Top 10 songs of 2019




Nowadays, it’s difficult to find new songs that I’d want to keep hearing beyond the year of release. These ones I don’t see myself getting tired of anytime soon. Obviously by limiting the list to ten a number of artists missed out who hopefully got their due in my top 10 albums post which you can read here






True Blue (featuring Angel Olsen) by Mark Ronson
The passionate vocal performance won me over. Distorted vocals can be hit or miss but the experiment works here. My song of the summer.







Seventeen by Sharon Van Etten
A strong melody and relatable lyrics about looking back to when you were young and free.










LPs by Jeffrey Lewis & The Voltage
If you are a music enthusiast, you need to hear this. A tongue-in-cheek tribute to vinyl collecting. The lyrics and music video are so fun!







Listen to the Hummingbird by Leonard Cohen
The chill-inducing lead single Happens to the Heart got the most attention from his posthumous album. I’m going to highlight Listen to the Hummingbird, the final track on his final album, which radiates mystery and, despite very short, ends his discography on a high note. Perhaps Cohen is saying be in touch with nature, the present, and what you love, and don’t get distracted by other voices.






Spinning Song by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
The emotional outro “peace will come” gets me every time, could be interpreted as an ode to Cave’s late son who tragically died aged 15. Despite the specificness of loss and healing, there’s an ambiguity on the album, and anyone can immerse themselves in the poetry.








Unbearably White by Vampire Weekend
Relationships are tough but easier if you have this album. Not the most popular track but I think the best written.






Dawn Chorus by Thom Yorke
From the Radiohead frontman’s solo album. The most affecting on ANIMA with lyrics about regrets. The piano version on YouTube is different to the album version.







Red Bull & Hennessy by Jenny Lewis
I like the rock sound, thumping drums, piano, and closing guitar solo. The live version is even better. Her vocal has been compared to Carole King and Stevie Nicks. Suitable for a road trip playlist.











Stand Up (from Harriet) by Cynthia Erivo
Hand them the Oscar statue already. Very powerful.









I Got You by The O’Jays
An unexpected comeback by a group I thought had retired! A catchy single and an empathetic message for our times. If you missed it, Buddy’s Business is also brilliant from the end credits of Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017).


Honorable Mentions:


Still Space by Satoshi Ashikawa (1982/2019)
Exactly the kind of slow, calming, unobtrusive ambient I go for. From new compilation Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980–1990 (2019)







Summon The Fire by The Comet Is Coming
(Euphoric jazz instrumental. Saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings is on fire. Ought to be used in a movie and I think the group have a future in soundtracks.







Town Centre by Squid 
A late discovery thanks to Anthony Fantano’s year-end lists. British post-punk band who released a 23 minute EP featuring a very interesting sound with krautrock and jazz influences. I hope Squid keep making music.







Lately by Celeste
From her promising 5-song soul jazz EP. British-Jamaican Celeste Waite won the BBC Sound of 2020. In a YouTube comment she was described as Adele + Amy Winehouse = CELESTE







Starcourt by Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein (Stranger Things 3 score)
Nostalgic, hopeful, with a hint of 80s classic When In Rome by The Promise. Used in the mall shopping scene.







What do you think? What are your favorites of the year? As always, comments are welcome

14 thoughts on “Top 10 songs of 2019

  1. I’m really intrigued by The Comet is Coming and though I haven’t really spent much time with that new album, I’ve liked what I’ve heard. Majorly impressive.

    The Nick Cave and Thom Yorke stuff has impressed me even if I’m not quite digging it. Does that make sense? And you’ve picked a winner from Jenny Lewis there.

    But there’s loads here that I haven’t heard, so I’ll need to go give some of these a listen and see how I get on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @J: Comet is Coming LP had plenty of variation from track to track. Was close to making my top 10 albums of the year.

      The Cave and Yorke projects are haunting yet quite melancholy. Not easy listens, so I get it.

      I think you’d get a kick out of the song “LPs” by Jeffrey Lewis I shared here

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the personal recommendations – I will have to seek out Leonard Cohen’s posthumous album especially.

    My new discovery for this year was Scottish singer/songwriter Gerry Cinnamon – Tough for non-Scots to understand his accent possibly but fantastic lyrics.

    Merry Christmas Chris – You’ve been enjoying your blogging of late and I’ve not been able to keep up but always nice to get your views on new films and music.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Alyson: You’re welcome. As I said over at Rol’s site, Leonard Cohen’s posthumous album isn’t a classic but still good and on par with the singer’s other stuff this decade.

      I’ll google Gerry Cinnamon

      Belated Happy Xmas! Don’t feel guilty about not commenting on everything. Real life comes first.


  3. I don’t listen to much music outside of work (other than scores when I read my work stuff) and from what I found there while playing on the radio Editors – Black Gold is definitely my fav song this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Rol: I didn’t have time to listen to Jeffrey Lewis’ new album except that song which I love. I remember connecting with his LP “A Turn in the Dream-Songs” (2011)


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