Year in Music 2019

Kevin Abstract Reveals His Favorite Album of 2019

Kevin Abstract

Kevin Abstract

For Billboard’s 2019 Year in Music, various musicians picked their favorite album released in the past 12 months -- and talked about why it’s stuck with them.

There weren’t many albums that stuck with me this year besides [House of Sugar]. I actually opened up for [Alex G] in 2015 in San Antonio, and that was kind of my introduction to him. It was before [my group] Brockhampton was any sort of popular. A producer and friend of mine, Michael Uzowuru, showed me the song “Sarah” [from 2015’s Trick], and I used to listen to that song a lot when I was 19. I never talked to him, but he’s one of those artists that I kind of don’t want to meet because his shit is so magical and I like appreciating it from afar. But I also would love to meet him and pick his brain.

I was just alone in my bedroom when someone sent [House of Sugar] to me. I don’t want to say that I didn’t fully get it at first, but it took a second to fully grow on me in all the right ways. I wish the hook on “Gretel” went a few more times, but I love that it didn’t -- I love the sense of restraint. The combination of the lyric “I don’t wanna go back/Nobody’s gonna push me off track” and the melody really stuck with me.

His shit seems thoughtful but doesn’t seem too calculated. It creates this world for me to go to while I’m listening, and that’s what I appreciate a lot about any album that I love. It’s not too short [at 37 minutes], it’s not too long -- I wish every album was its length. It’s so refreshing, and that’s really what I needed -- something that just stood out from everything else and kept inspiring me for the new projects I’m trying to do. Shit really, really stands on its own.

From top to bottom, it feels like one cohesive dream -- it’s kind of foggy. I like to put it on if I’m having a weird day and I don’t really know why I feel a certain way. Not to be cliché, but I treat music like a soundtrack for my life, and [House of Sugar] makes life make a little bit more sense for me.

This article originally appeared in the Dec. 21 issue of Billboard.

2019 Billboard Year in Music