Once again, we’ve had the chance to enjoy 12 months full of brilliant music and compiled our Top 5 records of the year.
As always, we give the disclaimer that this is liable to change on a daily basis and music is not a competition. We hope you’ve enjoyed discovering new music and rediscovering old favourites over the past year and are excited for even more in the New Year.
Sharon Van Etten – ‘Remind Me Tomorrow‘
Sharon Van Etten returned with a new synth-led sound and an album’s worth of poignant and powerful tales about parenthood, growing older and the darker side of politics (is there even a light one now?). The album featured song of the year, ‘Seventeen’, a track which found Sharon looking back nostalgically on her time growing up and giving her younger self essential life advice: ‘I used to be seventeen. Now you’re just like me…’
Great Grandpa – ‘Four of Arrows‘
Great Grandpa’s ‘Four of Arrows’ is a record that falls somewhere between the luscious and heartbreaking alt-rock stylings of Fleetwood Mac and the post-chamber pop sound that has served Arcade Fire so well in the past. This album found the band ruminating on mortality and mental health within hugely expansive soundscapes.
Rosie Tucker – ‘Never Not Never Not Never Not’
We were lucky enough to see Rosie Tucker play in the back bar of Seattle’s famous Crocodile venue while on our honeymoon and instantly warmed to their emo-tinged sound. This is an album full of witty lyrics, gorgeous hooks and clever observations that will delight fans of Frankie Cosmos and Hop Along.
Indoor Pets – ‘Be Content‘
This record was worth the wait. Following a name change and various stop-start moments, Indoor Pets finally released the album we all knew they had in them. Released via the ever-reliable Wichita Records, this potent combination of fuzzy Weezer-esque riffs and bouncing Britpop melodies was full of singalongs and killer choruses.
The National – ‘I am Easy to Find’
We’re not sure anyone was expecting The National to follow up 2017’s ‘Sleep Well Beast’ quite so quickly – but we’re so glad they did. Accompanied by a short film starring Alicia Vikander, the record features a number of female guests (Sharon Van Etten, Lisa Hannigan, Kate Stables) whose vocals contrasted perfectly with Matt Berninger’s baritone voice. It also includes ‘Not in Kansas’, which we’re sure ranks highly in every National fan’s list of best songs by the Ohio group.
We’ve also enjoyed albums from Big Thief, Maggie Rogers, Foals, Pup, Jade Bird, Charly Bliss, Cassels, Better Oblivion Community Center, ings, The Twilight Sad, Liam Gallagher, The Futureheads, False Advertising, The Hold Steady, Bruce Springsteen, Gender Roles, Human Pyramids, Olympians, Night Flowers, Common Holly, Suggested Friends, Oso Oso, Bleached, Joanna Sternberg, Noah Gundersen, Spielbergs, The Divine Comedy, Quiet Lions, Hayden Thorpe, Idlewild and many, many more.
Spectral Nights Top 5 Albums of 2019
- Sharon Van Etten – ‘Remind Me Tomorrow‘
- Great Grandpa – ‘Four of Arrows‘
- Rosie Tucker – ‘Never Not Never Not Never Not’
- Indoor Pets – ‘Be Content‘
- The National – ‘I am Easy to Find’