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Some of Your Favorite Musicians’ Top Releases of 2019

What a year in music. It’s been rather well stocked with great material — whether we’re talking about film or TV scores, soundtracks, albums, EPs, or singles. To make things a bit more fun, I’ve asked several musicians you probably dig to join me in sharing their Top 5 (or more) releases of the year.

The musicians featured are Trevor Gureckis (M. Night Shyamalan’s Servant, Bloodline); Le Matos; Mecha Maiko; Makeup and Vanity Set; Burning Witches Records co-founders Gary Dimes (All of Them Witches) and Darren Page (BurningTapes); Highway Superstar; and Lefti.

Some of them wrote a little narrative to explain their choices, but it wasn’t required. A few went over five (including me). Some chose just studio albums, others focused on soundtracks, and some offered up a bit of everything. All had fun. The contributors appear in alphabetical order. Enjoy the ride.

jj abrams vehlinggo
J.J. Abrams and Burning Witches Records co-founder Gary Dimes at a John Carpenter show in the UK in October. Shirt look familiar?

Burning Witches Records

Gary Dimes, co-founder

  • Bat For Lashes – Lost Girls. Natasha Khan’s best album yet — rammed full of standout synth-powered pop songs.
  • BABii – HiiDE. Stunning debut album released on one of the best labels around, Death Waltz Originals.

Darren Page, co-founder

Alex Karlinsky (AKA Highway Superstar). Photo Credit: Ofir Abe.

Highway Superstar

(Kung Fury artist; St. Lucia remixer; Rosso Corsa Collective artist; Vehlinggo Presents contributor)

Le Matos is Jean-Nicolas Leupi (left) and Jean-Philippe Bernier (right).
Le Matos is Jean-Nicolas Leupi (left) and Jean-Philippe Bernier (right).

Le Matos

(Score composers for Turbo Kid and Summer of 84; long-time electronic producers; Vehlinggo Presents contributors)

J.P. Bernier

Jean-Nicolas Leupi



(Producer and DJ; Anoraak remixer; French Horn Rebellion collaborator)

You Drive Makeup and Vanity Set
Makeup and Vanity Set’s Matthew Pusti without a mask (left) and Jasmin Kaset (right) are You Drive. Photo by Bill Reynolds.

Makeup and Vanity Set

(AKA Matthew Pusti and score composer for Atlanta Monster, Radio Rental, To Live and Die in L.A., Up and Vanished, and more; synth musician)

Mecha Maiko Let's review
Hayley Stewart is Mecha Maiko. Photo by Duncan Foy.

Mecha Maiko

(AKA Hayley Stewart; Oro Records artist; ex-Dead Astronauts; Vehlinggo Presents contributor)

She Past Away – Disko Anksiyete
This is one of my favorite new bands, thanks to Shawn Ward (FM Attack). We were up late one night, when he was staying at my apartment for Outland Toronto, and when he put this album on I was immediately sold.

Ye Gods – Ye Gods
Antoni Maiovvi has many projects that I love, but Ye Gods is especially playful and surprising. I really appreciate the redlined spirit of this EP.

Daphni – Sizzling EP
While many artists (myself included) seem to be turning more to the ’90s for our dose of nostalgia, Dan Snaith keeps it real. Each track revolves around soulful disco samples, while the ’90s vibes are kept neatly in a warm 909 drumkit with the occasional vocal hit.

TWINS – New Cold Dream
I like this album because it’s like the goth older brother to Let’s! It has a fantastic industrial ’80s palette and Matt’s voice is perfect.

King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard – Infest The Rats’ Nest
Do I like thrash metal? Nope. But I love this album and think it perfectly expresses the restlessness I feel when thinking about this planet.

trevor gureckis servant

Trevor Gureckis

(Film and TV composer — M. Night Shyamalan’s Apple TV+ series Servant, Henry Jacobson’s Bloodline, John Crowley’s The Goldfinch)

vehlinggo release party
Vehlinggo Presents: 5 Years release party at Night of Joy in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Photo by Hayley Stewart.

Vehlinggo‘s Aaron Vehling

I’m on the same page with some of the others, but some additional releases really got my attention. (My agreements with the others are in parentheses, and I was definitely one of those who went over five.)

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