100 Favourite Albums of the Year 2019 – Part Two

Part One
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven

Mammoth Penguins – There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win (Fika Recordins, 2019)

We kick off part two in Cambridge UK. I’ve almost been thinking about making a separate pop list, because I still love pop music but with current folk/americana emphasis I’m not able to squeeze in many pop records on these lists. One that I couldn’t leave out is this great one from Mammoth Penguins. Especially Closure and You Just Carry On are brilliant songs.

Mammoth Penguins at Facebook

Will Beeley – Highways & Heart Attacks (Tompkins Square, 2019)

And then something rather different, but equally wonderful. Will Beeley released a couple of great records in the 70s, but have since been a truck driver. Thankfully Tompkins Square first reissued those old records and one thing led to another and we got a mighty good brand new Will Beeley album.

Abigail Lapell – Getaway (Coax Records, 2019)

Back to Toronto, Canada for the tremendous Abigail Lapell album Getaway. Sparrow For a Heart and Shape of a Mountain are so incredible. The whole record is.

Abigail Lapell at Facebook
Abigail Lapell Website

Bill Callahan – Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest (Drag City, 2019)

Hey it’s Bill Callahan. You love him, I love him, doesn’t everybody love him.

Sunny War – Shell of a Girl (Hen House Studios, 2019)

Next this little year in review goes to Los Angeles for the new Sunny War album Shell of a Girl. Her last two albums have both been remarkable. Rock N Roll Heaven is the standout for me, but whole record is excellent.

Sunny War at Facebook
Sunny War Website

Vincent Neil Emerson – Fried Chicken & Evil Women (La Honda Records, 2019)

Back in Texas and in the arms of classic country music. Vincent Neil Emerson is a great songwriter and has a perfect voice for this music.

Vincent Neil Emerson at Facebook
Vincent Neil Emerson Website

Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising (Sub Pop Records, 2019)

Genre-hopping and on we go to the fantastic Weyes Blood album. Everyone knows about this one, but yeah it’s amazing and people are raving about it for a reason.

Weyes Blood at Facebook
Weyes Blood Website

Darrin Bradbury – Talking Dogs & Atom Bombs (Anti, 2019)

Next we explore the slow wildness of the everyday with a long time favourite Darrin Bradbury.

Darrin Bradbury at Facebook
Darrin Bradbury Website

Claire Cronin – Big Dread Moon (Orindal Records, 2019)

I fell for Claire Cronin’s dark and beautiful songs when I first heard them some years ago. Her latest came out on Orindal Records and is probably the best one yet as a whole. This song in particular hits really hard.

Claire Cronin at Facebook
Claire Cronin Website

Black Pumas – Black Pumas (ATO Records, 2019)

Been fun to watch this rise from the release of that Karma Chief Records single Black Moon Rising into something that gets a couple of million views. Definitely worth each and every one of those views too. Such a great record.

Black Pumas at Facebook
Black Pumas Website

Gabriel Birnbaum – Not Alone (Arrowhawk Records, 2019)

Next stop Brooklyn, NY and the marvellous solo album from Wilder Maker’s frontman Gabriel Birnbaum.

Gabriel Birnbaum at Facebook
Gabriel Birnbaum Website

Lucy Roleff – Left Open in a Room (Lost and Lonesome Records, 2019)

Another trip to down under and Melbourne. Folk musician and songwriter Lucy Roleff released a really magical album Left Open in a Room.

Lucy Roleff at Facebook
Lucy Roleff Website

Natural Bridges – Residual Daydreams (Roayl Oakie, 2019)

Back in Oakland, CA. I really enjoyed two Natural Bridges albums this year. Good Medicine and Residual Daydreams are both excellent albums. Good Medicine is an older though, but was reissued by Royal Oakie before the new album arrived. A new favorite band for sure. I think I’ve praised the should-be hit Ronnie’s In Bed several times, so let’s drop a bit more soulful treat on this post.

Roseanne Reid – Trails (Last Man Music, 2019)

Year-end travel takes us to Scotland for the wonderful new Roseanne Reid album. Full of great songs like Levi, Amy and I Love Her So.

Roseanne Reid at Facebook
Roseanne Reid Website

Bob Sumner – Wasted Love Songs (independent, 2019)

Let’s wrap this second chapter of the year in review with a magnificent song from the debut solo album of Bob Sumner. It came out very early in the year, but I carried it with me throughout the year and still have zero intention to let go. This is my personal favorite of the record Ticket To Ride.

Bob Sumner at Facebook
Bob Sumner Website

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100 Favourite Albums of the Year 2019 – Part One

Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven

Finally the albums of the year list. This thing got out of hand and contains 100 albums, if I counted correctly. Doing the weekly playlist every week and therefore trying to listen all interesting albums every weekend really skyrocketed my already excessive music listening habits. I created my first draft for this list by going through the year of posts and I ended up with about 180 albums. So even narrowing it down to 100 was really hard, because it felt like I really liked all those records. This year this list will be partly ranked and partly unranked. There will be some kind of top 25 in the end that will be in a vague order. It’s sort of a compromise, because ranking is silly but I’m also fully aware that everyone doesn’t have time or need to spend every spare minute listening to new music like I do and they might be more interested in what were the ones that I loved the most. However, the first 75 will be in a completely random order. I just took them from the media folder in the order I saw them. There’s some on this part one that could have easily made the top 20 on another day. That’s how random it is. I have a three day weekend and I try to get this done during it. So if everything goes smoothly, it will be ready on Monday at the latest. Possibly even sooner, if I manage to work fast. I won’t write a whole lot, because I just want get this done and then either quit, take a break or move on to 2020 music. Anyway, time to get started.

Little Mazarn – Io (Self Sabotage Records, 2019)

Starting this long list in Austin, TX with my most recent addiction Little Mazarn. I just found this in November when working on the weekly playlist. I was very late on this one, because the album came out in May on Self Sabotagae. Anyway, I’ve really loved this one during the recent weeks. Banjo, singing saw and beautiful singing. Oh my.

Little Mazarn at Facebook
Little Mazarn Website

The Fire Harvest – Open Water (Snowstar Records, 2019)

Year in review travels on to Utrecht, Netherlands. The Fire Harvest released this amazing and haunting album that occasioally reminds me of Songs:Ohia. Canadian Michael Feuerstack recorded and mixed.

Fire Harvest at Facebook
The Fire Harvest Website

Mount Eerie with Julie Doiron – Lost Wisdom Pt 2 (P.W. Elverum & Sun, 2019)

One that doesn’t need an introduction. I first put on this album and it’s opening song Belief while walking in the city and just had to stop, listen and then somehow pull myself together.

P.W. Elverum & Sun Website
Mount Eerie at Facebook

Kelly Hunt – Even the Sparrow (Rare Bird Records, 2019)

Next to Kansas City for a wonderful folk record from songwriter and banjo-player Kelly Hunt. Full of great songs like Fingernail Moon and Across the Great Divide.

Kelly Hunt at Facebook
Kelly Hunt Website

Hiss Golden Messenger – Terms of Surrender (Merge Records, 2019)

Another big name with a great new record. Not one of his very best, but can’t blame a man for having such a brilliant back catalogue. Wonderful once again.

Hiss Golden Messenger at Facebook
Hiss Golden Messenger Website

Jason James – Seems Like Tears Ago (Melodyville Records, 2019)

I’ve been vaguely familiar with Jason James for a few years, but I didn’t know he was this special before hearing Seems Like Tears Ago. Wonderful classic country album.

Jason James Website
Jason James at Facebook

Jerry Leger – Time Out For Tomorrow (Latent Recordings, 2019)

Back to Canada and more precisely Toronto for Jerry Leger’s new album Time Out For Tomorrow. Great songwriting from first word to last note.

Jerry Leger at Facebook
Jerry Leger Website

Our Native Daughters – Songs of Our Native Daughters (Smithsonian Folkways Records, 2019)

Rhiannon Giddens, Amythyst Kiah, Leyla McCalla and Allison Russell collaborated as Our Native Daughters and created one of the most powerful and important records of the year. Leyla McCalla also made an excellent solo album The Capitalist Blues.

Big Thief – UFOF / Two Hands (4AD, 2019)

The two Big Thief albums have to settle for this one place, because a) it leaves room for one more b) I can’t decide which one I love more. Both are fabulous.

Big Thief at Facebook
Big Thief Website

Friendship – Dreamin’ (Orindal Records, 2019)

Next off to Philadelphia and into the arms of the new Friendship album Dreamin’. Our relationship is still in the early stages, but I’m fully ready to marry the song Dusky. The rest is also amazing.

Friendship at Facebook

Kyle Cox – Perhaps One Day (independent, 2019)

A gentle old-fashioned get-together in Nashville, Tennessee with the loveliest of records. Perhaps One Day is a sweet ode to jazz vocal groups of the 30s and 40s. This one drifts the troubles away.

Kyle Cox at Facebook
Kyle Cox Website

Garrett T. Capps – All Right, All Night (Shotgun House Records, 2019)

Carrying the year-end round up thing to San Antonio for this might good country and rock and roll album from Garrett T. Capps.

Garrett T. Capps Website
Garrett T Capps at Facebook

Freschard – On Fire (Wiaiwya, 2019)

And then to Berlin, Germany for the record from the always awesome Freschard. Wasting Time and Happy By Your Side are pure bliss.

Freschard at Facebook

Rob Snarski – Sparrow & Swan (2019)

First visit to Australia for the second solo album from Rob Snarski (The Blackeyed Susans). Probably one of my all-time favorite vocalists and a great songwriter too.

Rob Snarski Website
Rob Snarski at Facebook

red steppes – Arcs (Native Cat Recordings, 2019)

The first chapter of this year in review closes in Oakland, CA with a spectacular song Madera from the new red steppes album Arcs. An amazing record from songwriter Nika Aila States.

red steppes at Facebook
red steppes Website

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TOP 5 Finnish EPs of 2019

Carrying on with the silly year-end routine with my favorite Finnish EPs of the year. I kept this one short, because I’ve maybe heard about a dozen and maybe the idea of a year end list is not to list everything one has heard during the year. Lokit 3 EP could definitely be here, but I’ve only heard it once when I write this. And obviously if you count Jari Raaste as an EP that would be the top pick, but I think that falls under the singles category.

5. Eden Prairie – Ana Lucia (2019)

Starting from Helsinki with the new Eden Prairie EP and some excellent folk rock storytelling.

Eden Prairie at Facebook
Eden Prairie Website

4. Treemer – Meeting EP (Soft Monsters, 2019)

A new band from ex-Pansies and sounds just as great as back in nineties. Dreamy indie pop and a bit of gazing. A perfect pop formula.

Treemer at Facebook

3. Tams – Aikahyppy 1 (2019)

You quite rarely see synth pop on my year-end lists, but Tams and Ian Daniel Kehoe are exception to the rule. They are just too good to be ignored even by such a narrow-minded music blogger as yours truly. Maybe this should not be my cup of tea, but all the barriers I have built just fall into pieces whenever I hit play and I find myself humming along to every song and loving every second.

Tams at Facebook

2. Tvärtom – Tvärtom (2019)

Perfect jangly guitar pop from a new band called Tvärtom. Something that I would have loved madly back when I started it this blog. No wait.. something that I still love madly and will continue to love madly as long as I breathe. Bonus points for one of my favorite music videos of the year. Iltariennot is also one of the best Finnish songs of the year, but let’s get back to that when that song list arrives.

Tvärtom at Facebook

1. MeriTuuli – Yö Saimaalla (2019)

And my favorite Finnish EP of the year is Yö Saimaalla by MeriTuuli. A really beautiful folk/pop EP written by twin sisters Meri and Tuuli Wallenius. The whole thing is great, but I’m especially fond of the first two songs Ruusut and Minä odotan. The first one is also available in form of a really beautiful music video.

MeriTuuli at Facebook
MeriTuuli Website

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