10 Favourite Albums of 2019 (so far)
So far so good I’d say. The first 6 months of 2019 have already provided us with countless great albums, but I have compiled a list of the ten I feel have left the greatest impact, either generally or personally.
This is in no particular best/worst order, just in the order of release date. But you should expect all of these albums to have a chance of making it to the top 20 of the whole year.
So without further ado, lets begin!
Xiu Xiu — Girl With Basket of Fruit
8th February — Experimental
While the first month of the year gave us some pretty great albums, it wasn’t until February when we were presented with the first impactful album, which came in the form of Xiu Xiu’s Girl With Basket of Fruit.
While this album serves as my introduction to Xiu Xiu, it is safe to say that this is arguably their most experimental album to date, and definitely their darkest. This album is absolutely haunting in the atmosphere it creates. Its intense, its dark, and its mind-blowing.
With aggressive shouting vocals, layers of creepy sounds and even a song about the death of Mary Turner, this album is deeply disturbing whilst simultaneously being a truly captivating piece.
Little Simz — GREY Area
1st March — Hip-Hop
I was first introduced to UK rap artist Little Simz when I saw her brilliant live set at the Brighton Centre when supporting Gorillaz. Her sheer talent impressed me enough to keep an eye out for any future projects of hers.
That first opportunity came in the form of the newest album from Little Simz; GREY Area. The level of expression, sincerity and energy left me speechless, and I am overjoyed to see that it is getting the high level of praise it truly deserves.
Sundara Karma — Ulfilas’ Alphabet
1st March — Indie Rock
This album honestly came as a pleasant surprise. As my introduction to Sundara Karma, this album wiped out any assumption I had of the band beforehand, and instead presented me with a truly unique group.
I felt quite a strong connection to Sundara Karma and their aesthetic on this album, not to mention some of the catchiest tunes of the year have come out of this marvellous record. Its colourful, its fun and it shines with brilliance.
Jafaris — Stride
8th March — Hip Hop
This debut full-length album from Irish rap artist Jafaris was something that I might’ve completely missed if not for it being promoted on Spotify.
It absolutely oozes with artistry and versatility and is a really fun album to listen to while simultaneously being very heartfelt and realised. With artists like Kendrick Lamar, Black Eyed Peas and BROCKHAMPTON being supposed influences behind this albums music, it is certainly accessible as well.
Jafaris really does show himself to be one of the biggest underdog artists of 2019, and quite frankly, this album is one you don’t want to miss.
The Comet Is Coming — Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Great Mystery
15th March — Experimental Jazz
I was initially skeptical of the nature of this album, as it is almost entirely instrumental. And while I have enjoyed a handful of instrumental albums in the past, none of them quite withstood the test of time.
This album however, is still injecting pure excitement into my mind each and every time I listen to it. it truly is such a colourful, dynamic and enjoyable record. The unique blend of drums, synths and sax work surprisingly well in unison, and the talent of each member really does get across well.
This album remains one of the most exciting albums of the year, and one that I hope to play even more over the summer.
Weyes Blood — Titanic Rising
5th April — Alternative
Recommended by many, I went into this album with a lot of buzz surrounding it. And afterwards it was very easy to see why.
This album is absolutely gorgeous in its sounds. It’s so theatrical and even melancholic in parts. Songs like “Something To Believe” and “Picture Me Better” will leave you with a lump in your throat, while other tracks like “Everyday” will put you in an immersive yet feel-good scenario.
This album is a must for those that want to be in their feels while listening to music, there hasn’t been anything else this beautiful so far in 2019.
Anderson .Paak — Ventura
12th April — R&B / Soul
This latest release from R&B soul mastermind Anderson .Paak is also rather beautiful, but in an entirely different way.
In contrast to the more gritty sound of the equally brilliant Oxnard (which was only release in November last year), this one has a more elegant approach to .Paak’s signature funky sound.
With tracks like “Make It Better” and “Come Home” which features Andre 3000, its clear that .Paak wanted this album to have a bit more grandeur, and boy oh boy do I love a grand album.
There is also a noticeable amount of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly influencing this albums sound, and this is evident on tracks like “King James” and “Reachin’ 2 Much”.
Lastly, I also felt that this was the first album to really mark the warm weather. It was purely luck that the weather was lush the day I first gave this album a listen, but It certainly helped me enjoy the album just that little bit more.
slowthai — Nothing Great About Britain
17th May — Grime
Following Jafaris, the next underdog artist to really make a splash this year was UK grime/rap artist slowthai. His uniquely yelp and very in-your-face vocals really convey the attitudes of the majority of Britain so very well.
It carries through the irritation so many British people have towards the current state of the country and also plays on a lot of UK 90’s kid references. And as somebody who fits into that category loosely, I felt an extremely strong connection to this piece.
slowthai truly seems like somebody who has showed us something very unique, and still has more up his sleeve for the future. He honestly is someone that I will be wanting to look out for to see what’s to come from this genius artist.
Tyler, The Creator — IGOR
17th May — Hip-Hop
The may of 2019 was stolen almost entirely by the presence of Tyler, the Creator. The former Odd Future leader has already graced us with a fair few masterpieces, most prominently his 2017 masterpiece Flower Boy. And while it was always going to be a challenge to top that amazing album, he still delivered in spades with his latest effort IGOR.
IGOR will quite possibly go down in history as one of the greatest ever break-up albums. And while my last break-up was over a year ago, the lyrics are so aesthetically relatable that it made me feel like I broke up all over again.
This is truly a powerful album as well as an addictive one, as I seem to keep going back to this album and enjoying every moment of it.
Amyl & The Sniffers — self-titled
24th May — Punk Rock
Lastly, the most recent of the “best 2019 albums so far” comes from the third and final underdog artist, this one being an Australian pure four-piece Amyl and The Sniffers.
Their self-titled debut album already tells me that they are painting their punk style in an incredibly genuine and sincere way that stays so true to late 70’s punk. And as an album that tells of longing for the ways of the past, this is the perfect accompaniment.
And as this album has the authentic style of punk, the sheer raw energy is just as genuine. It’s absolutely mental in parts, with a selection of songs honestly sounding like something you’d expect to hear on a Jackass soundtrack.
This album is accessible but incredibly bold, not to mention that it’s an absolute joyride through and through.
In summary, each of these albums have really offered something special to the year of 2019. If, by any chance, you haven’t heard about some of these albums until now, I recommend that you go listen as soon as possible. You will not regret it.
For more Album reviews and other music articles, feel free to visit my blog page at boothboyproductions.blogspot.com/