Because I was in a not-great state most of the year, I didn’t discover or listen to that much new music, see much live music, or write about much either, unfortunately. From mysterious and chronic health issues and endless, stressful work, to a lot of travel, the death of a beloved dog, and deep heartbreak, I had a lot of lows, over and over. Mental health has also been a continuous struggle since the start of 2019. The music that I listened to this year then functioned either as emotional support and comfort, or inspirational and motivational -- to celebrate the good things that did happen, because those happened, too.
Good things included: seeing Bad Suns live (amazing show), finally seeing Tomberlin live (I cried so much), seeing Buke and Gase live (underwhelming, sadly), photographing UMS in Denver, getting retweeted by Empress Of and Liza Anne, buying new vinyl, finally meeting Dessa at a book signing, Ryan Adams getting revealed as the absolute shit that he is, The Envy Corps released new music (!!), I saw David Bazan live at one of his super small secret shows and got to chat with him (!!!), I found another venue I like in Denver (Summit Music Hall) and got to photograph Clairo there, and the amazing women of the Minneapolis music scene got featured in the Star Tribune.
So there was good with the bad, but listening to these specific albums helped me immensely, and I don’t know what I would have done without them. So artists, if you're on this list: 1. I can't thank you enough for making this music, 2. I'm buying these albums, if I have not already, and 3. I can't wait to hear more of what you make in the years to come.
For even more new music this year, check out Bearded Gentlemen Music’s list!