Bruh we love our music here at FIB, so let us tell you about the records that are worth your time released in 2019; ranked by our staff!
LIZZO – CUZ I LOVE YOU
Lizzo’s album preaches self love and its messages are so important for today’s generations. Her song Like A Girl is bound to have every woman feeling empowered and proud of their gender.
LIAM GALLAGHER – WHY ME? WHY NOT
say what you will about the Britpop legend, Liam Gallagher comes back more refined in his sonic signatures since is Oasis and Beady Eye heyday. Gallagher’s second solo album pushes more boundaries than his debut As You Were. The Oasis in your face attitude is still there, reminiscent yet poised with the inevitability of an aging legendary Rockstar.
MADEON – GOOD FAITH
A wholesome and fulfilling album by Madeon. Euphoric neo-soul synth vibe at its best! The album is accompanied by a thrilling immersive live show that reinvigorates your nostalgic love for electronic music. Besides the album’s leading single “All My Friends,” my favourite tracks include “Dream Dream Dream” and “Nirvana.” A perfect blend of dance and pop. Madeon’s ‘Good Faith’ Live tour will definitely be up there in the history books!
BROCKHAMPTON – GINGER
While it received mixed reviews, I thought Ginger was solid effort from the ‘boy band’ upon release. However as the year went by, I found myself returning to tracks like Sugar and I Been Born Again. While we might never get another Saturation-type project, Ginger showed that they may not need to make one again.
MARINA – LOVE + FEAR
That’s Marina, folks. As in drop the ‘and the diamonds’. While some fans are calling the Primadonna singer out for “selling out” and creating more pop-infused tracks, I’ve gotta say; the album is gorgeous.
JAMES BLAKE – ASSUME FORM
Something I had sitting on the back burner for most of this year, but by god what a showing by the English producer. We’ve heard him feature on a plethora of hip-hop acts over the years but this time James Blake recruits the likes of Travis Scott and Andre 3000 to elevate the record. Stand out production uses a multitude of genres that flare between soul, ballad, country, and hip-hop. Its eerie, its sad, is god damn brilliant.
MAGGIE ROGERS – HEARD IT IN A PAST LIFE
Maggie Rogers’s album earned her a nod for Best New Artist and it’s no surprise! Its Indie Pop vibes, with guitar riffs in the background, and her angelic voice croons lyrical masterpieces like “and every time our fingers touched, it felt like it would be too much.” If you don’t have the time Light On, Say It and Overnight are definitely my favourites from the album.
NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS – GHOSTEEN
In this new album by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, veteran lyricist and crooner Cave explores grief and melancholy with a kind of open-hearted wonder. The beautiful songs are well balanced, restraint and impactful when they need be, finding resonance within its gentle orchestration.
SEBASTIAN – THIRST
Seriously underrated album. “Beograd” is such a great pick-me-up funky synth banger. “Beograd” offers a classic French electro soundscape that immediately transports me to Europe. The track includes pumping synths and drums, as well as a touch of Justice vocal harmonies. The music video for “Beograd” is equally as badass as it captures dancers in an Eastern European city, showcasing the track’s club and festival potential. SebastiAn has left a strong impact with this album, establishing his unique sound. “Run for Me” with Gallant’s vocals is a match made in heaven. SebastiAn’s abrupt return to the music industry reminds us why we love French electronic dance artists as well as French record label, Ed Banger Records (label for artists such as Justice).
INJURY RESERVE – INJURY RESERVE
My first year coming across the trio, Injury Reserve shocked me with their versatility. From the hard hitting Jailbreak the Tesla to the deeper Best Spot In The House, this album is definitely a dark horse for album of the year.
MELANIE MARTINEZ – K – 12
Martinez FINALLY gave fans another album and, although her ‘crybaby’ persona is still intact, she seems to be flexing a more mature sound. Also props to her for releasing a whole feature film alongside the album, very Beyonce of her.
MAGGIE ROGERS – HEARD IT IN A PAST LIFE
Released at the very beginning of 2019, Maggie Rogers album was constantly in my rotation as the year progressed. Maggie explores sudden fame, dealing with that fame and staying grounded while delivering an incredible vocal performance across tracks like ‘Fallingwater’ and ‘The Knife’. The funky vibes never die on this one with chorus breaks that will have you bopping along with no matter where you are.
CARLY RAE JEPSON – DEDICATED
Carly Rae Jepsen’s album is a hidden gem of the pop industry, with songs like Happy Not Knowing and Too Much. Jepsen’s storytelling on the album sends us into another dimension as we feel exactly what she feels, think exactly what she thinks and we get unapologetic songs about her experiences of love and loss. It’s the kind of album that will send you dizzy (in a good way) with its melodies and lyrics.
AMYL & THE SNIFFERS – AMYL & THE SNIFFERS
Vicious, loud and raw, Amyl & The Sniffers bring chaotic, fast pub punk rock to the modern Australian punk scene. Vocalist Amy Taylor barks and wails out her thoughts on homelessness, dead-end jobs and relationships gone bad which is driven by the Sniffers’ unrelentless beating power.
THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS – NO GEOGRAPHY
This album has been on serious repeat! Driving dance beats with catchy melodic hooks is my jam. “Free Yourself” is my favourite single off the album and the accompanying music video is completely badass! It’s inspiring to see the longevity of the EDM superstars’ career. Both Ed Simons and Tom Rowlands created an album that is supercharged with fun! From “Eve of Destruction” to “Got to Keep On”, it’s impossible to lose interest.
MAXO KREAM – BRANDON BANKS
Teaming up with some big names on his recent record, Maxo Kream proved he has a spot in the hip hop game. A cadence and flow that is almost unmatchable, Maxo delivered with bangers like The Relays and showed off his storytelling with Pray 2 the Dope. A feature from SchoolBoy Q to top it off? Easily a standout.
ISAAC DUNBAR – BALLOONS DON’T FLOAT HERE
Dunbar’s a newcomer to the game but his fresh sound and slightly disturbing lyrics mixed with his smooth-as-silk voice makes this album awesome from start to finish.
TYLER, THE CREATOR – IGOR
The quintessential breakup album, Tyler walks the listener through thematic explanations of each track. Insanely diverse sounds from song to song, with uncomfortable sound bites like static. The album is a testament to the talent Tyler has with break out singles like ‘EARFQUAKE’ and slow spoken word melodies like ‘A BOY IS A GUN*’. Essential listening for anyone whose had their heartbroken recently 🙁
THANK U, NEXT – ARIANA GRANDE
The title song Thank U, Next was the break up anthem of the year, and its melodies throughout the album has been stuck in my head ever since.
WAAX – BIG GRIEF
Australian, Brisbane punk band Waxx give rock listeners a heavy debut in their album called Big Grief. The majority of songs in the album is a cathartic cleansing where the subject matter is empowering and conquering over personal conflict and hard times.
JAMES BLAKE – ASSUME FORM
James Blake can do no wrong. Such a gem. Beautiful, soulful, heart-warming electronic music. A sophisticated and compelling album. “Assume Form” is a world of its own, with James Blake’s silky vocal tone, atmospheric soundscapes and sophisticated production. “Tell them” is one of my favourites from the album, with slinky trap beats, featuring Moses Sumney and Metro Boomin. The album’s first song “Assume Form” is emotionally heart-felt with serious ‘Retrograde’ vibes. “Mile High” with Travis Scott is amazing to listen to when driving at night.
BOOGIE – EVERYTHING’S FOR SALE
Released early this year, Boogie’s debut album has been on rotation throughout the whole year. Kicking off the album with the introspective Tired / Reflections, Everything’s For Sale set the bar high for the year.
BILLIE EILISH – WHEN WE FALL ASLEEP WHERE DO WE GO?
Meeting Billie during her Aus tour basically means I’m forever a stan (she told me I smelled good, in case you were wondering). We waited a while for this album and the Eilish’s didn’t disappoint, they delivered an album full of bangers and creepy hits.
VAMPIRE WEEKEND – FATHER OF THE BRIDE
ITS BEEN SUCH A LONG WAIT! But finally, we have the fourth studio record by Vampire Weekend. I’m convinced that lead Ezra Koening wanted to create a country record and snuck songs like ‘ Married in a Goldrush’ on the final product. Though some tracks are a departure from their usual sound they haven’t lost the quirky charm that made them so lovable, tracks like ‘ How Long?’ and ‘This Life’ highlight the depth and growth the band has gone through their absence.
TAYLOR SWIFT – LOVER
As a Swiftie, Taylor’s Lover was bound to be my top album of the year. It’s full of lyrical masterpieces like “I love you, ain’t that the worst thing you’ve ever heard?” “without all the exes, fights and flaws we wouldn’t be standing here so tall” and “love is golden like daylight.” Her song about American disillusionment Miss Americana and the Heart Break Prince asks us if “boys will be boys then…where are the wise men?” The album has this sugary sweet confection and it meets these tragically beautiful lyrics, which is what Taylor does best. It was a refreshing comeback from the darkness of Reputation.
LANA DEL REY – NORMAN FUCKING ROCKWELL
Showcases Lana Del Rey’s own perspective of American Culture. Lana Del Rey shows how much her songwriting has matured over her career. Still rocking the persona of gangsta Nancy Sinatra, she delves deeply for America’s true cultural identity. The catchy and groovy rhythms that blend jazz and rock is nostalgic of Ultraviolence (some would say her best known work). NFR seems to take over the title of her best work yet.
YBN CORAE – THE LOST BOY
Breakout star YBN Cordae is a true legend, both lyrically and sonically. An innovative lyricist and storyteller with carefully crafted beats, keep your eyes and ears peeled for this pro. Young gun energy meets classic talent. My favourite song from the album is “RNP: feat. Anderon Paak”. Refreshing with a Gen-Z perspective, whilst respectively declining from the ‘Ok, boomer’ approach. Favourite line in “Old N*ggas,” is “only man I can trust is G.O.D.” Cordae slays at freestyling with a unique flow and moving contextual lyrics. With the Dr. Dre seal of approval, it’s only a matter of time before YBN Cordae becomes a global sensation.
EMOTIONAL ORANGES – THE JUICE: VOL 1
Opting for the anonymous route, not much is known about the Emotional Oranges duo apart from the fact that they put out some good sh*t. Throughout their debut album, they managed to mesh the summery vibes of hometown California and the not-so-feel-good vibes of an unfortunate breakup. While their recent release of Vol. 2 has been nothing short of great, Vol. 1 was the soundtrack for this turbulent year.
ARIANA GRANDE – THANK U, NEXT
Aside from the fact that I pretty much adore anything Ari releases, this is definitely her best work to date. Lyrically, she nailed it. Kudos to her friends and her for piecing together an entire album over 3 months.
RICH BRIAN – THE SAILOR
The first time I listened to ‘The Sailor’ i thought it was okay but after almost 300 listens I can easily say that this is my favourite album of the year. Brian leaves his immature behaviour and ‘rapping for street cred’ behind to deliver a mature, interesting and complex album. At times Brian regresses to the usual rapper bits about blowjobs and popping bottles, but tracks like ‘Kids’ written to inspire the next generation of Asian artists really hit home with thudding bass and intelligent flow. Production is a mixed bag in the best way possible with tracks like ‘The Sailor’ and ‘Yellow’ creating a cinematic sound with swelling of an orchestra into songs like ‘ 100 Degrees’ the classic pop-rap banger. I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention the absolutely disgusting beat switch between ‘The Sailor’ and ‘Rapapapa’, please go check that out.
That’s our picks for 2019, and we can’t wait to hear what’s around the bend in 2020! Let us know your picks in the comments below.