It’s the most listable time of the year again!
A lot of the DIY bands we love don’t have the resources to record a whole album, so we’ve opened up our end-of-year list to include EPs too. And rightly so – we seen some belters this year.
Here’s the Top 11 Releases of 2019 as voted for by yer Team LOUD WOMEN. Check em all out.
Lilith Ai: Bare Radical (EP)
“Touching on political and personal narratives, and exploring multiple genres and heritages without once feeling forced or tokenistic, this EP demonstrates a breadth of creative potential crying out for the wider reception and greater attention that a full-length album and attendant media exposure could provide. Do your bit and just buy the EP already, because this is, Lilith is, the real deal. To quote the first song here, she comes correct.” <<full review by Kris Smith here>>
Dream Nails: Take Up Space (1st LP)
Also winner of the 2019 Hercury Prize! “The raucous attitude Dream Nails are known for, their exposure of every emotion without ever apologising for it, and their potent chemistry never seem to waver.” <<full review by Caitlin Webb here>>
Gaptooth: Sharp Minds, Raised Fists (2nd LP)
Petrol Girls: Cut and Stitch (2nd LP)
Petrol Girls’ explosive performance was a huge highlight of this year’s LOUD WOMEN Fest, as always! If you were there, you may have noticed the enormous banner they performed under – a hand-stitched patchwork of flags, reshaped to proclaim the words ‘NO LOVE FOR A NATION’. The video for this, the LP’s title track, shows the story behind that banner, made on route across Europe, and culminating at LW Fest in London.
Desperate Journalist: In Search of the Miraculous (3rd LP)
Sadly we don’t have a review of our own of this excellent album (we are a bit short of reviews writers – you could say we are … no, no, I shalln’t say it …). Anyway. We spotted that “bjbingle” on Bandcamp had these fine words to say about it: MessedUp Magazine had a post and photo set on IG. I decided to take a chance at some new music, as I was feeling stale. I pulled up this album on Spotify. Murmuration was the first track I ever heard by this band…and I instantly fell in love. I don’t know if other people get that feeling…lightning strike. I didn’t have to grow to like this band. I didn’t have to get used to them. It’s like I was lost musically before, and was rescued. This band feels like home.
ARXX: Wrong Girl, Honey (EP)
“If you didn’t make LW4, and thus haven’t heard it yet, imagine the Shangri-Las backed by AC/DC and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you’re in for.” <<full review by Tony Rounce here>>
Salad: The Salad Way (LP)
“Salad is the band that I always wished I could gig with again. The musical chemistry, the humour, the oddness, the collaborative creativity, even the arguments – it was all so much fun. The very first thing we did in our first rehearsal was to work on a new song, and TBH it only felt like we’d had 5 or 6 years off, not 20.” – Charley Stone <<full interview with Salad by Kris Smith here>>
Hurtling: Future from Here (LP)
“From the opening track, Start, with its Pavement-esque guitar riff and slightly off-kilter drums riding along in a cart behind, this record sounds like a road trip across a desert, somewhere in America, with friends driving together in a tripped out convoy, bouncing over bumps in the road, racing each other gleefully, overtaking, pulling apart, careering back together again.” <<full review by Lorna Myles here>>
The Slugs: Wet (EP)
“In keeping with the title, all five selections carry an aquatic theme. If you have ever wondered to yourself “what is wet?” Phoebe and Liberty might have the answer you are looking for in track 2 – piss is indeed wet, as you will know.” <<full review by Tony Rounce here>>
Personal Best: What You At (2nd LP)
“The painted smiles of each 3-minute masterpiece here mask an ocean of tears that nobody should have to swim. If you’ve ever felt wronged in love, your grievances will pale into insignificance next to the knife-in-the-chest double whammy of the album’s closing tracks ‘One Damn Thing’ (‘Do You Both Sleep At Night In The Bedding I Bought You?’’) and ‘Salute’ (‘You Never Will Come Through For Me’). Nobody deserves that level of hurt. (Well, other than a member of the Conservative party, perhaps…)” <<full review by Tony Rounce here>>
Breakup Haircut: What Did You Expect? I Got It Off The Internet! (EP)
“The confessional style of ‘What Did You Expect?…’ is unfailingly endearing. Tracks like ‘Kim Pine’, with its grunge-style heavily pedalled guitar riffs and haunting background vocals, twist earnest tracks out of the macho posturing often associated with rock and roll.” <<full review by Caitlin Webb here>>