Headphones on, volume up, and press play on these 5 hand-picked music albums of 2019 for your collection.
There is nothing like listening to great music for the very first time. And the album drops from the first two quarters of 2019 are here to fight. We began the year with James Blake’s Assume Form and bopped to Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next the following month. The void that has been left to us in 2018 by our favourite artists are about to be filled this year—from debut albums to comebacks, here are the 5 records released this year that truly deserves a spin, and the top 3 tracks from every album.
Billie Eilish – “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?”
When it comes to being a buzzed-about artist, Billie Eilish takes the cake. Which makes her deserving of being the first artist on this list. The 17-year-old singer-songwriter has enticed audiences with her musical style that can only be described as “dark-pop”. While many female singers have gone down on the same route, Billie’s unabashed aesthetic seems like a rewriting of a young girl’s trope in pop music.
After releasing EP’s last year and a collaboration with Khalid, Billie dropped her much-awaited debut album in April of this year. With the help of her brother and co-producer FINNEAS, this album strays away from Billie’s earlier works to opt for a hip-hop driven, heavy drum looped, and chilling sound. And if you think Billie whispered her way till the last minute of this record, think again. Every track has its own unexpected twists and turns that can only be pulled out of Billie’s twisted, almost je ne sais quoi perspective.
Top 3 tracks: bad guy, my strange addiction, bury a friend
Catfish and the Bottlemen – “The Balance”
The third studio album of this Welsh rock band The Balance is a true testament that rock is not dead. It is rare for bands to venture on risking their sound for the sake of sounding different. In this record, Catfish and the Bottlemen stayed true to no one but themselves. After the success of their 2014 debut The Balcony and its sophomore follow-up The Ride, the all-black-wearing band refuses to change an inch. Overall, the elements CATB was known for is still pretty much there, like lyrics you would want to tattoo on your body. Take a listen to its lead single, “Longshot” and see for yourself.
Top 3 tracks: Longshot, Sidetrack, Overlap
Anderson .Paak – “Ventura”
American R&B singer/rapper Anderson .Paak dropped Ventura during Coachella season. This 11-track album is a collaboration-filled body of work with names such as Andre 3000, Smokey Robinson, and Brandy. This album is pure contemporary R&B pleasure that seems to have drawn a lot of inspiration from classic soul music. Every track is well-threaded to one another that it seems difficult to cut one within itself. So pour a glass of wine and let Ventura mesmerize your night.
Top 3 tracks: Make It Better, King James, Jet Black
Hozier – “Wasteland, Baby!”
The gates to the dreamy world of Hozier have re-opened once again. Four years after taking us to church, Hozier is back with his sophomore record Wasteland, Baby! Releasing Nina Cried Power as its first single, Hozier returned stronger than ever. The writing possesses obscure, deep existentialism that is art in itself. The record is imbued with the soul/folk production Hozier became popular for. Along with the Irish singer’s powerful vocals chops and gospel inspirations. Hozier has definitely cast a spell on us.
Top 3 tracks: Nina Cried Power, Be, Dinner & Diatribes
LSD – “Labrinth, Sia & Diplo Present… LSD”
Although Labrinth, Sia, and Diplo have all created a mark in their own accord, this is a musical trio that we never knew we needed, and the debut studio album of LSD proved just that. You’d think this album would just be a vocal festivity with Sia and Labrinth’s soaring, melodious voices. But instead, producer Diplo turned his powerhouse company to create a bouncy, quirky half-an-hour debut. With an overall visual that is both colourful and psychedelic, it looks like we are only getting a taste of LSD.
Top 3 tracks: Genius, Thunderclouds, No New Friends
Here are some honorable mentions:
- Lizzo – “Cuz I Love You”
- Broods – “Don’t Feed The Pop Monster”
- Cage The Elephant – “Social Cues”
- Solange – “When I Get Home”
Which one of these music albums of 2019 is your favourite? Which other albums are you looking forward to this year?
Text: Audrey Vibar
Images: Jill Furmanovsky, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Billie Eilish, Billboard, The Line of Best Fit, Pitchfork, iTunes, Junkee, Dazed, The Harvard Crimson, Crack Magazine, JamBase