EARTHGANG — Mirrorland
Earthgang are perhaps the most mainstream weirdos in rap right now. Olu and WowGr8 both excel at delivering their bars with wild flows. Outkast comparisons aside, the duo proves on Mirrorland that not only have they acutely honed their eccentricity, but are also great at pulling their energy for more lowkey cuts.
Bat for Lashes — Lost Girls
Genre: Indie, Pop
Lost Girls is a record that somehow finds the perfect balance between 80s pop and modern synth-pop. A concept album about a woman in a biker gang in a fantastical version of Los Angeles, Bat for Lashes brings you for a trip in more ways than one.
Moonchild — Little Ghost
Genre: Lo-fi, Neo-Soul
The trio’s 4th studio album, Little Ghost builds upon the soft aesthetics of Voyager with much more jazz influences. Though there’s a lack of variety throughout, what’s on offer here forms a cohesive whole that eases you into the light atmosphere that Moonchild sets for their listeners.
Charli XCX — Charli
Genre: Pop, Experimental
Pop is thriving in 2019 and Charli XCX is at the forefront of the experimental side of it. Blending traditional pop structure with unconventional production, Charli is what I want to believe the genre will sound like 5 years from now. It’s one of the most exciting albums of the year.
JPEGMAFIA — All My Heroes Are Cornballs
Genre: Rap, Experimental
JPEGMAFIA’s last album Veteran was a tour-de-force in aggression. On All My Heroes Are Cornballs, he tones it down for a much more sombre affair. Embracing his melodic side, the album is an incredible mix of everything of his career up to this point in a more accessible fashion.
Men I Trust — Oncle Jazz
Genre: Indie, Rock, Pop
Oncle Jazz is 24 tracks long yet it never feels like a slog to get through. Packing the record with breezy harmonies and lush instrumentals, Men I Trust confidently unleash the skills they’ve honed since their last full-length album. It’s the perfect encapsulation of “vibes”.
Hobo Johnson — The Fall of Hobo Johnson
Genre: Spoken Word, Rap
Hobo Johnson is not for everyone. His off-kilter flows and self-pitying lyricism is enough to turn most people off. The Fall of Hobo Johnson finds Hobo retreading the same thematic steps over much more accomplished production. Diving into rock, R&B and hip-hop, Hobo Johnson showcases much more versatility than people give him credit for.
The Highwomen — The Highwomen
A country supergroup formed of Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris and Amanda Shires, The Highwomen don’t reinvent the wheel on their debut album. However, they do deliver country music with such polish that it’s makes me wonder why this group wasn’t formed earlier. It’s music made for the ages.
Kevin Gates — I’m Him
Genre: Rap, Trap
Like his debut album Islah, I’m Him features the irresistible hooks and kooky charm that we’ve come to expect from Kevin Gates. Once again choosing to forego the use of features, Gates is arguably one of the most consistent rappers in the game right now.