2019 has been a toss-up year in terms of music so far. Without any major releases as of yet other than maybe Vampire Weekend or Solange, a batch of new artists have arisen to fill the void. It’s been exciting so far as lesser known musicians have elevated the year with exciting new sounds. Here are some of my favorite albums so far.
(NOTE: All albums on this list were released before July 1st)
We live in a world that is more connected than ever thanks to technological innovations over the past 20 years. Through this blog alone, I’ve been able to interact and connect with fellow music lovers from Britain, Canada, and even Iceland. It was only a matter of time before a group of musicians from around the globe decided to use the power of the internet and collaborative applications to create an album together, all while being on different continents.
Superorganism is a fitting name for a band composed of eight members from around the globe, ranging from New Zealand to Japan, from Britain to the United States. The result is a debut that is an amalgam of creative energies. Their powers congeal into one gleaming bolt of energy, the songs lighthearted, filled with joyful melodies and silly lyricism. Superorganism’s debut is what it would sound like if the Disneyland’s “Small World” children grew up and combined their positive energy for world pop domination.
This has not been the best year for content here at BDWPS.com, and I apologize for the lack of reviews. Despite this absence of material, my insatiable search for new and exciting music continued, as you will see in this year’s “Top Albums of 2018” list. I will hopefully return BDWPS to its former glory in 2019, but for now, take a look at the first half of the year-end list and hopefully you’ll find that the BDWPS stamp of approval still carries weight.
Anna Calvi, Hunter
Grouper, Grid of Points
Idles, Joy as an Act of Resistance
Meek Mill, Championships
Sleep, The Sciences
Spiritualized, And Nothing Hurt
Sumac, Love in Shadow
Vundabar, Smell Smoke
I know I haven’t been posting much on here lately (heck, I haven’t posted one album review all year!). Despite my lack of content, I’m still checking out new music obsessively and was able to conjure up the energy to finally put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) and create my mid-year list. Hopefully the rest of 2018 I’ll get back on track. Until then, here are some great albums to check out.
The most alarming development in the world of music in 2017 (beside the lack of protest music in a time of uncertainty) is the rise of the playlist. In the past few months, publications like The Ringer, LongReads.com, Pitchfork, and The Guardian have posted articles that explored the popularity of pre-made playlists by streaming services and the impact they may have on indie artists and the album as an art form. Sadly, many listeners today would rather go to the one stop shop of a vanilla playlist that rarely strays outside the lines, and as a result, many may never experience the fulfilling experience of hearing a well-crafted album from start to finish.
Fortunately, there are artists still striving to release great albums that require focus and reflection to truly appreciate. On this year’s list you will find many albums that were overlooked by major music websites, and you will also see many of the most prominent names absent. If you’re looking for a list that ignores hype and focuses solely on innovation and art within the form of an album, then this compilation of the best that 2017 had to offer might be just what you’re looking for.
In the past, I’ve posted this mid-year list at the beginning of June, but I decided that to truly be a mid-year list, I needed to post it in July. This is list is comprised of some of my favorite albums released between January 1st and June 15th (there is a two week window in June because I didn’t want to put anything on the list that didn’t have time to marinate). 2017 started slowly in terms of great releases, but the past three months have been chock full of great work by both up-and-coming artists and veterans who have returned with outstanding offerings.