Eric Greenwood’s Top Albums of 2019

1. Purple Mountains, Purple Mountains (Drag City)

When David Berman returned suddenly after a self-imposed, decade-long exile, it was cause for celebration. Seeing the world through Berman’s – by turns – caustic, witty, scholarly, devastating, absurd, and wry lens was sorely missed and missing from independent music at large. His suicide merely weeks after his re-emergence only exacerbated the bleakness of the stark poetry in Purple Mountains’ astonishing debut. His songwriting had reached a new level of hook-laden laconicism and resignation, but the heartache and hopelessness that bubbled at the surface turned out to be far too real. Berman tosses off references that may send you to the research room one moment while uncovering a previously unnoticed universal truth the next. He was the poet of a generation of over-educated misanthropes, and he will be missed. This final album will long stand the test of time and fits alongside the best of his Silver Jews canon.

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STREAM: Chromatics “White Light”

Johnny Jewel has been unearthing a slew of Chromatics jams lately on his SoundCloud page. Not sure to what end but since it’s been a minute since the last Chromatics full length, these scraps are making up for lost time. “White Light” is brocade of wispy synths, over-reverbed guitar, and the requisite ethereal vocals.

Drive Soundtrack Vinyl Reissue with New Artwork by Tyler Stout

The Original Soundtrack from the Ryan Gosling film Drive is being re-released on a special gatefold, double-LP set with new artwork by poster artist Tyler Stout (above) on black vinyl. Random copies will be pressed on hot pink vinyl, however. I never win that lottery, so I expect my copy to be black. But I’m excited, nonetheless, because the music is what pushed this film from great to bad ass for me. The OST features a score by composer Cliff Martinez, as well as unshakably memorable songs by Kavinsky, Chromatics, and College. This reissue is available for purchase via Austin’s Mondo Gallery on March 22, 2013. None of the streaming sites carry this soundtrack, so your options are limited. [via Pitchfork]

VIDEO: Chromatics “Cherry”

I love everything this band touches. “Cherry” is on the forthcoming After Dark 2 triple LP from Italians Do It Better. The retro production reminds me of the “Drive” OST, which makes sense since Chromatics had a song on it, but the feel of this song in particular evokes that opening piece by Kavinski. This is now on repeat. You can download the song here. [via Buddyhead]