(To see albums 16-20, click here)
Where were we? Oh yeah…
15. Jay Som, Anak Ko
I’ve been a fan of Jay Som for a little bit, but I still wasn’t prepared for how incredible Anak Ko was. This album is a bedroom-pop masterpiece. I just loved how every track flowed into each other expanding itself into a story of self-growth and wonderment. As a plus, pretty much every track has some banging moments that are worthy of you listening to them. It’s one of those albums I know I can put on almost every time and it will just fit. Songs such as “Superbike” and “Devotion” are beautifully devastating and are worthy candidates of your end-of-2019 playlists.
14. Ex Hex, It’s Real
Ex Hex is a straight-up rock and roll band that have put out two picture-perfect albums in my mind. The combination of the legendary guitarist/songwriter Mary Timony with guitarist/bassist Betsy Wright and drummer Laura Harris are everything I need in a band – gripping rock and roll with hooks that’ll burn holes in your brain for days. The moment I heard tracks such as “Rainbow Shiner” and the standout song “Another Dimension” months before the record dropped gave me confidence to know that this was gonna be on hell of an album.
13. Tool, Fear Inoculum
It seemed like we’d never get another Tool album after 2006’s 10,000 Days. The release I had the moment I heard Maynard James Keenan told us to “Bless this immunity” three minutes and thirty-one seconds into the title track will remain one of my most cherished musical moments of this year. Fear Inoculum felt like a natural step as a follow-up to 2001’s Lateralus than anything really. Everything kind of sounded like extended versions of “The Patient”, as well as “Disposition” and “Reflection”,which while that worked for me, I still wanted a bit more. While I wished some of the tracks were pared down a bit, it’s a fantastic record that is quite an experience to listen to. When making my best-of lists, I really wanted this album at number thirteen; not only because that’s the gap in years between album, but it’s also a number in the Fibonacci sequence, and I think the guys in the band would appreciate that.
12. Moon Duo, Stars Are The Light
A dazzling showcase of psychedelic dance has Stars Are The Light high on my list. I kept finding myself coming back to the record many times this year. It truly felt like a journey to the stars once you put this album on, and every time I put it on I feel whisked away light years away. Elements of retro-futurism coupled with the smooth rhythms are like catnip to me. I loved this album so much and it lends itself to be part of so many great parts of my future to come. It’s truly a fun cosmic record that will entertain everyone who’ll dare to listen.
11. Tyler, The Creator, Igor
I never thought I would see the day where I would like, let alone love an album by Tyler, The Creator, but here I am. Igor is an expansive, explosive, and dare I say mature effort. While I personally never cared for his antics ever since his days in Odd Future, I’ve always appreciated his work effort and his sheer relentlessness to be a firebrand. It’s undeniable the influence of Pharrell Williams is heavy on Igor, but it works so well. The production, instrumentation, lyrical content, and it’s cool style makes this album a career-defining effort and I only see this launching Tyler even further into the musical stratosphere. Truly the most surprising album of 2019 for me.