← July – September 2019
Kim Petras — TURN OFF THE LIGHT
There’s a disturbing lack of Halloween themed albums in pop music, and TURN OFF THE LIGHT fills in that role exceptionally well. Front-loading the record with heavy electronic production while balancing it out with dark pop themes, I can only hope Kim Petras keeps this up as a yearly tradition.
Danny Brown — uknowhatimsayin¿
Only Danny Brown could go from quintessential rap weirdo to hip-hop elder statesman within the span of two projects. On uknowhatimsayin¿, Danny distances himself from the wacky production of Atrocity Exhibition in favour of old school sample-based production. The result from this is easily one of the best rap records of the past 5 years.
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds — Ghosteen
Genre: Folk, Indie
36 years since the band was formed, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds prove that they’ve haven’t lost a step, be it lyrically or musically. Exploring themes of grief and mortality, Nick Cave penmanship is as haunting as ever as he encapsulates his feelings into words, then delivering them over gorgeous production that will endlessly tug at your heartstrings.
Lauv — ~how i’m feeling~
Pop music often gets flak for being too bland and safe. Well, ~how i’m feeling~ is exactly just that but done close to perfection. Every track on this short project feels expertly crafted and fine-tuned to the point where it almost feels unnatural. Yet, every hook hits and the production bangs. It’s a very, very solid pop album.
Caroline Polachek — PANG
Speaking of bland pop, PANG is anything but. One of the best pop records of 2019, the former Chairlift singer places her powerful voice front and centre, crooning about love and all its imperfections. Much more in line with indie pop than mainstream pop, Caroline crafts an album that’s endearing and heartwarming.
Rex Orange County — Pony
Pony sees Rex Orange County ditching his signature ‘sadboi’ aesthetic in favour of literal lighter pastures, as he injects the entire album with a jolt of optimistic energy that elicits a childlike wonder from its listeners. It’s a short, breezy, enjoyable record that knows not to overstay its welcome.