The Best Shit I Heard In 2019

OK. Fine. Here it is. This may not be the absolute best music from 2019. But it’s the best shit I heard.

If you use Apple Music or Spotify you can listen to everything right here. Or just add the playlist on your fuckin kindle or whatever it is.

If not, how do you listen to music? I’m genuinely curious. Do you buy CDs and then listen to only those CDs like I used to? Do you have a Zune? Does anyone?

Black Mirror
A Giant Dog – Neon Bible

Black mirror, black mirror, black mirror
I know a time is coming
All words will lose their meaning
Please show me something that isn’t mine
But mine is the only kind that I relate to

Genre: Alternative
Sounds like: A punk band playing Arcade Fire songs
Album notes: In case it’s not clear, this album was written by Arcade Fire and performed by A Giant Dog. They covered the whole thing. And I think they might actually do it better in some ways.

Cheat Code (feat. Baauer)
Rico Nasty & Kenny Beats – Anger Management

All these bitches sound like Rico
Big money, been had a cheat code
Bitch, I ball hard, no free throw
Got my own money, I don’t need yours

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap
Sounds like: Grimy ass dirty ass gangsta ass shit that’s not’s to be fucked with
Album notes: On the first song she clears things up right away – “none of these bitches cold as me… me… me…” – I don’t know which bitches she’s talking about but I bet they’re not as cold as Rico Nasty.

This Thing
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Fishing for Fishies

This thing we left outside is waterlogged
You’re a load bearing friend and that is what makes this hard
This thing we left outside is waterlogged
And all that I know is one of us has to wring it out

Genre: Alternative
Sounds like: King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Album notes: Somehow this band puts out a new album every 7 months. Sometimes more often. And every album is totally different from the last one. But not really because it sounds like the same band on every album. Because it is.

Damaged III
Refused – War Music

And my future is my enemy
Become the thing I know is killing me

Genre: Hard Rock
Sounds like: The sequel to The Shape of Punk to Come.
Album notes: I was thrilled to learn that Refused still “sounds like Refused” because I’m “old” now and it’s easier if some things just stay the same.

Rain on Snow (feat. Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah & Raekwon)
DJ Shadow – Our Pathetic Age

But I came with the shovel, whether it’s to chop up snow
Or if I gotta throw dirt on some trouble
I’m working a double, I tripled the price
Never slipping even on six inches of ice

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap
Sounds like: DJ Shad-wu
Album notes: This is actually two albums. There are 26 tracks and they’re all good. The first album is the soundtrack to a TV show called Future Cops and the second half is the mixtape you would be listening to if you were the character on Future Cops who listens to the good shit.

Choose Go!
CHAI – Punk

Choose go!
わるい mind get out
オーラ着替えて look me! もっと自由に

Genre: J-Pop
Sounds like: Dance-y, grunge-y Japanese pop-punk
Album notes: There’s a whole universe of J-Pop music that I know nothing about. I only know about this because it was on someone else’s best of 2019 list that they actually published in 2019 and it’s now 2 months into 2020 and I’m still not finished with this fucking thing. Anyway, I really like this song and album.

Careless Whisper
Eagles of Death Metal – Boots Electric Performing the Best Songs We Never Wrote

Time can never mend
The careless whispers of a good friend
To the heart and mind
Ignorance is kind
There’s no comfort in the truth
Pain is all you’ll find

Genre: Rock
Sounds like: Eagles of Death Metal covering George Michael
Album notes: Eagles of Death Metal also covering Kenny Rogers, Mary J. Blige, AC/DC, The Ramones, Guns N Roses, KISS, Goo Goo Dolls, Steve Miller Band, The Distillers, Queens of the Stone Age, and Cat Stevens.

Certain Men
Negativland – True False

These men have been getting their way for hundreds of years
And there’s nothing that you can do to stop them
From continuing to get their way
Certain men and square clouds
Will always get their way
And the government wants it that way (I repeat)
And the government wants it that way

Genre: Alternative
Sounds like: Deepfake Meme Rock
Album notes: I’m not really sure how to explain Negativland to people. They do mostly experimental sound collage-y electronic weird shit. They released a single called “U2” where the “U2” on the cover was really big and then it said “Negativland” really small. And the songs on it were both “remixes” of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” so people thought it was a U2 thing. And it kind of was.

But this is another great Negativland album.

Poison the Well
Modest Mouse – Poison the Well (Single)

I’m not trying to push you around
Well, to push you around
Well, to push you around
The medicine makers
They are trying to kill us
Yeah, they know what a cure is
But they bet that’s bad for business, get it out

Genre: Alternative
Sounds like: Modest Mouse but like a little more pissed off than usual.

Blood Eagle
Periphery – Periphery IV: HAIL STAN

We come for war
King of the north and norse
With drums beating, screams repeating and
The hammer force of Thor
Surrender not enough
We’ll let ’em bleed
The moon takes everyone tonight

Genre: Metal
Sounds like: A very angry spreadsheet
Album notes: The pie chart of how much I’ve listened to all the songs on this album is like 96% this song and 4% the rest of the album.

Pick a Piper – Sight

Genre: Electronic
Sounds like: The DJ/Band at the bar in Twin Peaks when they’re not filming the show
Album Notes: I actually didn’t know there was an album until just now. I just had the single saved and somehow Apple Music thought I probably wouldn’t want to know that the album also came out in 2019. They told me about so many other albums last year, but not that one.

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Infest the Rats’ Nest

Melting humans and everything they bring
In a blink, the sun will drink their things
Grinning sun has sinners for dinner
Peri-perihelion (4x)

Genre: Metal
Sounds like: Stoner thrash metal
Album notes: If you don’t know about King Gizzard, now you know. They put out albums every 5 months I think. This one is definitely in my wheelhouse, being that it’s their “metal” album. They kinda do a different theme/vibe for every album like Mr. Bungle or probably other bands I haven’t heard of. But it’s not even my favorite album they put out in 2019.

Hush Money
Blanck Mass – Animated Violence Mild

Genre: Electronic
Sounds like: A video game where you win by doing nitrous balloons.
Album notes: This is one of my favorite albums of 2019. Is it IDM? Is that still a thing. It’s like techno/dance music but you’re not sure if a mosh pit might break out.

Believe in the Fight
Overkill – The Wings of War

In the dark, in the light
One last time, let’s get it right
With a heart as cold as ice
I believe in the fight

Genre: Metal
Sounds like: Overkill
Album notes: I can’t really overstate how much I love this album. I’m considering it for my list of Best Metal Albums that I just decided I’m going to make since this is just a list of 2019 albums. It’s that good, guys. If you don’t agree, you probably just don’t like Overkill.

Fluttering in the Floodlights
Yeasayer – Erotic Reruns

Shrewdly fluttering in the floodlights
My, oh my, I can’t keep my eyes off of her

Genre: Alternative
Sounds like: New Wave (2017 remix)
Album notes: This isn’t the best Yeasayer album but now that it’s apparently the last Yeasayer album I definitely wanted to include it on this list.

Slipknot – We Are Not Your Kind

Oh, I’ll never kill myself to save my soul
I was gone but how was I to know?
I didn’t come this far to sink so low
I’m finally holding on to letting go

Genre: Metal
Sounds like: The Slip Nuts! They’re slipping on nuts!
Album notes: My favorite song on my favorite Slipknot album. I :heart_emoji: Corey Taylor :kiss_emoji:

Gesaffelstein – Hyperion

Genre: Electronic
Sounds like: The soundtrack to a movie about the dark web.
Album notes: This is one of the more instrumental tracks on the album. There’s other tracks with people singing and stuff. It’s like a whole thing.

Cricket Chronicles Revisited: Part I, Ask Your Doctor – Part II, Psyde Effects
The Claypool Lennon Delirium – South of Reality

Are you desensitized? Sleep walkin’ through life?
Don’t concern yourself, these are just psyde effects
Things you once enjoyed do not feel quire right?
Don’t concern yourself, these are just psyde effects

Genre: Alternative
Sounds like: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Frizzle Fry Club
Album notes:
Something about this just really works for me. In some ways it’s very Primus, but you can also tell someone else is helping drive the bus. Someone who happens to be related to a guy who was in The Beatles.

Kings & Queens (feat. Run the Jewels)
DJ Shadow – Our Pathetic Age

Some families don’t rise, they drop from the sky
Four little paws and bark to the gods
Born from the death of a queen of New York
Mama took that and fought with those odds
It’s in the blood
Fluffy just jumped
To me he’s been a hero unsung
Mama jumped too like “Fuck it, I’m here”
And I’ma jump to like “Fuck it, let’s go”
‘Cause I don’t really see no other clear road
It’s just there to grow and get old
Really can’t rest, not taking that risk
Fluffly done jumped, how am I gonna bitch?
Backflip the fuck off a cliff, lil bitch
And for the foundation make a quick wish
RTJ, no fall from grace
Have a great day, get the bag and away

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap
Sounds like: RTJ Shadow
Album notes: This is one of two songs off this album on this list. I could have added more but I’m trying to just add one song from each album.

Thom Yorke – ANIMA

Show me the money
Party with a rich zombie
Suck it through a straw
Party with a rich zombie

Genre: Electronic
Sounds like: Pure uncut Thom Yorke
Album notes: This is a really good album. Obviously if you like Radiohead you may like this. But it’s not Radiohead. It’s 100% pure, unadulterated Thom Yorke from Radiohead.

The Center Won’t Hold
Sleater/Kinney – The Center Won’t Hold

The center won’t hold
No the center won’t hold.
The center won’t hold.
No the center won’t hold.

Genre: Alternative
Sounds like: Sleater/Kinney Probably
Album notes: I actually can’t name any other Sleater/Kinney songs. They seem like a band I should like but haven’t been properly introduced to. I listened to this since it came out in 2019 and I pretty much liked it a lot.

Tycho – Epoch

Genre: Electronic
Sounds like: Flavor Crystals
Album notes: So this came out in 2016 I guess? I don’t know. Apple Music says 2019 and I definitely listened to it in 2019 so I’m including it here whether you like it or not.

Psy-Ops Dispatch
Oh Sees – Face Stabber

Look at us together
Laying eye to eye
People on the screen keep saying
They need us alive

Genre: Alternative
Sounds like: Indie psych jazz rock
Album notes: This whole album is great and weird and inspiring like pretty much anything else by Oh Sees or The Oh Sees or Thee Oh Sees or however many different ways they want to spell it.

Auto Pilot – Hidden Hand

the heart beats between the head and hands. the clock ticks, empties the hourglass. the time has come, the moment has arrived. the line is drawn, get off the fence and pick a side.

Genre: Rock
Sounds like: Post (apocalyptic) rock
Album notes: If you like this song you’ll probably like the whole album and their other album House of Sleep.

Titanium 2 Step (feat. Sal Principato)
Battles – Juice B Crypts

It’s taking too long to figure it out
It’s taking too long to get it right

Genre: Rock
Sounds like: Noise Funk
Album notes: I mean I don’t even know how to talk about this music. And don’t get me started on the album title. But this is some good shit.

Post Requisite
Flying Lotus – Flamagra

Genre: Electronic
Sounds like: Burning Man
Album notes: There’s a lot going on here. So far, I’m just signing off on this one song. Any other songs are not officially vouched for by me, except for “Fire is Coming (feat. David Lynch)” which I will 100% sign the approval sign off papers for.

Holly Herndon – PROTO

[?] one night to get inside
Who knows, who knows our name?
They take me higher
I have no feeling inside
I’ve come now
You’ve seen me [?]
My love, please say, from the heart
[?] this time
[?] baby, while you’re dying to get inside
Oh, my loves are [?]
Who knows, who knows our name?
We don’t have to send anybody over
We don’t have to send anybody over
[?] without eachother
[?] baby, while you’re dying to get inside
Oh, my loves are [?]
Who knows, who knows our name?
They take me higher
I have no feeling inside
I’ve come now

Genre: Electronic
Sounds like: Something the robots in Bjork’s All is Full of Love video would listen to.
Album notes: This is really pretty experimental stuff.

High Alice
Jenny Hval – The Practice of Love

We all want something better
We all want something better
We all want something better
We are high, Alice
We all want something better
We are something better
We are something better
(Alice, Alice, Alice)

Genre: Electronic
Sounds like: Ambient spoken word rave pop
Album notes: Lots of other weird good shit here too.

Lorn – Drown the Traitor Within

Genre: Electronic
Sounds like: A song recorded on a Zip disk that touched a magnet and somehow got better.
Album notes: Listen to this one with headphones definitely. And then listen to the rest of the album with headphones definitely. Definitely listen to it with headphones.

For Everything
The Murder Capital – When I Have Fears

For everything, for nothing
For everything, for nothing
For everything, for nothing
For everything, for nothing
For everything, for nothing
For everything, for nothing
For everything, for nothing
For everything, for nothing
For everything, for nothing
For everything, for nothing
For everything, for nothing
For everything, for nothing
For everything, for nothing
For everything, for nothing
For everything, for nothing
For everything, for nothing
For everything we have

Genre: Indie Rock
Sounds like: Cop Shoot Jawbox Shoot Cop
Album notes: Before you worry about the rest of the album just make sure you get to the end of the song. It’s kind of like 2 smaller songs. And the they’re both good. But the second one is better.

Money Machine
100 gecs – 1000 gecs

Big boys coming with the big trucks
Feels so clean like a money machine

Genre: The Internet
Sounds like: 10000000 gecs
Album notes: I always used to try to imagine what “new” music would sound like when I got “old” and I feel like this is it. Because I’m “old” now. And I never would have predicted this but it also makes total sense.

The Messenger
Diamond Head – The Coffin Train

I am the messenger of death
And I keep a ledger with all your names

Genre: Metal
Sounds like: What Metallica should probably sound like, but they don’t because when they come up with their own ideas they sound like they don’t know what they’re doing.
Album notes: The album is called The Coffin Train and it starts with train sounds and there’s also a song called The Coffin Train and there’s a train with a skull on the front of it on the cover. You’re already either in or out on this one.

The last time I did this was in 2016. I like doing it and plan on doing it for 2020 (maybe even actually in 2020). I may also do them for other years that have already happened. Maybe that would be different though where I actually try to find the absolute best shit that came out that year and not just stuff I happened to know about at the time.