It always seems albums released in the fourth quarter of a year rarely get any Year-End recognition unless they come out at the very beginning of October (I see you, Touché Amore’s “Lament”). I hope you let these LP’s percolate and that they provide you some warmth in the upcoming months.
Kali Uchis “Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios)”
I’d bet good money lots of people re-spun Uchis’ 2018 debut “Isolation” this past spring for no reason whatsoever. Her “TO FEEL ALIVE” EP was a sweet amuse-bouche, but “Sin Miedo” is exactly as the name says: fearless. Offering a poppy olive branch for those to crossover, her ability to incorporate multiple Latin music styles while keeping the beat of silky smooth R&B is damn impressive.
Nothing “The Great Dismal”
One pocket of pop culture this year that will seem like a proverbial sign of the times in the future was the rise of slowcore, formerly known as grungegaze (lol). Philly’s Nothing pioneered this melancholy sound and it would only make sense they release the best album of this subsubgenre and their catchiest songwriting to date. That guitar noise in the “Famine Asylum” riff is my favorite!
Pink Siifu, Fly Anakin “Flysiifu’s”
Besides “Two of Me” by Momma, “Flysiifu’s” was my favorite concept record this year. Left in charge, rappers Pink Siifu and Fly Anakin “work” at a record shop (mainly hotboxing in the back) and pass the time by tag-teaming laid back verses over soul samples dug from the crates they’re supposed to be stocking. It’s Clerks meets High Fidelity: the Musical!
The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick “Ways of Hearing”
After raising the bar when it comes to sports reference-band names (move over Soccer Mommy), TGAATPK’s debut defied my emo expectations by delivering some seriously chill indie folk-rock that would make Conor Oberst proud. Becky Hanna and Ben Cuttright’s call and response vocals are the perfect Kumbayah as the guitars and violin swell in perfect harmony.
Adrienne Iapalucci “Baby Skeletons”
47 minutes into her hilarious 48 minute comedy recording, Iapalucci remarks to an audience member, “You seem upset by most of the show. There’s always gonna be one person who doesn’t enjoy it.” The Letterman alumna has a pitch black sense of humor, which makes her deadpan two-liners catch you so off-guard. No shock value here, folks; this is 15+ years of joke writing, but be careful, you could be that one person.