than her latest album.

Phoebe Bridgers, ‘Motion Sickness’ – Nice indie/singer-songwriter pop with very sweet vocals.

Jack Stauber, ‘Able’ – A song about being able in a grand total of 27 seconds.

Spaceships, ‘Tiny Fires’ – Dreamy metal-enthused post rock.

Horse Jumper of Love, ‘Volcano’ – Somewhere between slowcore and indie rock with a slight grunge undertone.

Grubs, ‘Dec. 15’ – Lofi, jangly, indie pop-rock with plenty of 90s influence.

Little Blue Thula, ‘I Could Never Understand’ – Emo/indie-tinged folk in the vein of Bright Eyes, et al.

Kitten, ‘Memphis’ Very 90s-inspired alt. pop, with added dial-up internet sound, for additional nostalgic effect. Very catchy.

Against Me!, ‘Spanish Moss’ – Unrelenting punk rock with a pinch of Americana.

White Reaper, ‘Might Be Right’ – Indie with saccharine melodies and plenty of hooks.

Wavves, ‘King of the Beach’ A mix of indie and garage rock, with some surf rock vibes to boot.

Signals Midwest, ‘A Glowing Light, An Impending Dawn’ – A healthy dose of emo revival, with those really nice ebbing guitar sounds.

Incubus, ‘The Warmth’ – What do you say about Incubus that hasn’t already been said? A nice looping guitar part in this.

Eliza & The Delusionals, ‘Just Exist’ – Summery indie. An absolute ear worm of a chorus.

Codes In The Clouds, ‘About Your Etiquette…’ – Twinkly, spacious post rock.

Portugal. The Man, ‘People Say’ – Noodly indie with pop sensibilities and The-Beatles-at-their-psych-pop-best vibes.

Short Fictions, ‘Really Like You’ – A mix of punk, emo, indie, and pop. Great song.

Iron & Wine, ‘Passing Afternoon – Demo’ – Forgive me, this is the first Iron & Wine song I’ve heard, and damn, it’s so good. What have I been doing?!

The Ataris, ‘Losing Streak’ – Pop punk that is totally true to its roots.

Spoon, ‘The Two Sides of Monsieur Valentine’ – Alt. rock/indie. Hadn’t heard these guys before.

Stick To Your Guns, ‘Amber’ – Crushing metalcore/post hardcore with a huge melodic chorus.

Yukon Blonde, ‘Stairway’ – Uplifting, anthemic indie-pop.

Beans On Toast, ‘M.D.M Amazing’ – A goofy folk song about being at a festival on drugs.

The Drink, ‘Roller (Marc Riley Session)’ – An amazing song with their signature idiosyncratic mix of indie with folk sensibilities. This live version is also great.

El Ten Eleven, ‘You Are Enough’ – Joyous and playful post rock with electronic elements. I really need to listen to more of this band now. So so good.

One thought on “2019: Album By Album (October)

  1. Pingback: 2019: Album by Album (November) | Richard Thomas

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