We’ve made it to the halfway mark of 2019.
Climate change suggests we may not make it to the end, so I thought it made sense to celebrate the best albums of the year while we still have the time. C’est la vie.
Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Back in March, 17-year-old Billie Eilish asked a question that many dream-enthusiasts have oft pondered. Alongside her query, she released thirteen flawless tracks, including my person favourites ‘bury a friend’, ‘Bad Guy’, and ‘When The Party’s Over’. Even before the release of her debut album, Billie had already amassed a cult-like following of obsessed fans (myself included), and the artistry of this album only vindicated our devotion. Normally a 17-year-old possessing this level of influence and talent would scare me, but Billie just brings me hope.
Aldous Harding, Designer
New Zealand singer-songwriter Aldous Harding released her third masterpiece, Designer, on April 26 of this year. Every time I listen to it, I discover new-found respect and understanding for the depth of her vocals, lyrics and compositions. I think Harding is making some of the most thought-provoking and moving music in the world right now, and Designer is my evidence.
Tyler, the Creator – IGOR
Remember back in 2017 when everyone thought Tyler, the Creator had peaked with his Grammy-winning fifth album, Flower Boy? It turns out the 28-year-old rapper still has plenty of magic up his sleeve, proudly writing, producing, and arranging his latest release, IGOR. It’s the most fun you’ll have listening to a breakup album ever.
Julia Jacklin – Crushing
Back in February, Blue Mountains-born, Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin dropped her aptly titled second album, Crushing. What followed for me and almost every other woman who heard it was a series of yelps, sighs, gasps, and high-fives. ‘Finally’, we mused in a collective trance, ‘Someone who gets us.’
Jenny Lewis, On the Line
Californian singer-songwriter and former Rilo Kiley frontwoman, Jenny Lewis, dropped her fourth solo record back in March. Right before I heard it for the first time, I read this Rolling Stone article. Needless to say, el tears did flow. Back in my younger years, before I began pondering what to cook for dinner at 11 am and collecting high-quality house slippers, I found myself at Jenny Lewis’ house in Laurel Canyon a handful of times. Once, in fact, when Lewis herself was not there. I still wonder if she ever found the pile of suggested lyrics I stuffed into her sock drawer one eve. Listening to how good hers are on this record, something tells me she didn’t.
Mac DeMarco — Here Comes the Cowboy
Has Mac DeMarco ever put out a bad record? It’s a rhetorical question but I’m still going to answer with a resounding ‘no’. Born Vernor Winfield McBriare Smith IV (not kidding), the prolific musician has released six records in seven years. On Here Comes the Cowboy, DeMarco picks up where 2017’s This Old Dog left off, mixing just the right amount of sincerity with satire.
Little Simz – Grey Area
If I’m being totally honest, the single ‘Selfish’ off of Little Simz’s third record was actually my introduction to the UK-rapper. Whilst I’ve got my work cut out for me getting familiar with her discography (four mixtapes, five EPs and three albums), Grey Area sure ain’t a bad place to start. Surprised my laptop speakers didn’t spontaneously combust from her spitting so much fire. Also, the line ‘Some people read The Alchemist and still never amount to shit’ from album track ‘therapy’ might just be my favourite lyric of the year.