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19 Great Albums from 2019

I’m quite pleased with myself for staying on track with this project so far. OK, it’s January 26th and I’ve only done 20, but I didn’t start until the 7th, so I’m averaging exactly one album a day. If I can carry on at this rate for the rest of the year, I just need to find six days over the next 11 months where I can bash out two reviews. Simple as that!

To celebrate this phenomenal success, here’s a quick list of some of the albums I enjoyed most last year:

Amyl and the Sniffers – Amyl and the Sniffers

The best frontwoman around! She’s probably a bit better than their music is, frankly, but this is a right blast all the same.

B Boys – Dudu

Fast, no-nonsense riffs, aggressive vocals and intelligent lyrics. The Black Flag of the millennial age.

Big Thief – Two Hands

A triumph, with the glorious ‘Not’ as its centrepiece. U.F.O.F could just as easily have featured in this list.

Black Midi – Schlagenheim

Uncategorisable madness, and a sensational drummer. Listen if you dare!

Crows – Silver Tongues

Powerful, uncompromising debut, reminiscent of the first albums of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Royal Blood.

DIIV – Deceiver

The third album from the gazy dream-poppers takes a while to get going, but ‘Blankenship’ and ‘The Spark’ are as good as any songs I heard last year.

Drahla – Useless Coordinates

A socially aware, accomplished debut from the Yorkshire post-punk trio.

The Drums – Brutalism

Now more or less a solo project, Jonathan Pierce remains the master of creating indie-rock you don’t know whether to dance or cry to.

Fontaines D.C. – Dogrel

I almost feel sorry for them, coming up with something this good at such a young age. Without doubt my album of the year.

Gaffa Tape Sandy – Family Mammal

Witty, perceptive and often sad. Absolutely nothing wrong with its poppy, catchy choruses either.

Girl Band – The Talkies

Genuinely terrifying music. The first track is a recording of a panic attack, and it doesn’t get any more comfortable from there.

JOHN – Out Here on the Fringes

Rip-roaring rock and unmistakabely British observation from the band whose name is so boring it’s cool.

Bob Mould – Sunshine Rock

The ex-Husker Du frontman in a reflective but generally cheerful mood on his 13th solo album.

Nots – 3

Their best effort yet at capturing their furious energy on record.

Priests – The Seduction of Kansas

Fantastic, focused second album from a band too smart for their own good.

Sleaford Mods – Eton Alive

They keep doing the same thing, and it keeps getting more important. Plus, nobody else is doing it.

Slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain

I feel way out of my comfort zone listening to this hip-hop/grime troublemaker, but I love his energy and anger. Another one we need to cherish in the British political climate.

Trash Kit – Horizon

I can’t work out whether this is technically complex music made to sound simple, or the other way round. In any case, it’s awesome.

UV-TV – Happy

C86 meets shoegaze on this Florida band’s delightfully noisy second album.

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