The year is already halfway through, and so much music has been blessed upon us. But what were the best albums of 2019 so far?

It’s the age-old question we ask ourselves each year – amongst all these sweet tunes, who reigns supreme?

Of course, opinion is subjective, but sometimes you just can’t deny which albums have stood out the most.

We’ve had impressive outputs from so many of our faves, from Ariana Grande to King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, but unfortunately, not everyone can make the list.

After careful consideration and collaboration, here are our top 10 best albums of the year so far.

10. Sigrid – Sucker Punch

By Poppy Reid

When we were 22, we were falling asleep in pools of our own vomit. Sigrid on the other hand, is a 22-year-old with a #1 LP in her native Norway and a Top 5 record in the UK, Scotland and Ireland. It’s not the dichotomy of our differences that has us so fixated on Sucker Punch; it’s the way it blindsided fans with just how consistent it was across the entire 12 tracks.

From the title track and opener, which sets the pace of heart-on-sleeve confidence, to ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’, which features the self-aware line, “I can shake it off and you feel threatened by me”, Sucker Punch is what pop music should be; bright, infectious and utterly hedonistic.

9. The Mountain Goats – In League With Dragons

By Tyler Jenke

On paper, the Mountain Goats’ In League With Dragons is a strange one. Drawing inspiration from roman noir and tabletop games, John Darnielle attacks the group’s 17th album with a different attitude than usual. Featuring a slightly more eclectic sound with the inclusion of Matt Douglas, the record is more downtempo than the group’s previous records (and features very few dragons), but with an increased amount of emotionally devastating lyrics throughout the piece.

With tracks like ‘Done Bleeding’, ‘Cadaver Sniffing Dog’, and ‘An Antidote For Strychnine’ serving as standouts, their titles alone should tell you about the sort of record this is. Grandiose yet humble, emotional yet genuine, and powerful without being overbearing, In League With Dragons might be one of the Mountain Goats’ most exceptional records to date.


By Geordie Gray

Billie Eilish’s debut record was everything that it needed to be. An edgy, brash, chaotic portrait of teenagerhood. Eilish is impossibly cool, but not in a way that makes you feel bad about yourself. Perhaps the most admirable facet of WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? Is the way that it has ushered in a new generation of music fans.

For so many young girls, this will be the first record that they wholly love and are able to relate to. It is a record that inspires young female music fans to embrace their weirdness and their quirks. It is a souvenir of their angst that they will be able to revisit time and time again. Highlights include the devilishly addictive ‘bad guy’ and ‘ilomilo’, which disturbingly pulsates with equal parts charm and horror.

7. Kim Petras – Clarity

By Michael Di Iorio

The self-professed “bitch with the sauce, apparently” is here with her debut album, and if it wasn’t clear before how talented Kim Petras is at what she does, she has come to give you some Clarity. It’s often quite rare that a pop album lacks any sort of flaw whatsoever, but across 12 tracks, Petras shines like VVS stones, offering a flawless listening experience.

From the Minogue-esque floor-filler ‘Sweet Spot’ to the devilish ‘Do Me’, Petras proves she has the staying power that’s needed in the world of pop music. Undoubtedly one of the years best albums from start to finish, and definitely heard best on a night drive with the windows down and a car full of besties. Oh and, for the initiated, there’s plenty of Woo-Ah’s for all.

6. Orville Peck – Pony

By Michael Di Iorio

Yeehaws and Yippeekiyays at the ready, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Orville Peck’s debut album Pony took us all by surprise, blending genres with an ever-present country undertone to every track. Brandishing his deep and brooding voice in such a way that will make any young cowboy cry, Peck showcases his talents as an unrivaled vocalist across some of the most emotion-packed songs this year.

On top of this, Peck’s image as a gay cowboy and an irrefutable influence for young LGBT individuals definitely strikes chords with those who can relate to his words such as myself. In fact, it makes the songs even sadder, hearing someone sing from a similar perspective with such intense emotion (take ‘Hope to Die’ as a shining example). We needed someone like Peck to shine in music, and now that he’s here, giddy up, for he isn’t going anywhere sheriff.

5. Tyler, The Creator – IGOR

By Michael Di Iorio

It takes only one listen to tracks like ‘EARFQUAKE’ or ‘A BOY IS A GUN*’ to understand why so many people are in love with this album. Taking the tried and tested theme of a love that comes by, sweeps you off your feet, and then leaves you lonely, and adding the irresistible charm we’ve learned to expect from Tyler, IGOR may just be his most honest project yet.

With every song produced and written by Tyler himself, it’s hard not to give the man credit for adding another incredibly unique album to his discography. If there’s one thing Tyler doesn’t do however, it’s playing it safe and to expectations, and that definitely pays off on this project. Also, the unfinished Kanye verse on Puppet that ‘cannot be transcribed’ is a master showcase of taking something incomplete and turning it into pure wonder. Definitely one of the years best albums so far.

4. Carly Rae Jepsen – Dedicated

By Michael Di Iorio

It’s been exactly 4 years since the sax of ‘Run Away With Me’ penetrated our unexpecting and uninitiated souls and converted us over into the church of Carly Rae. This time, however, we were ready, and our Pop saviour delivered in spades. Dedicated is just that, Dedicated, not only to the craft of making addictive and bouncing tunes for the masses to sing along to, but also to making genuinely heartfelt and perfectly produced pop on one of this years best albums.

‘Julien’ sounds exactly like a first crush, sparkling with vibrant energy, while standout ‘Everything He Needs’ provides the kind of pure heartwarming romance that seems to be lacking from a currently self-obsessed world of music. The popular trope of pop icons ‘saving pop’ has been spun around for years now, but it’s hard not to feel otherwise after hearing what has to be Carly Rae’s most fine-tuned and effervescently finessed project to date.

3. Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising

By Michael Di Iorio

We’ve all felt love. We’ve all felt loneliness. But have you ever felt so desperate for someone it felt as if you were falling through space? Or so desperately alone inside that it felt as if your room was filling up with water, leaving you to float about helplessly? If you said yes to either of those things, then Weyes Blood’s latest album is for you.

Titanic Rising takes commonplace emotions and exacerbates them tremendously to create a sonic landscape that feels like you’re listening to your feelings. Undoubtedly one of the years best albums so far, Weyes Blood has perfected upon her past projects to create an almost operatic set of songs that put baroque pop to shame. Standouts include ‘Andromeda’ and ‘Everyday’, which burst with the energy of longing and life.

2. Jessica Pratt – Quiet Signs

By Michael Di Iorio

One of the most unique and distinguishable voices in music today, Jessica Pratt knows how to charm an audience. Four years after her last project, On Your Own Love Again, this time around Pratt has come by with a mastery over sound that is to be wholly admired. Coming in at only 27 minutes, Quiet Signs delivers dreamy and wispy delights in quick doses, drifting you off to some other world entirely.

It’s very rare that an album feels like its own defined place to live in, with its own set of rules and lush flora to walk alongside, but Quiet Signs does just that. Wordy metaphors aside, the album is tremendously beautiful, and gently siren calls you back in for visits once you’re finished. For what it does and has set out to do, Pratt’s latest triumphant effort has definitely landed a place as one of this year’s best albums so far.

1. Solange – When I Get Home

By Michael Di Iorio

When entering any Solange album only one thing can be certain, any expectations you have going in will be completely shattered. Twerking for her phone camera and dipping low in cowboy hats in the albums accompanying 39-min film, the Houston-born powerhouse unflinchingly makes the music she wants to, unbending to the fantasies of how an album should operate and sound.

The entire essence of the album is best captured in ‘Can I Hold the Mic (Interlude)’, in which she rhymes over in-time synths singing, “I can’t be a singular expression of myself, there’s too many parts, too many spaces, too many manifestations.” And Solange explores all of these aspects of herself without fear to create her most enthralling album yet; spinning pain into beauty in ‘Jerrod’, and celebrating black excellence in the spiraling beats of ‘Almeda.’ And god if you don’t find ‘Way to the Show’ to be an absolute masterpiece, I have a few words for you when I get home.

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine