You can’t always get what you want … but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you just might find … you get what you need.” – Doris

In December of 2019, as the other blogs were hastily publishing their Best-of-the-Year lists, your friends at The Blocland refused to cave to the demands of this 21st-century “EVERYTHING NOW” society! And now look at you. Locked away. Alone. Shriveling. But oh, what’s this, riding into your town like Geralt of Rivia, rescuing you from the monster that is yourself? That’s right, jump through this portal to better days with the The Blocland’s thoughtfully curated collection of the Best Albums of 2019. Be well, wash your hands, and no sloppy kisses with strangers. – Cooolin

Album-cover reimaginings by Saul Wright

20. Strand of Oaks – Eraserland

Timothy Showalter returns with a rejuvenated Strand of Oaks featuring most of My Morning Jacket, relatable but weighty lyrics of lost dreamers and fuck-ups seeking transcendence, and a tight classic-rock sound with shout-along choruses and bitchin’ guitar solos meant to fill arenas or make a tiny club feel like the greatest place on earth. His best album yet and strong evidence for the case that he’s one of the best rockers left. – Saul Wright

19. Sandy (Alex G) – House of Sugar

This album is like walking into a candy store. It’s a sensory overload. The guy can’t settle on one style, flavor, or color palette. But after you get your bearings, you realize how many gooey, sweet sounds and delicious hooks are baked into this beautiful collection of weirdness. And oh lord is it addicting. – Cooolin

18. Tyler, The Creator – IGOR

I have listened to IGOR top to bottom one time.

I have listened to its single “EARFQUAKE” at least 100 times and I am still not sick of it. In fact, I crave that Playboi Carti verse all the time. That deep sub bass that doesn’t really hit until you play it on actual subwoofers? Give me all of that … which I’m assuming Tyler, The Creator did all over this album. If this album is anything like “EARFQUAKE” then it deserves to be on this list.

Besides, Frank Ocean didn’t release an LP in 2019, so this will have to do. Is he on this album? Someone check it out and get back to me. – raptor jesus

17. Friendship – Dreamin’

I was Dreamin’ of getting a blurb for this album, but it never came my way. And it’s cost me a Friendship. Will now be taking applications for a brand new friend. – Cooolin

16. Lust for Youth – Lust for Youth

I like summer, I like music that moves your heart and feet, I like New Order, I like a 2-minute strung-out synth and guitar outros, I like guest vocals, I like feeling cooler than I am.

I love Lust For Youth. – Lem

15. Clairo – Immunity

Immunity is an album full of music. It is chill AND a vibe. I like it more than Rostam’s solo album. – Padfoot

14. Dump Him – Dykes To Watch Out For

With 10 songs clipping in at just over 23 minutes, Massachusettes Queercore foursome Dump Him present their full-length debut on Get Better Records. Fulfilling  the promise of their earlier EPs and one-off singles this album is a perfect case study in not fucking around.  Blistering melodic punk rock is the order of the day for this wicked good band. It’s a very solid reminder that punk rock does, in fact, still exist and some bands still really know how to bring the goods.

The appeal of the album is summed up with the track “Song For Frankie And Blinko.”  In particular from 2:16 to fin. This kind of blistering punk rock was what I loved when I was an angsty 16-year-old kid.  Also when I was a 34 angry twice-divorced SOB.  And nothing has changed now that I’m a relatively happy middle-aged motherfucker. Shit fucking destroys. Like punk rock is supposed to. – Blochead

13. Jessica Pratt – Quiet Signs

An album of beautifully whispered angel coos over delicate piano and guitar tones that helped to soothe my child into a trancelike state during moments of labile affect. Bless you Ms. Pratt. To not like this album is to go against the family and to make yourself an enemy of the angels. Don’t fuck with the family in 2020 because honestly you don’t want it. I will die for my family. One. – Donnytilla

12. Blood Incantation – Hidden History of the Human Race

To get on Blood Incantation’s level you’ll need regular tarot card readings, a working knowledge of metaphysics, thirty days in the desert, and a dominant third eye. If none of that is readily available, acid tabs and properly aligned chakras may get you at least a little closer. In Blood Incantation’s hands, death metal isn’t just death metal. Death metal is the key to unlocking the secret truths of the universe. For thirty astounding minutes, the Denver quartet push their instruments to their absolute limits only find those limits don’t actually exist. Guitars scream and expand in every direction at once while ceaseless blast beats ride out into the infinite.

Despite Hidden History’s enormity, the band’s humanity remains intact in movements exploding with enthusiasm and discovery. “Inner Paths (to Outer Space)” is an invigoratingly bizarre Rush impression and “Awakening From the Dream Of Existence to the Multidimensional Nature of Our Reality (Mirror of the Soul)” is eighteen straight minutes of joyous, brain twisting invention. With two stone-cold classics under their collective bullet belt, Blood Incantation could quit now and still be legends. But I’m thinking they still have new forms, languages, and, more importantly, riffs to guide us through. Metal is the Pale Blue Dot and Blood Incantation are four billion miles ahead. – Lobster Man

11. Lingua Ignota – Caligula

This July, Kristin Hayter, the titan force behind Lingua Ignota*, has laid to rest her sophomore album Caligula in a freshly dug cemetery plot aside the purged emotional demon of All Bitches Die. With dirt still caked beneath her nails, Hayter leads an audience through an orchestral graveyard. Before Hayter became Lingua Ignota, she found herself in the male-dominated realm of noise. Yet, that His-Story is wretched with traitors. Still tortured by her past, Hayter could not purge out another nightmare like All Bitches Die, instead Hayter made worthless her body and in that rot the megalomaniac Caligula himself** emerged – this is madness, this is cruel, this is the butcher. “Abandon your body so no man can break it” pleads Hayter to an audience now soaked with sexual perversion and territorial piss. Caligula is an anthem for abuse victims where Hayter controls the environment with every bellow and strike. 

Listeners are introduced to the album with unfamiliar sodden ground expecting the same abrasive grit of All Bitches Die. Instead, a polished side of Hayter emerges. She is delicate and soft, shrinking just outside of the predominantly masculine genre.*** Yet, once settled into a seemingly airy hymnal, we are met with course deception as Hayter becomes a Master of Hounds on the hunt for the blood of all those who have accused her of being a witch: dancing in the dark, singing too loud, and laying herself bare. Never again will her body be tormented and she beacons her listeners to follow suit; to be the hounds of her hunt. 

Caligula mirrors that of a dramatic production score with powerful operatic vocals, hellish screams, classical piano and throbbing beats. God only knows her sorrows, but damn if we aren’t the ones being buried. – PANTSUIT

*No this is not a pasta dish
** Overindulgent Roman emperor who ruled as an insane tyrant, killing on whim and serving insatiable sexual frustration through the bodies of other men’s wives.
***Never met a wise man, If so it’s a woman

COMING SOON: The Blocland’s TOP TEN ALBUMS of 2019!

  • Saul Wright

    What a list! Can’t wait for those top 10s!

    • Cooolin

      Huh? No, this is it. Sorry for the confusion.