DJ Bendz’ Top Albums of 2019

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UMI – Love Language


Indie midi loops and lazy backing beats encase UMI’s second EP. Love Language is layered by lo-fi elements and R&B influences. Tracks such as “Sukidakara” infuse Japanese vocals into modern American R&B music. The guitar samples on “Breathe” create an atmosphere that infatuates the listener, providing a love-sick feel that can be found throughout the project. UMI also comes back with a second collaboration with the artist Yeek. The track, “Runnin’”, puts the listener in the middle of a rainy day. Bittersweet lyrics and edible beats make up this masterpiece of an EP.

 

Kevin Abstract – Arizona Baby


With his previous solo project, Kevin Abstract found little resistance in standing out from his bandmates in BROCKHAMPTON. Talk of a new album raised much hype from the community, as his last venture into his solo work churned out one of the best queer bangers of the decade. Abstract doesn’t fail in delivering a similar tone on this project, as lyrics like “I’m a power bottom, like a Free Mason.” Lyrics aside, Abstract incorporates acoustic guitars with hi-hats and midi pianos to put together a chaotic, if not eclectic mood. This album could be seen as messy or disorganized, but its real beauty lies in its message and feel.

 

Still Woozy – Lately


2019 was an explosive year for the relatively unknown band Still Woozy. After the viral fame of their track “Goody Bag”, they blew up and released a full EP. This project expanded their classic indie feel into a full idea of what the band was about. Funky basslines like that of “Lava” and a bubbly atmosphere are seen a lot in Still Woozy’s first EP. The track “Impanema” features indie royalty, with the likes of Omar Apollo joining in on the band’s niche sound. The main highlight may be the smooth “Habit” with it’s looping guitars and wavy vocals. The creativity in lyricism and delivery of vocals is enough to warrant a listen but combined with the superb instruments, this makes for one of the best projects of 2019.

 

Yungblud – The Underrated Youth


Yungblud is most definitely confusing at first glance. He and his band started as a shadow of Arctic Monkeys and grew into their Skaw inspired pop music with little ease on their full-length record. This new project dives deeper into boundary-pushing music with the lead single “Parents”. Yungblud’s message of the underrated youth may seem tacky or cliche, but it is appreciated by many. Hard-hitting guitars and bouncy vocals make the listener want to run around and spaz out. The chaotic “Original Loser” is an air-punching banger that anyone can enjoy. The project is not without it’s slower songs, as “ hope for the underrated youth” provides a large, grandiose feeling to Yungblud’s music. In all, the band’s second EP creates an evolution in not just the music of the band, but the community itself.

Honorable mentions:

Hobo Johnson – The Fall of Hobo Johnson
BadFlower – OK I’m Sick
Ritt Momney – Her and All My Friends
Little Simz – Grey Area