5 Must-Hear Albums Coming In 2019
1. Toronto artist MorMor takes his smoky falsetto to such emotional levels at times that he reminds me of the late great Michael Jackson. The best kind of pop music always elevates whatever mood you’re in when you hear it, and that’s what MorMor does. When he sings you want to be right next to him singing just as passionately. He released a solid EP in 2018, but “Pass The Hours” has the most star power out of anything he’s shared so far. The way the background vocals crescendo with the chorus channels not just goosebumps but visions. His first LP has yet to be given a release date, but it’s coming with plenty of fan and critic anticipation surrounding it.
2. Toro, Toro, Toro…what more can you say at this point? He’s the most talented bedroom pop producer of our generation. And he’s more than a bedroom producer, I think. I mean, he can play live instruments. But whatever. Point is, this guy excels at all mediums in his own weirdly adorable (he did change his name from Chaz Bundick to Chaz Bear and that’s cute) way: social media, graphic design, video etc. A contemporary take on disco, Chaz uses “Freelance” to flex his nuanced approach to the dance floor with more pop appeal than ever. Look for it on his next album, Outer Peace, dropping January 18th.
3. Homeshaaaake. Peter Sagar is showing signs of sharper songwriting on “Nothing Could Be Better” as well as “Like Mariah”, both singles from his upcoming release Helium, dropping February 15th. Both songs feature fantastically catchy hooks, stepping up his unique blend of cyber pop and bedroom R&B. His music really exists in its own world, and though these two tracks lean heavily towards R&B, with past releases he’s kind of invented a new wave of jazz.
4. The prodigal son has returned! Juan Wauters has always fused his Latin roots into a New York-influenced style of songwriting, but in 2017 Juan packed his bags and went international to get a stronger hold on those roots. Based on the first single, “Guapa”, it seems Juan’s journey has given his music a new sense of purity and joy. The new album 'La Onda de Juan Pablo' will be his first to feature songs in all Spanish and releases January 25th.
5. Gardens & Villa. I found out about this band when my local radio station played “Black Hills” from their self-titled debut (produced by the late Richard Swift) in 2011. That album was and is still a standout Indie pop record of this decade, featuring a strange but accessible brew of folk and electronic music. “Underneath The Moon” is a beautiful extension of the pop they explored on their debut, and while it isn’t officially slated to be on a 2019 release, (with 12 months to go) we’re guessing a new full-length is on the way. Savor the flourishes of that signature G&V flute that you won’t hear anywhere else.