40. Hey Colossus – Four Bibles
A hard-working band whose 12th full length is a sonic and noisy affair and showcases them as one of the hardest working British rock bands to date. Their underground sound is explosive from the start and dips every so often to give you a break. The perfect balance of rock genres: noise, psychedelic, krautrock and art rock. Huge distorted and fuzzy guitars and pounding drums transition into post-punk rhythms and atmospheric and delay-effect vocals reminiscent of mid-2000s bands like Editors and Interpol. A beautifully dark and twisting album that flows so well.
39. Warmduscher – Tainted Lunch
Amazing grooves and funky indie electronica make me feel like I’m being thrown around in a pinball machine. At one point you get early 90’s electronic beats, then 16bit electronics and finally cheesy Primus-like narration. It’s the upbeat album of the year I was searching for and one I crave more of. A strong second album.
38. Desert Sessions – Vol 11 & 12
Imagine if Josh Homme had worked on Sgt. Pepper, then you would have his own taste of experimental psychedelic desert rock that would have blown our socks off many years ago. The compilation album of two EP’s we have here provides such a description and it’s great to see Homme making a more more exciting album than the last Queens Of The Stone Age record. At the same time he continues with his signature sounds in the opening tracks which are heavily guitar-based. I love the groovy rhythms and tones on ‘Far East For The Trees’ and the bizarre vocal work on ‘Chic Tweetz’. For the first Desert Sessions work in 16 years, I hope there’s more cooking up.
37. Angel Olsen – All Mirrors
Olsen’s fourth effort exemplifies her dynamic vocal range with chilling effect. The slow piano and gentle beats provide the perfect background for a hauntingly good indie/pop display. A powerful voice and emotional outreach make Olsen one of the most gripping performers of 2019.
36. Moon Duo – Stars Are The Light
Mesmerising psychedelic rock with a relaxing zone out vibe. Juicy guitars with noise echoing throughout the album of warm 60’s psychedelica and groovy bass that gets my head bobbing and melting electronics with keys that just make me feel good inside. The vocal work swims within the trippy sounds only to narrate us through this explosion of sound and colour.
35. DIIV – Deceiver
For me this is DIIV’s best work to date with the hugely sonic sounds of times gone by. Thick, noisy and fuzzy guitars provide an iconic shoegaze sound with melodic and dreampop vocal styles on top. This is a real call back to the powerhouses of the late 80’s and early 90’s. Great experimentation and guitar craftsmanship.
34. International Teachers Of Pop – International Teachers Of Pop
There’s something about Sheffield and exciting pop groups and International Teachers Of Pop fit that bill nicely with a sound that reminisces Sheffield’s past. Upbeat 80’s grooves and tantalising electronics are matched by mesmerising female vocals that fill the room and put me in a dreamlike state. Featuring members of another Sheffield group (The Moonlandingz) you can see their catchy and rhythmic influences all over this record. The north has plenty of great music coming your way… as long as the trains are on time.
33. Michael Janisch – Worlds Collide
Explosive to calm moments of jazz with plenty of wandering sax. The smooth bass which is played so well and confidently by Janisch provides the perfect competitor to the sax and is seen to be soloing all around the album. Very progressive. The album has a sense of elegance in its craftmanship that remind me of classic jazz of the 50’s and 60’s. The galloping and free-form drumming behind everything else sits nicely and is the right level of expression to allow the other instruments to stand out. I must also mention the guitar work is crazy good on this album.
32. The Murlocs – Manic Candid Episode
Psychedelic rock meets Americana rock ‘n roll, meets bluegrass and Australian swamp rock, it can only be The Murlocs. A groovy album full of laid back rock tunes. Frontman Ambrose’ s vocals are silky smooth in my ears and have always been a highlight from his work. Melodic instrumentation moves into upbeat and rhythmic harmonica and fuzzy guitars. Another great Murlocs record.
31. Stella Donnelly – Beware Of The Dogs
This album is an absolute delight. Strongly spoken, elegantly written and has a message to send out in every song. I’d like to say I wish we had more song writers like Stella Donnelly, but that would take away how special she is at creating such inviting and warm indie tones. Her soft voice carries over the instrumentation into your ears like water flowing through a spring; it’s just so natural and calming.