The year comes to an end and with it some great music. Here are a dozen songs I’ll remember from 2019.
What are YOUR favorite songs of 2019 (or any other year for that matter)? Let me know in the comments.
Jaimie Branch :: prayer for amerikka pt. 1 & 2
I only recently learned of this tune from the Said the Gramophone Best Songs of 2019 list. Jaimie Branch is a jazz saxophonist and composer based in Baltimore who as some things to say about the state of our country.
Billie Eilish :: bury a friend
This was the first song I heard by Billie Eilish, about a month or so before she was suddenly a BIG DEAL, and it’s still my favorite. Billie Eilish’s music is weird, a little bit creepy, yet you can still dance to it. I never in a million years expected her to have chart success so good on her for redefining pop music. And she’s just turned 18.
Ex Hex :: Cosmic Cave
Mary Timony’s latest band returns for a second album of pure, unadorned post-punk rock.
Gato Preto featuring the LusAfro Allstars :: Mendinga Carnival
Afrofuturist music arising from the collaboration of a German producer and a pan-African band of artists.
Alex Lahey :: Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself
Like Ex-Hex, the 26-year-old Australian Lahey brings straightforward pop-punk excellence (and an 80s sax solo!) to this song about resisting the pressure to do it all.
Lil Nas X :: Old Town Road
40+ years ago, rap music emerged as an urban style of music before spreading to the suburbs and exurbs, and into cultures around the world. Lil Nas X has at last brought rap into a thoroughly rural area on this track that – no matter what the Billboard Country Chart says – is thoroughly country.
Lizzo :: Juice
Lizzo, her music, and the fact that she rose to widespread fame in 2019, all give me hope in these dark time.s
Priests :: The Seduction of Kansas
A theme of this year is artists who draw on punk influences to do new things. The Priests musical interpretation of Thomas Frank’s What’s The Matter With Kansas? fits the bill.
Rapsody feat. D’Angelo and GZA :: Ibtihaj
This is another track introduced to me by the Said the Gramophone list. Rapsody, aka Marlanna Evans, is a rapper from North Carolina. The title of this track pays tribute to Ibtihaj Muhammad, a fencer who became the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the United States in 2016 Summer Olympics. It also has an amazing groove.
Sampa the Great :: Final Form
Sampa Tembo is a Zambian-born rapper now based in Australia finds another great groove to back this track of finding empowerment in Black identity.
Sir Babygirl :: Haunted House
Kelsie Hogue, who performs under the name Sir Babygirl and has ties to the Boston music scene, performs intense indie pop where they belt out lyrics with trilling vibrato. This song, as I interpret it, explores the inner emotions an introvert may feel about having to go to a party when they really don’t want to.
Sharon Van Etten :: Comeback Kid
Comeback Kid introduced Van Etten’s new harder rock sound with 80s synthpop styling. Thematically it’s about trying to assert your own identity when the people you love still see you as a kid.
Favorite Songs by Year, 1973-2018