Best Albums of 2019

Motley’s Best LPs Of 2019

Motley Staff Writer Niamh Browne counts down the five best albums of the year

2019 was a great year for music, with all kinds of phenomenal tunage cranked out. To reduce it to a list of a meagre 5 best albums is tough. And since Lizzo’s ‘Cuz I Love You’ five times in is “not an acceptable top 5 albums of the year” and “questionable music journalism, Niamh,” [Who said this? I don’t know him. -Cathal] here’s a list of the best albums of 2019’s according to Motley that includes more than just Lizzo.

5. Sharon Van Etten, ‘Remind Me Tomorrow’

‘Remind Me Tomorrow’ is an atmospheric album that perfectly embodies how bittersweet it is to have it made. The songwriter wrote it while pregnant with her first child, attending college to obtain a degree in psychology and starring in the Netflix show ‘The OA’ – some people really are booked and busy. ‘Seventeen’ is my song of the year, which elegantly discusses how it feels to return to the area you grew up and the strange familiarity that comes with it. ‘Malibu’ and ‘No One Is Easy To Love’ are also strong. This album is greater than the sum of its parts and well-worth a full listen.

4. Vampire Weekend, ‘Father of the Bride’

‘Modern Vampires of the City’ was a great album; so great I wondered how the hell Vampire Weekend could follow it up, especially with the departure of producer and multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij from the band. But lads, it’s another class one. ‘This Life’ is possibly the best song written by the group with its feel-good vibes and oddly profound lyrics. ‘2020’ and ‘Harmony Hall’ are other great singles. It’s charming and happy. Millennials need an album like this.

3. Ezra Furman, ‘Twelve Nudes’

Ezra Furman, composer for the Sex Education soundtrack, released a cracker of an album this year. Furman’s self-proclaimed baroque pop/punk is kitsch and fun, but‘Twelve Nudes’ is an exploration of candid and exposing songs that are deeply intimate. ‘I Wanna Be Your Girlfriend’ is the story of a trans love that breaks you. Other highlights include ‘Calm Down aka I Should Not Be Alone’ and ‘R Rated Crusaders’. This album is a must for punk and David Bowie fans alike.

2. The National, ‘I Am Easy To Find’

You like feeling sad and confused? Well boy, do I have the album for you. The sad-dad-rock group have produced another high-quality album with oh-so-restrained and subtle lyrics that find ways to niggle into your brain and sit there for days. ‘Rylan’ has absolutely stellar drum work that puts it in a category of its own while ‘Light Years’ will have you emotional for a lover you never had. Listening to this album will make you feel like you disgraced your wife Karen at her office party in front of her colleagues and don’t quite know how to make it up to her.

  1. Lizzo, ‘Cuz I Love You’

Aside from spawning absolute bangers like ‘Boyz’, ‘Truth Hurts’ and ‘Juice’, the album’s success can be in part attributed to the larger than life ‘juice’ of its creator Melissa Jefferson, known as Lizzo. Recently while I was walking down College Road a man opened the window of his house and screamed into the night “Mirror, mirror on the wall don’t say it cause I know I’m cute.” This is very much the ethos of Lizzo. Whether discussing issues of body positivity, self-love, queer empowerment or racism, she eloquently nails it in a way that’s upbeat and feel-good. Seriously, if you haven’t listened yet what are you doing?

Honourable mentions:

The albums that were great but didn’t make the cut.

  • Tyler the Creator – ‘Igor’
  • Billie Eilish – ‘WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP WHERE DO WE GO?’
  • Foals – ‘Part 1 & 2 Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost’
  • BROCKHAMPTON – ‘GINGER’
  • Wallows – ‘Nothing Happens’