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Gorilla vs. Bear’s ALBUMS of 2019

gvsb_albums2019

Presenting our favorite albums of 2019: as always, releases on our label Luminelle weren’t considered here, although we love them all dearly. Check the list and its accompanying 3+ hour playlist below, and please support us on Patreon if you’re down. Thanks for reading this year.


50 ANTHONY NAPLES | Fog FM
49 KORNÉL KOVÁCS | Stockholm Marathon
48 VEGYN | Only Diamonds Cut Diamonds
47 YEULE | Serotonin II
46 SAULT | 5
45 PI’ERRE BOURNE + YOUNG NUDY | Sli’merre
44 NINA KEITH | MARANASATI 19111
43 ANA ROXANNE | ~~~
42 HTRK | Venus in Leo
41 CHARLI XCX | Charli

40 CARLA DAL FORNO | Look Up Sharp
39 ANDY STOTT | It Should Be Us
38 MARIA SOMERVILLE | All My People
37 SOFIA KOURTESIS | Sofia Kourtesis
36 TORO y MOI | Outer Peace / Soul Trash
35 LAUREL HALO | DJ-Kicks
34 MEGA BOG | Dolphine
33 PANDA BEAR | Buoys
32 ANGEL OLSEN | All Mirrors
31 NOAH | Thirty

30 JESSICA PRATT | Quiet Signs
29 JENNY HVAL | The Practice of Love
28 LITTLE SIMZ | GREY Area
27 CFCF | NIGHT BUS 4 : MEMORY OF NIGHT BUS
26 DANNY BROWN | uknowwhatimsayin¿




25) GALCHER LUSTWERK | Information

GALCHER







24) FLORE LAURENTIENNE | Volume 1

FLORE LAURENTIENNE







23) TYLER, THE CREATOR | IGOR

IGOR







22) BALTRA | Ted

BALTRA TED







21) NIVHEK | After its own death / Walking in a spiral towards the house

NIVHEK







20) CAROLINE POLACHEK | Pang

Pang







19) NILÜFER YANYA | Miss Universe

MISS UNIVERSE







18) FKA TWIGS | Magdalene

FKA TWIGS







17) MOODYMANN | SINNER

SINNER







16) JULIA JACKLIN | Crushing

JULIA JACKLIN CRUSHING







15) MALIBU | One Life

MALIBU







14) FAYE WEBSTER | Atlanta Millionaires Club

FAYE







13) JPEGMAFIA | All My Heroes are Cornballs

PEGGY







12) WEYES BLOOD | Titanic Rising

WB TITANIC







11) FREDDIE GIBBS + MADLIB | Bandana

BANDANA







10) 박혜진 PARK HYE JIN | IF U WANT IT

PARK HYE JIN

This one was technically snuck out by Australian label clipp.art at the last minute in 2018, with a proper vinyl release following in April of this year, but we’ve been obsessed with Park Hye Jin’s mini-album IF U WANT IT since we were introduced to it back in March. We called it a “genre-defying electronic record…made of dreamy and highly emotional body music bangers that feel like a natural, vibrant union of deep house and hip-hop, elevated by park hye jin’s adventurous affinity for pop melody and her off-the-charts charisma,” and an essential listen for fans of experimental club-pop in the vein of Channel Tres, Robyn, Yaeji, Smerz, Kelly Lee Owens, et al. [edit: download the record for free on hye jin’s soundcloud]







09) ALDOUS HARDING | Designer

ALDOUS DESIGNER

While maybe not quite as singularly peculiar and compelling in its eccentricity as her 2017 record Party, Aldous Harding’s Designer features some of the highest highs and most devastating songs in her brilliant catalog. Namely, “The Barrel” is literally a perfect song with a perfect video, its vivid imagery and cryptic allusions to doubt, distrust, and the “finality of commitment” haunting my very being for the better part of the year.







08) YVES JARVIS | The Same but by Different Means

YVES JARVIS

Some things I’m reminded of at various points while listening to Yves Jarvis‘ sprawling, woozily immersive The Same but by Different Means: Dilla, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, The Headphone Masterpiece, and Shuggie Otis, among others, i.e. a few of my favorite things. A lush, hazy, fleeting daydream that works as well as sort of drifty, vibey background music as it does when given your undivided attention in plush headphones.







07) BILLIE EILISH | WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?

BILLIE

Billie Eilish’s stunning WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? ended up being one of my most played records of 2019 thanks to my kids and their friends, and I’m grateful that they were so obsessed with it, because countless repeat listens reveal a genuinely beautiful, thrillingly dark, and almost shockingly cohesive and fully realized world for a debut LP. Which is to say that kids recognize what’s real, and it’s pretty fucking exciting if Billie is the future of mainstream pop.







06) CHROMATICS | Closer To Grey

CHROMATICS CLOSER

Once you get past the fact that it isn’t Dear Tommy, Chromatics’ stellar surprise album Closer To Grey quickly establishes itself as a rich, exquisitely haunting and transportive record, elegantly imbued with unexpected late night trip-hop vibes. It’s a gorgeous collection of songs that seems to signal something of a new direction for the group, while still feeling like the vintage, quintessential Chromatics that we love so much.







05) BEA1991 | Brand New Adult

BEA1991

Dutch artist and regular Dev Hynes collaborator BEA1991 soothes and unsettles with her enchanting, self-coined “yacht pop” debut, which, if you’re unfamiliar, can best be summed up by her “documentary art film” for album highlight “My Own Heaven”. This one’s also up there with the Galcher Lustwerk album for cover art of the year.







04) MEN I TRUST | Oncle Jazz

MEN I TRUST ONCLE JAZZ

I feel like this record was somewhat overlooked critically, perhaps because a handful of its best songs have been out for a minute (e.g., “Tailwhip“, our favorite song of 2017, is here twice), or maybe there just aren’t many press outlets that write about this kind of music anymore. But the sprawling 24-song Oncle Jazz has a bit of a “greatest hits” vibe, and it’s a perfect introduction to the immaculate union of dream-pop, soft funk, and yacht rock that the Montreal group does better than anyone.







03) BIG THIEF | U.F.O.F. / Two Hands

BIG THIEF

Big Thief’s devastating celestial opus U.F.O.F. has had this spot locked up for months, at least until the group dropped U.F.O.F.‘s (almost) equally great surprise sister album and “earth twin” Two Hands just a few months later, featuring one of the most intensely affecting and powerful songs of 2019. Experienced together, this is the sound of a band operating on another plane.







02) ERIKA DE CASIER | Essentials

EDC ESSENTIALS

We effused back in the spring of this year about Copenhagen artist Erika de Casier’s irresistible debut LP Essentials and its “intoxicatingly warm and romantic nocturnal vibe”, which was influenced by everything from bossa nova to the best parts of classic ’90s R&B. There’s definitely an element of nostalgia at play, but it also feels undeniably current and fresh, thanks to the spot on production by DJ Sports and El Trick (and de Casier herself). As we posted on twitter in May, RIYL: Sade, Smerz, Tirzah, Gal Costa, and Aaliyah.







01) LANA DEL REY | Norman Fucking Rockwell!

LDR NFR

I’ve been waiting for Lana Del Rey to make this record since “Video Games“, and I don’t mean that as a slight, as I genuinely love all of her previous albums. But this one just hit different. An instant classic and one of the best records of the decade, from the most misunderstood, brilliant, and iconic American songwriter of this generation.







GORILLA vs. BEAR’s ALBUMS OF 2019

01 LANA DEL REY | Norman Fucking Rockwell!
02 ERIKA DE CASIER | Essentials
03 BIG THIEF | U.F.O.F. / Two Hands
04 MEN I TRUST | Oncle Jazz
05 BEA1991 | Brand New Adult
06 CHROMATICS | Closer To Grey
07 BILLIE EILISH | WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?
08 YVES JARVIS | The Same but by Different Means
09 ALDOUS HARDING | Designer
10 박혜진 PARK HYE JIN | IF U WANT IT

11 FREDDIE GIBBS + MADLIB | Bandana
12 WEYES BLOOD | Titanic Rising
13 JPEGMAFIA | All My Heroes Are Cornballs
14 FAYE WEBSTER | Atlanta Millionaires Club
15 MALIBU | One Life
16 JULIA JACKLIN | Crushing
17 MOODYMANN | SINNER
18 FKA TWIGS | Magdalene
19 NILÜFER YANYA | Miss Universe
20 CAROLINE POLACHEK | Pang

21 NIVHEK | After its own death / Walking in a spiral towards the house
22 BALTRA | Ted
23 TYLER, THE CREATOR | IGOR
24 FLORE LAURENTIENNE | Volume 1
25 GALCHER LUSTWERK | Information
26 DANNY BROWN | uknowwhatimsayin¿
27 CFCF | NIGHT BUS 4 : MEMORY OF NIGHT BUS
28 LITTLE SIMZ | GREY Area
29 JENNY HVAL | The Practice of Love
30 JESSICA PRATT | Quiet Signs

31 NOAH | Thirty
32 ANGEL OLSEN | All Mirrors
33 PANDA BEAR | Buoys
34 MEGA BOG | Dolphine
35 LAUREL HALO | DJ-Kicks
36 TORO y MOI | Outer Peace / Soul Trash
37 SOFIA KOURTESIS | Sofia Kourtesis
38 MARIA SOMERVILLE | All My People
39 ANDY STOTT | It Should Be Us
40 CARLA DAL FORNO | Look Up Sharp

41 CHARLI XCX | Charli
42 HTRK | Venus in Leo
43 ANA ROXANNE | ~~~
44 NINA KEITH | MARANASATI 19111
45 PI’ERRE BOURNE + YOUNG NUDY | Sli’merre
46 SAULT | 5
47 YEULE | Serotonin II
48 VEGYN | Only Diamonds Cut Diamonds
49 KORNÉL KOVÁCS | Stockholm Marathon
50 ANTHONY NAPLES | Fog FM

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