Posted by: cousinbrandon | December 18, 2019

The “Mixes” Series: Infinite and Finite, 2019

As now has become customary, rather than creating two CD-length mixes, I’ve curated two long-play Spotify playlists representing the best “fast” and “slow” tracks of 2019. There is no intentional transition from song to song; rather, they’re simply alphabetized by artist. One twist this year is that I only chose songs from my top 20 records (one fast, one slow), resulting in two 20-song playlists.

Right up front, I’ll say this about 2019: it wasn’t my favorite year for music. I listened to a lot–a LOT–or records this year, and frankly not many really stuck with me. Maybe there’s just too much music to cull through anymore, thanks to Spotify, Bandcamp, et al. Putting together my “Best of . . .” playlists used to be more thoughtful, I suppose, in that I simply didn’t have access to anything, and curated my picks based on endless listening of a much smaller collection of music. Now? It’s fucking endless.

With that, here’s a sneak preview: Three EPs appear in my top 20; three Pop records made my list; a ton of female vocalists led the way; and I made good on a mistake I made two years ago. But I’ll get to all of that . . .

Album Covers of the Year:

LizzoCuz I Love You

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Mike KrolPower Chords

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Top 20 Records of 2019:

20. Kal MarksLet the Shit House Burn Down EP (Exploding in Sound)
19. King Princess Cheap Queen (Zelig)
18. An Horse Modern Air (Grand Hotel van Cleef)
17. Bill Callahan Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest (Drag City)
16. Frankie Cosmos Close It Quietly (Sub Pop)
15. PUP Morbid Stuff (Rise)
14. Cult Film Mona EP (Devil Down Tapes)
13. Girlpool What Chaos Is Imaginary (Anti)
12. Lizzo – Cuz I Love You (Nice Life/Atlantic)
11. Mike KrolPower Chords (Merge)

10. Weyes Blood Titanic Rising (Sub Pop)

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9. Queen of Jeans If you’re not afraid, I’m not afraid (Topshelf Records)

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8. Stef ChuraMidnight (Saddle Creek)

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7. Mannequin Pussy Patience (Epitaph)

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6. Charly Bliss – Young Enough (Barsuk)

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5. Taylor Swift – Lover (Republic)

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4. Palehound Black Friday (Polyvinyl)

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3. Big Thief Two Hands (4AD)

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2. Purple Mountains – Purple Mountains (Drag City)

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1. Surrounder – Impossible Exchange EP

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Last year I awarded the number one slot to An Attendant Ana, and I stand by that choice. The error, however, came in 2017, really, as I hadn’t heard Surrounder’s first record. So, Surrounder’s Surrpiounder got some gloss last year as the record I listened to more than anything else. This year, though, I made good. There is no record I listened to more consistently in 2019 than Surrounder’s Impossible Exchange (shout-out Jean Baudrillard). With their new drummer, Eric Moeller, in tow, Carrie Leigh Rogers and Ty Cummings put out six perfect songs that played over and over and over again on each and every device I owned. Hard to believe that six songs could continuously sound so fresh with each listen, but, alas, they pulled it off. What’s more, I got to put on my first-ever live show this past August, headlined by none other than Surrounder themselves (pics below). The three of them couldn’t have been sweeter, and they couldn’t have kicked more ass. Small-ish band? Maybe. But I implore you to get on board ASA & P. They’re too good, too political, and too important not to support but quick.

Again, there are no CDs (hard copies) this year. Your best bets are to A) listen to the Spotify playlist, or B) curate the playlists yourself in Apple Music, Spotify, or some other type of music app. Below are songs taken solely from the 20 records above.

With that, I give you the 40 songs that comprise my 2019 playlists . . .

Infinite (The Best “Fast” Tracks of 2019):

1. Kal Marks – “Nu Legs”
2. King Princess – “Cheap Queen”
3. An Horse – “This Is a Song”
4. Bill Callahan – “Call Me Anything”
5. Frankie Cosmos – “So Blue”
6. PUP – “Kids”
7. Cult Film – “Bored to Death”
8. Girlpool – “Hire”
9. Lizzo – “Cuz I Love You”
10. Mike Krol – “An Ambulance”
11. Weyes Blood – “Everyday”
12. Queen of Jeans – “All the Same”
13. Stef Chura – “Degrees”
14. Mannequin Pussy – “Who You Are”
15. Charly Bliss – “Capacity”
16. Taylor Swift – “The Man”
17. Palehound – “Aaron”
18. Big Thief – “Not”
19. Purple Mountains – “All My Happiness Is Gone”
20. Surrounder – “Potshot”

Finite (The Best “Slow” Tracks of 2019):

1. Kal Marks – “Science Is Science”
2. King Princess – “Homegirl”
3. An Horse – “Breakfast”
4. Bill Callahan – “What Comes After Certainty”
5. Frankie Cosmos – “Rings (On a Tree)”
6. PUP – “Scorpion Hill”
7. Cult Film – “Your Thing”
8. Girlpool – “Pretty”
9. Lizzo – “Jerome”
10. Mike Krol – “What’s the Rhythm”
11. Weyes Blood – “Andromeda”
12. Queen of Jeans – “Take It All Away”
13. Stef Chura – “Love Song”
14. Mannequin Pussy – “High Horse”
15. Charly Bliss – “Young Enough”
16. Taylor Swift – “Lover”
17. Palehound – “Black Friday”
18. Big Thief – “Forgotten Eyes”
19. Purple Mountains – “Maybe I’m the Only One for Me”
20. Surrounder – “Put Everything Back When You’re Done”

Well, that’ll do it for 2019. With that, I now ask that you do the following four things:

  1. In the comments section, let me know your picks for the best songs, records, and anything else music of 2019. What did I miss? What do you violently disagree with? What are you wholeheartedly in agreement with? What the hell else?
  2. Should you choose to (or if you have already) put together a Best of 2019 playlist of your own, by all means send me a copy, or at the very least a track listing. I’ll do my best to post them on my blog.
  3. If you’re feeling nostalgic, go back and check out my Best of… mixes from years’ past. There’s a shit-ton of them.
  4. You’ve got Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and 7 billion other social media outlets at your disposal. Share this with the world, even if you only have two Twitter followers (and one of them is me).

Until the Best of 2020, have at it, you vultures!

BD


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