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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Tug Baker’s Top Albums of 2019

I feel like I had more albums than ever in my running yearlong playlist this year, but I didn’t get to spend nearly the time with all of them that I would have liked to. Here’s my list of the albums that rose above the noise in 2019. (Minus metal records. Those might get their own list later.) And a handy playlist too!

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