You can check out all of these artists and standout tracks on my 2019 Pipes's Picks Playlist on Spotify.
Standout tracks: "Dylan Thomas," "Didn't Know What I Was In For," "Sleepwalking"
Produced by Dave Simonett of Trampled by Turtles, Die Happy finds the Eau Claire Americana act at their best with a record that takes listeners on an emotional journey, fuelled with introspective, honest songwriting by Soren Staff. The vocal harmonies stand out on this record as Die Happy delivers an infectiously catchy record from start to finish. Also to note, the band's live show is top-notch and the new tracks translate fantastically on stage.
Standout tracks: "Hand of God (parts 2 and 3)," "Evangelina," "5'6'' Monument"
Standout tracks: "Ghosts of the Forest," "About to Run," "Ruby Waves"
2019 was a tremendous year for the indie rock quartet from Brooklyn. Releasing two stand-out records, U.F.O.F. and Two Hands, the band received tons of well-deserved critical acclaim. Adrianne Lenker's ethereal vocals drive Big Thief's sound, but it is the unique, clever, and catchy instrumentation of the quartet that really helps the songs take shape.
Standout tracks: "U.F.O.F.," "Forgotten Eyes," "Cattails"
The Austin-based duo of singer/guitarist Eric Burton and guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada have become quite the buzz-band as the calendar flipped from 2019 into 2020. The band has sold out shows across the country and deservedly so. Their album blends the best of soul, funk, and indie rock, and is guided by exceptional guitar-work and Burton's fantastic vocal range.
Standout tracks: "Colors," "Black Moon Rising," "Fire"
Hiss Golden Messenger's M.C. Taylor has become one of the most prolific songwriters in recent years, delivering a string of five top-quality albums over the past four years. Backed with multi-instrumentalist Phil Cook supporting him, Taylor and company are a band that embodies soulful Americana. Terms of Surrender is heartfelt and reflective through and through and engages listeners from start to finish.
Stand out tracks: "I Need A Teacher," "Old Enough to Wonder Why," "Terms of Surrender"
Stand out tracks: "Weird Ways," "Ruby," "Forever Chords"
Stand out tracks: "Vagabond," "New Moon," "New Familiar"
Stand out tracks: "I Followed The River South to What," "Rounder," "Sleeping Volcanoes"
Moctar is a Tuareg songwriter and musician based in Agadez, Niger who dropped one of the trippiest and most unique guitar-based records of the year. IIana (The Creator) showcases Moctar's unique style of play and jams hard to create vast, lush soundscapes. Moctar is an artist who cannot be defined by genre labels and pushes his unique sound in so many different directions on this album.
Stand out tracks: "Kamane Tarhanin," "Anna," "Tarhatazed:"
Stand out tracks: "Dead of Night," "Turn to Hate," "Queen of the Rodeo"
It's hard to believe that Vampire Weekend has been around for the past fifteen years. I still recall seeing them at Turner Hall Ballroom in Milwaukee shortly after their first record was released! Vampire Weekend has evolved into one of the top indie rock bands of the 2010's. The group continues to progress and hone their unique sound with each release. Father of the Bride is contagiously infectious with pop songs that will noodle into your brain and stay there for a long time.
Stand out tracks: "Harmony Hall," "This Life," "Sunflower"
Justin Vernon and company's fourth proper LP, i,i was dubbed the "autumn" record by the group. As with his previous releases, Vernon continues to experiment, explore and expand his sound as a performer. i,i creates a nice sonic balance, integrating more of Vernon's folk sensibilities with his deeper electronic arrangements to create a solid record from start to finish.
Stand out tracks: "Hey, Ma," "Faith," "Naeem"
Standout tracks: "Wildflowers," "Summer and Me," "Maker"
Standout tracks: "Northwoods Waltz," "Moondog," "Pale Lonesome Rider"