The Best of October 2019 & Monthly Staff Playlist

Posted: by The Editor


Great Grandpa’s debut album, 2017’s Plastic Cough, was chock full of distorted guitars and frenetic rhythms, encompassing the feel of 90’s indie rock. On the excellent Four of Arrows, Great Grandpa push their sound into new and exciting territories, with the group really coming into their own. This album has beautiful arrangements, irresistible melodies, and is front to bottom one of the best records of the year. 

Big Thief already dropped one of the year’s best albums with the spectral and moody U.F.O.F., so when it was announced that they were dropping another album not even six months later, I wondered whether or not they could deliver on the goods. And of course they can, they’re Big Thief. Two Hands feels more in line to Capacity and Masterpiece with the band doing what they do best, writing great fucking songs. We’re so lucky to be alive at the same time as Big Thief. 

You might know Sean Neumann from either his writing or his work in Ratboys, but you should know him as the driving force behind Jupiter Styles, who just released their wonderful sophomore album Ultra St. Opera. If you’re a fan of soaring mid-tempo indie rock or surging power-pop, do yourself a favor and give this album a spin already.

The cover to Days B4 III, the second album of 2019 from Lucki, pays homage to Chief Keef’s fan favorite Almighty So mixtape. It’s hard not to hear Keef’s influence on any rapper that’s come out of Chicago this decade, but Lucki, with his muffled delivery and ear for gloomy, introspective beats that still slap hard enough to soundtrack a houseparty, stands out from the crowd.

And that’s only the beginning, folks! October was filled to the brim with great albums and if you’re still itching for more music might I recommend a couple more albums we covered on the site this month, including new releases from Chris Farren, The Menzingers, and Angel Olsen.

Andy Shauf has spent the latter half of the decade making criminally underrated masterpieces, slowly creating a strong and impassioned fanbase of musicians in the process. If “Things I Do”, our first look at his forthcoming album The Neon Skyline, is indicative of how the rest of the album is going to sound, I’d say Shauf still has a few more classics left in him. Noname, Smino, and Saba teamed up as Ghetto Sage for the highly anticipated posse cut “Häagen Dazs”, hopefully more music is on the way from them because this track is hard.

illuminati hotties released “ppl plzr” on Bandcamp this month, with all proceeds from the track going to The Trevor Project. This loosie is one of my favorite illuminati hottie songs full stop, everytime I listen to it I get major First Band on the Moon-era The Cardigans vibes. There must be something in the air (indica, maybe?) that’s inspiring rap supergroups to drop music because Griselda, featuring Westside Gunn, Benny the Butcher, and Conway Machine, released their first official song, the menacing “DR. BIRD’S”. Their Shady debut, WWCD, is only a few more weeks away, and I think they’re primed to take over in the coming decade.

Frances Quinlan, who you most definitely know from Hop Along, announced a solo record titled Likewise with the synth-heavy “Rare Thing”. If you ever wondered what Hop Along would sound like if they traded in their guitars for synthesizers, look no further than “Rare Thing”. “Really Like You”, the first single from Short Fictions debut album Fates Worth Than Death, sort of sounds like TWIABP at their most effervescent. The song has everything you could possibly want — bells, group vocals, knotty guitars, and that cool thing emo drummers do where they do a fill on the rim of the drum.

See y’all next month.


Writeup and Playlist by Michael Brooks // @nomichaelbrooks

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