To borrow an old slogan from the anti-drug crowd: A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Perhaps. But if you burned through a few brain cells soaking up the psychedelic sounds and jams of these artists, I’d argue it was time well spent. Here are the best musical trips I took in 2019:
WHO IS HE? The British soul-folk singer-songwriter who enjoys massive respect and acclaim in his homeland, and has slowly been making inroads into North America through your premium cable TV — his songs have been featured in Big Little Lies, The Get Down, Animal Kingdom, Dear White People, Grace & Frankie, When They See Us and more.
WHAT IS THIS? His third studio album and second collaboration in a row with sympatico producers Danger Mouse and Inflo.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? Another giant step toward greatness. In keeping with its eponymous title, Kiwanuka is the sound of an artist coming into his own. Expanding exponentially from 2016’s superb sophomore slump-dodge Love & Hate, this 14-track disc casually but confidently toes the line between retro-soul and neo-soul, thanks to Danger Mouse and Inflo’s hazy psychedelia, lazy grooves and dusty production, which both contrast and complement Kiwanuka’s warm-yet-world-weary Bill Withers croon and revealing lyrics.
READ THE FULL REVIEW AND HEAR THE ALBUM HERE
Black Mountain | Destroyer
The Chemical Brothers | No Geography
Chinatown Slalom | Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?
Claypool Lennon Delirium | South of Reality
Combo Chimbita | Ahomale
The Comet is Coming | Trust in the Lifeforce of the Deep Mystery
The Dream Syndicate | These Times
Perry Farrell | Kind Heaven
Fat White Family | Serf’s Up
Flaming Lips | King’s Mouth: Music and Songs
Brittany Howard | Jaime
Michael Kiwanuka | Kiwanuka
Labrinth | Imagination & The Misfit Kid
Georgia Anne Muldrow | Vweto II
Karen O & Danger Mouse | Lux Prima
Oh Sees | Face Stabber
Particle Kid | Window Rock
Psychedelic Porn Crumpets | And Now For the Whatchamacallit
Chris Robinson Brotherhood | Servants of the Sun
Solange | When I Get Home
Tedeschi Trucks Band | Signs
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