This is the list you’ve all been waiting for, well, sort of. This is my Top 20 LPs of the year. Admittedly, there’s none of the high profile hitmakers on here, but that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy those albums. I loved Purple Mountains just as much as the next person, same with Weyes Blood, but in a pickle, would I choose it over that Martha LP? Uh, absolutely not. Plus, I ran a lot this year because I got tired of being fat, so the majority of this stuff is pretty upbeat and “runnable.” There’s no order because all are equal under my ears.
As we’re all looking back on the year 2019, I tend to gravitate towards lists with little agenda, other than to shine a light back on the year in the areas I adore. For one, the indiepop scene. Now, there’s always a great big debate about what indie pop is, so for all intents and purposes, I admit that I just don’t care, so the genre’s purists can yell at me later. Now, this may read as a best of, but merely this is the stuff that stuck out in my brain, so if I missed something, I love you and I’m sorry. Honestly, it just gave me a chance to make a fun playlist (2+ hours!) full of hits for all you pop fans.
It’s super-hard to really nail down your favorite albums, especially when its only July and the whole thing seems pretty arbitrary, to put it lightly. But, like all your favorite sites, hits matter; they make you feel cool. So, I have concocted my own list of the Best Albums of 2019…so far. This in no way is a representation of the whole of the site contributors, and merely exists as poor commentary by a blogger with too much time on his hands. Enjoy!
By now, if you’re one of the 8 people reading these pages, you know how much I’ve been looking forward to hearing the entirety of There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win, the new LP from Mammoth Penguins. Today’s the day that it drops, giving us further insight into the band’s return to a slimmed down 3 piece (after the John Doe release). While there are some definite pop rocking numbers, my early time with the LP has me falling for “There is So Much More;” it’s a really soft tune, giving the album some diversity so it doesn’t wear on you…not to mention there’s no such thing as a bad Kupa performance. If you love your pop music, you’ll love this album, so go grab it from Fika Recordings, or stream it below!
I think if Mammoth Penguins had the US press behind them, they would be able to win over every indie rock fan with a penchant for pop sensibility; they remind me of my own top rated bands like Bad Moves, Weakened Friends or a louder Rosie Tucker. The riffs in their latest single are heavy and sharp; there’s a few moments when they have this jagged stutter that added an extra layer of hook during the verses while the rhythm section intoxicates you in their own spot-on fashion. Plus, at the helm is one of the most powerfully distinctive voices from Emma Kupa; I think this is my favorite performance from her in the three singles we’ve heard so far, especially with the playful “oohs.” So, who needs the US press…I know this band rules and I’m stoked to hear the entirety of There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win, out on Fika Recordings on April 26th.
My Mammoth Penguins fandom knows no bounds, but that’s only emboldened when the group unleash great tracks. They’ve slimmed back down to a three piece after releasing the ambitious John Doe LP; this seems to have given them this boundless energy that bleeds through your speakers. Emma definitely has a spectacular vocal performance on this new number; her voice is given lots of space to soar atop the instrumentation, driving home the lyrical content. And, as much credit as I want to give Kupa here, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how spot on the rhythm section is on this track; the drumming alone is standout work…driving the track forward. There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win will be out April 26th via Fika Recordings.
The last time we heard from Mammoth Penguins was back in 2017 when they were bringing in their friends to help complete their concept album, John Doe. Today we have the band narrowed back down to a three piece, fronted by Emma Kupa, with a new LP on the way via Fika Recordings. It all kicks off with fuzzy guitar riffs opening the scene for Emma to jump in with her voice; her lyrical content is one of infatuation/love and a willingness to “fuck it all, fuck it all” in the name of love. But, what’s interesting to me, is the way the song winds down, ever so slightly for a musical interlude to flex musicianship, just before bouncing back into the swing of things emphatically. There’s No Fight We Can’t Both Win will be out April 26th.
It’s that silly time of year when we ascribe arbitrary rankings to the music created by our favorite artists. And, I’ve already seen a few lists from the likes of Paste or Rolling Stone (among others) that I find completely off the mark. Now, our ATH End of Year list will be a team effort, so here is a list of records I adored that probably won’t end up on too many other “Best of Lists,” though I think they should! Again, no particular order, just ten albums you should enjoy. …that you might have forgotten about.
Fresh off the release of their thematic John Doe release, Mammoth Penguins are already back with a new release, this time curated by Fortuna Pop (the label that refuses to die). These delightful two tracks appear as part of Kingfisher Bluez Singles Club, which has 12 7″ curated by some of their favorite labels/friends. It’s a subscription series, and if this is where the club starts…then we’re in for a good ride. I love the patience shown on the opening track of this 7″, waiting until the 1 minute mark to unleash its beautiful fury. The B-side is a subtle charmer, illustrating yet again why we love whatever Emma Kupa touches. If the 7″ club is your thing, do it…otherwise just enjoy these great jams.
We’re at that point of the year when music slowly starts to fade as people scramble to tell you what you should have listened to in 2017. I’m guilty of it myself, but a release that’s still fairly fresh, and still getting constant play, is the new Mammoth Penguins (& Friends) LP, John Doe. It’s a concept album centered around the title character, told through various characters. But, don’t get lost on the idea of what is or isn’t a “concept” album; sit back and enjoy the dedication to the songwriting that’s prevalent throughout. Think of it as a great pop record for people who love to read books! If you haven’t gotten a copy, you can grab yours from WIAIWYA.