We’re halfway through the year and sharing our favorite albums of 2019 thus far! Here’s Chad From Marketing’s list of current favs with some words about why he’s digging these particular records.
Visit the store and check ‘em out on our 2019 staff picks (thus far) display!
Altin Gun – Gece. This funky Turkish psych-folk album turns heads whenever we play it in the store. ATO Records signed the Amsterdam-based band after hearing them perform at King Gizzard’s Gizzfest 2018, and one of my first thoughts was, “These guys would be great at Treefort.” Though stylistically different, Altin Gun brings to mind Khruangbin in the sense that Gece sounds like some long-lost, Western-inspired treasure unearthed by a reissue label. Don’t snooze on this one.
Teodross Avery – After the Rain: A Night for Coltrane. Tenor saxophone vet Teodross Avery pays homage to his musical inspiration on this live recording devoted to Trane’s music. Avery leads his tight quartet through a wide-ranging selection of Coltrane cuts, and the resulting album serves as both a top-drawer tribute to the jazz legend and a thoroughly satisfying set of contemporary throwback jazz.
The National – I Am Easy to Find. After a string of increasingly impressive albums dating back to Boxer, 2017’s Sleep Well Beast felt like the first time The National was just going through the motions of being The National. Or maybe the band was just a little off (speculating here). Or maybe I was just a little off (that’s more like it). In any case, here we have I Am Easy to Find, arguably the ambitious band’s most ambitious project yet, what with the accompanying film and unconventional producer and prominent female guest vocalists and what have you. High Violet is hard to beat, but this one is already vying for my personal favorite from these Ohio natives.
Jessica Pratt – Quiet Signs. Quite possibly the 2019 release I’ve listened to the most. This short, sweet collection of melancholy folk songs is colored with minimalist arrangements that add subtle flourishes to Pratt’s pastoral strumming and seraphic voice. Each song is like a soft exhale.
Prince – Originals. This new compilation culled from the Prince archives features the Purple One’s original versions of songs written for others and/or recorded by satellite Paisley Park artists. So you get things like “Manic Monday” and “Nothing Compares 2 U” and the Kenny Rogers vehicle “You’re My Love” done up OG Prince style. Worth it alone for his versions of “Jungle Love” and “Nothing Compares 2 U.” I can’t stop listening.
The Soul Surfers – Tribute to J.B.’s. Two instrumental James Brown cuts faithfully performed by a Russian retro funk-soul quartet and pressed on 45 by Ubiquity Records. God I love the Internet.