Almanac Music: Top Albums of 2019



Alex Lahey- The Best Of Luck Club


The second album from the Melbourne singer/songwriter, “The Best Of Luck Club” is a very polished effort following on from her wonderful debut record “I Love You Like A Brother”. The signature A.Lahey rock sound right from track one, featuring a maturing of her lyrical work. Plus Alex herself on saxophone on “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself”. Her rise continues.


Songs to add to your playlist: Interior Demeanour, Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself, I Don’t Get Invited To Parties Anymore



The Teskey Brothers- Run Home Slow


Joel Teskey- What.A.Voice. What a wonderful album, much deserving of their ARIA awards. Smokie Dawson gave the perfect review for this classic album HERE.


Songs to add to your playlist: So Caught Up, Let Me Let You Down, Carry You



Catherine Traicos- Nobody Could Hear Us


The 8th record from the Perth based singer-songwriter, this is an album totally written, recorded, produced and arranged by Traicos herself. There’s songs of anger and loss intersected with hope, optimism and even joy on these recordings. Exquisite instrumental playing that rewards with each listen. Traicos’ voice has never sounded richer. From the hypnotic “Fire” to the achingly beautiful “Never So Lost”, the anger of “Safehouse” (with the fabulous bass of Sabian Wilde) and “Dirt” to the simple yet bright “And I Ran”, this is an artist at the top her game, deserving your attention.


Songs to add to your playlist: Safehouse, Fire, Secret Song, And I Ran, Never So Lost



King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard- Fishing For Fishies


The first of two 2019 albums for the ever prolific King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, “Fishing For Fishies” sounds like nothing they’ve done before. Bluesy, catchy, sometimes pyscadelic sing-a-long fun. Some serious topics in the lyrics but they won’t take away from the joyful harmonica and upbeat riffs. Awesomely fun video clips for the title track and for lead single “Cyboogie” that the whole family will enjoy.


Songs to add to your playlist: Cyboogie, Fishing For Fishies, Boogieman Sam



Angie McMahon- Salt


The long awaited debut album from Melbourne’s Angie McMahon, and boy it was worth the wait. Full of fantastic guitar hooks, though it’s McMahon’s incredibly strong, distinctive voice that stars, delivering a truly moving, captivating first LP.


Songs to add to your playlist: Pasta, Soon, Slow Mover



Broads- Stay Connected


Melbourne duo Broads were back in 2019 with their second album, this time adding a full band to complement the incredible vocals and harmonising of Kelly Day and Jane Hendry. Lush, dreamy, well produced songs with a theme on the need for connection in today’s world.


Songs to add to your playlist: Mirror, Velvet Paradise, I Fed the Horse



King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard- Infest the Rats’ Nest


The second King Gizzard album of 2019 is far removed from the first, “Infest the Rats’ Nest” being 35 minutes of flat out, pulsating thrash metal. The heaviest album of their career, the big sound works, a fast paced no filler record from beginning to end. Can’t wait to see what they do next.


Songs to add to your playlist: Planet B, Organ farmer, Self-Immolate



BATTS- The Grand Tour


A concept album that demands and deserves to be listened to from start to finish, “The Grand Tour” features voice samples from NASA of both Voyager space trips throughout, as Tanya Batt and the characters who inhibit these songs journey beyond Mars. Well written and crafted tunes that will get stuck in your orbit.


Songs to add to your playlist: Mars, Shame, Folding Chairs



Plum Green- Sound Recordings


Dark, brooding, grungy rock/folk-rock.Plum Green was my favourite new musical discovery of 2019, loved “Sound Recordings” right from the first listen, a short, strong 7 song record with a tight band and Plum’s wonderful vocals. There was a 7 year gap from her first album in 2012 to this release, hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for more from this talented artist.


Songs to add to your playlist: Baby Bird, Fountain, Cannibal


Bruce Springsteen- Western Stars


There’s no E-Street band, this is a very different sounding, yet utterly Bruce solo record. A smooth, coherent, simple laid back album full of great stories as you’d expect.


Songs to add to your playlist: Wayfarer, Western Stars, Moonlight Motel



Little Wise- Want It All


Many thanks to fellow Almanacker Andrew Fithall for introducing to the music of Little Wise (Sophie Klein). “Want It All” is a delightful collection of upbeat catchy tunes that still pack a punch lyrically and very Australian in sound. Another full band fantastic sounding album.


Songs to add to your playlist: Want it All, Devil Off My Back



Mental As Anything- At Play (Live)


Andrew “Greedy” Smith was the last original Mental standing in 2019. This recording of a Mentals live gig released in 2019 showcases Greedy at his very best, carrying the band on his own, nailing his own songs as well as Martin Plaza tracks such as “If You Leave Me Can I Come Too”, “Mr Natural”, “The Nips Are Getting Bigger” and “Beserk Warriors”. Alongside Crowded House and the Hoodoo Gurus, the Mentals firstly inspired my love of music with their fun, colourful songs, and ultimately made me an Australasian music fan first and foremost. Was absolutely shattered at the news of Greedy’s passing, an incredible singer, keyboardist, songwriter and live performer. RIP Greedy.


Songs to add to your playlist: Too Many Times, Come Around, Mr Natural, Rock’N’Roll Music


All recommended tracks are collected on a playlist
on Spotify HERE


Click here for Luke’s top albums of 2018



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Orders will be posted from Dec 11.


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134


  1. Colin Ritchie says

    Some fab albums Luke! I saw the Broads at the Off the Record Xmas Show at the Caravan Club a couple of weeks ago. I thought they were sensational!

  2. Paddy Grindlay says

    Ripper list. King Gizz are one helluva band. Check out Stella Donnelly’s “Beware of the Dogs” as well – think Freo’s answer to Lily Allen.

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    Col, Broads are brilliant live! Have really loved both of their albums to date.

    Cheers Paddy. King Gizz extraordinary band, always prolific and doing something different. Have heard a little bit of Stella Donnelly, seems very talented, will check out her album!

  4. Luke I readily admit can fit my knowledge of music on the back of a postage stamp huge respect for how much you follow and understand music

  5. Good stuff Luke. I really know nothing about what was released in 2020 ! Yep Bruce, the Mentals, are my vintage but i know zilch about these releases.

    In 2019 my music purchases were second hand CD’s from the shop in Nicholson St North Carlton. I’m happy listening to the Clash, etc.

    Keep up the articles. All the best for 2020.


  6. Liam Hauser says

    From Out of Nowhere, by Jeff Lynne’s ELO. Jeff showed his amazing ability as a singer-songwriter, nearing his 72nd birthday.

  7. Crackers,
    One of the annual highlights at the Almanac is your end of year music review. And, again, you have done a mighty job.
    If I get time, I will get out a list of my fave Aus albums for the year.
    Thanks for the reference in the Teskey Brothers.
    Like you I suspect, I cannot understand why the supremely talented Catherine Traicos has not been more widely acclaimed.

  8. Luke Reynolds says

    Cheers Rulebook

    Glen, nothing wrong with listening to the Clash! All the best to you for 2020.

    Cheers Liam, I’ll give it a listen.

    Thanks Smokie. Look forward to your list. An absolute mystery to me why C.Traicos is not more widely known.

  9. Correct me if i’m wrong but isn’t Catherine Traicos the grand daughter of Athanasios John Traicos? AJ to his mates.

    For those who are unaware of who AJ was/is, he was born in Egypt of Greek parentage. Subsequently he moved to South Africa where he played test cricket as a spin bowler. With changing circumstances he moved to Zimbabwe, who he later played test cricket for. He’s one of a few who played test cricket for two nations.

    Interesting journey, culturally, geographically, and career directions.


  10. Luke Reynolds says

    Glen, Catherine is the daughter of John Traicos. What a remarkable cricketing journey he had!

  11. Luke Reynolds says

    Have added to the end of the article a link to the Spotify playlist I’ve made containing all the recommended tracks.

  12. Ta Luke. I couldn’t recall if she was the daughter or grand daughter.

    As well as being an international cricketer i believe AJ was a painter of note.

    Talented family.


  13. Thx Luke, will check them out
    May I recommend Michael Kiwanuka’s album Kiwanuka

    Hero & You Ain’t the Problem

  14. Always anticipate your list Luke. Great stuff and all excellent albums. I’d add Lana Del Ray’s Norman Fxcking Rockwell!, Nick Cave’s Ghosteen, Vampire Weekend’s Father of the Bride and what I reckon is the year’s best sophomore release by an independent Australian female (better than Ali Barter and Alex Lahey) in Crushing by Julia Jacklin.

    Thanks for that.

  15. Luke Reynolds says

    Greg, thanks, checked out those songs and ended up listening to Michael’s entire album, fantastic music!

    Some more excellent albums Mickey, did especially enjoy Julia Jacklin’s record.

  16. You are a man of enthusiasms Luke. Your annual music piece is part of the furniture.

  17. Luke Reynolds says

    Cheers JTH! Always enjoy doing it, thanks for providing the platform.

  18. Great work Luke. I know three of these artists but your spotify playlist will give me a good entry point to acts like Broads, BATTS and Plum Green. On your word I reckon I’m in for a treat!

    Please note Paddy Grindlay that Stella is from Quinns Rocks, about 60kms north of Freo. Well, Wales and then Quinns Rocks.


  19. ELIZABETH fryers says

    well another surprise Luke i have a great collection of music some of Nan Topsy.

  20. Luke Reynolds says

    Look forward to hearing your thoughts on some of the artists Rick!

    Cheers Lizzie!

  21. Hi Luke

    Alex Lahey, Little Wise, Angie McMahon and Plum Green really stood out.

    I like Broads and BATTS but will have to listen to a bit more.

    The Teskey Brothers are a band I really want to like and I imagine live they are fantastic, but the songs on the playlist didn’t really grab me. I’ll listen to the album because you and Smokie are fans.

    Likewise, Catherine Traicos.

    I think you know my thoughts on King Wizzard.

    Bruce album is brilliant. Mentals live a nice tip of the hat to one of Australia’s most loved 80s bands and Greedy.


  22. Luke Reynolds says

    Cheers for having a listen Rick!

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