2019 Year in Review: Favorite Songs


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

1973 1974 1975 1976
1977 1978 1979 1980
1981 1982 1983 1984
1985 1986 1987 1988
1989 1990 1991 1992
1993 1994 1995 1996
1997 1998 1999 2000
2001 2002 2003 2004
2005 2006 2007 2008
2009 2010 2011 2012
2013 2014 2015 2016
2017 2018

Monthly Mixtape – January 2019


Welcome to a New Year of new music!

Cochemea :: “All My Relations”

Cochemea Gastelum, long-time saxophonist with Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, explores his roots, blending jazz with rhythmns of his Native American ancestors.

Abby Jeanne :: “Pleasures Pain”

Abby Jeanne is a young soul singer from Milwaukee.

Georgia Anne Muldrow :: “Play It Up”

Georgia Anne Muldrow of Los Angeles performs hip-hop with heavy jazz influences.

The Gods Themselves :: “Girl Crush”

The Gods Themselves are a disco punk band from Seattle.

Mdou Moctar :: “Kamane Tarhanin”

Mdou Moctar of Niger plays a modern, electronic take on Tuareg trance music.

 

Previous Mixtapes:

Monthly Mixtape – February 2018


I haven’t posted any Songs of the Week this year, and I’ve decided to retire SOTW and instead make a monthly post of new songs I like.  Hence the term “Monthly Mixtape.”

The title song off of Courtney Marie Andrews upcoming album is “May Your Kindness Remain”

 

The James Hunter Six provides Daptone soul in “I Got Eyes”

Australian electronica artists Jono Ma and Dreems collaborate on “Can’t Stop my Dreaming (Of You)”

Parliament returns with their first track in decades “I’m Gon Make U Sick O’Me (feat. Scarface)” and it’s funky in a 21st century way.

As always, let me know what you like, what you don’t like, and what other songs I should be listening to.

2017 Year in Review: Favorite Songs


Here are 20 of my favorite songs of 2017. For previous year-end lists of previous years check out my lists for 20162015,  201420132012,  2011,  2010  and  2009.

In no particular order

“Blue Mountain Road” by Florist

“Memories are Now” by Jesca Hoop

“You Would Have to Lose Your Mind” by Barr Brothers

“Cherry Blossom: by ALA.NI 

“Drinkee” by Sofi Tukker

“Every Day’s the Weekend” by Alex Lahey

“Witness” by  Benjamin Booker (feat. Mavis Staples)

“I Give You Power” by Arcade Fire (feat. Mavis Staples)

“Quiet” by Milck 

“Work” by  Charlotte Day Wilson

“Familiar” by Agnes Obel

“Cryin’ in the Streets” by Zeshan B

“Venus Fly” by Grimes (feat. Janelle Monae) – technically this song is from 2015, but the video of this most important collaboration came out this year bringing due attention to the song.

“Hot to Trot” by  Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas

“Modafinil Blues” by Matthew Dear

“The Underside of Power” by Algiers 

“A Wall” by Downtown Boys

“Future Politics” by Austra

“Learning to Lose” by Margo Price (feat. Willie Nelson)

“Straight Boy” by Shamir

 

Song of the Week: “Best Friend” by Sofi Tukker


Sofi Tukker is a New York City based dance pop duo consisting of Sophie Hawley-Weld and Tucker Halpern.  You may have heard it before because apparently it’s being used in commercials, but since I don’t have tv I’ve come to it with no preconceptions.  Anyhow, a song about friendship is ideal for Thanksgiving weekend, and it also has some nice beats.