What a year this has been for me both in life and music! I was lucky enough to join Wall of Sound in October, I was also fortunate enough to secure an internship with a music publicist for the first part of the year and volunteered at BIGSOUND which was a game-changer for me.
My music taste has always been broad, and I go through phases, but heavy music has been a constant in my life. This year made me realize that I am much more passionate about heavy music, and that’s where I want my focus to be.
Do you remember when you first got introduced to the fantastic new music that is now a staple in your life, and you went through that incredible discovery period? That first happened to me over ten years ago, but this year I went through it all again. I thought I knew heavy music but man I was wrong and I am so glad. Over the last few years, I felt my music passion wane a bit, and I was listening to the same three bands I had been listening to for the past ten years, and I was bored. But my fire has been reignited, and a whole new world has opened up for me.
TOP 5 ALBUMS OF 2019?
1. WAAX – Big Grief
2. I Prevail – Trauma
3. Northlane – Alien
4. Sleep Token – Sundowning
5. Polish Club – Iguana
TOP 5 SONGS OF 2019?
1. Ocean Grove – Ask for the Anthem
2. Ambleside – Still Life
3. Windwaker – My Empire
4. I Prevail – Breaking Down
5. WAAX – FU
BEST MUSIC VIDEO OF 2019?
I usually have a video that I am really into, watch all the time and force everyone around me to watch (like when I discovered ‘Riptide‘ by Vance Joy before anyone else and made all my friends watch the film clip and then it won the Hottest 100 that year). This year I didn’t really have anything; however, the film clip for ‘Rising Tide’ by Wildheart is excellent! A poignant message by a band that is doing important work.
TOP 6 GIG YOU’VE SEEN IN 2019?
I was lucky to go to many great gigs this year and I was going to do a top five, but then I went to Good Things so now it is a top 6- rules were made to be broken.
1. Northlane, Void of Vision, Counterparts and Silent Planet October 12th @ The Triffid, Brisbane QLD
I am still buzzing about this gig, it was by far the most fun I have had at a show in a long time. It was also the first gig I reviewed for WoS, and I was nervous but enjoying the gig so much made it easy to write about. I had a big smile on my face the entire time. (Gig Review & Photo Gallery Here)
2. Taking Back Sunday– January 16th @ The Triffid, Brisbane QLD
This happened so early in the year that I almost forgot about it, but then I thought “How could I bloody forget!”. I love the anniversary shows where they play albums in full, and at this gig, TBS played both Tell All Your Friends and Louder Now in full. TBS was one of the first bands I discovered when I started making my way into more “alternative” music. Both of these albums played a massive part in my discovery period (my “alternative” friend made me a CD with songs she thought I should listen to, and all the TBS hits were on it). Music has always been a big deal for my sister and I and TBS means a lot to us. Her best friend, who is like a second sister to me came with us to this gig, and screaming along to every song was magic. I still get goosebumps thinking about it. Also, just before the show, Adam Lazzara walked past me to get to the stage, and I fangirled hard.
3. MAZDA666 – September 6th @ Crowbar
This was a WAAX secret set on the last night of BIGSOUND, even though they weren’t on the official line-up. Over the BIGSOUND week, I saw so many cool new bands, but this was by far my favourite moment of the festival. Big Grief was still fresh but had been out long enough for me to have incessantly listened to it and seeing the new songs live was great. This was also another gig my sister was with me for. The crowd was huge for such a small venue, and it was a fun, sweaty time.
4. Good Things Festival – December 8th @ RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane QLD
Honestly, I am still processing Good Things. It was such a fantastic day! Too many good sets to firmly pinpoint a highlight but I would say Simple Plan’s is up there. I wasn’t a huge Simple Plan fan back in the day (sorry I know that’s almost blasphemy) but their set was so wholesome and cute, and it made me wish I was. I am not sure why very depressed teenage Cait didn’t get more into ‘Welcome To My Life’, that should have been her anthem, but it slipped through the cracks somehow and I am sad about it. Ice Nine Kills– amazing, Windwaker– amazing, A Day To Remember– amazing and it’s a big call, but Parkway Drive’s set was one of the best headlining sets I’ve witnessed. What a day and I got to do it with some of the people I love most. I also enjoyed running into other WoS crew and other new music friends throughout the day. It reaffirmed how lucky I am to be doing what I am doing and how much I love it.
5. Ambleside, HOMEFRONT, Wildheart and Sleepwell, November 2nd @ Crowbar QLD
I became obsessed with these guys from the second I heard ‘Still Life’. I listened to them obsessively leading up to this gig, and nothing has changed since. I was wildly hungover at this gig but every second was worth it. ‘Wash Away’ was also incredible live! (Gig Review Here)
6. Arctic Monkeys, March 3rd @ Brisbane Entertainment Centre, QLD
This gig is still in my top list even though I actually had a bit of criticism and I was a tiny bit disappointed with the setlist. It still makes it because I had been dying to see this band for years and I went with a big group of all my best friends.
NEXT BIG BAND TO WATCH IN 2019?
Ambleside (have I mentioned I am really into these guys). They released songs a few years ago and then went quiet until they released ‘Blur’ last year and ‘Still Life’ this year. At their show, they apologized for the lack of album and that they would be fixing this soon, so I think 2020 will be the year we see a great album from them! I am excited to catch them again.
FAV BAND YOU DISCOVERED IN 2019
Can I say Ambleside again? I’ve harped on about them enough in this list, but I am so glad I found this band. To give a bit more variety though, like I said this year was a fantastic time of discovery for me. I am so into Windwaker and listen to them daily. Other discoveries I am stoked on are Void of Vision, DREGG and Nautical Mile. I also just saw Ice Nine Kills at Good Things and thought everything about them was incredible – I am keen to delve into them more.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2020?
I cannot wait to continue discovering new bands, forming new obsessions and going to as many shows as humanly possible. I am also looking forward to continuing with WoS and spending time with all my new mates. awww!
Words by Caitlin MacDonald @cait_2tone