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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Deerhunter performs “Helicopter” on Conan

I’ve liked everything I’ve ever heard by Deerhunter, so it’s embarrassing how long it took me actually to purchase a record. And Halcyon Digest is easily my favorite album of the year. This performance of “Helicopter” is outstanding. This song is mesmerizing. Can’t get enough.