This Summer has given us some of 2019’s freshest tunes from artists like Crumb, Devendra Banhart, and Mannequin Pussy to name a few. We hate to narrow it down but the ten artists below have put out some great music and it would be criminal for you not to check them all out.
So without further ado, here’s my top 10 albums for the summer of 2019!
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets – And Now For The Whatchamacallit – (Psych Hard Rock)
To kick this list off is one of the more interesting names in Rock music these days. On May 31st, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets released And Now For The Whatchamacallit. This album packs quite the punch to the gut; filled with fuzzy guitars, hard hitting drums, hypnotizing vocals, and thick bass lines all rapped in a thick coating of compression. compared to their previous releases, High Visceral, Pt. 1 & Pt. 2, It’s their most consistent as it sounds like they really solidified their sound on this record. To try and describe their sound, I’d have to say that it’s a love child between Temples and King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard. Something exciting to see is yet another Aussie band crashing into the American music hub that has really only been existing to serve itself. Acts like King Gizzard, Tame Impala, and Courtney Barnett are only a few out of dozens that have been making a name for themselves in the west and good on them!
Pip Blom – Boat – (Alternative Indie)
Now on the exact same day and just across the pond in Amsterdam, Pip Blom released their first full length album Boat. This album is very familiar to fans of the genre but the band puts a lot of originality into their songs while maintaining their accessibility. The band is no stranger to writing good hooks and it’s obvious in songs like “Daddy Issues” & “Tired”. The contrast between the female lead singer and male backup on the the harmonies in these tracks seem to harmonize on a whole other level that is more than musical. The entire album flows nicely song to song and you can hear that this is more than just good songs thrown into package.
Winona Forever – Feelgood – (Indie Pop)
Montreal-based band Winona Forever started their summer off on the best of notes. June 7th was the release date of their second full length album, Feelgood, and that title couldn’t be any more fitting. This album is a beautiful mix of lo-fi and “in the pocket” rhythms. The entire album feels like a fluid combination of Mac DeMarco, The Dirty Projectors, and Vulfpeck. The guitar tone is clean but soaked in tape wow and flutter, which gives the very modern and clean sound but a throwback to an extremely retro feel. The lead singer’s vocals are close, clean, and intimate, which really manage to get the listener’s attention through the occasionally muddy mix of lo-fi guitar and upfront drums. Finally, Feelgood is a great culmination of various styles that have arrived on the scene in the last few years, but with a sound that is unique and fresh. In my opinion, as far as album titles go, Feelgood is a perfect way to describe it. This album would be great for a rainy day or a sunny beach, and just makes you feel at home.
Crumb – Jinx – (Indie Psych Rock)
Crumb has been gaining a ton of attention over the past couple years. Releasing their first EP Crumb in 2016, they now rake in over 1 million listeners with some of those songs now having well over 7 million streams. With the release of their first full length album, Jinx, on June 14th, it’s exactly what listeners had been waiting for. The record shows the more relaxed and dreamy side of Crumb which, when listening to previous releases, was an expected continuation in their musical arc. The songs on Jinx are very consistent and well produced. I believe the sound on this album was something they’d been trying to attain with their past two EP’s; the finished product is wonderful to listen to even if you don’t care much for their style. It’s clean, it’s clear, and most of all, sooo groovy.
Mannequin Pussy – Patience – (Alternative Punk)
On June 21st (the official start of the summer in the Northern Hemisphere) Mannequin Pussy released their groundbreaking third album, Patience. Why do I say groundbreaking? Before this release, their “Popular” list on Spotify was scattered with different songs from their various releases but now it’s filled entirely with the songs from this record. Pitchfork has also given it an 8.4 and even put it under “Best New Music” and there’s good reason. This album is filled with brutally honest anger and truth. Lead singer and guitarist, Marissa Dabice, lays it all on the table in just the first two tracks with lines like “I’ve got you in my blood” & “I’ve been drinking everything I can get my hands on / I pretend I have fun”. The range of her voice is amazing not only note wise but emotionally as well. Listening through the track, “High Horse”, will tell you exactly what I mean. Listening through this record, you realize you’re listening to the journey of a main characters life. Going through a break up and not knowing how to deal with it; blaming themself, blaming the other person, coming to terms with everything, and eventually taking a leap to fall in love again. It’s definitely one of the most emotional releases this summer and may have you shedding some tears by the end.
Honeysuckle – Fire Starter – (Folk / Bluegrass)
Once again released on the same day but far from the same, it’s Honeysuckle with their release Fire Starter. After listening through I looked up the band to see what they looked like and was shocked to see it’s just three people. Even though there are 9 different instruments scattered throughout this album, the three multi-instrumentalists do it all themselves. Every instrument and vocal on this release sounds incredibly clear and precise especially on the track “I Love My Phone” which really showcases the groups ability to harmonize with each other. Their sound is akin to bands like The Punch Brothers and Dead Horses; mostly folk with some clear Bluegrass undertones. Like all the bands that’ve been listed so far, it sounds like Honeysuckle has hit home with their sound and the songs on this album.
Nate Mercereau – Joy Techniques – (Psych Acid Jazz)
Before I get into this record, a little history on Nate Mercereau. Nate has played on dozens of popular artists records and credits include: French Horn, Celeste, Guitar, and Moog on Jay-Z’s 4:44 & Bass, Drums, and Guitar on Lizzo’s Cuz I Love You. After almost 10 years of composing, producing, and playing with other artists he gets a moment of free time and releases Joy Techniques on his own record label, How So Records. The record revolves a lot around guitar synthesizer as well as regular synth and takes it all to the extreme. Songs like “There You Are” & “Joy Techniques” make you really think about what was going on in this guys head while creating this. At points it’s pure insanity and ecstasy in the same room. The Grooves are so tight and hypnotic it’s easy to get lost in these tracks. Hearing the initial singles got me so excited for this record and it didn’t disappoint in any way.
Hunny – Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. – (Alternative Indie Synth Pop)
July 19th brought about Hunny‘s newest release which might just have you saying Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.. This is Hunny’s first full length album and after putting out three EP’s and a few singles, I think that at this point they’ve found their sound and were ready to make something bigger. The love stories in these songs give you that feeling of being in your old bedroom fantasizing about your high school crush. The synth sounds on this album are well thought out and fit each song in a completely different way. The chord progressions are also pretty fresh and not just cookie cutter like I feel a lot of this genre can have. This band has gotten quite a bit of attention and think this album will only grow in popularity. Fans of Bleachers and Fun will definitely dig this record.
Esther Rose – You Made It This Far – (Folk)
Now just when I thought the summer was over, this album came around and stunned me. On August 23rd, Esther Rose released her sophomore album, You Made It This Far. Everything about this record gives you a tingly feeling, from the slide guitar, to the swinging tempos, to Esther’s voice carrying us the whole way threw. Rose has a real way with words on this release and even though I think “love” is an exhausted topic in modern music, she rekindles the soft spot I have for these types of cutesy innocent love songs. Compared to her previous album in 2017, Esther has matured in terms of instrumentation as well as songwriting. The production is perfect for her style and hits on that, everyone playing in the living room, kinda vibe. You Made It This Far caught my attention effortlessly and I won’t be surprised if it does the same to you.
Devendra Banhart – Ma – (Folk Rock / Freak Folk)
This last artist has quite an expansive catalogue. He’s covered a lot ground since his first release in 2002 and on September 13th, just before the summer officially ends, Devendra Banhart will release his tenth studio album, Ma. The songs on this album are very intimate and show that soft side of Devendra everyone loves. The instrumentation is expansive with various percussion instruments, strings, keys, and even a clock. It’s hard to say to much more since this release contains a lot of what Devendra fans love about him. It’s calming, soothing, and a little Sultry at times.