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The Specials, Michael Kiwanuka Among BBC 6 Music Albums Of 2019

The station’s 22 presenters each chose their favourite releases of the year to compile the list.

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Specials Encore press credit Josh Cheuse
Photo: Josh Cheuse

The Specials’ Encore, Michael Kiwanuka’s KIWANUKA and The Comet Is Coming’s Trust In the Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery all figure among the top ten albums of 2019 as chosen by the presenters of tastemaking national UK broadcaster BBC 6 Music. The station’s 22 presenters each chose their favourite releases of the year to compile the top ten for 6 Music Recommends.

Dublin post-punks Fontaines D.C., who have been supported by the network since their debut single in June 2017, are at No. 1 on the list with their first album Dogrel, released in April. It debuted in the UK chart on release at No. 9.

“We’re delighted that 6 Music have chosen Dogrel as their Album of the Year,” say the band. “Most of the album is about our experiences in Dublin — and the songs can sort of be divided between the hopeless and the hopeful — but it’s essentially about the weight of the world that’s pressing against you, and struggling to find a balance, an equilibrium.”

The similarly punk-influenced Sleaford Mods stand at No. 2 with their fifth studio set Eton Alive, which coincidentally also peaked at No. 9 in the weekly UK bestsellers. Michael Kiwanuka’s third album KIWANUKA, only released in late October, is at No. 3. Mark Radcliffe of 6 Music notes that it “incorporated classic soul, funk, gospel, film soundtrack, psychedelia and an adventurous use of audio clips and samples to create another compellingly fine work.”

“Spiritual jazz” adventurers The Comet Is Coming land at No. 4 with Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery, which in March became their first release since signing to the famed Impulse! Label. {resenter Tom Ravenscroft describes it as “a fabulous cosmic trip into the future led by Shabaka, Danalogue and Betamax Killer.”

The top ten also features GREY Area by Little Simz at No. 5, Warmduscher’s Tainted Lunch at No. 6 and the much-praised Kate Tempest at No. 7 with The Book Of Traps And Lessons. Brittany Howard’s Jaime, championed by Elbow frontman and 6 Music presenter Guy Garvey, is at No. 8.

The Specials’ Encore, which took them to No. 1 in the UK 40 years after their explosive arrival onto the UK scene, is 6 Music’s No. 9 for the year. Presenter and reggae/roots tastemaker Don Letts says that “the basic elements we loved the Specials for in the first place are still right there on Encore,” describing it as “political and deeply personal at the same time.” Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ Ghosteen completes the chart at No. 10.

From Friday 29 November for 22 days, each of the presenters’ album of the year choices will be played on 6 Music. 6 Music Recommends Day follows on Thursday 12 December, in which all of the network’s daytime shows will feature the best of the new music highlighted on the station throughout 2019.

The Specials’ Encore can be bought here.

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