I’m only 17.5, so this doesn’t say too much, but 2019 was probably the best year of my life.
I had some unforgettable experiences, met some incredible people, visited some beautiful places, ate some delicious food, and consumed lots of great media. Every year I try to discover more than I did the year before, from music to film to books to art and everything in between. Today, I’m going to share my top ten songs of the year.
As someone who is not a regular listener of pop radio music, I’ve always been a bit pessimistic when it comes to “new music;” for the longest time, I’ve had the assumption that it’s all bad and similar and obnoxious, and nothing could change my mind. This year, though, my mindset completely changed thanks to NPR Music’s “New Music Friday” playlist on Spotify. I discovered that, hey, there’s so much new music out there that’s not like all the music I hear on the radio!
There is so much good stuff coming out…it’s just not played the radio, and it’s often not even highlighted on Spotify. Because you need to do a little searching (which can be overwhelming considering the number of songs that are on the platform), not many people actively seek it out. This year I began to do so, and I am so glad I did. I found some fantastic new music that I listen to regularly, and there’s still so much on my “to listen” playlist.
Here’s a playlist I made of my favorite songs of 2019 in order so you can listen to them all at once:
My favorite album of the year is, without a doubt, Titanic Rising by Weyes Blood, and my #1 song of the year is Andromeda. Natalie Mering’s voice is haunting and soothing, and I could listen to it all day. Weyes Blood was just on NPR Tiny Desk, and the songs sound just as gorgeous live as they do on the album. I’m dying to see them in concert now. Please listen to this album! It’s not like anything I’ve ever heard before, especially in 2019, and I genuinely love every song on it.
The first album that I was looking forward to this year was On The Line by Jenny Lewis which came out in March. I listened to this album all throughout the summer and while on the plane to and from Sicily. This was the most personal of all her albums, but I think that’s why I love it so much. It’s raw and emotional at times, but it’s really layered; the powerful words are often hidden behind the fun delivery of the lyrics. This is clearly seen in Wasted Youth, which is my #2 song of the year.
I saw Jenny in concert at the beginning of the summer for the second time, and she didn’t disappoint. She did the perfect mix of old and new stuff, and she always seems to include some Rilo Kiley songs, too. It was hard to choose which song off of the album is my favorite, but I went with Wasted Youth since it was my #1 song on Spotify Wrapped. My other two favorites are Dogwood and Party Clown, but the whole album is phenomenal and worth a listen.
And now, #3: Patience by Tame Impala. My friend Jordyn is, quite possibly, the biggest Tame Impala fan of all time. He kept telling me to listen to them earlier this year after their two singles came out, but I was lazy and didn’t for a few months. Then the summertime came, and I began to listen more and more. In Italy, we listened and danced to Tame Impala nearly every day while out on the balcony, so the songs were in my head all summer.
A few weeks after I got back from the trip, Jordyn and I went to a Tame concert at Madison Square Garden. It was epic and one of the coolest shows I’ve ever been to! Lots of colorful lights and lasers, confetti, and dancing. We got floor seats, too, so we were super close to the stage! They’re coming out with a new album next year, so we’re hoping to see them in concert again.
So, yeah: Patience. From the harsh opening piano chords to the all-around-you 8D audio, this song is a classic “song of the summer” for me. Some of my other favorite Tame songs are Love/Paranoia, The Moment, and Eventually. Thanks, Jordyn, for convincing me to give them a listen 😉
Ok, now #4: Roddy by Djo. Did you know Joe Keery from Stranger Things makes music?! Cause I didn’t either until my friend Maia’s brother played this song, which was the first single he released this summer under the name Djo. I didn’t love it at first but after his album came out and I listened to more of his songs, this one ended up being my favorite. My favorite part is the funky synth stuff in the outro (I’m not a great music critic, but you’ll know what I mean when you listen!). My other favorite song on the album is Mortal Projections.
#5, we’re halfway there. Honey by Drugdealer ft. Weyes Blood. God, I was o b s e s s e d with this song for a solid two weeks. This is one of those songs I wish I could erase from my memory so I can listen to it for the first time again. It’s so beautiful, and again Natalie Mering’s voice is at its best here. That’s all I have to say. Just listen to it!
Next, #6, Samo Is Now by WILLOW. Perhaps an ode to Basquiat, this is my favorite on her short 2019 self-titled album. I’ve heard it compared to Because by The Beatles and can totally see that. The chords played in the intro are just… GAHHH! so. pretty.
I mentioned this in another post, but my friend Isa introduced me to Willow Smith’s music while in Narni this summer. After listening for a bit, I totally fell in love. She’s got such a big voice and heart, and she has come out with some really unique new stuff. I’m excited to see what she does next, but I definitely recommend listening to her newest album. It’s short — only 8 songs and 22 minutes long — but if you love seamless transitions between songs as much as I do, you’ll enjoy it.
Now it’s getting hard to narrow everything down. Ughhh! (Stay tuned to the end of the post for my “Honorable Mentions” list!) But I couldn’t make this list and not include The Cranberries and their newest and final album, In The End, which was also nominated for Best Rock Album. My #7 song is All Over Now. Words can’t express how much I love this band.
#8 is Doin’ Time by Lana Del Ray (well, covered by Lana Del Ray). I was never super into Lana until this year when her new album came out (which has also been nominated for Album of the Year!). I think she’s super cool. Plus, she’s friends with Natalie Mering, so I’m praying for some sort of collaboration! Anyway, this cover is great. I don’t have anything too profound to say about it. (Oh, and the video is really fun, too.)
#9 we’re gettin’ there! Water Me by Lizzo. I’m all for an upbeat pop song about self-care, and Lizzo is the queen of that genre. I don’t wanna be obnoxious, but, uhhh, I listened to Lizzo before she blew up!!!! I heard her on a podcast and then listened to Good As Hell when it first came out in 2016, so I’m an original fan…no big deal. But anyway, none of that matters! We’re all just blessed to have Lizzo in our lives.
And now, last but not least, #10: bury a friend by Billie Eilish. I really love Billie Eilish. I watched this on the New York Times a few months ago and finally began listening to her. I’m so glad I did! It’s really exciting to see someone so unique be so big right now. I prefer listening to her music on headphones because it’s really sound effect-driven, this song especially. Also, the fact that she’s the same age as me is crazy.
now for the
Here’s a playlist I’ve been adding to since the beginning of the school year. It’s filled with everything I’ve loved since September — both new and old — if you’re interested:
This was such a fantastic year for music, and I’m thrilled to begin a new decade full of more discoveries. I was originally going to do one mega-post of music, films, books, TV shows, etc. but decided to separate it and make individual posts. Hopefully, I get around to finishing them all before the new year, but if not, I’m glad I at least shared my favorite music with you. What were some of your top songs of 2019?