A bit of background from my 2013 preamble for those new to my lists:
I do this more for me — as a way of discovering new music — than for you, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want you to get as much joy from these amazing artists as I did this year. My list-making secret is to start a “long list” of albums I like at the beginning of the year. I keep adding when something strikes my fancy and use the year-end holidays to figure out which ones really made the cut.
For those interested, my previous Top 30 Albums are still online:
- Top 30 Albums of 2010
- Top 30 Albums of 2011
- Top 30 Albums of 2012
- Top 30 Albums of 2013
- Top 30 Albums of 2014
- Top 30 Albums of 2015
- Top 30 Albums of 2016
- Top 30 Albums of 2017
- Top 30 Albums of 2018
This 2019 list is my 10th and I’m going to look at the 300 albums I’ve recommended this decade and do a Top 30 of my Top 30 as well this year at some point.
This was a great year for music as far as I was concerned. This was one of the easiest lists to make so far. My concerted effort to listen to more women musicians, authors, directors, commentators, etc. has really paid off. 16 of my Top 30 are by women or bands with women in them.
And now, my Top 30 Albums of 2019! Enjoy!
Note these are in alphabetical order. I could never rank-order these — it would change daily.
- U.F.O.F. by Big Thief
- Assume Form by James Blake
- Open Reduction Internal Fixation by Blue Hawaii
- Ghosteen by Nick Cave
- Immunity by Clairo
- Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared by Deerhunter
- Norman Fucking Rockwell by Lana Del Rey
- When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? By Billie Eilish
- Agora by Fennesz
- Crush by Floating Points
- The Highwomen by The Highwomen
- Jaime by Brittany Howard
- Music To Draw To: Io by Kid Koala
- Cheap Queen by King Princess
- Kiwanuka by Michael Kiwanuka
- Cuz I Love You by Lizzo
- Bobby Gentry’s The Delta Sweete Revisited by Mercury Rev
- Trappy Bats by Moon Diagrams
- Just Another Diamond Day by Mutual Benefit
- All Mirrors by Angel Olsen
- Dreaming Is Dead Now by Skinny Pelembe
- When I Get Home by Solange
- Heavy Is The Head by Stormzy
- Athena by Sudan Archives
- Igor by Tyler, The Creator
- Father Of The Bride by Vampire Weekend
- Remind Me Tomorrow by Sharon Van Etten
- The Age of Immunology by Vanishing Twin
- Atlanta Millionaires Club by Faye Webster
- Ode To Joy by Wilco
I’m pretty sure I’ll be moving to a “Top 20” list in the future. I tend to have around 20 clear favourites and then add some last minute editions by scouring critics’ lists to round it out and I never end up feeling as strongly about those picks.