It is not a fresh take to say that 2019 feels like the end. It ended the second decade of the millenium and no one will shut the heck up about it. Large swaths of the year felt like watching something die.
I have neither the expertise or energy to argue what better spoken folks are already saying about what the calendar change means either figuratively or literally for all of us all. Literally all I know is songs, sad songs specifically. I will just talk about those. If you want something else yell at me somewhere and I will speak clumsily about something else to you there.
Some notes before we start the list.
Whether or not these are the best music releases of the year is an entirely subjective matter. I am not going to argue whether they are or not, I simply present to you what music I liked best/listened to most/meant the most to me, personally. Do with that information what you will.
This is not a ranking of these releases. As we are limited to linear time and humans, mostly, do not have the mental acuity to experience information in a way that is not also sequentially, I am presenting these in the order for which they were released rather than any other subjective method of ordering these types of lists.
On every flyer I have made for this show and each party I have hosted has been a word, a word that is so loaded in some circles that simply saying it summons the kind of vitriol that if expressed in public would get you shocked looks and maybe to leave that public gathering you were you at at the time. I am not going to tell you what words mean what, I am no dictionary after all, so define that stuff however you like. All I will say is that each of these bands have participated in that scene in some way and that is largely why I know they exist so, do with that what you will.
I missed this initially, seeing the cover and the name for some reason I assumed it was like post metal thing? It is absolutely not that. This record is some of the best, most affecting and scatyhingly emotional screamo we have been lucky enough to have exist in our lifetimes.
Shin Guard, 2020
2020 was one of the first things that was released this year that I saw the internet stuff I pay attention to agree was great, and I agree it is great. It is a catastrophic look at the future from where we stand. It is also the lushest vision of what screamo can be that came out this year, I realize this is a challenging list of bands this year, but if you want to try one and maybe be the band that makes you love screamo, Shin Guard might be that band.
SOUL GLO, THE NIGGA IN ME IS ME
Soul Glo is a the best punk band working today. They synthesise everything that punk is, what punk could be and what punk should be into a chaotic beauty that is almost too important to behold. They have spent the last few years grinding to get to what this record represents and I think about it all the time, do with that what you will.
foxtails, querida hija
When I was narrowing down records I enjoyed for this list I noticed two things about the records I wanted to include. One, they are largely records about identity and, two, they are the best versions of archetypal sounds associated with the scene. Foxtails is one the masters of loud/quiet around today while also messing with the thing emoviolence bands did before the century turned where it was half and half loud and quiet songs. They use that dynamic and that format to make something truly powerful.
To Languish, Sown
In less than a quarter of an hour, To languish unleash a blistering statement on identity that is both deep and concise. With no more than a single from two years ago under their belt they blew apart expectations with this record.