This has been a solid year for music fans, no matter what your taste. From pop to R’n’B, K-pop to indie rock, we count down our top 15 albums from 2019.
15. EXO-SC – What A Life (K-pop)
They might be in one of the biggest K-pop bands of all time, but Chanyeol and Sehun have shown they can be a force to be reckoned with as a two-piece. If this debut is anything to go by, EXO-SC could have quite the life.
14. Aurora – A Different Kind Of Human (Step 2) (Pop)
Norwegian pop princess Aurora offers a wide spectrum of moods and sounds, while retaining a commercial edge. If this record tells us anything, it’s that she’s shining at her brightest.
13. DIIV – Deceiver (Grunge/shoegaze)
Better known for their ambient soundscapes, New York indie-rockers DIIV opted for a heavier, grungier sound which feels more pressing and resonant with each play.
12. TXT – The Dream Chapter: Magic (K-pop)
TXT (Tomorrow X Together) came out all guns blazing to become some of the most exciting newcomers of 2019.If this debut is anything to go by, the five-piece could be just as magical as BTS.
11. Local Natives – Violet Street (Alternative)
With each new album, LA indie rockers Local Natives manage to develop their sonic palette while maintaining their signature style of three-part harmonies, intricate drum patterns and clean, catchy guitar melodies. They exceed expectations time and time again.
10. The Novembers – Angels (J-rock)
Three years on from 2016’s Hallelujah, this is the veteran Japanese alt-rock band’s seventh full-length album, and the four-piece certainly don’t hold back.
9. BTS – Map Of The Soul: Persona (K-pop)
Persona shows a softer, dreamier approach from the group compared to last year’s Love Yourself trilogy, and proves why they are one of the best pop groups in the world.
8. Mabel – High Expectations (R’n’B)
The British newcomer certainly delivered, with vocal hooks so fluid, the songs almost overwhelm you.
7. Yoona – A Walk To Remember (K-pop)
The Girls Generation singer Yoona decided to celebrate her 30th birthday by giving us a new five-track EP with so much emotional depth it’s hard to forget.
6. Chastity – Home Made Satan (Indie/emo)
The politics are potent, but the retro, nostalgic clean guitar tones add a soothing edge to his otherwise intense, raging furore.
5. Kindness – Something Like A War (dance/electronica)
A record that continues the approach of 2014’s Otherness by inviting talented vocalists to feature, while skilfully merging a range of genres to create Adam Bainbridge’s most cohesive record to date.
4. Mark Ronson – Late Night Feelings (Disco/R’n’B/pop)
Ronson curated a near-perfect record, cementing himself as the best producer in pop right now.
3. Bon Iver – I,i (Alternative)
A fine balance between lead singer Justin Vernon’s familiar, warm acoustic folk and glitch-ridden electronica, for an exhilarating ride of reflection, optimism and melancholy.
2. Billie Eilish – When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (Pop)
This feels like a tipping point for pop. Eilish has borrowed ideas from others, but made them her own. It won’t be long before she is inspiring the likes of Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga.
1 The Japanese House – Good At Falling (Dream-pop)
It may be her first album, but with its balance of electro-pop, and thought-provoking lyrics, Amber Bain shows she is a dream-pop force to be reckoned with.