OT: Your Favorite Albums of 2019

There's still over 3 weeks to go, but there aren't that many high profile releases left, so here's the annual albums of the year thread.

I generally limit my year-end list to the stuff I got to listen to repeatedly. Normally there aren't that many I actually care about, but this year was very different. For the first time since I was a teenager in the 90's, there was more great music coming out than I had time to listen to. What a great problem to have. Unfortunately, that means I really didn't have time to dig into new releases from Thom Yorke, Angel Olsen, or Chromatics as much as I'd like.

In the meantime, here's a list of the best music I did get to listen to.

Pond - Tasmania: A direct follow-on to the psychedelic knuckleheads' previous (and best) album The Weather, this one continues the electronic experimentation from that release. Kevin Parker of Tame Impala returns for production, and while it's not the breakthrough The Weather was, it's still awfully damn good for a band that once released a song called "Heroic Shart."
Daisy

Danny Brown - uknowhatimsayin: What a career trajectory this guy's had. He didn't break through until he was 30. Now pushing 40, he's every bit as weird and inventive as ever. This one has Q-Tip, Flying Lotus, and JPEGMAFIA on production, and sounds less dark than his last album Atrocity Exhibition. Also check out his bizarre talk show on Viceland if you get a chance. It's like Pee Wee's Playhouse on crack. Also, he's now a character in GTA Online.
Dirty Laundry

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Infest the Rats' Nest: The was actually the second album the psych/prog weirdos released this year, after the bluesy Cyboogie, and their 14th overall. And yet, for a band known for swerving in different directions with each new album, they came ever further out of left field than ever here: they put out an 80's thrash metal album. And it's almost dead on. Ostensibly a concept album about a dying future Earth, you'd be forgiven for thinking you're listening to a lost Slayer album from 1985 for a minute.
Planet B

Clairo - Immunity: For all the bad stuff that technology has done for the music industry (lowered sales, Auto Tune), there have been a few benefits. Arguably the best one has been the lowered bar to entry for young musicians. Clairo had a viral hit on YouTube as a teenager using just a Casio keyboard and her vocals. Three years later, her debut album is probably the best indie pop album I've ever heard from someone so young. Produced by Rostam of Vampire Weekend, and featuring Danielle Haim on guitar, it's restrained and understated, just like her vocal delivery. Can't wait to see how her career unfolds.
Bags

Flying Lotus - Flamagra: Another loose concept album, not surprisingly about the theme of fire, this one refines his unique blend of jazz, hip hop, and spaced-out funk. There aren't a ton of new ideas here, but it feels like the execution here is solid throughout. The list of collaborators here is ridiculously long, which could also be said of the album itself (76 minutes!). Side note: I saw him live this year, and it's probably the best show I've ever seen.
Fire Is Coming (f. David Lynch)

DIIV - Deceiver: Less than two months after their last album, DIIV basically broke up while their singer Zachary Cole Smith went into inpatient rehab for his heroin addiction. Which was ironic, considering that album was about his supposed recovery from just that. He reemerged this year after actually getting clean, and the band moved away from their previous reverby, beachy sound toward early 90's shoegaze. The songs are better written, they sound heavier, and the stakes seem higher. This was probably my #1 album of the year.
Blankenship

Forums: 
DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.

Comments

Country Squire by Tyler Childers

Sound and Fury by Sturgill Simpson

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

Tyler Childers is great. I love Feathered Indians

Recruit Prosim

Yup. Add Whiskey Myers, self titled and produced, and you have my trifecta for the year.

Rise Sun - The Infamous Stringdusters

Home - Billy Strings

All For Money - Greensky Bluegrass

Signs - Tedeschi Trucks Band

Country Squire - Tyler Childers

Down to the River - Allman Betts Band

Red Bandana - Aaron Watson

I listen to a lot of live shows as well, but these would probably be my favorite studio albums this year.

Country Squire- Tyler Childers

All for Money- Greensky Bluegrass

Tides of a Teardrop- Mandolin Orange

Cheap Silver and Solid Country Gold - Mike and the Moonpies

Ever Since I Lost My Mind - Susto

Full Moon, Heavy Light - Ona

I would root for the Russians before I would root for Virginia.

Homeland Insecurity - Flatland Cavalry

Between the Country - Ian Noe

Hail Mary- Shane Smith & the Saints

Country Squire - Tyler Childers

The Wanting & After the Fire- Cody Jinks

Cheap Silver and Solid Country Gold- Mike and the Moonpies

Did we just become best friends??

Vroom Vroom

I deadass felt like I was the only person outside of ATX who listened to Mike and the Moonpies. Thanks for the validation.

I would root for the Russians before I would root for Virginia.

Hail Mary - Shane Smith and the Saints

Homeland Insecurity - Flatland Cavalry

The Wanting - Cody Jinks

After the Fire - Cody Jinks

Seneca - Charles Wesley Godwin - so damn underrated

Waves - Austin Meade

Vroom Vroom

Leg for Seneca! Missed to include it on my list but that album is sooooo goooood!!!

Agree that CWG album is so good

Druckenmiller the shotgun snap, fakes short, fires it deep into the end zone it is....caught! It is caught for a touchdown by Jermaine Holmes with 47 seconds left!

Great War - Sabaton

While I'm Livin' - Tanya Tucker

Explorers (EP) - Unleash the Archers

Cuz I Love You - Lizzo

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

end of discussion.

Saw them live a couple weeks ago - one of the more engaging and "must pay attention" concerts I have ever been to.

I saw them in DC on Nov. 25. First time I had ever seen them live. What an experience. Such an awesome show with the visuals and the acoustics were spot on.

I was in line for a beer before the show started and began chatting with the guy behind me and he disclosed he had just eaten a handful of shrooms on the way in. I wonder how he was doing midway through Schism.... hah.

Where's the beef?

Country Squire - Tyler Childers.

Tyrod did it Mikey, Tyrod did it!!

TooL- Fear Inoculm. I nerver had an album that made me look inside my soul and make me change some of my ways until this beautiful album came out on August 31st

Throw that Bob Marley wannabe motherfucker outta here. Maynard James Keenan. 1991

Adding to the Fear Inoculum train. Believe the reviews when they say it takes a few listens. For me there was no way it would have instantly measured up to 13 years of wondering what the next TOOL album would sound like, etc.

I came here to feel old and out of touch. The only names I recognized were Tool and Tanya Tucker.

Mission accomplished.

Rapsody: Eve - Best hiphop album to release this year in my honest opinion. Feels like Rapsody made the female equivalent to "To Pimp a Butterfly". Perfect production, lyrics are meaningful, deep, and rich, bars are hard, and features all deliver. 10/10

YBN Cordae: The Lost Boy - I had been anticipating cordae's debut album for quite some time, as I think he's one of the up and coming artists to watch out for. I think it was a solid project. Lots of great tracks, but I didn't care for the filler. You can definitely feel the J Cole influence on a few tracks.

Dreamville: revenge of the dreamers pt 3 - so fucking dope. Beginning to end. Every body killed it. Of note, this is the album that made me pay attention to J.I.D and Dababy.

Chance the rapper: the big day. Bad album, really disappointed. Chance sounds uninspired, and commercial. Not what I'd been waiting years for.

And I've been listening to a lot of loosies from Noname, SiR, Masego, Ciscero, and Goldlink.

...waiting on that next k dot tho...been a couple years now, my guy.

Honorable mention: Lizzo - I'm not sure what the album title is. I don't listen to Lizzo, but have heard the album many many many many times via my wife (when she drinks, when she cleans, when she cooks, and during her driving part of our multiple day,cross-country move this summer) .. I'll say this...it "sounds" good. She's got a good voice, and the production is good, so I can see that she put a lot of effort into the album. I just don't care for the subject matter and hate that damn near every commercial features a Lizzo song. So tired of hearing her. So tired.

I just don't care for the subject matter and hate that damn near every commercial features a Lizzo song. So tired of hearing her. So tired

A friend introduced us to Lizzo at a house party by playing it over my stereo via YouTube. He's banned from ever touching my YouTube again. Ugh

In a really, really, weak year for hip hop (note: I haven't listed to Rapsody yet), Lizzo's album really shined. It's fun, witty, and just good. Feels like a classic Missy Elliot album with a modern pop twist.

Twitter me

Oh shit, I forgot Krit!!

Overall a pretty down year for R&B but add two from across the pond that have been a saving grace for 2019:

Heavy is the Head: Stormzy
Imagination & the Misfit Kid: Labrinth

Absolutely agree about Lizzo. Not about the subject matter which is fine for me, but the fact that it is wildly overplayed. Success unfortunately was the downfall and I am tired of hearing it.

I really wanted to like Have a Nice Life - Sea of Worry more.

Instead I'll just say that Have a Nice Life - Deathconsciousness is album of the year all years.

The Orange and Maroon you see, that's fighting on to victory.

Cursive - Get Fixed

Baroness - Gold and Grey

Dreamswell - Spoiled

Life of Agony - Sound of Scars

Monolord - No Comfort

Cave In - Final Transmission

The Teskey Brothers - Run Home Slow

Niights - Hellebored, Pt. II

All Them Witches - ATW

Appleseed Cast - Fleeting Light of Impermanence

Spotlights - Love and Decay

Way too many to list.

Thrashing through the Passion - Hold Steady

ZUU - Denzel Curry (This was my favorite 36 Mafia album since, well, 36 Mafia)

Hello Exile - The Menzingers

Norman Fucking Rockwell - Lana Del Ray

The Dangerous Summer - Mother Nature

Fear Inoculum - TooL

Still need to check out: Sturgill Simpson

I found TKP after two rails from TOTS then walking back to my apartment and re-watching the 2012 Sugar Bowl. I woke up the next day with this username.

Traveling Mercies - Emily Scott Robinson
Country Squire - Tyler Childers
Seneca - Charles Wesley Godwin
Let It Roll - Midland
Faulkner County- Erin Enderlin
Homeland Insecurity -Flatland Cavalry
The Wanting & After the Fire - Cody Jinks
DeAnn - Zach Bryan
Cheap Silver & Solid Country Gold - Mike & The Moonpies

Druckenmiller the shotgun snap, fakes short, fires it deep into the end zone it is....caught! It is caught for a touchdown by Jermaine Holmes with 47 seconds left!

I love Midland. Can't wait to hear more songs from them.

I am the heartbeat of Blacksburg. A fortress built out of stone but made with champions.

Country Squire- Tyler Childers

All for Money- Greensky Bluegrass

Tides of a Teardrop- Mandolin Orange

Rise Sun- The Infamous Stringdusters

Chasing the Sun- Cascade Crescendo

This Story Is No Longer Available- Jared & The Mill

Fear Innoculum - Tool
Lo / Hi - The Black Keys
This Land - Gary Clark Jr.

Album1 - San Holo

Came out late 2018 so I'm counting it as this year, possibly one of my favorite albums of all time. Half of it is just decent or good but the other half is peak quality. They're songs that are both bangers and ones that could make you cry at the same time. Fav track: Love (feat Cassini)

Superdream - Big Wild

My favorite album of the actual 2019 year. Saw him front row in concert a month ago and it was unreal. Music somehow has both an 80's and new EDM feel but maybe that's just me. Fav Track: Heaven

Definitely recommend listening to all songs on both of these not just the popular ones.

Different World - Alan Walker

Came out December 2018 so pretty much counts as well although almost all of these songs he had released previously. This is peak Walker and his rhythms are unique for electronic, even if the sound isn't (and some criticize it as too pop). Fav Track: Diamond Heart

Escapism - Audien

Didn't really know about his stuff until I saw him live in concert which was incredible. Upbeat feel good music which never gets old to me. Fav Track: Buzzing (feat. Nevve)

Honorable Mention:
Cute EP - Duskus

A lot similar to San Holo as an artist but somehow Duskus gets his songs to bang harder. Solid three track EP. Fav Tracks: Closed and Take Me Home

Were you at the Big Wild show at The Ritz in Raleigh? I was there and thought it was a really good show.

"For those who have passed, for those to come, reach for excellence."

Yessir I was front and center! It was an amazing concert, the encore where he came out to Heaven was incredible

If anyone is into modern/contemporary jazz these would be my picks for best albums:

Star People Nation - Theo Croker
Up and coming American jazz trumpeter. He incorporates a lot of hip-hop influence in his jazz. He establishes an amazing groove and features sultry trumpet solos. Favorite Track: Just Let It Ride

Force for Good - Ryan Porter
American trombonist that has blown-up into the scene. This record sounds like a background laid back big band record that just makes you melt in your seat. The album is mixed like it was recorded back in the 70's. This is some chilling music at its finest. Favorite Track: Carriacou

Elftet - Jonny Mansfiled
Vibraphonist from London. This guy is going to explode soon in the jazz world. This is some top-notch contemporary jazz. He very much likes to incorporate instruments outside the big band sphere, e.g. oboe, strings, recorder, etc. He also does not shy away from odd time signatures and chord progressions. Favorite Track: Silhouette

Turn to Clear View - Joe Armon-Jones
London based keyboardists. This dude is a groove master. His album is centered around creating a center piece to his songs with deep hip-hop and dub influence. Favorite Track: Self:Love

Alegria - Samuel Torres
This is straight up one of the best contemporary Latin jazz albums I've ever listened to. He is all about taking clear cut elements from salsa and Afro-Cuban beats and putting a modern jazz twist to them. This meaning he does wild things like a 3/4 salsa or a 7/8 cumbia. It is amazing... Favorite Track: Barretto Power

Beautiful Vinyl Hunter - Ashley Henry
This is probably my favorite album of the year. Ashley Henry is a London Pianist, and this is his freshmen album. With it being his first album, it doesn't have a concrete identity, but that is what makes it special. He pick and chooses a collection of modern jazz qualities and makes them work. Beautiful stuff. Favorite Track: Introspection

GO HOKIES!!

Was not expecting to see any jazz in this thread, but really enjoying these picks.

Love Hurts by Julian Lage is also a good one that came out this year. he's on guitar but it's a trio

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

NF - The Search
Post Malone - Hollywood is Bleeding
Luke Combs - What You See Is What You Get

"It's a miracle in Blacksburg, TYROD DID IT MIKEY, TYROD DID IT!"

Tool - Fear Innoculum
Amon Amarth - Berserker
Whiskey Myers - self-titled
Shane Smith & the Saints - Hail Mary
Daron Malakian and Scars on Broadway - Dictator

And I saw the lighthouse keeper. His hollow eyes they pierced my soul. Said that I’m just a desperate seeker. Searching for what I do not know.

-Lighthouse Keeper, Ragweed

I had no idea Daron had released a new one. I'll check it out.

Local Natives - Violet Street

Silversun Pickups - Widow's Weeds

Men I Trust - Oncle Jazz

Sturgill Simpson - Sound & Fury

Alice Merton - Mint

Clairo - Immunity

Barrie - Happy to Be Here

Jenny Lewis - On the Line

McRocklin & Hutch - Riding Out

A bunch on that list I still haven't gotten around to.

Somehow hadn't listened to Jenny Lewis before but On the Line is so good

Listen to Rabbit Fur Coat with the Watson Twins. Killer album! I like every album she's ever put out (solo and Rilo), except for The Voyager. It just didn't do it for me.

I second Men I Trust - Oncle Jazz. This album came out of nowhere for me but I really enjoyed it. My favorite from the album is probably Air. How about you?

GO HOKIES!!

Only one I've heard so far was Say Can You Hear, which I loved.

Air is good. I also like I Hope To Be Around. You Deserve This is a good slow jam.

To the beautiful bastard who put Mike and the Moonpies here I hadnt heard of them yet and all I want to say is

Directions from Blacksburg to whoville, go north till you smell it then go east until you step in it

My Heart is Live In Berlin - Theo Katzman

oh baby is it amazing

Motivational Music for the Syncopated Soul - Cory Wong
Live at Madison Square Garden - Vulfpeck
Blushing - Copeland
A Pill for Loneliness - City and Colour

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Vulfpeck at LOCKN last year was amazing

I've played that show on YouTube at work more times than I can count -- I saw them live at MSG and it was awesome, but the lockn show was on a different level.

"Why gobble gobble chumps asks such good questions, I will never know." - TheFifthFuller

Y'all are just making up names to fuck with me aren't you? Very elaborate way to trick me into feeling old.

"I am probably too rational to be here"

I'm 40. Old is no excuse for not listening to new music. There's so much good stuff out there

Wild Youth - Dabin

Good Faith - Madeon

It was a catch!

You wanna come to a super soft birthday party?

Another one:

Gravity - Gryffin

Hits different in concert. If you don't like it your wife/gf probably will. The girls go nuts for this ish and I must admit I think it slaps.

I'm pretty sure it whips, but it might also be a banger.

Father of the Bride by Vampire Weekend

"Now Miami wants to talk about it." *Cue Enter Sandman*

Not sure if there are many metal guys out there but Hidden History of the Human Race by Blood Incantation might be one of the best modern DM records ever.

"Can't argue with that logic" - Rick Sanchez

I recognize very few bands people mentioned, but I don't think anyone has mentioned any blues bands.

While telling a co-worker last week about Joe Bonamassa, and searching for some youtube clips, I came across Samantha Fish. Her latest album is Kill or Be Kind. If you like blues/rock, you should definitely check her out.

She can play the hell out of a cigar box guitar...especially around 2:15 and then 4:20 in the clip below.

I missed her in Asheville over the weekend (sold out), but definitely hope to see her in concert next time she is in the South.

Hollywood is Bleeding - Post Malone

Death Race For Love - Juice WRLD

Violet Street - Local Natives

Two Hands - Big Thief

House of Sugar - (Sandy) Alex G

Heavy Lifter - Hovvdy

Not technically an album, but any of the singles Soccer Mommy put out this year.

Little Bobby Tables told me my signature was false