It’s been a wonderful year for music, agreed?
So much so that we’ve found it really, really, really (yes, really) hard to narrow down the tracks we’ve had on repeat on our Spotify playlists this year. A large part of this has been that there’s been such a wide variety of innovative music being churned out constantly by our favourite artists; it seems that these days, you barely get an opportunity to miss an act before they’re back releasing more music.
Is this for better or worse? In regards to the impact of their releases, debatable. But as a fan – who cares? Keep piling it on our platters; we’re always hungry…
10. Tame Impala – ‘Borderline’
Travelling to the realm of psychedelia gold, Kevin Parker aka the force of Tame Impala blossomed 2019 with a psych-pop sound that drew me in completely. “Borderline” deals with a sinister meaning underneath it’s angelic instrumentation. The word Borderline is thrown around quite a lot and mainly can be known in the darkness of mental health struggles which is the typical theme of the track. Telling the tale of mental health and alcoholism causing problems in relationships, the sadness of the track feels overshadowed by the ethereal production.
Floating around of a misty cloud, the repetitive nature comforts the doubt and anxiety with a swift change in Tame Impala’s music. When this track dropped, I have been listening to it non stop ever since. There’s something about it’s uncertainty and vibrant melody that grabs me in with each listen. Melancholic but a memorable rollercoaster, the hypnotic beat that lies underneath the instrumentation showcases Tame Impala simply, in my opinion, at their best. Chloe Mogg
9. Jade Bird – ‘Side Effects’
It was hard to pin point a significant moment of Jade Bird’s debut album because it’s all pretty flawless. What made me fall completely in love with Side Effects is that it leads in it’s own complete direction. Shining with her fantastic backing band, Side Effects illuminates throughout all the cracks. Grooving with a happy vibe, the instrumental pulsates with a driving force of Jade’s vocal melody. Hearing her vocals simply soar higher and higher throughout the number, it’s a track that showcases how powerful her vocals can get.
Glistening in the summer sun, it’s a number that’s needed for a road trip along the coast. Youthful with it’s soft approach, it gave me the same feeling I had when I listened to Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill many moons ago. Jade Bird is a force to be reckoned with and it’s so wonderful to see her get the recognition that she deserves. Chloe Mogg
8. Black Country, New Road – ‘Sunglasses’
Starting a near nine minute track by rhyming “six-part Danish crime drama” with “big pharma” is the easiest way to get on this list, but regardless of that, this band are going to be very fucking special. Tobias Pugh
7. Cleopatrick – ‘Sanjake’
‘Sanjake’ isn’t the prettiest or most nuanced track on this list, but for my money it can match any track that came out this year for pure listening enjoy-ability. With huge huge riffs, bags of intensity and a chorus so catchy that it will stick with you the rest of your life, ‘Sanjake’ may be Cleopatrick’s only release of 2019, but it is a huge indication of what is to come. Kieran Rogers
6. Husky Loops – ‘I Think You’re Wonderful’
A track that seemingly came out of nowhere (for me, anyway). An eclectic mix of genres and styles on a track that takes you on a wondrous journey of emotion. We think you’re wonderful Husky Loops. Especially when you drop tracks such as these on our laps. Samantha Daly
5. FKA Twigs – ‘Cellophane’
Since her first album LP1, FKA Twigs has seamlessly and convincingly manouevered between many guises and soundscapes – think the left field R&B of her debut collection, the eerie and abrasive M3LL155A, or the sweet sound of ‘Got To Love’. However there was cause for surprise when ‘Cellophane’ dropped.
The lead single from Magdeline, the restrained and intimate ode was not the presumed mood for all her social media pole dancing snippets. Instead the track undid any misconceptions of raunch with its stunning and vulnerable visuals as Twigs muses on objectification, love and loss in her most intimate song to date.
“Why don’t I do it for you?” asks Twigs over and over, each time the query is uttered being more heart wrenching than the last. It’s OK Twigs; you do it for me <3 Kayleigh Watson
4. Slaves – ‘One More Day Won’t Hurt’
Had you told me at the start of this year that one of my favourite tracks of the year would be by Slaves, I would have promptly told you to piss off. Yes, in that unholy war between the themselves and Sleaford Mods, I was – and still am – in staunch Mods territory. However, their PR team scored a real coup by getting the London duo on Sunday Brunch. Never has my Nan christened a song as a “racket” so fast as she did that day. Guitarist Laurie Vincent leapt on the kitchen counter, made a bit of a ruckus in front of Joe Wicks and left an impression, for better or worse.
Personally, it’s the resoundingly catchy pummel and riff of ‘One More Day Won’t Hurt’ they had me sold. By far the best cut from their EP The Velvet Ditch, the track calls out the wastes who are all mouth, no trousers and are content on cruising through life whilst swigging a brew. We all know the sort. Kayleigh Watson
3. Marika Hackman – ‘Conventional Ride’
A personal favourite of mine that radiates energy with every listen. Marika Hackman’s “conventional ride” transports us back to a 90s themed 70s psychedelia party. Illuminating today’s indie-esque sound, the experimental number may sound experimental in it’s instrumentation but the hidden message is all about experimenting too. As Marika’s take on experimenting with her sexual encounters, the powerful number sits with great ease on her most recent album.
Hearing Marika find herself with the limelight still brightly on her has been empowering for humans all across the globe. Chaotic and needing your full observation, the fuzz-like guitars and provocative melodies swirl into an indie-rock mania. Marika’s middle fingers up and she’s clearly stating “I’m Not Your Man”. Chloe Mogg
2. CHILDCARE – ‘Sugarcane’
Following on from their sublime debut album Wabi-Sabi, CHILDCARE followed up with the delicious ‘Sugarcane’. A hyperactive and infectious single that highlights everything that is great about the outfit. The young band look to be at the peak of their powers, and with their immense workrate and already astounding catalogue of tracks, who knows what they are capable of.
Also, we’re not entirely sure what “you fuck like a corkscrew” means, but we kind of love it. Kieran Rogers
1. Billie Eilish – ‘everything i wanted’
Woweeeee. Was this a surprise! We already knew that Billie was the doing absolute bits thanks to her first album full of dark pop bops. The big question was always, where was she gonna go from here?!
She wasted no time in shutting us up though, with the release of ‘everything I wanted’, Billie proved that we haven’t even scratched the surface of her talents yet. There’s much more to come from this 18-year-old and we cannot wait to find out.
Track of the year. Artist of the year. Billie wins all the awards. Samantha Daly