2019 is nearly over, and what a year in music it was.  In fact, the music offerings gave a new “perfect” album (I’ll explain that later), and another that came pretty close.

So here it is, my Top 5 Albums of 2019… in no particular order.


Maggie Rogers – Heard It In A Past Life

If you ever have the chance to see Maggie Rogers perform live, you need to do it.  She’s the future of music. And an artist both my daughters (ages 14 & 11) and I can agree on.  She played twice in Portland in 2019, both sold out shows at the Crystal Ballroom… and then later at the Keller.   She was also nominated for a Grammy, Best New Artist.  Fingers crossed.

Vampire Weekend – Father of the Bride

Vampire Weekend’s Father of the Bride came into the world in May – and quickly became my go to music for the summer. It also was added to my list of “perfect” albums – albums you can listen from beginning to end with no weak spots and no skipping ahead.

Lana Del Rey – Norman F***ing Rockwell

My father-in-law turned me on Lana Del Rey years ago.  Last winter, about this time, her record label sent us a new track, Mariners Apartment Complex, with the promise that a full album would follow shortly.  It took longer to come out than I expected, and no one had any idea that Lana’s cover of Sublime’s “Doin’ Time” would become THE song of summer.  Lana is a true artist – and has a great sense of humor.  You can check out a chat I had with her over coffee here.

Sturgill Simpson – SOUND & FURY

If Sturgill Simpson isn’t on your radar, he should be. Long considered “Alt Country,” Sturgill’s new record, Sound & Fury, is pure rock.  Dirty rock. Check him out at the Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum in May. And if you subscribe to Netflix, check out the video version of the album, with Anime versions of each album track.

Wilder Woods – Wilder Woods

If Wilder Woods doesn’t mean anything to you, you’re not a lone.  Named after Bear Rinehart’s two sons, Wilder Woods is solo project from the NEEDTOBREATHE front man.