I’ve already done a post on what I’ve listened to over the year but – considering I’m running low on post inspiration – I thought I’d do a longer post on just that.
2019 has been a weird year. At once it’s been amazing, as I’ve graduated and explored some brilliant places with the best company, and terrifying. Post uni life has offered me a key to the real world, a world that is equally exhilarating and confusing. Though I knew I’d end up here somehow, I’ve realised how I’m by no means prepared for this part of my life (which is fine, considering the fact that I’m not the only one).
Thankfully, when things feel a hundred miles an hour and you’re only at one mile, there are some comforts. For me, it’s friends and family, good food, books and music. As much as I’ve written about books on this blog, there’s nothing I like more than putting my head phones on and getting lost in music.
I won’t lie, 2019 hasn’t been the greatest year for music, in my opinion. Yes, we’ve welcomed Lizzo’s girl power injected videos onto our screens and, without question, she’s basically our queen but I feel like there hasn’t really been much to talk about music wise elsewhere. Saying that, there’s still been some great songs and artists out there so I thought I’d share them with you:
I’ve been a fan of Marika Hackman since I stumbled upon her 2017 album, I’m Not Your Man. Her music is kind of alternative indie-folk (if that’s a thing) and it’s been perfect for those times I’ve needed a pick-me-up this year.
In 2019, she released her third album Any Human Friend. This album was completely different to I’m Not Your Man, self-conscious and insecure yet empowering and self-assured. It’s inspired by a recent break-up and, as well as reflect on the sort-of break up I experienced this year, listening to this album made me realise it’s ok to wallow in your feelings sometimes but it’s equally ok to get on with your life without the person you grew to like.
Will Joseph Cook
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Will Joseph Cook twice, and meeting him once, so it’s no wonder he’s crept up in this post. He’s left us waiting on his latest album but, thankfully, he teased us with two upcoming tracks Hey Brother and The Dragon. As with his 2017 album Sweet Dreamer, these tracks make you want to dance and get stuck in your head immediately.
The songs tap in to how people are feeling nowadays, in a world that is becoming increasingly unstable and unpredictable, with a poppy-edge to them.
Sundara Karma are one of my favourite bands in recent years. I fell in love with the moody tones of frontman Oscar Pollock and, from their 2017 debut Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect, I was hooked.
Their sophomore album, Ulfilas’ Alphabet, is the moody art-pop sound I’d grown to love and the (very long titled) final song of the album, Home (There was Never Any Reason to Feel so Alone), is one of the best I’ve heard in a long time.
Lizzo doesn’t just serve as a body positivity advocate and make it cool to like the skin you’re in, she also delivers some tunes.
I’ll admit, the first time I heard one of her songs I was just like “I’m not sure about this one”. I’d grown up in an indie music bubble so I tend to approach other genres with caution but, after a while (and a few drunken nights out), Lizzo’s songs grew on me. Now, several G&T’s down, I find myself reciting the lyrics to her songs without question.
Matt Maltese (at least when he had no hair) reminded me of Tom Allen. Funny, bald with a dash of self deprecation, that resulted in his 2018 album Greatest Comedian. Part thoughtful piano ballads, part humorous songs about anything he can think of (Nightclub Love is a personal favourite), I thought that album would be it for him.
Luckily, Matt provided me with several sensitive, but catchy break-up songs (I’m sensing a theme in my music choices this year….) on his latest album, Krystal. There’s something lovely and sad about this album and it’s even better performed live.
Dua Lipa is like the mascot for a girl’s night out. I remember a few of my mates and I scream-singing New Rules to each of one night out, despite the three of us never having been in serious relationships, and I think it’s stuck with me.
That one song led me down a bit of a loophole and, soon enough, I had her whole first album downloaded and haven’t stopped listening to it ever since.
Luckily, I managed to get tickets to see this band next year. As soon as I heard a taste of Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, I knew it was a good decision.
Foals have continued as they went on, providing us with moody vocals and the beautiful music we know and love since their first album in 2008.
Neptune Valley are just the latest band to emerge from my hometown and I’m glad they’re on my radar. Their sound lets you know that they’re influenced by various artists, rather than copying one particular type of music, and I’m always a fan of supporting smaller bands and seeing them get better and better.
They’ve got plenty of singles to give a listen, my favourite being Strange Things, so why not add a bit of northern sound to your playlist?
Obviously that isn’t the complete list of what I’ve listened to this year, considering it’d go on forever, but I’ve loved sharing another of my favourite things with you.
What have you been listening to?