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Roundup: 2019 in Music

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With the internet providing a steady drip-feed of exciting new releases, it's easier than ever to miss the good stuff.

With that in mind we asked our writers to tell us about their favourite albums, EPs or tracks that you might have missed.

In 'Where I'm Coming From', Lila Iké's voice embodies perseverance and belief, tying you to the song from start to finish in a way other tracks that aren't as sincere can't. Honest and heartfelt lyrics sung over a cool riddim by Caspa help make it more than a year's favourite but rather an inspiring reggae classic. Akeem Balogun


A Pyrrhic Existence by Esoteric marked a triumphant double-disc return for the British doom metal legends. Vocally, an unintelligible mix of low-frequency growls and high-end shrieks. Lyrically, a thought-provoking deconstruction of the technological and ontological hellscapes we live in. Musically, a Boschian canvas of lysergic disintegration. Dig it! Chris Brownsword


Black Country, New Road's frantically shrewd single 'Sunglasses' is a rollercoaster of chaos clocking in at almost nine minutes. "It describes a series of events, loosely connected, all yet to happen," frontman Isaac Wood says. The track will leave you feeling restless about what direction it could possibly take next, as the tempo is altered without warning. The seven-piece play Picture House Social on 18 January. Daniel Atherton


My favourite release of the year has to be Dogrel by Fontaines D.C. In the slipstream of IDLES they continued the recent post-punk revival into 2019 with a gritty debut album which proves that people still want to hear shouty men rant on top of guitar music. Josh Bolton


In a year marked by social and political disquiet, Italian composer and modular synth maker Caterina Barbieri provided a cocoon to retreat into with Ecstatic Computation. Barbieri's music is pure cosmic minimalism - beatless yet intensely rhythmic, with syncopated synth notes propelling the music forwards like a deconstructed Moroder banger. Otherworldly. Sam Gregory


Richard Dawson released what was for me the album of the year in 2020, a profound, funny and heart-breaking dissection of a country in the grip of Tory austerity. It's a modern folk classic, an earworm collection of stories about football, emojis, anxiety, Brexit, homelessness and floods. Dawson handles what could potentially be a real descent into bleak miserabilia with a lightness of touch and deft humour that make this one of the most rewarding and lyrical albums of recent times. Ben Chapman (PROLE JAZZ)


My favourite album comes straight from the home of hip-hop, the Bronx, via Jerry Beeks and Ollie Miggs, aka Bronx Slang. This self-titled album contains twelve tracks of funk-driven raps and rhymes that tap into the golden age of the New York scene and deliver it with incredible skill and dexterity. Andy Tattersall

Next article in issue 142

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