Sunday, December 15, 2019

Top 10 Indie Rock Albums of 2019

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 might have more new artists on it than most, with 3 veterans who are responsible for the genre making decent showings. I do not have to explain to you what indie rock is, though I will say things like shoe gaze and emo fell under the umbrella, most of this was not dark or tense enough to be post punk.

 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 indie rock  albums of 2019

10-Yarrow-"Mild Circus"

This band keeps the spotlight on the angular nature to their brand of punky garage grunge. In some ways they are like a darker more chaotic version of Mudhoney. What sells me on this album is how it captures familiar sounds makes them unique and then reminds me a of a slew of bands I used to listen to in high school in the 90s.

9--Whirr-"Feels Like You"

They are back with all the sounds that made their last album work and taking them another step further in an even more atmospheric direction. It is the soaring sense of adventure and experimentation of these refinement process that gave them the edge to the 9th spot.

8-Heavens Club - "Here there and Nowhere" 

 The fact this band has members of Deafheaven should not be a surprise as they have been heading in this direction. This is for the most part a weird post -rock / shoe gaze style of jazzy indie rock . It shifts from the 80s to 90s with vocals that are soft and androgynous in their breathy quality. The fact they go out on a limb to do something different earns them the 8th spot.

7-Sebadoh- "Act Surprised "

Before you ok boomer these indie rock icons in their search for relevance, you should consider how true to their sound they remain even as they branch out. There more honesty in this than most younger bands can summon giving them 7th place.

6-Crooked Ghost -"Colors Bleed"

 This album makes it fun to lose yourself in the murky jangle of it's guitars and the overdubs going in every direction, but the sonic nature of this chaos some how works and his vocals top it all off well. There is a very organic, just plugged into the amp with little effects jangle to the title track, There is something sad and dark to the sound here even before the melancholy vocals come in. Of course I am going to like this guys voice as it's a trembling baritone that is emotive and flirts with his falsetto. This combination earns them the 6th spot.

 5- HarborLights -"Isolation Ritual"

 The vocals are a key part of their sound which is not something you heard said a great deal when it comes to post- rocky shoe gaze kind of stuff. I could spent more time with the record, but as soon as i put it on I get a renewed appreciation for it. I could have been higher if I had really indulged in it , but it is what it is . They are the heaviest band on this list .


 4- Tennis System- "Lovesick" 

hoe gaze works off a nostalgia half the time and drugs the other. For the new bands trying to pick up the torch , it is easy to hide behind effects, but song writing is another story These guys twist the formula to make this an exception to the rule. The drums take on a more punk pace and the vocals follow them to break from drifting off into the distance. This breaking the formula earns then the 4th place as it makes the songs stronger.

3-the  Pixies -"beneath the Eyrie" 

I started listening to the Pixies on 1991.This  is almost that line up except for Kim Deal who is not in the deal and was replaced by Paz from A Perfect Circle. The second song sounds more like the band than the opener. Black's gains a little a little bit of grit , though has mellowed with age. The production comes close to replicating their original sound. They throw lots of curve balls and are not slaves to their old sound, it is not "Doolittle" but most of the these bands owe a great deal to them.

 2-Lavina- Sallowed" 

 This album channels the time when emo was not hair cuts on Myspace. Yes it is very Mineral, but Mineral is not Minernal any more and I need this album to take me back to that place. The amount of emotion poured into these songs is what elevates it above their peers. The incredible guitar tones help their argument as well.

 1- Morrissey - "California Son" 

 Only in 2019 can a gay man cover Dionne Warwick with a Latino band and get called a racist. You can't cancel Morrissey . He doesn't give up and then shoves the fact the is still the best in your face. His voice sounds great and he made these songs his own. He is the god father of indie rock and , no one is capable of taking this crown.

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