TPM Top Drums of 2019


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Drums are one of those instruments that can be easily overdone, but just as easily underdone.  For various reasons, though, they can also lead an album to success.  Check out my top ten favorite drum performances from 2019 below.

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10. Eduardo Sinatra – Sollar

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Sollar’s “Translucent” was a great album for many reasons.  One of my favorite parts was Eduardo’s standout drum performance.  His subtle, yet nimble blast beats create entirely new rhythms and melodies within the music.  He is one drummer to watch if you like creativity and originality.

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9. Dan Monda – The Tea Club

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Dan is a sheer joy to watch.  I saw The Tea Club live earlier in 2019, and his contribution to the band became abundantly clear in that concert venue.  His pounding beats along with deft cymbal-work give the band a great boost.

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8. Simon Schröder – Issun

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Simon impressed me so much on Issun’s “Dark Green Glow”.  I’m a sucker for a drum fill, and the only word that accurately describes his fills is “grand”.  His illustrious playing is one of my favorite parts of the album.

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7. Evan Carson – Evan Carson and Iamthemorning

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Evan Carson’s solo record “Ocipinski” is full of surprises and beauty.  Evan is primarily a drummer, though, and you will hear all kinds of drums and percussive instruments on that album.  In fact, it’s hard to ignore the addictive sounds and beats Evan creates, even with all the amazing instrumentation in play, too.  You will also note that he is drummer for Iamthemorning, and his work on “The Bell” is classy and gorgeous, as well.

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6. Ashley Doodkorte – Voyager

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There’s just something about Ashley’s hammering, technical playing that meshes so well with Voyager’s high melody and sheer style.  Deftly transitioning between the technical and the melodic, Ashley is a lot of fun to watch.

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5. Pete Hanson – Odd Logic

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Pete feels larger than life on Odd Logic’s new album “Last Watch of the Nightingale”.  His fills are majestic, his beats are creative, and his presence feels so very near, especially in those super aggressive moments that I love so well.

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4. Gavin Wallace-Ailsworth – Bent Knee

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Gavin is the unsung hero of Bent Knee.  The power he puts into the extremely odd time signatures seems almost effortless for him as he quickly and masterfully adjusts on the fly.  He is a big part of the aggressive and raw nature of the music, too.  I don’t think Bent Knee could be the same without him.

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3. Morgan Berthet – Klone and Myrath

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Morgan is a shoo-in for this list primarily because of the breadth of what he does.  He drummed on new albums for Klone and Myrath, both of which are amazing.  His style is filled with huge, rolling fills, meaty blast beats, and deft rhythms.  It’s funny, though, because his work with Myrath is extroverted and towering, but with Klone he is quite subtle and reserved.  Morgan knows what the music needs, and he provides that.

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2. Louis Abramson – Jolly

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Louis is one of my favorite drummers, and he really delivered on Jolly’s long-awaited “Family”.  His signature double blast beats are there in all their glory, but the way he absolutely pounds the toms and snare is something that I love to watch.  Again, with all the genres present on Jolly’s latest, Louis impressively transitions between them like butter.

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***1. Jean “Winterhalter” Deflandre – Alcest***

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I don’t think I could praise Jean’s drumming enough.  With as spacey and as emotional as Alcest’s music is, Jean’s drums ground the music into reality.  He gallops, canters, and pounds his way through the album, offering a sense of subtle power that never detracts from the atmosphere.  Somehow, though, what he does is massively effective and even aggressive at times.  He maintains a delicate balance that I think only he could.  That is why he is my pick for my favorite drummer of 2019.

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