Listening Schedule 2019

Some years have great albums, some have great singles, some are dense with interesting recordings, some are loaded with powerful, individual musical personalities. 2019 had all of that.

Every year has a different character. For us, 2019 was something like a trip across a stormy ocean on a fast and narrow boat. There were many times when I believed we wouldn’t make it — times when I thought we were bound to capsize, and other times when there was nothing to do but trust in the wind and pray. We don’t know what’s coming over the horizon. But now that the far shores of the year are visible, I thought it would be salutary for us to play our annual game, even if listening to the music of 2019 brings back some awful memories.

We do this, in part, because many of the surrounding memories aren’t awful: being alone on a scary sea, is, we have learned, an experience that can fairly be described as hardcore. As you know, we’re not hardcore people in the slightest; we’re not rough or tough, and we don’t pride ourselves on our strength, or our courage, or our perseverance during trials. But circumstances may compel us to become something other than what we are. In 2019, we discovered that we could do things that I never would have dreamed we’d be able to do. That was, in a way, rewarding. Maybe the hat would have put us in Gryffindor after all.*

So while this was a frightening year, an brain-breaking year, a bewildering and disorienting year, a year filled with experiences I wouldn’t wish on anybody, I would not say it was a bad year. Because it wasn’t; not even a little. And we were helped along the way, as we always are, by the music, which was exceptional. Some years have great albums, some have great singles, some are dense with interesting recordings, some are loaded with powerful, individual musical personalities. 2019 had all of that. The decade is going out strong.

Real estate on this list is at a premium. I left out a few records that, ordinarily, would have made it, like Jessica Pratt’s Quiet Signs and Nilüfer Yanya’s Miss Universe; I couldn’t even find room for that Earl Sweatshirt EP (I’m sure I’ll squeeze in a few listens here and there.) What this means, practically, is that you’re going to encounter some extraordinary music, and very few of those obligatory albums that we put on the list out of respect for an artist’s prior work. I say with some emphasis: this year’s schedule is a joy. Should you like to experience that joy along with us, the game starts tomorrow.

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 10

  • Aaron West & The Roaring Twenties — Routine Maintenance
  • Solange — When I Get Home

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 11

  • Miranda Lambert — Wildcard
  • Operator Music Band — Duo Duo

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 12

  • Pivot Gang — You Can’t Sit With Us
  • Stella Donnelly — Beware Of The Dogs

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13

  • White Reaper — You Deserve Love
  • The Rails — Cancel The Sun

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14

  • Van Morrison — Three Chords & The Truth
  • Harry Styles — Fine Line

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15

  • Carly Rae Jepsen — Dedicated
  • Fontaines D.C. — Dogrel

MONDAY, DECEMBER 16

  • JPEGMafia — All My Heroes Are Cornballs
  • Tegan And Sara — Hey, I’m Just Like You

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17

  • Olden Yolk — Living Theatre
  • Denzel Curry — Zuu

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 18

  • Julia Jacklin — Crushing
  • Pedro The Lion — Phoenix

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19

  • Oso Oso — Basking In The Glow
  • Little Simz — Grey Area

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20

  • Jenny Lewis — On The Line
  • Metronomy — Metronomy Forever

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 21

  • Billy Woods & Kenny Segal — Hiding Places
  • The Japanese House — Good At Falling

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22

  • Wand — Laughing Matter
  • Vampire Weekend — Father Of The Bride

MONDAY, DECEMBER 23

  • Vanishing Twin — The Age Of Immunology
  • Sego — Sego Sucks

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 24

  • Mon Laferte — Norma
  • John Van Deusen — (I Am) Origami, Pt. 3 — A Catacomb Hymn

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 25

  • Morrissey — California Son
  • Rose Elinor Dougall — A New Illusion

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 26

  • Lana Del Rey — Norman Fucking Rockwell
  • The Paranoid Style — A Goddamn Impossible Way Of Life

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 27

  • Homeboy Sandman — Dusty
  • Elbow — Giants Of All Sizes

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 28

  • Jamila Woods — LEGACY! LEGACY!
  • Calliope Musicals — Color/Sweat

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 29

  • Maren Morris — Girl
  • Andrew Bird — My Finest Work Yet

MONDAY, DECEMBER 30

  • Drake — Care Package
  • Ezra Furman — Twelve Nudes

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31

  • American Football — American Football (LP3)
  • Gang Starr — One Of The Best Yet

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 1

  • Mike Posner — A Real Good Kid
  • Y La Bamba — Mujeres

THURSDAY, JANUARY 2

  • Taylor Swift — Lover
  • Nico Segal & Nate Fox — Intellexual

FRIDAY, JANUARY 3

  • Injury Reserve — Injury Reserve
  • Courtney Hartman — Ready Reckoner

SATURDAY, JANUARY 4

  • Better Oblivion Community Center — Better Oblivion Community Center
  • Somos — Prison On A Hill

SUNDAY, JANUARY 5

  • Frances Cone — Late Riser
  • King Princess — Cheap Queen

MONDAY, JANUARY 6

  • Say Anything — Oliver Appropriate
  • Blood Orange — Angel’s Pulse

TUESDAY, JANUARY 7

  • Pronoun — I’ll Show You Stronger
  • Billie Eilish — When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 8

  • Charly Bliss — Young Enough
  • Richard Dawson — 2020

THURSDAY, JANUARY 9

  • 2 Chainz — Rap Or Go To The League
  • Dori Freeman — Every Single Star

FRIDAY, JANUARY 10

  • The Rocket Summer — Sweet Shivers
  • Anemone — Beat My Distance

SATURDAY, JANUARY 11

  • Ximena Sariñana — ¿Dónde Bailarán Las Niñas?
  • Weezer — Black Album

SUNDAY, JANUARY 12

  • The Highwomen — The Highwomen
  • Kanye West — Jesus Is King

MONDAY, JANUARY 13

  • The New Pornographers — In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights
  • Steve Lacy — Apollo XXI

TUESDAY, JANUARY 14

  • Chance The Rapper — The Big Day
  • Belle & Sebastian — Days Of The Bagnold Summer

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15

  • Lizzo — Cuz I Love You
  • Bruce Hornsby — Absolute Zero

THURSDAY, JANUARY 16

  • Jimmy Eat World — Surviving
  • Freddie Gibbs & Madlib — Bandana

FRIDAY, JANUARY 17

  • Mdou Moctar — Ilana (The Creator)
  • Lucy Rose — No Words Left

SATURDAY, JANUARY 18

  • Tyler, The Creator — Igor
  • Marika Hackman — Any Human Friend

SUNDAY, JANUARY 19

  • Rodney Crowell — Texas
  • Camila Cabello — Romance

MONDAY, JANUARY 20

  • Danny Brown — uknowhatimsayin¿
  • Caroline Polachek — Pang

TUESDAY, JANUARY 21

  • Bruce Springsteen — Western Stars
  • The Early November — Lilac

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 22

  • Young Thug — So Much Fun
  • Laura Stevenson — The Big Freeze

THURSDAY, JANUARY 23

  • The Futureheads — Powers
  • Big Thief — U.F.O.F./Two Hands

FRIDAY, JANUARY 24

  • GoldLink — Diaspora
  • Sleeper — The Modern Age

*j/k, we’re both obviously Ravenclaw.