Mary Varvaris’s Top Albums of 2019

What a year. At times, it seemed as though I’d never had enough music to listen to. Then, at the busiest times of the year, I felt like I had fallen dreadfully behind and wouldn’t find my way back to consuming new music the way I did at the beginning of 2019. It’s also a year that found me diving into discographies of artists I should have devoted myself to much sooner: from Portishead to R.E.M. to mewithoutYou. It’s been another delightful year for music.

After much thought and almost giving up on creating my End of 2019 list, I have finally chosen my favourite music from the past year. Some albums have landed as honourable mentions, particularly if they were released too late (sorry, Harry Styles!), or I just couldn’t move these albums around again. To be honest, I simply don’t watch enough movies to warrant a favourite list of films. Same case with television (although, I’m marginally better there). I hope you find some music that connects with you the way it has with me. Without further ado, here are my top 30 albums of 2019. Plus, some equally special honourable mentions!

Favourite Albums of 2019

  1. Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow
  2. Julia Jacklin – Crushing
  3. Charly Bliss – Young Enough
  4. Lana Del Rey – Norman Fucking Rockwell!
  5. Fontaines D.C. – Dogrel
  6. Ruth Hazleton – Daisywheel
  7. Clairo – Immunity
  8. Thom Yorke – Anima
  9. Great Grandpa – Four of Arrows
  10. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Ghosteen
  11. Modern Nature – How to Live
  12. Jimmy Eat World – Surviving
  13. Holy Holy – My Own Pool of Light
  14. Alex Lahey – The Best of Luck Club
  15. Lust for Youth – Lust for Youth
  16. Orville Peck – Pony
  17. Sampa The Great – The Return
  18. Slipknot – We Are Not Your Kind
  19. Brutus – Nest
  20. Denzel Curry – ZUU
  21. RAMMSTEIN – Rammstein
  22. DIIV – Deceiver
  23. 65daysofstatic – replicr
  24. Kim Gordon – No Home Record
  25. Charlie Collins – Snowpine
  26. City Calm Down – Television
  27. Big Thief – Two Hands
  28. King Princess – Cheap Queen
  29. Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising
  30. BATTS – The Grand Tour

For the first time since I began tallying my favourite releases of the year, my top three albums remained the same in my mid-year list and my End of the Year list. It’s not too surprising, really, as Sharon Van Etten bowled me over with her monolith of an album, Remind Me Tomorrow. No album has touched the arresting impact Sharon has held over me since the album’s January 2019 release. Julia Jacklin and Charly Bliss, sitting at #2 and #3, have crushed me time and time again. Lana Del Rey delivered her finest album yet, and I’m fully on the hype train. At last, she’s managed to suck me into her nostalgic vision of places I’ve never visited.

Fontaines D.C. is one of the most exciting new post-punk bands. I couldn’t be happier to have discovered Great Grandpa this year. How many times have I listened to “Digger” to be swept away by Alex Menne’s incredible vocal? Metal bands like Slipknot and RAMMSTEIN made triumphant returns in 2019, releasing albums made to be played on repeat. Not to mention, Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth released her debut album! At 66 years of age, Gordon remains a groundbreaker in music to this day.

2019 has been inspiring, gut-wrenching and filled with surprises. Here are a couple more albums and EPs that soundtracked my year.

Honourable Mentions

  • Grace Cummings – Refuge Cove
  • Ali Barter – Hello, I’m Doing My Best
  • Tiny Ruins – Olympic Girls
  • Angel Olsen – All Mirrors
  • Carla Geneve – Carla Geneve
  • Rival Sons – Feral Roots
  • Jay Som – Anak Ko
  • The National – I Am Easy To Find
  • Stella Donnelly – Beware of the Dogs
  • Harry Styles – Fine Line
  • Coldplay – Everyday Life
  • Black Marble – Bigger Than Life
  • Wilco – Ode to Joy
  • Girl Band – The Talkies
  • Pixies – Beneath The Eyrie
  • BODEGA – Shiny New Model
  • Microwave – Death is a Warm Blanket
  • Chelsea Wolfe – Birth of Violence
  • Hot Chip – A Bath Full of Ecstasy
  • Hatchie – Keepsake