It’s almost the end of the year and, let’s be honest, we’re all getting a bit misty-eyed thinking back over the last twelve months. So what better way to celebrate the music of 2019 than by rounding up a whole host of our favourite artists and quizzing them about their favourite records?
From Fontaines DC’s incredible debut, to the dream-team of Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst’s Better Oblivion Community Center, here’s just a handful of the albums you should be pumping through your speakers for 2019’s last few weeks.
Ben Hozie, Bodega
Fontaines DC - Dogrel
Have you ever heard the sentiment: ‘Without nostalgia you’d have no Homer or Proust’? Fontaines DC’s debut uses self-conscious modernistic nostalgia as a weapon against the dulled tech-gentrified Dublin of today. They conjure images of some platonic idea of Dublin. Their imagined city is toasty, independent, inspired, and verbose. The whole band’s bouncy strut in ’She Sha Sha’ mimics the click clack of a mid-afternoon stroll down cobbled streets (it’s hard to not think of Bloom and Stephen if you too have ‘a heart like a James Joyce novel’). Ah - that’s the spirit.
Niall Burns, Whenyoung
Purple Mountains - Purple Mountains
I always look for honesty in music. Secondly, melody. This latest, and unfortunately last, collection of songs by David Berman marries the two effortlessly. It’s a record to dance to, to walk alone at night to, to feel strange to, to fall in love with and to break your heart. He’s a truly unique voice who gave everything to his art, and at least he leaves that behind.
The Murder Capital
For Those I Love - For Those I Love
We think it’s just been pulled offline so you’ll have to wait again to hear it, but there’s nothing quite like the catharsis experienced and the anger expressed throughout this record. Breathtaking honesty, we fucking love it.
Theo Polyzoides, King Nun
Aldous Harding - Designer
‘Designer’ is full of perfect songs. Nothing is over complicated, everything feels the way it should be. It’s got strange and wonderfully shaped melodies; it’s beautifully performed and I love its melancholic bliss. Thanks Aldous.
Better Oblivion Community Center - Better Oblivion Community Center
It was an indie dream day to have Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst release a whole record together, and we’re by no means surprised that it’s freaking fantastic, but IT. IS. SO. GOOD. Haley has cried multiple times to these songs over the past few months, which is a good thing!
Tom Armstrong, Demob Happy
Anderson .Paak - Ventura
Our ears can most often be found doused in the music of years past rather than present, but this record jumps out at you from the first bar. It’s just irresistible with its creamy future-funk sensibilities. A little softer than his previous albums and reading like a stack of love letters shuffled with a few poignant postcards of social commentary, the record is a banger. Plus it has features from André 3000 and Smokey Robinson!
Lynn Gunn, PVRIS
Tycho - Weather
I’ve been a huge fan of Tycho ever since we started touring, they’re always the best soundtrack while I’m exploring a new city or on a scenic drive. I was really excited to hear vocals over some of the tracks on this album.
Fiona Burgess, Woman’s Hour
Hayden Thorpe - Diviner
There’s something about this collection of songs that is so pure. It feels brave. This record isn’t about seeking attention, it’s about paying attention. You can’t help but sit back and listen. It makes for a beautiful record.
Sadie Dupuis, Speedy Ortiz
Marina Fages - Epica & Fantástica
Argentine shredder Marina Fages, one of my long-term faves, leveled up with ‘Epica...’. The electronic, ephemeral kitsch of ‘Hardcore Disnei’ - à la Grimes-when-we-still-stanned - sits comfortably alongside the synth-flecked indie pop weirdery of ‘Aventuras’, or the RPG bloops of 8-bit outro ‘Te Beso’. Marina’s pristine pop voice, drawn to flighty and indelible melodies, navigates deftly above it all. Hooks upon hooks boast a compositional savvy akin to Marika Hackman, but wrapped in the rainbow garb of fairytale fantasy. Of course I love it.
WE’VE GOT A FAVOUR TO ASK
We’re often asked about you, our readers. So we’d really appreciate it if you’d offer up a bit of information about you, and your music-loving habits by filling in our 2019 readers’ survey.
(Don’t worry, none of what we’re asking for is personally identifiable - and no questions are compulsory.)
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