Janelle Monae is phenomenally talented – I think one of THE talents of our age. But I have always felt like that comes across better live than recorded. This space opus is the exception though, in all its sublime weirdness.
The Comet is Coming – The Comet is Coming
This album just came out this year but I can’t stop listening to it. Its beautiful, and raw, and utterly unique. If you told me a year ago that one of my favorite albums would be an instrumental record led by a virtuoso saxophonist not named Colin Stetson I would have thought you were crazy.
Chad Van Gaalen – Shrink Dust
This is one of my perpetual favorites even though I don’t think it really ever caught on. I guess epic space operas resonate with me.
Josephine Foster – Blood Rushing
I listen to this record all the time – it’s Foster at her most accessible while retaining the weirdness that makes her singularly unique. This is far out folk music.
Bill Callahan – Apocalypse
This is Callahan’s best work of the decade for sure – some of his most incredible, resonant songs. And that says something as he has a long catalogue full of them.
Cate Le Bon – Mug Museum
Le Bon’s latest album “reward” may give this one a run for its money eventually but for now this is still my favorite record from one of my all-time favorite artists.
Kelly Lee Owens – Kelly Lee Owens
Both KLO and Jenny Hval sort of occupy this upper tier for me in the same vein of weird, dramatic, electronic music. While I love both KLO’s debut probably takes the cake for sheer beauty.
Beyonce – Lemonade
For the longest time the tune “Daddy Lessons” was, for me, this record’s only fatal flaw. I hated that song. I have come to terms with it now and hold Lemonade up as a nearly perfect record by possibly the most talented artist alive today.
Beach House – Teen Dream
I have been a Beach House fan for so long sometimes I forget just how talented they are and then I hear a tune from this record (as I did randomly last night)and it reminds me how deeply I fell in love with it.
Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness
This was Olsen’s first record after she started to convert from an experimental folkie to a full on badass rock star and I feel like it contains the best of both worlds.
Aldous Harding – Designer
Since I put these together I am allowing myself an 11th choice. Aldous Harding’s 2019 record is brand new but I am already convinced that it’s a classic and that she’s one of the age’s best musicians, performers, and unique personalities.