Best albums of 2019 so far, from Dave to Lana Del Rey

There have already been some fantastic releases this year

We're more than halfway through 2019, and it’s already shaping up to be a great year for music.

Artists who have released superb albums include Little Simz, Skepta, Marika Hackman, Hot Chip and AJ Tracey not to mention Maggie Rogers, Nas, Lana Del Rey, Taylor Swift, MUNA, Rapsody and Sharon Van Etten.

We've also had quality releases from rock and metal bands including Sleaford Mods, Slipknot and Bring Me the Horizon: this year feels like a considerable improvement after 2018, which was relatively quiet when it came to quality album releases.

Click through the gallery to see the best albums of the year so far

Along with the albums already mentioned, The Independent’s critics have been fans of Julia Jacklin’s album Crushing, which was praised as a “masterclass in narrative songwriting” by Helen Brown.

Solange released her surprise album When I Get Home on 1 March, which Kuba Shand-Baptiste praised as “an uplifting antidote to the painful reality black people face”.

“We’re in the midst of ever-escalating chaos,” the review continued. “But here Solange has come, offering us a chance not just to rest, but to relish in that languidness.”

Rapper Dave’s Mercury Prize-winning debut Psychodrama received five stars, with music correspondent Roisin O’Connor commenting: ”Tracks are at once astute and deeply personal in how they capture vignettes of everyday life and spin them into important lessons.

“’Black’, the most recent single from the record, considers what that word means to different people around the world, as well as to Dave. "Voices” has him singing over an old-school garage beat, fighting off personal demons.

“Dave spends Psychodrama addressing issues caused by the generations who came before him. By the end of the album, he sounds like a figurehead for the hopeful future.”

Other albums we loved include releases by Aldous Harding, Lizzo, Loyle Carner, Cage the Elephant, Bruce Springsteen, Fat White Family, Sheryl Crow, Mark Ronson, Hot Chip, Brittany Howard, Weyes Blood, MUNA, Marika Hackman, Bat for Lashes, Taylor Swift and Lana Del Rey.

With more anticipated releases on the way, it’s worth checking back in each week to see what else we’ve added to our list.

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