Sounds of 2019

It’s that time of year when lists of favourite albums of the year, or ‘Sounds of 2019‘ are compiled. This year, I’ve decided to put together two lists.

Artists who released my favourite sounds in 2019.

The first is my ‘Sounds of 2019‘ – albums released this year which I’ve been introduced to through tracks played on UK radio. A huge thanks to Janice Long (BBC Radio Wales), Phil Taggart (BBC Radio 1), Jo Whiley (BBC Radio 2) – and in particular, Nick Luscombe, Max Reinhardt, Verity Sharp, Fiona Talkington and Jennifer Lucy Allan of the Late Junction team (BBC Radio 3) for being my signposts during the year.

Which brings me to the second list. I’m going to call this my “Late – Provokes 2019” list. I discovered these tracks via the Late Junction show on BBC Radio 3 show. For some unfathomable reason, the show was culled from its midweek, three nights a week slot, and shunted into one on a Friday, which I can no longer listen to live. The show had become one of my best friends, and these tracks were among the finest which provoked, puzzled or bedazzled me this year. Its replacement, Night Tracks is a great soundtrack (and I do tune in), but it is not the show which had a become an appointment to listen each night.

Here goes with those lists. I have included a link to a track from each album, and where possible, a playlist on both YouTube and Spotify for each list.

[List 1] “SOUNDS OF 2019”

* Carwyn Ellis & Rio 18 – “Joia!”. The track below is “Duwies Y Dre”.

* Cigarettes After Sex – ” Cry”. The track below is the title track.

* The Lilac Time – “Return to Us”. The track below is “The Hills of Cinnamon”.

* Steve Lacy – “Apollo XXI”. The track below is “Playground”.

* Floating Points – “Crush”. The track below is “Anasickmodular”.

* Bibio – “Crush”. The track below is “The Art of Living”.

* Yola – “Walk Through Fire”. The track below is “Faraway Look”.

* Tallies – “Tallies”. The track below is “Rocks”.

* SOAK – “Grim Town”. The track below is “Knock Me Off My Feet”.

* Sean O’Hagan – “Radium Calls, Radium Calls”. The track below is “Better Lull Bear”.

‘Bubbling under’ this list of ten are two honourable mentions.

* Justin Hopper, Sharron Kraus & Belbury Poly – “Chanctonbury Rings”.

* Biig Piig – “Sunny”. This track was my feel-good of the year. It was released in 2019, although the album from which it heralds isn’t released until next year.

The full playlist of these tracks on YouTube can be found here:

and on Spotify here:

[List Two] – “LATE – PROVOKES 2019”

* Banangun – “Do Yeah”

* Pharmakon – “Self-Regulating System”.

* Haiku Salut – “Going Back”.

* Juarta Putra – “Pembukaan”

* Godtet – “Enumerating”.

* Brian Harnetty – “Neva”.

* Arovane and Porya Hatami – “Elipsoid”.

* Lady Lykez ft. Scratcha DVA, Lioness – “Muhammad Ali Remix”.

* Richard Dawson – “Jogging”.

* Sean O’Hagan – “Better Lull Bear”. This is the only track on both tracks. I can remember being catapulted out of bed when I heard this track, running round the house, telling anyone I could about this track. I am mesmerised!

Again, some honourable mentions. First, two tracks played by “Late Junction” from years gone by which I am so glad I they signposted. Then a link to two more which just blew me away.

* Michael White – “Praise Innocence”. From 1971/72, this track is pure joy. It takes me straight back to cross-legged singing on the floor of the infants school. Everyone needs a dose of this track during these fractious times.

* Dorothy Ashby – “Come Live With Me”. From the 1968 album, “Afro Harping”. Just love this.

* Viridian Ensemble – “A Cephalopod”. Powerful sound and stance from this track. It was exactly what I needed to hear as the rot began to set in our civic space.

 

* “👁”(ft. YOL) from BLUD – Mariam Rezaei. This track summed up the power of Late Junction to me. Not only was it able to provoke me in a way much commercial material simply fails to do, the show is able to curate it, and introduce artists to its listeners. A few minutes after it was played, I was exchanging direct messages with Mariam. I love what she has done here with sound.

All, except the last two tracks can be found on a YouTube playlist here:

and on Spotify, here: