With 2019 now firmly behind them, The Leland team are to reflect on the year's releases, selecting the ones that stood out in the crowd.
Ed picks: Kim Gordon, No Home Record
No Home Record is as familiar as it is strikingly original… I’m a die-hard Sonic Youth fan, and here Kim Gordon's intoxicatingly raw performance, critical lyricism and at times unexpectedly modern production on this record culminate in one of the most exciting albums of her career to date. It was my highest rotation record of 2019.
Toby picks: Triad God, Triad
A bizarre early-year gem here from Lorenzo Senni's Presto!? label. Reuniting Palmistry's dance hall minimalism and Vinh Ngan's self-conscious swagger. It's a strangely earnest, other-worldly record on which scratchy abstractions threaten to engulf the earnest R&B melodies and blustery raps.
Abi picks: Missy Elliot, 'Why I Still Love You'
Obviously everything Missy Elliot does is amazing, but in 2019 it was this particular track that I had on repeat. Like so many of her releases, 'Why I Still Love You' is ridiculously danceable, and I just love the old school vibe and harmonies along with those overtly positive, motivating lyrics.
Codie picks: Sharron Van Etten, 'Remind Me Tomorrow'
Sharon Van Etten's 'Remind Me Tomorrow' landed in January last year so an early contender, but I just kept coming back to it. There was something about the lyrics that hit home for me, and I loved her scaled-up approach to the production. Watching her live at The Roundhouse a couple of months later was pretty special, too.
Leti picks: Aldous Harding, 'Desiigner'
The combination of oddness and sincerity, darkness and light in Aldous Harding’s third album is definitely what makes it my favourite release of 2019. The music is gentle and I love that the poetic, mysterious lyrics leaves space for interpretation. It's well worth getting to know her videos too, not least for their quirky references which wink to Alejandro Jodorowsky and Albert Camus.
Heather picks: Tropical Fuck Storm, 'Paradise'
A four piece Aussie band consisting of not one, not two, but three incredible female musicians and one of my favourite songwriters, Gareth Liddiard, all playing heavy, gritty, post-punk blues-rock. It’s still so refreshing to hear women rocking out and singing discordant notes. I listened to this slow building, suspenseful track any time I plunged myself into anything new this past year. Plus, who could argue against a band called Tropical Fuck Storm?