December 8th, 2019

Anya final stand, S7

Posting meme: New music discoveries in 2019 for kwritten

(FYI I have basically abandoned the schedule except for folks that requested a specific date. Also you can still request a topic here.)

What song/album have you had stuck in your head this year? Or what new music did you discover/fall back in love with in 2019? for [personal profile] kwritten
I’m so glad you asked, because I have had a very musical year!! I’m not sure just what it was, but this year I spent time living with a bunch of different new albums and a few individual songs as well, and found some that I think will be longtime faves. I hope you don't mind that I turned this into a general laundry list of music I loved this year.

New Reveille – Kind of folksy country-rock, female-led, with back-up strings and in exactly the flavor of melancholy I like best for this genre. Hounds drives the hardest, but Conway Shores has a sneaky eeriness to it, and Something Worth Saving hits a deliciously angsty vibe.

Tori Forsyth – I discovered Smith at the same time as New Reveille, and she has some of the same vibe. I don’t think she’s going to have quite the same staying power for me, but Grave Robber’s Daughter will definitely remain a favorite.

Billie Eilish – As we know, I went a little nuts over Billie this year. She's making incredibly interesting music with her brother/co-writer/producer Finneas. I can't wait to hear what they do next.

Lady Gaga – After having fallen in love with her album Joanne last year, this year I finally went exploring through her entire discography. I didn’t love all of it, but boy I really enjoy her a lot as a performer. In some sense, she and Billie Eilish feel to me like two sides of a coin: both aggressively weird, neither gives a shit about conventional prettiness or the male gaze. That said, although I like a handful of individual songs from The Fame, the album as a whole never quite gelled for me. Something about the production? It just felt unfinished? IDK. OTOH it's been fun finally getting to know everything on The Fame Monster, after loving Bad Romance for so long, and I will probably spend some more time with the Born This Way album at some point. Artpop the album was kind of a bust for me, although I did like Venus pretty well.

Lil Nas X – Okay, this is just the one song, but what a song it is. It might be kind of a gimmick song, but it is also incredibly catchy. Billy Ray Cyrus adds so much to it, and also Lil Nas X is cute as a bug's ear. I'm curious to see where he goes from here. Between this and Billie Eilish, this year is the happiest I've been about mainstream pop music since Somebody I Used to Know was such a huge deal in 2011.

Lizzo – Hey hey, it's the year of Lizzo! To be honest, my favorite song of hers is Boys, which is a little older, but my favorite off the new album is probably Tempo.

Azealia Banks – Even setting aside her life choices and entire personality, I am so hot and cold about Banks; her pop is not my kind of thing at all, and up until this year the only piece of hers I cared about was Ice Princess (which comes with very possibly the most bonkers music video I have EVER seen, not to be missed). I'd listened to 212 several times before, since it's one of those songs that's always first up when people recommend female rappers, but I just could never make sense of it, like, as a song – and then somehow, this year, something clicked and it made perfect sense? Beats me, man. Sometimes the music has to wait a while for me to catch up to it. Anyway, this track is great for repeat listening because there's SO MUCH going on it; it has FOUR completely separate sections that all sound completely different and yet complement each other, it's got an amazing beat, and it's chockfull of attitude.

Angel Haze – Speaking of tracks with a lot going on, Resurrection was the song that finally turned me onto Angel Haze, after several failed attempts on my part. I love the production on this, the background strings, the swagger, and Haze's flow.

Janelle Monae – Last year felt like The Year of Monae, just in terms of buzz, but it took me until this year to really find a favorite off Dirty Computer and listen to it a bunch of times, and that favorite is Screwed, because I guess I'm into ironically cheerful, sexually-charged nihilism set to dance tunes. "You fuck the world up now / We'll fuck it all back down" is great lyric. So is "I heard a man say / Cover up your areolas / Why they blockin' equal pay / Sippin' on their Coca-Colas." I could quote the entire song here, and I am not usually a lyrics person.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comments welcome over there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)