The Best Songs of 2019
...this has been a fucking nightmare!
I've toiled over it so much because there has been so much brilliant music this year! I whittled it down to a top ten and so there had to be so losers, so shout out to Mallrat, Lizzo, Mystery Jets, Morning Midnight, Fonatines D.C, Vampire Weekend, Maren Morris, Arlo Parks and Hannah Blackburn!
I loved you all so much this year too! And hey, just because you're not in this list, doesn't mean you won't make the bigger list of Best Album...just saying!
Alas, there can only be ten songs and I wanted them to be as eclectic and different as the year has been, so I pulled amazing tunes from pop, indie, folk and grime, and everything in-between so let's get started!
Deadmau5 - Coasted
Entrancing, exciting and enthralling the three 'E's' I want for my dance music...and then I'll add a fourth myself to REALLY get into it if you catch me?! Coasted from, Deadmau5 has that classic trance sound and progression that the producer is known for and it is superb for all occasions - driving, dancing or dying from exhaustion after a big night! Classic tune with tons of melody and groove and euphoria. Reach for the lasers!
Ocean Wisdom ft. Dizzee Rascal - Blessed
Oof! Brighton rapper, Ocean Wisdom dropped one of the dirtiest, hardest, rapid-fire tunes of the year with, Blessed! Starting off sounding like a tune from eighties TV show, Knightrider, Dizzee takes full control of the mic for the verse and chorus before the baton is passed over to Wisdom, who then goes ballistic with one of the greatest, most self-assured, spits since Eminem's Rap God. A hard, phat, banger!
Miraa May - Angles ft.JME
I was driving when this came on the radio and within thirty seconds I had pulled over to the side of the road and was shazaming the fuck out of it...and by that I mean I just shazamed it! It is such a god damn infectious tune, oozing melody and charm. Even it's 'well modern' lyrics about taking pics for 'Da Gram' doesn't feel embarrassing or cheesy, it just simply works as a true summer banger.
Thom Yorke - Dawn Chorus
Sometimes songs come along that seem to offer support; an embrace that holds you tight and whispers gently into your ear(s) that everything is understood, that YOU are understood and everything is going to be alright. These musical embraces genuinely tend to come from two people: Damon Albarn and Thom Yorke. Dawn Chorus is lifted from Yorke's third solo album, ANIMA, his strongest, most cohesive LP to date. However, perhaps Yorke's flaw was putting Dawn Chorus on the album because it steals all the shine from the other eight tracks through being so painfully gorgeous! A repeating piano line with Yorke singing in his lower register hums and floats around you as the cinematic flourishes and atmos take each other's hands and dance until you ball your fucking eyes out and thank the Universe for the likes of Thom Yorke. "If you could do it all again", Yorke asks throughout the song, and if it means listening to this over and over, the answer is a resounding 'Yes'!
Coldplay - Trouble In Town
Had you told me I'd be liking Coldplay again in 2019 I'd have asked to have a sniff of whatever it was you were sniffing, but it happens to be true! Their eighth studio album is almost certain to feature in my favourite albums of 2019 (but we'll get to that list another day!) and in fact it was hard to pick just one song for this list. But I went for Trouble in Town which is on the 'Sunrise' side of the double album. It is a true testament to a band that really do push themselves creatively, (to varying degrees of success it has to be said). It's a track that starts low key and moody, with the band really building an atmosphere. It's all very competent and nice, but it is when it explodes into a climax of a truly magnificent piece of cinematic jizzum that you realise that yes, this is a great song!
Sam Fender - Saturday
Ah, Mr Fender. I mentioned him in my The Best Tunes of 2018 blog post last year and he has continued to go up in my estimations as quickly as he has done so in the charts. An incredible talent that I love dearly and this year we were lucky enough to have him release his hotly anticipated album, Hypersonic Missiles, which once again has so many amazing tracks on it that I found it so hard to choose just the one. Alas, I settled for, Saturday, a wonderfully light and upbeat Indie track about the mundanity of life that is so infectious and joyous that it already feels like one of those absolute classic Indie-Disco tracks. I love you Sam Fender, even if you did cancel the Brixton Academy gig I was going to see you at!
The Tallest Man On Earth - I'm A Stranger Now
Sometimes you discover an artist that you have to ask yourself how you ever managed to live a life without having them in your life. Kristian Matsson, aka The Tallest Man on Earth, is absolutely one of those artists. His music resonates so deeply within me and his lyrics engulf me in a love and beauty that is reminiscent of John Martyn - he is glorious! So, I was overjoyed when, after a four-year wait, he released a new album, I Love You. It's a Fever Dream, and it was preluded with this amazing single, I'm a Stranger Now. The euphoric strumming begins and straight away you know it's The Tallest Man, before his unmistakable voice drops and you're in indie-folk heaven! This was a huge contender for most played this year and even as I write this I am listening to the album AGAIN! A beautiful talent and a beautiful song.
Aisha Badru - Bridges
I spend a lot of time on YouTube. It is my most favourite way of wasting time and I especially like watching acoustic or stripped back versions of songs and performances - NPR Tiny Desk gets rinsed by me! Anyway, it was whilst I was balls deep in The Tube, that I came across a "Hotel live session" of Bridges by Aisha Badru. This was my introduction to her incredible voice and I was hooked from the first chord. The simplicity of the music flowing with the incredible melody of her sublime voice made this one of the most important songs of the year for me, because it encouraged and inspired me to produce some different sounding tunes and I managed to record some of the best stuff I've ever written. All thanks to this one song! Love it!
Hobo Johnson - Typical Story
I've spoken about my love of Hobo Johnson before (You can read one post about it HERE) but it is simply because he is a truly exciting talent! Much like when Beck first hit the scene, (messing and moulding genres together and creating a whole new sound), Frank Lopes Jr, aka Hobo Johnson, is doing exactly that and making a racket as he goes! But no matter how loud the beats are or how heavy the guitars ring out, there is a vulnerability and fragility to Hobo and his songs/stories that make him so utterly fascinating. I discovered him on NPR Tiny Desk and his raping/singing/slam poetry is so raw that it is quite hard to not be totally enthralled by him. Typical Story is a huge track that sounds like meteors from every single genre of music hurtling through space and smashing into each other creating a fucking weird cacophony of sounds! Had it not been for a certain young lady that stole 2019 for many of us (see below!), this would have been my absolute number one track of the year!
Billie Eilish - Bad Guy
The absolute Queen of the moment. A bonafide, one hundred percent musical legend. Billie Eilish smashed 2019 like no other, with the help of her brother, Producer/Co-Writer Finneas O'Connell, and she shows no sign of stopping! Already a multi-grammy nominated artist at just 18 years old she's a fucking enigma of talent that this world so badly needs. Her sound, much like Hobo Johnsons, is so unique and confident that anyone who doesn't get her is quite frankly dead inside. Bad Guy is genius, dark, weird, spooky, funny and absolutely EVERYTHING pop music has always been about - Eilish is certainly made from the same stardust of David Bowie and the sooner everyone understands this and gets on board the better! This is the song of the year without a shadow of a doubt. It may have been played to death but it is still the freshest sounding style for many, many years and I cannot wait to follow this long journey that she clearly has ahead of her.
OK lads, well, not long till the year is out. I best get on with The Best Albums of 2019, huh?! Shit, this'll be hard!
Hey, do you know one of the best things you could do for me and my music is to follow me on Spotify?! Click HERE and give me a lovely follow and if you fancy adding some of my tracks to a playlist of yours, even better! xxxx