Vampire Weekend – Father of the Bride
Genre: Indie rock, Pop
Double albums are a dangerous gamble on an artist’s part, with the biggest risk being losing the listener’s attention halfway through the record. Fortunately, Father of the Bride is a sonically and thematically compelling enough album to avoid that pitfall. Sweetly upbeat yet melancholic, Vampire Weekend’s return has been long overdue.
Ari Lennox – Shea Butter Baby
Genre: R&B, Soul
Dreamville Records’ first lady Ari Lennox is an artist that feels like she came straight out of the heyday of 80s R&B. Sultry while at the same time brash and confident, her vocal performances on the record are extremely alluring. However, the real star of the show is her songwriting which is delightfully playful while also effortlessly intimate. It’s a gorgeous record that can only grow better with time.
Kota the Friend – Foto
Since its release, Foto has slowly become one of my favourite albums of 2019. The buttery smooth production paired with Kota’s candid lyricism draws me right into his world. One that’s warm and endearing, while also packed with insights and impact. It’s the kind of debut album that’s built to last.
Carly Rae Jepsen – Dedicated
Not many pop stars get to have a career transition like that of Carly Rae Jepsen. Going from having one of the biggest pop songs of the decade with “Call Me Maybe”, to becoming an indie pop darling. Dedicated continues the trend that she started on EMOTION of embracing 80s pop to increasingly encouraging results.
Emotional Oranges – The Juice: Vol. 1
Genre: R&B, Soul
There’s no album I’ve heard this year that is funkier or can make me groove as much as The Juice: Vol. 1. The mysterious collective has been able to hide their identity from the public up till now but their music speaks for itself. Throughout the record, killer baselines ripple throughout and the lead vocalists are entrancing as they sing their way through one of the best R&B albums this year.
Megan Thee Stallion – Fever
Megan Thee Stallion has always drawn comparisons from other female emcees like Missy Elliot and Gangsta Boo, for good reason. Her raunchy, nonchalant persona hits you with the force of an unstoppable train as she raps her ass off on nearly every track without much help from guest rappers. Proving that she can be equally as or even more compelling as her male counterparts on her own.
Tyler, the Creator – Igor
Genre: Rap, Soul, Pop
What else can I say about this album that other people haven’t done more eloquently than I ever can? IGOR is gorgeous. It’s heartbreaking. It’s tear-inducing. It’s hopeful. It’s everything that I could ever ask for from my personal album of the year so far.
Slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain
Bursting onto UK grime scene through sheer force of will, Slowthai is one of the most exciting British acts at the moment. The album is a scathing take on his life within his home country that’s drenched in sarcasm, humour and aggression. Just one listen through the record and you just might feel that there’s Nothing Great About Britain after all.
Myles Cameron – Lonely Suburban Black Boy
Myles Cameron’s deep, sunken voice lends to him a strong sense of wisdom that isn’t common amongst his peers. Lonely Suburban Black Boy then sees him coming to terms with his upbringing amongst an environment that “isn’t hood enough”. Myles sounds tormented by many elements that surround his life but he at the same time, he just sounds so damn confident too.
Denzel Curry – Zuu
After proving his mettle at crafting a concept album with TA13OO, Denzel Curry returns less than a year later with a project that’s less about the message delivered and more about the measuring of head bangs per minute. ZUU sees Denzel at his peak banger making abilities.
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