By: Olivia Mokrzycki and Antoni James
Check out this Toronto couple's top 10 albums of 2019.
OLIVIA - Lana Del Rey’s ability to create thematically and aesthetically directed auras within her music has always caught people’s attention and helped form her fanbase. Norman Fucking Rowell is yet another example of how brilliantly she is able to create these fantasies and how they almost seem to come to life as you listen to each song.
ANTONI - Here’s Devendra’s latest album filled with touching themes about life and parenthood, packaged in gentle arrangements and very much appreciated strings sections.
It’s laid back and it’s nice.
ANTONI - It has been such a long time since a mega-hit radio pop album has shocked me, but this one did. After listening to When We All Fall Asleep I was genuinely shocked as to how this could be such an international hit and such a radio sensation, simply because it’s just SO DIFFERENT from what it’s up against. If you’ve skipped over this one, go back, make the right choice and listen to it!
OLIVIA - Bruised my knees to the bone in the pit during Amyl and the Sniffers this year. Their debut album is pure punk energy, with the most captivating female vocalist I’ve heard in a long time. Such a killer record!
ANTONI - It was such a nice treat to have Karen O come back for a proper musical project this year, especially in the form of this cinematic and mysterious album. Her sharp yet soft voice atop the always floating grooves tie things together nicely.
OLIVIA - Harry Styles might have been hiding his interesting personality away from us all these years. Although maintaining this strict image left minimal room for creative freedom, I’m more than glad he was able to at least build a large fan base through it because everyone should hear this album. It has such a spectacular mix of good pop arrangements with strange storylike lyrics, classically rocking riffs and solos, as well as slow-paced moments. Sounds like he’s pulling some inspo from Vampire weekend on certain tracks as well!
ANTONI - Another perfect late-night album is Clairo’s debut. Produced by my favourite producer ever, Rostam, the two work together beautifully bouncing vocals off of milky key parts. This one’s got tones for days.
OLIVIA - I had no idea what to expect with this ex Post Animal, Stranger Things star, but oh boy Mr. Keery have you changed the game. Dirty production over feel good, vibey tracks kissed with psychedelic touches and whacky lyrics. Don’t sleep on DJO!!!
ANTONI - I hadn’t heard of Jay Som until a friend showed me this album a month ago, and it hit pretty instantly. Looking for a ‘walking through the neighborhood in the evening’ vibe, then look no further!
OLIVIA - Turkish psych-rockers, Altin Gun released their second album, Gece, this year. Full of surprises, this psychedelic album stays true to Turkish folk and incorporates electronica. Once you hear it, you'll be hooked. Such an incredible piece of art.
OLIVIA - Billie Eilish surprised me big time with WWAFA WDWG. She continued to turn heads all year long, notably grabbing the attention of music fans even outside the pop realm. Her album sounds simple but holds so many underlining and intricate sounds and samples. If you haven’t already heard it, I promise it’s worth it.
ANTONI - Remember Steve Harrington from Stranger Things? Well, he’s now used that good good Netflix money to create this package of pure psych goodness. This album is honestly up there with the Tame Impalas and mild high clubs of the world.
ANTONI - I wasn’t really into the direction that Hip Hop decided to go this year; I just couldn’t get into the tones and sounds that so much of it explored sonically. Then Tyler came back to save the year with this masterpiece. Every sound made on here is glorious.
OLIVIA - Fontaine’s DC stormed into 2019 with their debut album Dogrel and made quite the impact. With a heavy nod to post-punk they got tons of people craving those rough vocals, memorably dynamic bass lines and lyrics about the motherland, Ireland.
OLIVIA - Stella Donnelly’s debut album is full of some truly catchy melodies and sing-along worthy choruses. Importantly, underneath these sweet-sounding songs, sit some clever lyrics starting strong feminist discussions. The dynamic is powerful, the album is brilliant and sits at my number three!
ANTONI - One of the craziest and most eclectic bands on the planet right now is King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. They are consistently incredible and this thrash metal album is no exception. This record makes me want to add Hell to my travel list.
ANTONI - If it weren’t for the intense commitment to Vampire Weekend’s sound and style, this album would’ve made the top spot. This shocking departure from her last album is packaged in both eerie string arrangements and lush synths, lead by Olsen’s always haunting vocals. This record’s got some of the most interesting production I’ve heard in ages (especially on the vocals.)
OLIVIA - Prolific Australian psych-rockers have never once failed to impress and excite me. After famously releasing five albums in 2017, all of which were shockingly great, I have been waiting to hear a release I didn’t like just to see if it was possible. Damn right impossible! In 2019 they graced us with two releases of greatly varying qualities. Fishing For Fishies and sitting high at my number two: Infest The Rat's Nest. A vivid experience of pure THRASH. This album greatly showcases the immense power the band has over creating instrumental greatness and is overall fit for a real headbang and mosh pit frenzy.
OLIVIA - Took me until 2019 to really dive into the interesting world of Vampire Weekend. Now, looking at my results for most played music of the year, the band reigns at #1. Father Of The Bride really opened a new set of ears for me. The record’s brilliant collaborations made it unique from multiple angles. 18 songs, filling just under one absolutely divine hour. Tons of catchy little riffs stayed ringing gloriously through me since I first heard them. The album is a perfect collection of songs including fun and feel good parts, instrumentally dramatic sections, somber moments, and sweet duets. It is simply one of the most beautiful, interesting and modern things I’ve ever heard.
ANTONI - After waiting a very long 6 years since their last album in 2013, Father of The Bride finally exploded onto 2019’s musical scene packing some major oomph that instantly won me over. Nothing bridges musical styles and genres quite like this album does, with inspirations coming from classic folk and the jam-rock movement to modern hip hop and pop. This album is a beautiful sticker book of different ideas shaped by the overall mood of springtime.