2019 albums worth talking about (Part 1)
Fat White Family - Serfs Up
Top Track(s) - Feet
Overall rating - 9/10
Serfs Up had to be the first featured album on this post for so, so many reasons! Fat White Family have been on my radar for a few years now, but it has only been recently that I have begun to appreciate them for what they really are - and what they can do. This album in particular really peaked my interest upon first hearing it, simply because of how refined and 'listenable' it is in relation to a lot of their earlier work. On top of this, what really sold it to me was seeing Fat White Family perform live twice this year. Seeing them live in June at All Points East festival brought to my attention just how much the band can captivate, and take control of, an audience. Add to this their exceptional performance in my hometown of Leeds this week and I think it would be fair to say: I am hooked!
Yak - Pursuit of Momentary Happiness
Top Track(s) - Bellyache // Layin' It On The Line
Overall Rating - 9/10
I have to admit, I am slightly ashamed to say that this record was definitely a slow burner for me. Don't ask me why: something just didn't click with me at first. But I am the first to admit when I am wrong, and let me tell you - I was wrong. It is extremely difficult to select a 'top track' when all of the tracks come together to tell a wonderfully put-together story, and absolute masterpiece. Unashamedly full of energy, with the musical talent to go with it: Yak have successfully managed to blow a lot of other artists out of the water for me this year. Time and time again I find myself spending forever deciding on the perfect album for my commute to work, usually deciding "screw it!" and hitting Play on this record for the 900th time this year. In terms of my 2019 'most played' - I would have to say this is certainly it.
FONTAINES D.C. - Dogrel
Top Track(s) - Hurricane Laughter
Overall Rating - 7.5/10
What an exciting debut album from FONTAINES D.C.! An extremely new band on my radar, but one that will not be budging. Admittedly, the lyricism sometimes leaves a little to be desired, however the passionate Irish vocals make up for what is lacking in the lyrics. Musically, there is little fault to pick up on throughout the entire record, and the heavy, biting guitar riffs really know how to make themselves heard. I can't wait to hear what the band have up their sleeves for us in the upcoming year, they're definitely at the very top of my list of gigs I need to arrange to attend in the not so distant future.
Hands Off Gretel - I Want the World
Top Track(s) - Blame Myself // Milk
Overall Rating - 8/10
It's not often a band can pull off a record that covers such a wide range of important topics, yet still sound like a musical masterpiece - however, Hands Off Gretel have done exactly that. Sexuality, jealousy, veganism, girl power; no stone has been left unturned! Pair this with an exceptionally well performing band, Lauren's 'it-girl' persona and breathtaking voice and you start to understand exactly what I am talking about. A band that will never stop until their voice is heard: and a bloody good sounding voice at that. A must listen.
The S.L.P - The S.L.P
Top Track(s) - Lockdown // Soldiers 00018
Overall Rating - 8/10
You didn't think I would complete Part 1 of my top albums of 2019 without giving this man a mention did you!? From the very beginning, being hit by Meanwhile... In Genova I just knew that I was in for a treat with this record. Let's firstly start by saying that Serge can literally do nothing wrong in my eyes, so I would've featured this album no matter what. Thankfully, though, what a great album it really is. Fans of Kasabian will be familiar with the quirky and experimental influence that Serge has on the band and their music, but I don't think anyone can say they were prepared for this. When given free reign on the creativity, the S.L.P really knows how to deliver. Throw in a catchy collaboration with rising star Little Simz and a hilariously creative method of promotion featuring everyone's favourite: Steven Graham and I think it's fair to declare the man as a genius.
Part 2 to follow very soon!