2019 in Music: Already Better Than 2018

Joe Kottke, Editor-in-Chief

  I Heard It in a Past Life is Maggie Rogers’ dreamy folk-pop debut album. In this day and age, it’s near impossible to emerge in pop music with a unique and distinct sound. Rogers did this with a beautiful collusion of two worlds: her childhood of folk music and visions of a futuristic electro-pop. Rogers has also showcased her talents live with some big names—such as John Mayer and Florence + the Machine. My personal favorites off the album are “Retrograde,” with haunting background vocals and a special place in my heart, “Say It,” and “Light On.” There is not a single skip on this album, as well as a song for every mood. I am disappointed that Minneapolis is not a date on her upcoming tour, but I know this is only the beginning of a budding career.

Pop Duo Broods’ junior album Don’t Feed the Pop Monster is a refreshing look into the minds of modern pop music. The most impressing aspect of this LP is brother and sister Georgia and Caleb Nott’s advancement in sound. From their debut album Evergreen in 2014, they developed what seems like their true sound. The lead single, released in 2018, “Peach,” still reigns as my favorite song because of the vocals in the bridge. My runner-up favorites are “Everything Goes (Wow),” “Hospitalized,” and “Dust.” Their innovative minds can only be expressed by their minds alone, as shown by the artistic masterpiece music video for “Peach.” If you want to get away from “mainstream pop,” I would recommend giving this album a listen.

For us Catfish + the Bottlemen fans, we’ve been waiting for this album, The Balance, since 2017, with many disheartening rumors falling short of promises. I am expecting their junior album, The Balance to be one of the best of 2019. Its lead single, “Longshot” lived up to expectations, as well as newly released song, “Fluctuate.” Clips for their European tour also add to overall anticipation. The album is expected to drop April 26th.

I was not aware of the Cage the Elephant come back until they released the lead single “Ready to Let Go” on January 31st. I was relieved that the song’s style mimicked Melophobia instead of their latest release Tell Me I’m Pretty in 2015. Their new vision— showcased in the single’s accompanying music video—is very avant-garde. I am excited to see what the band has in store for us with Social Cues.

Irish alternative legend Hozier (properly pronounced as hoe-z-air) is gearing up for the release of his sophomore LP, as well as an accompany tour. Hozier already gave fans a taste of Wasteland, Baby! with the precursor EP: Nina Cried Power. “Almost (Sweet Music),” and “Movement” are my favorites. The album is expected to drop March 1st.

Vampire Weekend has made fans wait an invigorating six years for new music (yes it’s been six years since the release of Modern Vampires of the City. The new album is allegedly called Father of the Bride and has an astounding 18 song tracklist. Ezra Koenig, frontman of the band, released two songs this past month: “Harmony Hall” and “2021.” Vampire Weekend also announced a tour to promote the album.