It's that time of year again, to sort through the top 10 albums of all the respective genres, then use them, to compile the top 10 albums of the year. Later in the month I am making the top 10 lists for the decade, though to be blunt this is the decade's weakest year for music; this list has 3 new artists compared to 7 tried and true . This is the first year I split electronic list. The reason for doing so is there were many albums that did not fit on the pop list or the goth list. Sure some of these come closer to the goth one, but what did you expect from me as it should be no surprise that no matter then genre I looking for the darker side of it. .
I am; giving a brief explanation as to why these albums stand over their peers in lower positions on the list. The very fact these bands made it on the list speaks to how great these albums are so it's not a slight that the number 8 album is above the 9th album, there is something that just gives it an edge that makes me want to listen to it more.
After all we can try to look cool and pick the hippest bands for a list, but at the end of the day what makes an album the best is that it makes you want more, you look forward to listening to it again. Sure you can bitch and complain about your favorite band not being on the list. However I listen to five new albums a day so yes I heard your favorite album and was not impressed. No, I do not care what you think about it.;I do hope you can find your next favorite on this list. There are links to reviews of these albums if you want to check out audio on these guys. Anyways here are the top 10 electronic albums of 2019
10-Sólveig Matthildur : "Constantly In Love"
It is easy to compare a female singer from Iceland to Bjork, this is more like if Bjork collaborated with Zola Jesus. It would however be Bjork's more minimalist experimental side. Thus album is heavy on atmosphere to the point of defying conventional pop, but the unique blend of sounds here earn her this spot .
9-Foreign Resort- "Outnumbered"
t's a fair say these guys sound like if Depeche Mode was jamming with the Cure, but with the emphasis on the dance floor sensibilities. They do have the Depeche mode synth sound dialed in and perhaps even greater ambiance. This is not just a retro love fest for 80s night. They do have the right sounds , but did not forget to write songs to go with them.
8-Tamaryn- "Dreaming the Dark"
This year there was an endless stream of albums from bands with good sounds but not good songs, this album was a welcome relief. It focused on songs. I really liked her 2015 album "Crane Kiss" so that was bar that is being held for her newest. It doesn't have the dense shoe gaze fog to it and is more stream lined like 80s new wave pop. Her voice is more lilted in more of an Annie Lennox direction. The production mimics the era being recaptured as things are purposefully more lo-fi and analog sounding. This is most profoundly felt in the beats. The combination of all the above giving there the number 8 place.
7 Tempers -"Private Life"
On the more down tempo hipster side of darkness comes this duo. The music is more ghostly than the breathy vocals. Low fi synths bounce the lazy melodies along. This their 3rd album so the duo knows where they want to go. They are not taking the typical approach to lo fi dark wave thanks to their production choice. This is a steamy album for the urban underbelly of drug culture you want to do coke to
6-Drab Majesty- "Modern Mirror"
Once again these guys are dialing up a great deal of hype and crossing over into different markets to win over fans from odd corners after having toured with Deafheaven. Hype only goes so far and amid all their weird gender stuff they have to deliver and they did , just not as well as the next five bands.
5- Wingtips-"Exposure Therapy"
This could have made the goth list as they are in some ways like a darkwave version of Chvrches. It might not be as dark as the bands on that list so here we are. This scored pretty high for a debut album ,but their knack for songwriting can no be denied. If you are into dark wave or goth this is a must. I think there is enough that is both new and familiar to keep your interest.
4-Lust for Youth-'s/t"
Having been heading in this direction for some time. Their new album just finds them arriving. The production sure helps, a canopy of lush shadows providing the atmosphere. This is a kind of new wave that falls somewhere between Gary Numan and the Faint. The song writing is hooky, so it is not just that they capture the retro vibe of new wave with guitar taking back seat to the synths. The more Depeche Mode school of songwriting is one worth attending as it gives them the number 4 slot.
These guys have made two of my favorite albums, both of which were more synth punk than this commitment to edm. Once I got past the less organic formula in place and paid attention to the songs it won me over and the songs have their dark wit to them giving the leg up to the 3rd place position on this list.
This band grabbed my ear with their last album "Death Magic" This album is the first without guitarist Jupiter Keys and their is a noted change in their over all sound, though with each listen it became clearer that more was intact than first impressions suggested. It has the androgynous vocals and heavy beats that are their signature. Bleak anthems for the empty world with out souls. Dark in all the ways I want it , which gives them the leg up over the slicker less sardonic snark of the Faint.
1- Bon Iver- "i,i:
I knew this album was great when I first heard it but it gets better with each listen. Normally Bon Iver would fall under folk, if there is a normal for him, "Hey Ma" might be the strongest song on here, but it has some competition. There are organic instruments intermingling with the electronic elements similar to what Peter Gabriel has done in the past. If this album is being compared to Peter Gabriel then there should be no question why it takes the top spot.