Music In 2019: Indie 102.3 Staff Picks For Best Albums, Songs, Concerts And More

December 9, 2019

As another year (and DECADE) comes to an end, the obsessive Indie 102.3 staff has rounded up their favorite music of the last 12 months. Below, see our lists for favorite albums, songs, concerts and more.

We want to know your favorite music of 2019 too! Let us know by casting your vote in our listener poll by Dec. 16 and when you include your e-mail address with your ballot, you’re automatically entered to win a season pass for two, good for every show at Mission Ballroom in 2020. (Made possible by AEG, some restrictions apply. See complete rules.) We’ll play the best 102.3 songs of 2019 as picked by our listeners on New Years Eve!

Listen to a Spotify playlist of Indie 102.3's staff member's favorite songs of 2019 below. 

Top 10 Albums (no order)

  • Great Grandpa - "Four of Arrows"
  • Fontaines DC - "Dogrel"
  • Wand - "Laughing Matter"
  • Altin Gün - "Gece"
  • Hatchie - "Keepsake"
  • Jamila Woods - "LEGACY! LEGACY!"
  • Purple Mountains - "Purple Mountains"
  • Kiltro - "Creatures of Habit"
  • Michael Kiwanuka - "KIWANUKA"
  • Deerhunter - "Why Hasn't Everything Already Disappeared?"

Top 10 Shows (chronological order)

  • Spencer Krug at The Old Church (Portland, Ore.), May 4
  • Johnny Marr at Gothic Theatre, May 16
  • Grapetooth at Larimer Lounge, June 29
  • Deerhunter at Ogden Theatre, July 11
  • Built to Spill at Gothic Theatre, July 25
  • Viagra Boys at Pickathon - Galaxy Barn (Happy Valley, Ore.), Aug. 3
  • Altin Gün at Pickathon - Tree Line Stage (Happy Valley, Ore.), Aug. 4
  • Nathaniel Rateliff (solo) at Pickathon - Woods Stage (Happy Valley, Ore.), Aug. 5
  • Stereolab at Ogden Theatre, Oct. 7
  • Bob Dylan at Mission Ballroom, Oct. 17

Bruce Trujillo

Top 10 Songs (alphabetical by artist)

  • Black Belt Eagle Scout - “My Heart Dreams”
  • CHAI - “I'm Me”
  • Combo Chimbita - “El Camino”
  • Femina - “Resist ft. Iggy Pop”
  • Flor de Toloache - “Besos de Mezcal”
  • Brittany Howard - “Stay High”
  • Lizzo - “Soulmate”
  • Angel Olsen - “Lark”
  • Vagabon - “Secret Medicine”
  • Y La Bamba - “Bruja de Brujas”

Top 10 Band Shirts (alphabetical)

  • Bikini Kill 
  • Chicano Batman 
  • Combo Chimbita
  • Flor de Toloache 
  • Kiltro
  • Lizzo
  • Kikagaku Moyo
  • The Marías
  • Santana
  • Y La Bamba

Willobee Carlan

Top 10 Albums

  1. The Black Keys - “Let’s Rock” 
  2. Black Pumas - “Black Pumas” 
  3. Sturgill Simpson - “Sound & Fury” 
  4. Beck - “Hyperspace” 
  5. The New Pornographers - “In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights”
  6. Sharon Van Etten - “Remind Me Tomorrow” 
  7. Karen O & Danger Mouse - “Lux Prima” 
  8. The National - “I Am Easy To Find” 
  9. Santana - “Africa Speaks” 
  10. The Pixies - “Beneath The Eyrie”

Top 10 Songs

  1. Black Pumas - "Colors"
  2. Mondo Cozmo - "Come On"
  3. Sharon Van Etten - "Seventeen"
  4. Beck - "Lightning"
  5. St. Paul & The Broken Bones - "Got It Bad"
  6. TIE Foals - "Exits" and Gary Clark Jr. - "This Land"
  7. Neal Francis - "Changes Pt. 1"
  8. Aldous Harding - "The Barrel"
  9. Soak - "Knock Me Off My Feet"
  10. The Waterboys - "Where The Action Is"

Jessi Whitten

Top 10 Songs

  1. Weyes Blood - “Everyday”
  2. Aldous Harding - “The Barrel”
  3. Kiltro - “Curico”
  4. Nilufer Yanya - “Heavyweight Champion of the Year”
  5. Sharon Van Etten - “Comeback Kid”
  6. Big Thief - “Not”
  7. Lizzo - “Juice”
  8. Jenny Lewis - “Do Si Do”
  9. Big Wild - “6’s to 9’s”
  10. Omar Apollo - “Ashamed”

Top 10 Collaborations

  1. Karen O & Danger Mouse - "Lux Prima"
  2. Lizzo & Missy Elliott - “Tempo”
  3. Phoebe Bridgers & Conor Oberst - "Better Oblivion Community Center"
  4. James Blake & Rosalia - “Barefoot in the Park”
  5. Lala Lala & Why? - “Siren 042”
  6. Vampire Weekend & Steve Lacy - “Sunflower”
  7. DJ Shadow & Run the Jewels - “Rocket Fuel”
  8. Chance the Rapper & Death Cab for Cutie - “Do You Remember”
  9. Julia Jacklin & Lana Del Rey - “Don’t Know How to Keep Loving You (Live in Denver)”
  10. Matt Corby & Tash Sultana - “Talk it Out”

Alisha Sweeney

Top 10 Songs (alphabetical order)

  • Alex Cameron - "Miami Memory"
  • Angel Olsen - "What It Is"
  • Brittany Howard - "Georgia"
  • Ezra Furman - "In America" 
  • FKA Twigs - "Cellophane"
  • Fontaines D.C. - "Boys in the Better Land"
  • J.S. Ondara - "Saying Goodbye"
  • Orville Peck - "Dead of Night"
  • Purple Mountains - "Maybe I'm The Only One For Me"
  • Tank and the Bangas - "Nice Things"

Top 10 Colorado Songs (alphabetical order)

  • Esme Patterson - "Light In Your Window"
  • Good Elastics - "I'd Waste All My Time On You"
  • Kiltro - "If I Lead"
  • Kyle Emerson - "May You Find Peace"
  • Neoma - "Young"
  • Neyla Pekarek - "The Attack"
  • Shark Dreams - "Blankey"  
  • Slow Caves - "Girlfriend"
  • South of France - "Comme Ca"   
  • Spirettes - "Long Day"

Rebekah Romberg

Top 10 Albums

  1. Anderson.Paak - "Ventura"
  2. Lizzo - "Cuz I Love You"
  3. Whitney - "Forever Turned Around"
  4. Andrew Bird - "My Finest Work Yet"
  5. Norah Jones - "Begin Again"
  6. Brittany Howard - "Jaime"
  7. Weyes Blood - "Titanic Rising"
  8. Ezra Furman - "12 Nudes"
  9. Michael Kiwanuka - "Kiwanuka"
  10. The Teskey Brothers - "So Caught Up"

Top 10 Shows (chronological order)

  • Hozier w/ Jade Bird at Bellco Theatre, April 5
  • Norah Jones w/ Mavis Staples at Red Rocks, July 5
  • Billy Joel at Coors Field, Aug. 8
  • Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats w/ Hiss Golden Messenger at Red Rocks, Aug. 21 
  • Lizzo at Fillmore Auditorium, Oct. 16 
  • Whitney at Ogden Theater, Oct. 21 
  • Lucy Dacus w/ Liza Anne at The Gothic, Nov. 1
  • Brittany Howard at Ogden Theater, Nov. 14 
  • Ira Glass at Paramount Theater (I know, I know, not technically a concert. But what an amazing show! We are public radio afterall), Nov. 23

Zach Gilltrap

Top 10 Songs

  • Bon Iver - “Hey Ma”
  • Spoon - "No Bullets Spent"
  • Adia Victoria - “Dope Queen Blues”
  • Beck - “Saw Lightning”
  • Cage the Elephant - “Ready to Let Go”
  • Tame Impala - “Borderline”
  • Broken Bells - “Good Luck”
  • Eldren - “Hazy Days”
  • Neil Francis - “Changes Pt. 1”
  • TWRP (featuring Dan Avidan) - “Starlight Brigade”

Top 10 Local Albums/EPs (no order)

  • Big Dopes - "Crimes against Gratitude"
  • Kiltro - "Creatures of Habit"
  • Neoma - "Real"
  • Turvy Organ - "The Ghost at the Feast"
  • The Beeves - "Adam & Beeve"
  • Shark Dreams - "Shark Dreams"
  • Wildermiss - "In My Mind"
  • Tacocat - "This Mess Is A Place"
  • Yasi - "Freedom"
  • The Burroughs - "Color Red"

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