Deafheaven didn't release a new album in 2019, but they did have a busy year. They released the great new non-album single "Black Brick" and did tons of touring, and they've already got one show lined up for 2020: Power Trip's Evil Beat 2 Fest. Also, guitarist Shiv Mehra and drummer Dan Tracy stayed busy with their synthpop side project Heaven's Club, who released their debut album Here There and Nowhere on Profound Lore in September. As the year is coming to a close, Shiv and his Heaven's Club bandmate Chris Natividad have made us lists of their favorite albums of 2019, and they both provided commentary on each pick. Check out both lists below.
Shiv Mehra's (Deafheaven, Heaven’s Club) Top Albums of 2019
Weyes Blood - Titanic Rising (Sub Pop)
One of the most beautiful albums of the year. She has a distinctively old voice with lush orchestrative structures that uplift from the weight of life. The production on this album is impeccable.
Thom Yorke - Anima (XL Recordings)
Beyond words one of my favorite albums. Thom keeps pushing the tonality of synth and polyrhythmic structures of songs. “Dawn Chorus” is one of the most emotionally gripping songs I’ve ever heard.
Wand - Laughing Matter (Drag City)
These guys are from LA on Drag City Records are a superlative mix of kraut and psych pop. They’re pushing the elements of what bands can pull off and I appreciate it very much.
Rroxymore - Face to Phase (Don’t Be Afraid)
This Berlin producer has been killing it for a while. Rroxymore and the likes of Octa Octa are inspiring pioneers to people newly working on electronic music such as myself.
Panda Bear - A Day With the Homies (Domino)
Noah is undoubtedly going to write good albums and he presents himself in a lighthearted relatable nature. This particular album really sat well with me. His vocal harmonies are so out of the box yet nostalgic and the sample and drum work is thought provoking.
Moon Duo - Stars Are the Light (Sacred Bones)
From SF, Ripley and Sanae are explorative in the kraut - psych realm. This album is good vibes for any occasion. Upon listening you will find yourself among the stars.
Tim Presley - IHTFLH (Drag City)
Tim from White Fence is one of my favorite songwriters. Indisposed off this album is a catchy and highly relatable pop tune (at least for myself). This man has an incredible talent to put together well structured catchy pop tunes.
Chris Natividad's (Heaven’s Club) Top Albums of 2019
Exek - Some Beautiful Species Left (Digital Regress / Anti-Fade Records)
Weirdo dubby post punk from Australia. I’ve become more and more obsessed with the Melbourne guitar music scene. Seems like they can effortlessly make a catchy tune and add humor to the lyrics to remind you how fun being a band can be.
Powerplant - People In The Sun (Dreamland Syndicate / Erste Theke Tontraeger)
Synth punk from some kids in London via Ukraine. Fun and full of energy, pop compositions with a hardcore backing band.
Filmmaker - The Love Market (Detriti Records)
Minimal dungeon techno from a Colombian dude who has what seems like endless tracks. This was the first one to really break for me but he has tons of albums he’s released from the ever growing Berlin via Italy label Detriti Records.
Acrylics - Sinking In (Iron Lung Records)
Hometown hardcore héros from Santa Rosa, Ca. Raw straight forward energy with complex compositions and guitar voicing.
Olivia Neutron John - Olivia Neutron John (Sister Polygon Records)
One woman band, minimal synth pop from Washington, DC. Every synth sequence and bass line will be stuck in your head immediately. Makes you feel relaxed and on edge at the same time.