A lot of good albums came out in 2019. Here are my top 19 made outside of South Carolina.
1. "Father of the Bride" by Vampire Weekend
Spotify informed me at the end of this year that Vampire Weekend is my most-listened to band of the decade. It all goes back to my middle school obsession with the band's self-titled first album, which came out in 2008 with hit tracks "A-Punk," "Oxford Comma" and "Walcott."
But 2019 was the year that my Vampire Weekend obsession reached its peak.
I saw the band for the first time this year, and I saw them twice: once in Charlotte and once at the Music Midtown festival in Atlanta. I had bought my tickets before I heard about the New York City baroque pop band's 2019 album. When I got it in the mail, along with tickets, I listened to it on repeat in my car for the entire summer. I never got tired of it, even after 100 rotations, maybe more.
It's innovative and sprawling, covering ground from groovy indie rock hooks to atmospheric orchestral arrangements. The intricate lyrics include vibrant flashes of daily scenes, deep introspection, and historical and literary references — all while feeling refreshingly beachy and blistering, with a splash of sadness (my perfect recipe).
My other favorite 2019 albums that are worth a listen:
2. "Heard it in a Past Life" by Maggie Rogers
3. "Cuz I Love You" by Lizzo
4. "i,i" by Bon Iver
5. "Jaime" by Brittany Howard
6. "Superbloom" by Ra Ra Riot
7. "Good at Falling" by The Japanese House
8. "Demos II" by Hippo Campus
9. "A Reminder" by Stolen Jars
10. "Free Spirit" by Khalid
11. "Late Riser" by Frances Cone (who used to live in SC!)
12. "Immunity" by Clairo
13. "Begin Again" by Norah Jones
14. "Norman F****** Rockwell" by Lana Del Rey
15. "When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?" by Billie Eilish
16. "Everyday Life" by Coldplay
17. "L.A. Flame" by Anna Ash
18. "III" by Banks
19. "Gloria Duplex" by Henry Jamison