As another year filled with great music comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on albums that really stood out to me. 2019 was the year I got into the trendy lo-fi bedroom pop, jazz inspired sounds of Crumb and Men I Trust, while also exploring noise acts like Metz, Show Me The Body and Girl Band. As one might expect, the list is predominantly “indie rock,” with most acts falling into the post-punk category. If that’s your thing, check out the individual albums and the playlist below.
(Sandy) Alex G
(Sandy)Alex G & Japanese Breakfast at the Echoplex
On the 15th of June I caught a sold out show at the Echoplex with opener Cende, Japanese Breakfast, and Alex G.
Japanese Breakfast performed some new songs, sharing that their new album would come out next month. The singer was perfectly charming, even stepping out during Cende’s set to sing a song with them. Highlights from their set included their dreamy opening track and “Everybody Wants to Love You.”
(Sandy) Alex G, if you haven’t seen him live, is really something special. Their set was long without feeling over extended, and they played mostly tracks off their latest album, Rocket. Alex G switched from guitar to piano smoothly with a mild power interruption, and while I was happy to hear “Guilty” live, they were missing some key players on stage to round out the song like their sax and violin players. But regardless, Alex G’s intense talent and cool factor, even the way he quickly sways constantly while playing guitar had me in a star-struck trance. Their performance of “Sportstar” sans auto-tune made me a believer in the song, requiring me to go back and listen to it in the car with even more enthusiasm and respect.
Upon completing their jazz jam session in “Guilty,” Alex G said casually, “well, that was our set….what do you guys wanna hear?” This was so refreshing, as most bands these days aren’t quite as quick on their feet or even as cool to allow the crowd to shout out some requests. But they took the requests and played them, even the older more rusty ones, with ease. I was especially delighted when they played “Mis,” a particularly beautiful but depressing track with lyrics like “My baby’s all right / she just doesn’t wanna see me tonight / not for a minute / not for a second / she says there’s nothing here for you to make right.” Crying yet?
I was walking on air on the way out, and the only thing that added to my elation was a Zachary Cole Smith sighting (of DIIV) leaving the show – band members, they’re just like us!