Here it is… my Top Ten of ’19, starting with 10 and working up to the top spot. I’ll also list my favorite track from the album, that way you can try to get a glimpse into what sounds I truly like.
10. Matt LaJoie – “The Center and the Fringe”
One side is electric and the other acoustic. This album proves you don’t need much more than a guitar to make something beautiful.
(Note: Found this on my East Coast adventure. It was a local artist that I took a “gamble” on.)
Stand-out track: Plane of Return
9. Oozing Wound – “High Anxiety”
Heavy and hardcore metal/punk filled with catchy riffs and sarcastic lyrics.
(Note: Found this on my Chicago adventure to see King Gizzard. Another local artist that I took a “gamble” on.)
Stand-out track: Tween Shitbag
8. Lazerbeak – “Luther”
Former indie rock guy turned producer has really made a mature album that is meditative and meaningful.
(Note: Minnesota artist!)
Stand-out track: Take Time
7. Dead Neanderthals – “Ghosts”
The chaos has been turned in for darkness and the added guitar helps find that balance between minimalism (cold) and full (warm). Still the kings of hypnotic rhythm.
Stand-out track: Bone Hill
6. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – “Fishing For Fishies”
The first of two 2019 albums by the prolific Aussies is a bluesy affair with plenty of boogie sprinkled in. Oh, and it is an anthem for climate change activism and animal rights.
Stand-out track: Fishing For Fishies
5. Billie Eilish – “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”
Minimalist pop that defies the current structure. Limited writers (TWO), homemade beats, and thoughtful lyrics.
Stand-out track: bad guy
4. Sunn O))) – “Pyroclasts”
While Life Metal was strong, the musical meditations that birthed that album are even stronger.
Stand-out track: Ascension
3. Craig Finn – “I Need A New War”
The third LP in a trilogy of loosely related albums doesn’t necessarily “wrap up” an overarching story, but it does add to the emotions that are created on the past two records.
(Note: Minnesota artist! Yes, I still claim him. Fight me, New York.)
Stand-out track: Holyoke
2. Black Midi – “Schlagenheim”
Strange. This album is the closest to a modern age “Trout Mask Replica” that I can think of that has gotten coverage from large publications. It challenges you from the beginning and somehow still undersells what may still come from this band.
Stand-out track: Ducter
1. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – “Infest the Rats’ Nest”
The Gizz boyz ROCK OUT! From touches of Black Sabbath to an almost spot-on Lemmy/Motorhead, King Gizzard found a way to blend all the major metal acts, pay tribute, and still make it their own. This isn’t a novelty record, these guys can shred!
Stand-out track: Planet B
HONORABLE LATE ENTRY!!
11?. King Princess – “Cheap Queen”
This album has been stuck on repeat since sometime in early/mid-December. I have a feeling that this LP will make my list obsolete and require a revision to this historical document.
In addition to these albums, I also had fun searching for new music – and have been planning where I find more in 2020. So I’ll restate what I said last year…
- Local Music – I found some new artists not just Minnesota, but from every stop on my adventures, I try to support regional music by going to a small, local record stores and asking for their recommendations on a few artists from that area. I was able to hit up Winnipeg, Miami, New York City, Boston, Portland (ME), Manchester (NH), Brattleboro (VT), Chicago (again), and Arlington (TX); while finding artists I would have never come across had I not asked and done some digging. Take a chance, if you can, you might just find a new favorite band/album/song.
And If You’d Like To Listen To Some Of My Favorites…