Welcome back to the blog for another year - and decade! I hope 2020 is finding you content and well. If not – well, music is a great elixir, and there are a ton of beautiful tunes in this post to help soothe what ails you :).

As has become tradition, my first post of the new year is a look back at my favourite records of the previous year, with a playlist for you to sample songs from each. As a bonus, I've added a playlist of my favourite releases of 2018 as well, since I wasn't blogging this time last year, but had been saving a list of records I loved.

Wow, there were some killer albums that came out in both 2019 and 2018. Once again, I'm extremely heartened by the state of new music – it just takes a little digging to find the good stuff ;). Here are my lists of top 10 albums for each year (in no real order, except for the top 3 in each list):


  1. Jenny Lewis - On The Line
  2. Rose Elinor Dougall - A New Illusion
  3. WOW - Come La Notte
  4. Altin Gün - Gece
  5. Vanishing Twin - The Age Of Immunology
  6. Prudence - Growing Closer
  7. Noël Wells - It's So Nice!
  8. Carla dal Forno - Look Up Sharp
  9. Vendredi sur mer - Premiers émois
  10. Le SuperHomard - Meadow Lane Park


  1. Gwenno - Le Kov
  2. Lake Ruth - Birds of America
  3. La Luz - Floating Features
  4. Green Seagull - Scarlet Fever
  5. Us & Them - On Shipless Ocean
  6. Olden Yolk - Olden Yolk
  7. Beautify Junkyards - The Invisible World of Beautify Junkyards
  8. Adrian Younge - Presents Voices Of Gemma
  9. Rita Braga - Bird on the Moon
  10. Kadhja Bonet - Childqueen

Now onto the fun stuff - the playlists! These represent what ended up being a fairly random number of my favourite releases. For the 2019 playlist, I was ready to go with a nice, neat 25 albums and 5 EPs and singles, but discovered I'd forgotten a couple of essential inclusions, and struggled to cut anything further. Then I realised one of the benefits of running my own blog is I can do whatever the fuck I want! So, 27 albums it is! (or 32 releases including EPs and singles).

If you are new to my contemporary music tastes, what you can expect is lots of neo-psych, avant-pop, shimmery dream pop, pop noir, and otherwise songs with irresistible melodies and strong songwriting, usually in a retro or classic vein. My playlists tend to be female-dominated - it's not by design, it's just that somehow my tastes lead me to more women making the type of music I love. I've never liked to make a statement of it; in some way, I think it's more interesting and powerful not to point it out, because why should it be unusual? That said, I am pleased to celebrate some extremely talented, sometimes overlooked female artists and present them to an audience who may not yet know them.

These were made on Spotify (RIP my fave playlisting service, 8tracks), but if you have another preferred streaming platform, visit the Soundsgood Soundiiz link beneath the playlist artwork for more listening options (the playlists, however, may be incomplete on some platforms).

2019 Tracklist

The link in the release title will take you to a Bandcamp page or the artist's/label's site for that release, where available. If you are looking to buy these elsewhere, you may like to try my Music Search page, where you can search a number of physical and digital music stores worldwide.

  1. Vendredi sur Mer - L'histoire sans fin (Premiers émois) Swiss flag
  2. Altin Gün - Yolcu (Gece) Dutch flag
  3. WOW - Come La Notte (Come La Notte) Italian flag
  4. Jonathan Personne - Larry (Histoire naturelle) Canadian flag
  5. Jenny Lewis - Wasted Youth (On The Line) USA flag
  6. Charlène Darling - Je t'aimerai toujours (Saint-Guidon) Spanish flag
  7. Noël Wells - Sad Girl Blues (It's So Nice!) USA flag
  8. Josefin Öhrn + The Liberation - Only Lovers (Sacred Dreams) Swedish flag
  9. Bleached - Heartbeat Away (Don't You Think You've Had Enough?) USA flag
  10. Business of Dreams - Ripe for Anarchy (Ripe for Anarchy) USA flag
  11. Olympia - Star City (Flamingo) Australian flag
  12. Prudence - Ride (Growing Closer) Australian flag
  13. Carla dal Forno - No Trace (Look Up Sharp) Australian flag
  14. Laure Briard - Changer d'avis (Un peu plus d'amour s'il vous plaît) French flag
  15. Jeanines - Winter in the Dark (Jeanines) USA flag
  16. Green Seagull - Belladonna (Simeon Brown single) UK flag
  17. Tracy Bryant - Nightmare (Hush) USA flag
  18. Cate le Bon - Here It Comes Again (Reward) Welsh flag
  19. Rose Elinor Dougall - Echoes (A New Illusion) UK flag
  20. Peter Perrett - I Want Your Dreams (Humanworld) UK flag
  21. Piroshka - Hated By The Powers That Be (Brickbat) UK flag
  22. Olden Yolk - Blue Paradigm (Living Theatre) USA flag
  23. The Babe Rainbow - Morning Song (Today) Australian flag
  24. Le SuperHomard - Door After Door (Meadow Lane Park) French flag
  25. The Last Detail (A Girl Called Eddy + Fugu) - Killing Time (Places EP) UK flagFrench flag
  26. Johnathan Rice - The Long Game (The Long Game) USA flag
  27. Satellite Jockey - You Can't Go On (Modern Life, Vol. 3 EP) French flag
  28. La Féline - La Terre entière (Vie future) French flag
  29. Lake Ruth - Extended Leave (Extended Leave single) USA flag
  30. Death and Vanilla - Wallpaper Pattern (Are You A Dreamer?) Swedish flag
  31. Vanishing Twin - Magician's Success (The Age Of Immunology) UK flag
  32. Single - El Roce (El Roce single) Spanish flag

The 2018 playlist is a little longer – 36 albums, and 8 EPs and singles – since I had more time to discover lots of great records.

2018 Tracklist

  1. Lake Ruth - One of Your Own (Birds of America) USA flag
  2. Gwenno - Tir Ha Mor (Le Kov) Welsh flag
  3. Gaye Su Akyol - Bir Yaralı Kuştum (İstikrarlı Hayal Hakikattir) Turkish flag
  4. Kadhja Bonet - Wings (Childqueen) USA flag
  5. La Luz - My Golden One (Floating Features) USA flag
  6. Slowgold - Vad är kärlek (Mörkare) Swedish flag
  7. Beautify Junkyards - Aquarius (The Invisible World of Beautify Junkyards) Portuguese flag
  8. Moon Age - Black Widow's Kiss (Distant Horizons EP) USA flag
  9. Shannon Shaw - Bring Her the Mirror (Shannon In Nashville) USA flag
  10. Adrian Younge Presents Voices of Gemma - Stranger by the Sea (Adrian Younge Presents Voices of Gemma) USA flag
  11. Green Seagull - Scarlet (Scarlet Fever) United Kingdom flag
  12. Lia Pamina & Dario Persi - So Far Tonight (So Far Tonight EP) Spanish flag
  13. The Yearning - How Do You Make Somebody Fall In Love? (Take Me All Over The World EP) United Kingdom flag
  14. The Shacks - Sand Song (Haze) USA flag
  15. Belle & Sebastian - A Plague On Other Boys (How to Solve Our Human Problems (Part 2) EP) Scottish flag
  16. The Rebels Of Tijuana - Lydie s (Asile) Swiss flag
  17. Barbara Carlotti - Radio mentale sentimentale (Magnétique) French flag
  18. Em Burrows - Melt Away (Invisible Seams) Australian flag
  19. Olden Yolk - Cut to the Quick (Olden Yolk) USA flag
  20. Altin Gün - Cemalım (On) Dutch flag
  21. El Michels Affair & Piya Malik - Zaharila (Unathi / Zaharila single) USA flag
  22. Bon Voyage Organisation - Soleil Dieu (Jungle ? Quelle jungle ?) French flag
  23. Rita Braga - Grãos de Arroz (Bird on the Moon) Portuguese flag
  24. En Attendant Ana - Tinkle Twinkle (Lost and Found) French flag
  25. Gloria - Dancehall N°3 (Hey Gyp EP) French flag
  26. The Essex Green - The 710 (Hardly Electronic) USA flag
  27. Le SuperHomard - Under A Charm (Springtime) French flag
  28. Triptides - Flashing Before Your Eyes (Visitors) USA flag
  29. Samara Lubelski - Black Dots (Flickers at the Station) USA flag
  30. Halo Maud - Tu Sais Comme Je Suis (Je Suis Une île) French flag
  31. Cobalt Chapel - Mountain (Mountain EP) Swedish flag
  32. Exploded View - Raven Raven (Obey) German flagMexican flag
  33. Pram - Electra (Across The Meridian) UK flag
  34. Jacco Gardner - Levania (Somnium) Dutch flag
  35. Jonathan Bree - Plucking Petals (Sleepwalking) New Zealand flag
  36. Melody's Echo Chamber - Desert Horse (Bon Voyage) French flag
  37. Us & Them - Lady Rachel (On Shipless Ocean) Swedish flag
  38. The Advisory Circle - The Soft Dissolve (Ways of Seeing) UK flag
  39. Still Corners - Black Lagoon (Slow Air) USA flagUK flag
  40. Gulp - I Dream Of Your Song (All Good Wishes) Welsh flag
  41. Mitski - Blue Light (Be the Cowboy) USA flag
  42. COTE - Older (Cote) USA flag
  43. Amaya Laucirica - Let It Happen (Rituals) Australian flag
  44. Françoise Hardy - À cache-cache (Personne d'autre) French flag

I know there are many excellent releases I've missed or have yet to give a good listen. I did originally plan to to publish a 'further listening' playlist of honourable mentions and other things of interest, as I did for 2017, but it got a little long and unruly!

Finally, I thought I'd mention some services I've starting using to keep up with new releases from artists I like, for anyone else who may be interested. I found that the last couple of times I did these end-of-year lists, I was trying frantically to play catch-up, as I'd missed many new releases throughout the year. In theory, social media should be good for this, but it's now just an endless stream of information and nonsense and whatever random stuff the algorithms deem you want to see that I find much of what is shared by music artists slips through.

So here are some useful services I found, specifically for keeping up with new music from artists you already know. (For finding new artists, there are endless options like music blogs (ahem!), similar artist recommendations on Spotify, etc., and Last.fm). I really like Swarm.fm, which shows you new releases from artists you follow on Spotify. While Spotify's Release Radar is quite good for this, Swarm.fm is better in that it displays an organised list of latest releases, from most recent to months or even years ago. I also like Muspy, a no-frills site which allows you to enter artists you like, and then creates a list of their upcoming and recent releases. It can also notify you by email when a new release is out. And then there's Musicbee, a free music player and library that I highly recommend, which has a service that shows you upcoming releases from any artists in your collection.

As always, I love hearing what your favourite records were, especially things I might have missed, so please let me know in the comments. Happy listening!

Comment (1)

  • Paul D  
    Read on twitter: pd4culture
    Great stuff, thank you. I love the Vendredi Sur Mer album. I also should give Vanishing Twin more time as it seems like a grower.

    Other new acts I have discovered that may fit in with your lists are Men I Trust and Weyes Blood.

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