Best of 2019
Misconstrued – Seth Gilliam & The Fake News
There hasn’t been one project that Seth has been a part of that hasn’t been astounding, and this album is no exception. I’d say the fella’s talented beyond his years, but I’m the same age and that would just make me depressed now, wouldn’t it?
Where Have I Been All Your Life? – John Dubuc’s Guilty Pleasures
John’s become one of my best friends over this past year. It all started because I told him that when I grow up, I want to be as good of a songwriter as him, and that’s the truth. I’ve never heard a record with such re-listen-ability-ness as this one. This record will live with you for a long time.
What The Brokenhearted Do… – Tim Heidecker
This one blows my mind. Tim tricked us into thinking he got a divorce and wrote an entire record surrounding said divorce. He is the Andy Kaufman of music, a triple threat of awesome. Plus, he’s heavily influenced by Warren Zevon, which is no crime.
Bad Wiring – Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltage
Because of my hankering for vinyl, a friend sent me the “LPs” music video from Jeffrey Lewis and I was enamored. This record has no shortage of great tunes, including “Except For The Fact That It Isn’t,” “Till Question Marks Are Told,” and “Exactly What Nobody Wanted.”
It’s easily become one of my favorite records of 2019.
In League with Dragons – The Mountain Goats
John Darnielle has been my biggest influence when it comes to my own songwriting. This album, in a way, feels like an experiment, or at least a divergence of style, which I love. There are a few country-esque tunes, and an 80s-inspired power ballad.
There’s adventure all across this one.
When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? – Billie Eilish
There is something dark and sinister that she’s bringing to the table that breaks up the monotony of the four-chord safety net that’s been implemented in pop music over the last few decades. Her live shows and music videos are out of this world. Billie gives me hope for music.
Misery – Age Nowhere
Paul Monnin ripped me from my sad bachelor pad on Central in late 2018 to bring me to my first open mic in several years at Star City Brewing. I heard him play this before I knew anything about his band or his songwriting. I associate this tune with my entrance into the Dayton music scene, and it couldn’t have been a better one to remember it by.
Transference – Overthought Musik
I am a firm believer of never moving the needle once it hits the grooves, but for some reason I break my own rule for this one. The whole record is a knockout, showcasing some of Dayton’s beloved heavyweights.
But this song, man. I can’t stop!
Miami Memory – Alex Cameron
The fuzzed-out drums, the simple melodies and minimal musical distractions, Alex Cameron tells it like it is. The lyrics are dirty, comical, yet heartwarming, and the video just reinforces the point.
Every time I hear it, I feel like I’m falling in love all over again.
“What I Mean To You” – David Payne
How can I make a best-of list and not include our good pal, David Payne? Like Nebraska before it, Orange Glow is an intimate record that gives you the sense that you’re being serenaded by a woeful traveler who shares the same heartbreak as you. After it’s over, all you can do is pour yourself – and your guest – a glass of whiskey and stare into the fireplace until the embers sizzle away with the sunrise’s orange glow. That’s what it means to me.
Brandon Berry is the sonic artist behind The Paint Splats. He loves long walks, sunsets and… just kidding he is a songwriter, videographer, photographer and visual artist who in his down time is watching VCR tapes and writing some of the catchiest indie and alt-country pop songs this side of the Mississippi. His latest record is Defacing the Moon, a split album with Mike Bankhead, available now. The Paint Splats are on twitter and instagram as @thepaintsplats.