Hi, friends, it is that time of the year again, the year-end music roundup where I recap all of my favorites from 2019. It has been a mega year for tuneage, and like always, my list usually boils down to what struck and got stuck in my ears the most. The listicles here tend to be a bit different than most. So without further ado and much consideration, here are the top forty songs of the year and in order. I have additionally included a Spotify playlist for easy listening consumption to jam along! The top ten is unveiled in a slideshow first with the entire list below!
1. Billie Eilish // Bad Guy
Why it’s #1 – This is not only one of the biggest songs of the year but one of the catchiest and most unique sounding. The music video is a standout and fun to watch in all of its eccentricities. Plus, Billie herself was the girl of the year conquering the music world with aplomb.
2. Lil Nas X // Old Town Road
Why it’s #2 – It’s the song that took over the charts and reigned at number one for nineteen weeks. It introduced us to a new music genre, country-trap, and created memes from memes, and that broke barriers of all kinds. Technically the original was released the year before, but the version that we know that is catchy as hell (with the craziest video) set 2019 and Pop music ablaze.
3. Lana Del Rey // Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have – but I Have It
Why it’s #3 – “Hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but i have it”, was my most played track this year (thanks, Spotify). Moreover, It’s a well written, intensely confessional, and an emotion piano-driven track. It spoke to me with its beautiful melancholy, an area where I think Lana Del Rey shines not just vocally but lyrically. It all comes together faultlessly, producing one of my favorite songs from her ever.
4. Bastille // Admit Defeat
Why it’s #4 – If you saw me posting about my Spotify Wrapped results, then you knew Doom Days was something that I listened to all year. Bastille truly stepped up their game on Doom Days and even more so on the special edition of the record called This Got Out Of Hand. Which features many new tracks, renditions of fan faves, including my pick for number four, “Admit Defeat“. The song is arguably Bastille‘s most R&B leaning track. It features lots of bombastic horn sections, groovy pop melodies, and Dan’s vocals are at his best. The beat is right in the pocket and dance-ready. Usually, Bastille‘s lyrics belie its music, not this time. “Admit Defeat” is a passionate song that’s full of raw emotions and honesty. It’s about giving in to that one vital person, even if it’s only one night.
5. BANKS // Contaminated
Why it’s #5 – Drawing strong, vivid emotions from a harrowing experience can likely lead to a successful single but only if it’s done right. On the track, BANKS succeeds in getting all of this across. From her vocals to the crisp and melancholic production. The song cuts like a knife, leaving the listener feeling what BANKS went through, which is mission accomplished.
6. Lizzo // Cuz I Love You
Why it’s #6 – “Cuz I Love You” is my true standout from Lizzo‘s 2019 self-titled album. It’s a bombastic track featuring Lizzo at her best, not only rapping but delivering us notable vocal moments. The music is old-school R&B meets Trap with lots of massive horns and brass throughout, and plenty of dance-ready synths. What truly makes this track nevertheless is the raw honesty in Lizzo emotions, lyrics, and delivery. You feel what she’s experiencing, that emotion of not wanting to for fall for someone, yet you do. The stunning black and white music video for the song completely connects it all together.
7. Scarypoolparty // Tonight
Why it’s #7 – As soon as the twinkling synths from the opening notes drop-in, you know your in for a ride with this song. It’s gorgeous, lush, dark, and melodramatic in the best way possible. Alejandro’s vocals are a fever dream, never seeming to go above a whisper as he pours his heart and insecurities out. He never overdoes it with the brooding and emotion lyrically, and it’s the perfect contrast to harder sounding drums and bass choices. Best of all, it has got the sexiest groove on any track this year.
8. Bryce Vine // La La Land
Why it’s #8 – The ultimate club banger! It truly is the coolest song of the year with sizzling summer vibes, and now a quintessential Southern California jam. Bryce Vine is one to watch for 2020. His brand of California cool, rap-sung vocal approach meshed with his unique gravelly tone, gives the track some added edge. You add YG and his swaggy rap verse creating one of the most dope tracks of this year.
9. Ari Lennox & J Cole // Shea Butter Baby
Why it’s #9 – One of the sexiest songs of the year, “Shea Butter Baby”, is bringing the heat to my top ten. Ari Lennox is not only one of the most talented vocalists in my top ten but the most unique. “Shea Butter Baby” showcases her husky and gorgeous vocal tonality in the best way possible. The added Rap feature from J Cole is complete fire, making this collab utterly sublime.
10. Caroline Polachek // So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings
Why it’s #10 – One of the most melodic pop jams of the year, with a twist of course since it is from Caroline Polachek formerly of Chairlift fame. On this glittery synth and 70’s disco-inspired number, the flirty witticisms find a delightful home amongst Caroline’s cheeky, and delicate vocal work. It was a gem of a song for me in what was quite a banner year for music. I love it when songs seem to come out of nowhere, and I quickly became enraptured in the storytelling within the track. That was so with “So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings”.
…And the rest of the best!
11. SLIPKNOT // Solway Firth
12. Lucy Mason // Runway – Nicolaas Remix
13. Allie X // Regulars
14. Gary Clark Jr. // Pearl Cadillac
15. Blaqk Audio // Unstained
16. Love Fame Tragedy // My Cheating Heart
17. Alec Benjamin // Jesus In L.A.
18. Khalid // Talk
19. Tyler, The Creator // EARFQUAKE
20. Fletcher // If You’re Gonna Lie
21. The Weeknd // Blinding Lights
22. Normani // Motivation
23. Sam Smith // How Do You Sleep?
24. Niall Horan // Nice To Meet Ya
25. Kim Petras // Icy
26. TWICE // Fancy
27. Tori Kelly // Language
28. Halsey // Graveyard
29. Beyonce, Saint Jhn, & WizKid // Brown Skin Girl
30. Lewis Capaldi // Someone You Loved
31. Brittany Howard // Stay High
32. BLACKPINK // Kill This Love
33. King Princess // Cheap Queen
34. FKA Twigs // Cellophane
35. Rationale & Ayelle // Hurts the Most
36. ROSALIA & J Balvin // Con Altura
37. Nina Nesbitt // Black & Blue
38. Charli XCX & Christine and the Queens // Gone
39. PHEM // Sweater
40. KIANJA // There’s Nothing More
So there it is the list of my favorite songs of 2019! Thank you guys for sticking with me in 2019 and following along in my journey. I would also like to thank every single person, company, brand, and artist that I’ve worked with this year. You’ve been incredibly kind and have allowed me to push myself in my work. As far as this list goes, let’s get the ball rolling on this! Tweet me, leave a comment, like and share, whatever goes on whatever you have been listening to this year. What did you agree or disagree with on my list? Just get involved with me here and on my socials. Also, hit that follow button on this blog. I want to make 2020 even bigger and brighter, so let’s do this! To end, click here to listen to all of these artists and a few others that I thoroughly enjoyed this year, and to continue to support music and music journalism. I once again very much appreciate it. Stay tuned for my top ten albums of 2019 list, which is coming very very soon! Much love, The Reclusive Blogger. 🙂