Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
The 2010s found its Kurt Cobain in the form of a tiny California teenager in baggy shirts and fluorescent hair dye. Her sound is a combination of Lorde and Lana, but her songs, produced by her brother, Fineas, is transcendent and unique. The ’20s are going to be Billie’s to conquer if she wants it.
Dermot Kennedy – Without Fear
An Irish singer-songwriter whose acoustic-based love songs sound ripe for primetime network TV, but underneath the heavy beats and gravely crescendo of his voice is the wisdom of adventure, love, and loss.
Bring Me the Horizon – amo
“This shit ain’t heavy metal.” No, it’s so, so much better. When you strip away the unrelenting scream of your early material, add melody, texture, strings, synths, and come-as-you-are unconditional love, you get the album of your career. This album is a mood.
Tool – Fear Inoculum
It took 13 years, but it was well worth the wait. While not the visceral emotional journey that 10,000 Days was, Fear Inoculum is Maynard, Adam, Danny, and Justin at their synchronous best. The songs are long, the drums are fast and hard, the bass is gut-churning, and the riffs are face-melting. While “7empest” was the breakout Grammy-nominated surprise, the 4-minute instrumental bridge in “Pneuma” may be the best music they’ve created in 20 years.