20. American Football – LP3
A much more majestic, mature and fine-tuned album from American Football in comparison to their previous efforts. An expansive and atmospheric approach with their continued exploration and experimentation of math rock and emo genres. ‘LP3’ sees three guest appearances from Hayley Williams (Paramore), Rachel Goswell (Slowdive) and Elizabeth Powell (Land Of Talk) who add a magical touch which encompasses the atmosphere of the album with its sadness and growing age material. Mike Kinsella has never sounded better on vocals and I love to see American Football creating new and interesting sounds. A beautiful piece of work from one of my favourite bands.
19. Ninja Sex Party – Cool Patrol
Ninja Sex Party’s fourth album is perhaps their most ambitious and creative with the help of their hilarious comedy writing and insanely talanted backing band ‘TWRP’. It has more ‘rock’ than any previous record and feels like a mighty piece straight from the 80’s. Plenty of great singles and filler moments with some of my favourites including ‘Release The Kraken’ and ‘Courtship For A Mermaid’. One of the best comedy albums in years and some excellent musicianship. Danny and Brian can only get better with each album.
18. William Patrick Corgan – Cotillions
Billy Corgan of ‘The Smashing Pumpkins’ continues his solo exploration into acoustic and piano music with his second album under his full name William Patrick Corgan. ‘Cotillions’ ventures more into Americana and country territory whilst still maintaining the classic Corgan style whose voice still sounds fantastic. A lot of the tracks feature quick acoustics and the occasional fiddle. One that stands out to me is the title track which displays Corgan and his piano playing abilities which were some of my favourite moments from his previous record. The whole album feels like a journey across America and captures the spirit of working man’s America.
17. The Murder Capital – When I Have Fears
Encompasses everything that a new wave of post punk needs, with hauntingly good guitar craftsmanship and a voice that gives you chills with sad reflection. A real sonic album with roaring guitars and entrancing words with that sweet Irish accent ticking all the boxes. I love the softer moments on the album that you find in the later half which are perfect for dark knights. A real impact for my music taste buds this year.
16. London Afrobeat Collective – Humans
If you want to hear the tightest brass section, a smooth mixture of funk, soul, jazz and afrobeat then look no further than ‘Humans’ by London Afrobeat Collective. The tracks are so uplifting and upbeat you just have to move. The vocals are incredible from Juanita Euka and everything just fits together so nicely. The quick playing of bongos, thunderous bass and cheeky guitar rhythms and solos make this one of the best sounding and produced albums of the year.
15. Joe Armon-Jones – Turn To Clear View
A great balance of jazz and funk sees Ezra Collective’s Joe Armon-Jones create a free-flowing and experimental piece of art. I was entranced by the artwork as soon as I saw it, but hearing those quick drums and magical bass playing hooked me and then when you introduce the smooth pianos and brass I am blown away. It’s everything you want from jazz-funk and can switch off and take in the instrumentation. It’s one of those albums that need multiple listens to appreciate each individual piece, but you get a unique balance when collaborating the different instruments together. The sax and those vocal addition really make each song special.
14. Tyler, The Creator – IGOR
Arguably Tyler’s best in terms of experimentation and sound with some features throwing me as far back as his debut record ‘Goblin’. We have beautifully played synths and chilled vocal stylings from himself and edited samples. The album flows like an absolute treat with lyrical contributions still passing through important words from Tyler. The consistency in the album is what makes it so attractive, and time passes by with little effort as I’m entranced in Tyler’s new sounds and vibes.
13. Freddie Gibbs And Madlib – Bandana
Some of the finest rapping I’ve heard all year and some wonderful experimental sounds from Gibbs and Madlib. Fat bass beats and jazzy sax make for a euphoric experience and Gibbs’ rhymes layered over are phenomenal and ferocious. Straight to the point and in your face. A lot of edge to Gibbs’ words and the guitar work and electronic input really stand out this year. I’m excited for them to collaborate again. There’s something rhythmic in Gibbs’ vocal styles that make me want to explore everything he’s ever written.
12. Lizzo – Cuz I Love You
Empowering, bold and on fire. This album makes me wish I was a woman so I could feel enlightened, but nonetheless this is an album you have to hear because as soon as you click play it’s loud and in your face. Lizzo’s vocal range is dynamic and her words are so 2019 and so important. Big features on this album, but they can’t compare to the impact Lizzo has whilst letting it all out over huge instrumentation. The album only takes a step back at the end, but I am pumped for this mixture of pop, R&B and soul.
11. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Infest The Rats Nest
Comparing their earlier work, I’ve always thought King Gizzard could go a bit heavier and with ‘Infest The Rats Nest’ they did with a thrash album that’s better than anything the 80’s ever produced. A hard rock album with a message about environmental issues sees crunchy and fast riffs, raw and aggressive vocal work and dynamic bass and drums. For me it’s some of their best work and for a band that has cranked out many styles and 15 albums, they still their classic and recognisable sound. Eat the rich.