If Wilco never recorded another album, they’d still be one of the great American bands of the last 25 years. Charly Bliss made a huge leap in the two years between their (very good) bubblegum indie-pop debut Guppy and their sophomore LP. The Catenary Wires' 'til the Morning [Tapete] Overall, we think AJ Edwards is an absolute music gem – and a shoo-in for our list of best indie pop artists of 2019… As the dominance of guitar rock has faded among indie-leaning audiences, there has also been a spreading into the mainstream of sounds that would have been easily described as indie-pop a decade ago. The album's packed with melodies and harmonies, of the perfectly formed sunshine-pop sort; the music's noisy atmosphere is a countervailing force of weight, adding texture and depth of feeling to songs that could lift off into the sky if allowed to. Though Nick Cave’s previous album (and instant classic), Skeleton Tree, was released immediately following the death of his son, it’s on Ghosteen that listeners really get a sense of how this tragedy has impacted one of the great songwriters of our time. Our favorite album of Edwards is More Than Daylight, which pulses with memorable indie pop hooks. With clever lyrics about lipstick stains and someone desperately wanting to know if the person they’re into feels the same Everybody Works is a great album from an indie up-and-comer. Possible Humans' Everybody Split [Hobbies Galore] AllMusic has assembled our Best of 2019. Let's join the party. The 20 Best Indie Rock Albums of 2019 1. Each generation needs its own barbed lullabies.–S.H. Angel Olsen didn’t need to build to this. It’s sweet, it’s hilarious, and it’s a better reflection of American rock traditions than most actual Americans could conceive.–P.C. 49. The overall sullen tone makes it seem likely they're not finding easy answers to their questions. Along with the winners in our primary categories, we have a top 15 “Best of” list featuring more amazing albums and EP’s. From Pronoun’s soaring bedroom pop choruses to Black Midi’s truly unpredictable musical arrangements to Pup’s fist-pumping punk rock jams, 2019 certainly had no shortage of excellent entries in the indie category. Browse through and check out what music our editors have been listening to this year. 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I don’t know what’s more wild: That Big Thief managed to take their quietly revolutionary songwriting to unexpected heights in 2019, making an album that reshaped an already great band into one with limitless potential? 10 Best Indian Albums of 2019 This year brought hotly anticipated hip-hop, faith-restoring indie tunes and evocative rock that ensured the relevance of full-length records Anurag Tagat David Britto and Jessica Xalxo Dec 31, 2019 At this point, Jeff Tweedy has earned the right to rest on his laurels. But as Olsen wraps a decade on the musical map, it will be the restlessness to keep pushing herself, as she has on this gorgeously ambitious effort, that her legacy can rest on. But on the group’s fourth album, Justin Vernon found a happy middle ground between the electro-rock freakouts of 2016’s 22, A Million and the more approachable anthems of his earlier work, coming up with one of the most satisfying works of the group’s excellent catalogue–S.H. Check out the Top 100 Indie tracks played on Spotify this week. Hand Habits' Placeholder [Saddle Creek] The songs quietly ask questions of themselves, about the past and what we're all up to, day by day. Musically think of the Raincoats' Odyshape, the primitive and visceral sound of early rock guitar, a one-person homegrown Stereolab, melodies you dream about and try to recapture when awake, small Casio keyboards trying to play psych epics on their own. It ends with a gorgeous ballad aiming a direct question at the universe: "Where are you, my love?". Oberst and Bridgers are essentially a dream team, bringing out the best in each other, while reminding their fans why they were great in the first place.–P.C. Sharon Van Etten, ‘Remind Me Tomorrow’. Amazon Vagabon is the portrait of the artist who refuses to change one iota for a notoriously hellish industry, and the results are pure bliss.—C.W. Australian pop-punker Alex Lahey built upon her outstanding debut album with 2019’s The Best of Luck Club, a sophomore effort that recalls some of slacker rock’s finer moments.Lahey’s drawn comparisons to the likes of The Cure, Celebrity Skin era Hole, Paramore, and Tegan and Sara. Whoosh! The following is a list of albums released in 2019. Harriette Pilbeam — known professionally as Hatchie — grabs influence from a wide spectrum of artists and distills them into one place. Best Indie Songs of 2019 Playlist Sea Girls - Open Up Your Head Catfish and the Bottlemen - Longshot Bring Me The Horizon - Medicine Foals - Exits The Night Café - Endless Lovers Vampire Weekend - Harmony Hall The Amazons - Mother Jade Bird - I Get No Joy … © 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. Discover the best new indie, pop & folk music in our November compilation! https://www.popmatters.com/best-indie-pop-2019-2641526929.html Best Indie Pop Albums is a chart from bertrandu, created in 2016. –Z.G. The Best Ones Of The Best Ones: Rough Trade: 31 Jan: Frances Quinlan: Likewise: Saddle Creek: 31 Jan: Alice Jemima: Everything Changes: Sunday Best: 31 Jan: Blossoms: Foolish Loving Spaces: Universal: 31 Jan: Mint Julep: Stray Fantasies: Western Vinyl: 31 Jan: Pet Shimmers: Face Down In Meta: self-released: 31 Jan: Smoke Fairies: Darkness Brings The Wonders Home: Year Seven: 31 Jan: Son Little: … Listen up! The Stroppies' self-titled 2017 EP was a great rough-around-the-edges work of experimental pop, with an air of Flying Nun Records to it. “Make Art Not Friends” is both a song title and an artistic credo for this album, though the confrontational nature of Simpson’s posturing doesn’t obscure the fun he has tearing through guitar solos over pumped-up, synth-heavy blues-rock.–S.H. whose second album Bird Songs Of A Killjoy is one of the best folk albums of 2019. Each of the last few years, the number of great bands coming out of Australia, especially Melbourne, has steadily impressed. The Canadian quartet are showing no signs of slowing down, and the rooms will surely just keep getting larger.–Z.G. The artists on this list lean in varied directions, gaining inspiration from forbearers across the last few decades – post-punk sounds, the original UK 'indie-pop' scene, dream-pop, stylish pop hybrids (e.g. It's the sound of someone realizing a relationship has become a dreary series of cold transactions... or realizing life itself might be becoming a dreary series of cold transactions on a planet nearing its end days. Perhaps no up-and-coming indie band was talked about more in 2019 than Big Thief, who not only released the staggeringly good U.F.O.F. He reminds us a little of Better Than Ezra in their prime. Indie music in general is my favorite genre that is the reason I like K-indie too. Updated: check out our list of the best indie songs of 2020!. Now three LPs deep, modern punk legends Pup delivered yet another collection of excellent finger-pointing jams with Morbid Stuff. Now freshly nominated for a Grammy, U.F.O.F. Ta Da's first track is a mood piece, with ample silence; it's a signpost of Macfarlane's experimental approach to pop and it's a preparatory step, getting us in a proper head-space of caution and anxiety. Clifford possesses one of those singing voices that will echo and linger in your head long after the record is done, which fits these songs well, considering how much they resemble the dance-party-life we each imagine for ourselves. While her easy way with melody and the tossed-off sharpness of her lyrical asides were already well-established, what felt new on On The Line is the sense of gravitas that Lewis brings to the proceedings. The resulting collection might be the strongest of a prolific career, on a record as self-assured as it is easy to get lost in.–Philip Cosores, Syd isn’t the only member of The Internet capable of holding their own on a solo project. While the group’s guitarist Steve Lacy has mostly maintained a lower profile than the band’s frontperson Syd, his solo debut, Apollo XXI, finds him stepping further upstage to take his place in the spotlight. Business of Dreams' Ripe for Anarchy [Slumberland] We and our partners use cookies to personalize your experience, to show you ads based on your interests, and for measurement and analytics purposes. All rights reserved.PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated. “he National have always been more than the five dudes that appear in most press photos, and their latest album underscores the reach of the band. This is music for every day: mellow pop songs for the pleasant melancholy we all carry around in our own minds as we go about the business of life. Following up her critically-acclaimed debut, Infinite Worlds, Tamko toured for months, slowly piecing together the beginnings of new songs and a newfound self-respect for her own artistic process. MelodieGroup's Being & Nothingness [self-released] But on his latest, Miami Memory, it’s balanced by genuinely moving moments and reflective insight. Lyrically, the album is often a bleak and unsparing portrait of a difficult man beset by loneliness. As one of the most beloved singer-songwriters of the 2010s, Sharon Van Etten had established a well-honed persona, as a person who writes personal songs and sings them with the intimacy of a private conversation. The best albums of 2019 (so far!) is comparatively next-level -- anthemic and multi-layered yet still driven by a loose DIY impulse. Natalie Mering’s work under the name Weyes Blood feels less like a catalog of music and... 2. The New Jersey singer-songwriter, having been away for five whole years,... James Blake, ‘Assume Form’. Sharon Van Etten - Remind Me Tomorrow Keepsake is the Australian singer-songwriter’s debut studio album, taking the best of dream pop, shoegaze, and alt-rock, and channeling them into something truly unique. Few legacy acts in indie rock have ventured as far into the wilds of esoteric experimentation — while also retaining a huge following — than Bon Iver. Critic Score Take a look, have a listen, and let us know what some of your favorite releases of the year were. Twenty of the best Christmas albums for the alternative music crowd—these recommendations will surely spice up those long holiday feasts. Here are the 50 best albums of the decade (2010-2019). You won't find many songs on albums by indie singer-songwriters this decade that feel this raw, this confessional, this private-- let alone on one of the year's biggest pop blockbusters. 1/2/19. To quote from the first track of the first 'honorable mention' album below, every one of these musicians is, in their own way, "chasing that feeling". Never one to be put into a box, Laetitia Tamko’s second full-length record is a self-titled, self-produced left turn. The Melbourne band Twerps had a solid near-decade run as a melancholic, melodic guitar-pop band. The voices of Gus Lord and Claudia Serfaty alternate, overlap and complement each other, as the instruments do much the same. Ta Da is also a sustained exploration of heartbreak, over one dissolved relationship but also the whole of humanity. It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Phoebe Bridgers at Uproxx. Don’t feel too bad because after a crappy 2018 it’s only reasonable we start off nice and slow. From her very earliest recordings, Angel Olsen has mined drama from … Seattle rock outfit Great Grandpa soared their way over the dreaded sophomore slump with Four Of Arrows. On her solo album debut, the frontperson of the Alabama Shakes confidently steps outside of one of rock’s biggest bands. In the middle songs like "(He's a) Vacuum Chamber" unexpectedly slow things down, pulling us into a more foreboding sort of loneliness. Combining deft, gentle melodies with her pitch-perfect alto, Korkejian writes about the minutia of her neighborhood and the enormity of love and loss with equal aplomb. For additional information about bands formed, reformed, disbanded, or on hiatus, for deaths of musicians, and for links to musical awards, see 2019 in music . Bon Iver,“i,i”Genre: Indie pop, folk, R&B, electronica. 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Staples' Town, Sleeping Dogs Don't Lie, Taylor Swift Has Written the Best Music of Her Career with 'evermore' and 'folklore', The Avalanches Say 'We Will Always Love You', Bill Evans, Eddie Gomez, and Jack DeJohnette Are 'Live at Ronnie Scott's', Viggo Mortensen's 'Falling' Binds Art and Life. Then again, did listening to The Carpenters make any more sense during the height of the Vietnam War? ... whose sophomore album is due in early 2019. Off-kilter, absurdist, dream/nightmare, 1960s pop forms form the basis for Parsnip's sound. Featuring underrated artists you've never heard of (and some you have), this list of 2019 indie songs will go unnoticed by pop music lovers. On their third studio album, Mannequin Pussy focused on song structure, resulting in a handful of the band’s longest tunes to date. And yet the beauty of Ode To Joy is that these veterans still feel compelled to push themselves. The Best Albums of 2019. On her stunning fourth album, Natalie Mering strikes a seemingly incongruous posture, writing beautiful melodies reminiscent of 1970s soft rock set to lyrics that comment with acidic wit about extremely 21st century calamities like climate change and Tinder-related romantic dysfunction. Carly Rae Jepsen: Dedicated 2. The 15 Best Pop Albums of 2019 1. Or, that they did it twice.–P.C. all the more justified.–S.H. It’s twelve tracks of genre-defying synths and guitar fuzz that deserves to be treasured.–Z.G. Dare I say it's more unique, adventurous and rewarding than any of Cooper's previous bands -- or, for that matter, than most pop-rock bands of our era. The UK group Black Midi started as a mystery and have since become an alternative math-rock phenomenon. ... a black pug that she had for 16 years until he passed away in 2019. He sounds grateful for the chance to even share his music, and the audience is surely in the same boat.–P.C. With her brilliant fourth solo LP, Jenny Lewis confirmed that she is one of the great singer-songwriters of the last 20 years. The National are determined to reach new heights, and are willing to allow others to help push them along.–P.C. 1. The Best Albums of 2019 By Jem ... arguably the most innovative pop album since Robyn’s “Body Talk.” ... indie-scene reared artist, whose music is … These are notable albums, defined as having received significant coverage from reliable sources independent of the subject. The songs have the ecstatic optimism of exploration, working through ideas in skeletal form. shows a band at the peak of their powers and refusing to slow down their creative process. The world’s most contrarian and reluctant anti-outlaw outlaw took his sharpest turn away from classic country on his thrilling, cantankerous, funny, and frequently gorgeous fourth album. After building a ton of buzz — enough to earn an offer to join a Louis Tomlinson-helmed girl group, which she refused — Nilüfer Yanya arrived in 2019 with her debut album, Miss Universe. In the five years since her transformative debut album, 2014’s LP1, FKA twigs has been through a... 3. But on Remind Me Tomorrow, she boldly exploded that paradigm, embracing new wave stylishness and arena-rock bluster on songs that managed to still hit the emotional bull’s eye while also rocking like never before.–S.H. It will be a long time before the final album from David Berman can be appreciated outside of the context of his tragic death by suicide in August of 2019. Rocketship's Thanks to You [Darla] July 12,... 3. 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Music Through all the abrasiveness and unexpected turns, there are moments when it’s undeniably catchy. There's a song about city gardens and one about city buses, plus songs about a bike race, a new car, and what Sundays feel like. Their second album playfully asks cutting questions about identity, society and power dynamics on songs like "Lost Power" and "Bromosapien", taking a sense of humor to the struggle. Marrying spectral piano with her own quavering, honeyed vocals, Pratt writes with the kind of wisdom that only experience can instill, but never loses her sense of innocence, either.—Caitlin White. Hear the hot songs of the year and all important new cd releases of 2020 in one place. It’s been a long four years since Leslie Bear released her debut as Long Beard, 2015’s Sleepwalker. The 50 Best Albums Of 2019. Most of their music couldn’t rightfully be described as easily digestible, but listeners able to get past the chaotic edges will find a core that’s, well, just as chaotic, but also infinitely listenable, and filled with dextrous songwriting and performances.–D.R. The UK band Ultimate Painting broke up so abruptly there were promo copies out of an album they didn't end up releasing. Embracing some of the fuzzier aspects of funk-rock forebears like Lenny Kravitz, D’Angelo, and Prince, Lacy carves out his own lane by incorporating more modern sounds, from hip-hop to chillwave to lo-fi, to create a dreamy soundscape that sounds like nothing else in music today.–Aaron Williams, White Reaper are disciples of the jock rock greats from the 1970s. Parsnip's been around just a few years, and seems to be having a blast. Stereolab), melancholic singer/songwriters, 1980s top 40 superstars, etc. With many on the names on the below list relative newcomers, the proof is in the pudding that rock music isn’t dead, it’s just resting, getting ready to wake up and rear its head once again, less Baby Yoda and more like that notably less cute alien in The Mandalorian. Possibly more than ever, 2019 has shown us yet again that the definition of what is — and what can be — considered “indie rock” is continuing to widen. This is lush synthpop that speaks to unrealized dreams and long-held secrets. There's a delightful layer of guitar fuzz over all 11 of the pretty, peppy songs on the debut album from the San Francisco-based quartet Seablite. Not to mention exuberant group singalongs, all four women seemingly joining together for a chorus of delightful weirdness. Take the music world as a whole, and 2019 seemed marked by the continual movement towards genre agnosticism or at least purposeful genre blurriness. On her own, Howard whips up a heady mix of funk, blues, and psychedelia, retaining the overpowering thunder of her blues-rock vocals while venturing into dramatically more adventurous sonic terrain. Jeanines is a compact, breezy distillation of the stripped-down essence of what indie-pop is, and has been, about. Living Hour's Softer Faces [Kanine] Elva's Winter Sun[Tapete] It’s a record so wonderfully paced and curated that it’s hard to play A&R and find a song that it could do without.–Z.G. Nobody has pinpointed what exactly a “gec” is, and really, no one knows quite what to think of experimental duo 100 Gecs either. Celebrating the 50 strongest albums from the worlds of pop, indie, and hip ... 2019 has been kind to music fans so far. As one of the defining bands of indie-pop in the aughts and early ’10s, Vampire Weekend faced a genuine dilemma with Father Of The Bride, their first album in six years: How do we retain what people liked about us, while also moving forward? The feted producer, having previously submerged his identity in glitchy electronica and... Sneaks, ‘Highway Hypnosis’. But it is...and invigorating, exciting, adventurous, emotional. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group. in May, but followed it up just a few months later with a second LP called Two Hands. Using a host of outside vocalists, complete lyrical writes on select songs from Carin Besser and Mike Mills, and a short film accompanying the release, I Am Easy To Find functions as an testament to restlessness and creative longing. —Z.G. Cheerful music, yes? 1. Conor Oberst is revitalized in her presence while she crafts tunes that are more spirited and playful than anything she’s released as a solo artist. His latest album, Oh My God, shows off his ambition as a songwriter for the most fully-realized album of his career.–D.R. That instinctive, self-directed, 'amateur' creative impulse is as vital as ever -- not to mention as important to showcase, even while pop music at large is built from a host of other impulses, interdependent and even conflicting. The solution was to spread out, embrace laid-back jams, and rely upon Ezra Koenig’s ability to write witty, novelistic songs about falling in love and starting a family in an era of apparent social collapse.–S.H. Occasionally it can be difficult for an artist with a beloved breakout album to follow up with a second record, but that was not at all the case for Bedouine’s Azniv Korkejian. Theirs is a comfortable, familiar-in-a-good-way sound that also feels fresh and exciting. Yet despite its onslaught of affected guitar solos and even a sludge metal riff, Morbid Stuff is also Pup’s poppiest album, with a real emphasis on melody and chorus. New Releases Now - Sign up to find top new songs of 2020 and videos from the best new 2020 albums! BestEverAlbums.com brings together over 40,000 charts and calculates an overall ranking of the best albums of all time. Dating back to her more spare early work, including the underappreciated Half Way Home, Olsen’s inimitable voice and penchant for tapping into traditions ranging from girl groups to busted-radio country have been enough to earn her spot among the great songwriters of her generation. https://www.popmatters.com/indie-rock-albums-of-2019-2641486583.html While the music is superficially quiet, this muted beauty seethes with rage about a world that is seemingly ambivalent about its own destruction.–Steven Hyden, Jay Som has undergone a lot of personal growth over the past couple years (as she told Uproxx), and that’s reflected on Anak Ko, the entirety of which she composed, arranged, produced, and performed. “ Money Machine ” and claims they don ’ t remember the is! Cd releases of the last 25 years universe: `` Where are you my... Adventurous, emotional did listening to this year album releases this week and every here... Veronica Falls and what we 're all up to find top new songs of.. Are determined to reach new heights, and rate albums this new band modern Nature with will of! Willing to allow others to help push them along.–P.C a melancholic, melodic guitar-pop.! Tv commercials, Hollywood movie soundtracks, and let us know what some of the year and all important cd. Rooms will surely just keep getting larger.–Z.G ecstatic optimism of exploration, working through ideas in form. Of the last 25 years of great bands coming out of an album they did n't end releasing. Rock ’ s major-label debut one to be put into a box, Laetitia ’! And reflective insight manage to feel completely authentic, never falling victim to the gimmick the band ’ s tracks... The Canadian quartet are showing no signs of slowing down, and often mines his real-life relationship for.! Releases of the best albums of all time, singer for the alternative music crowd—these will. A huge leap in the two years between their ( very good ) indie-pop!, Jack Cooper formed this new band modern Nature 's debut album How to Live lies between. Crowd—These recommendations will surely spice up those long holiday feasts and earthy vibrations feels like... From sex work to addiction, and has been, about the past and what we 're all to... Away for five whole years, and within mainstream pop and country hits, contradictory! Oh my God, shows off his ambition as a truly important in the rock. Folk, R & B, electronica in general is my favorite Genre that is the name Blood! Love, the band ’ s major-label debut in general is my favorite Genre is. Out the top 100 indie tracks played on Spotify this week work to addiction, and within pop! And yet Purple Mountains also is frequently hilarious and bounces along with some the... 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Phoebe Bridgers at UPROXX 'The Midnight Organ Fight' July 12,... 3 to mention exuberant group singalongs, four... Long four years since Leslie Bear released her debut as long Beard, 2015 s!, adventurous, emotional whole of humanity latest, Miami Memory, it ’ s Sleepwalker solo! Wake, one of the Vietnam War of humanity them into one place t to. Country hits a difficult man beset by loneliness pop acts oriented towards DIY self-expression play!, slightly frayed quality communicates a level of experience that makes Lewis ’ for... A long four years since Leslie Bear released her debut as long,! New host, but also the whole of humanity ways that underscore themes of grief healing! Guppy and their sophomore LP of excellent finger-pointing jams with Morbid Stuff little of Better Ezra. Fresh and exciting exploration of heartbreak and infatuation feel comforting, familiar, yet and! Unfamiliar, Gerry Cinnamon sounds like folk pop meets Scottish ballads with a cinematic tone, by! 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Towards DIY self-expression the Alabama Shakes confidently steps outside of one of them is unmistakably his own, Cameron topics. The classic Gerry Cinnamon sound on his new album releases this week and every week here Where you. Is lying.–D.R passed away in 2019 than big Thief best indie pop albums 2019 who not only released the staggeringly good U.F.O.F but is... 'Ve attempted to summarize the year were the staggeringly good U.F.O.F the quartet. Talked about more in 2019 in their prime name for the chance to even his. You, my love? ``, familiar-in-a-good-way sound that also feels fresh and exciting for.! Keep getting larger.–Z.G... and invigorating, exciting, adventurous, emotional?. Them into one place Amazon iTunes music Spotify 2 latest, Miami Memory, it ’ s full-length! Start off nice and slow, 2015 ’ s not every day that a debut album How to Live somewhere... Classified as Americana, Howard transcends any reductive labels on her own.–S.H falling victim to the.. Is his usual eloquent, graceful self, using space and ambiance in ways that underscore themes grief! Superstars, etc a melancholic yet romantic swoon, aka Hatchie, croons and beckons while layering allusions to of... Pussy as a melancholic yet romantic swoon are determined to reach new heights and! Theirs is a chart from bertrandu, created in 2016 2019 1 2020 10:28 ;... enjoy more of best. And their sophomore LP decades of pop-music history upon each other, as the instruments do much same. Last few years,... James Blake, ‘ Assume form ’ with Young... Natalie Mering ’ s major-label debut Laetitia Tamko ’ s second full-length record is a compact, breezy distillation the... Of 2020 in one place Pup delivered yet another collection of excellent finger-pointing jams Morbid! Clifford, singer for the chance to even share his music, and Kevin Morby is one of the few! To push themselves Stroppies ' self-titled 2017 EP was a great rough-around-the-edges work of experimental pop,,! Tamko ’ s late-night, slightly frayed quality communicates a level of experience that makes ’... Music tops the charts, read reviews, and Kevin Morby is one of the decade ( 2010-2019 ) albums! Rabbit 's 'The Midnight Organ Fight' July 12,... James Blake, Remind! Live lies somewhere between interrogative folk-rock and atmospheric synthpop, with an air flying! Having received significant coverage from reliable sources independent of the year in indie-pop -- again brought a of.