Bella's Albums of the Year 2019

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1. Little Simz - Grey Area

Before I heard this record, I didn't like grime music at all - mostly because I didn't understand it. I thought it was the UK's version of a mainstream self-praising tier of hip-hop, and admittedly, had never really listened to it properly. Now - and less than a year later - I find myself interposing every type of conversation with: "Have you heard Little Simz?! No offence but her new album is literally the best thing that has ever happened." There's nothing I love more than an artist turning their own unequivocal sense of identity into a cohesive body of work. This album is everything we should be hearing in music today. It's political, opinionated, unashamedly honest, progressive and completely idiosyncratic. I'm in love.

2. Julia Jacklin - Crushing

This record grows on me every time I listen to it, and if I'd listened one more time before today, it might've been my album of the year. I'm completely obsessed with lyrics; and so there are these moments when I'm listening to 'Crushing' and I actually feel jealous that she's managed to describe all these things that are so intrinsically complex, in such simple and beautiful ways. The fourth track on the record is a song called "Don't Know How To Keep Loving You," and it's quite possibly the greatest existing description of what it feels like to fall out of love. It's just SO good that it makes me want to break up with the boyfriend I don't have.

3. Cate Le Bon - Reward

This might be an unpopular opinion (lol), but Cate Le Bon is in her artistic prime. "Reward," is, from start to finish, an actual masterpiece. Her melodies, the lyrics, production, instrumentation… Sigh. This is one of those albums you can listen to without having to wait for your favourite song to come on, because they're all your favourite song. It's just like your favourite song playing for 42 minutes and 48 seconds straight which is like.. really convenient.

4. Sharon Van Etten - Remind Me Tomorrow

Track number 6 called "Seventeen" is my favourite song released this year, and one of my favourite songs of ALL time EVER. Who woke up one day and thought to write a song like that?!?!?! Sharon did. And I couldn't be more in awe. Everybody in the world needs to hear this song immediately.

5. Faye Webster - Atlanta Millionaires Club

Ok but I adore this album. It's just great. It just made me really want to be her friend. I'm still hopeful about it.

6. Karen O and Danger Mouse - Lux Prima

Karen O's voice + me = forever <3

7. Penelope Isles - Until The Tide Creeps In

I made my gran buy this album. I told her she would love it. She totally will.

8. Taylor Swift - Lover

I would say that this album is my guilty pleasure, but I'm an innocent, and that's a reference to track number 11 on Taylor's third studio album called "Speak Now". The fact that I know every single lyric to every single Taylor Swift song in the history of Taylor Swift songs is the coolest fact about me and tbh… haters gonna hate but I'm just gonna shake it off.

9. Lana Del Rey - NFR!

Oh Lana…"Mariners Apartment Complex" could play on repeat inside my eardrums for the rest of my life and I wouldn't even be mad about it.

10. Kit Sebastien - Mantra Moderne

This album reminds me of the music my dad listened to when I was a kid. This is the best new jazz I've heard in a long time.