Weyes Blood

The 25 Best Albums Of 2019

Dec 11, 2019

This list was made by writers, editors and producers at NPR Music operating under two rules: Albums had to be released during 2019 and no lead artist was allowed to appear on both this list and our list of the 25 Best Songs of 2019. You can find the rest of our picks for the best music of 2019 here.

Best Songs Of 2019 (So Far)

Jun 26, 2019

Lizzo's "Juice" drips so much sauce. Charly Bliss channels existential anxiety into synth-pop catharsis. Mdou Moctor's guitar will set you in a trance. There's no one sound to a year, but public radio writers across the country do set their ears to the most essential music. At the year's midway point, we asked them, as we did with albums: What is your favorite song of 2019 so far?

Best Albums Of 2019 (So Far)

Jun 25, 2019

We asked our panel of public radio writers one question: What is your favorite album of 2019 so far? There were so many ways to answer: we've heard albums that feel germane to our time, that allowed us to escape, that reconfigured a beloved artist's roots or that signaled the next wave of sound. But ultimately, what we have here are the No. 1s as picked by some of the biggest ears in the country, the albums that we just can't stop listening to, even when time, algorithms and unending news cycles demand otherwise.

Appropriately timed for spring, this month's selection of best albums is tethered together by the spirit of evolution. On Orange, the prodigious, Pulitzer-winning composer Caroline Shaw offers a blossoming rendition of string quartet music, while Glen Hansard has opened up his lovely acoustic palette to color it with newfound, worldly flourish on This Wild Willing.

Titanic Rising, Natalie Mering's latest album from her long-running project Weyes Blood, invites the listener in with a comforting, somewhat nostalgic sound. But beneath that warm, dream-pop bed of music is a flood of anxieties about climate change, finding love and a friend's suicide.

As winter departs and springtime begins, Heavy Rotation returns to spotlight a collection of songs by fresh artists, selected by public radio DJs across the country.

This month on Heavy Rotation, hear SOAK's disco-ball beat that won't quit, Faye Webster's vacation breeze of a song that explores the many facets of feeling alone, a raspy battle cry from Mavis Staples and a live SXSW session from BAILEN, best heard down by the creekside and out in the awakened sun.