The 2019 Track of the Year

Charly Bliss, “Chatroom” Like so many great rock and pop songs, Charly Bliss’s gloriously hooky “Chatroom” is rooted in dark subject matter. According to singer/guitarist Eva Hendricks, the song was written in the wake of being sexually assaulted, in which blinding rage steadily morphs into empowering joy. Featuring verses that seethe with anger (“Everybody knows […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #2

2. Lana Del Rey, “Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have – but I Have It” From the very beginning – that being “Video Games” – Lana Del Rey crafted one of the more unique styles of the decade, but although my admiration for her has been steadily growing over […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #3

3. Bille Eilish, “Bad Guy” As predicted – and orchestrated, skeptics will say – Billie Eilish absolutely blew the hell up in 2019, and when the 17 year-old released her debut album When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? in March, the first song to grab listeners by the throat was the murky, confrontational […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #4

4. Weyes Blood, “Everyday” “True love is making a comeback,” sings Natalie Mering on the pretty single “Everyday”. “For only half because the rest just feel bad.” That dynamic between the happy and the miserable drives the song, which sounds so much like a Burt Bacharach/Hal David composition that it feels familiar as soon as […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #5

5. Sleater-Kinney, “Hurry on Home” For a band as confrontational as Sleater-Kinney, they never really opened up as much as they did on the first single from their daring album The Center Won’t Hold. On the direct, minimalist-yet-noisy “Hurry on Home”, Carrie Brownstein exudes self-confidence, singing, “You know I’m dress down-able, uptown-able, hair grab-able, grand […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #6

6. FKA twigs, “Sad Day” Of course the one track on FKA twigs’ stupendous second full-length album that won me over the most was the one that is most indebted to Kate Bush. As soon as the track’s clattering beats come in underneath her plaintive singing (Skrillex was a co-producer) it echoes side two of […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #7

7. Jenny Hval, “Ashes to Ashes” Jenny Hval’s music keeps getting increasingly more hook-oriented, but don’t think that comes at the expense for her often lofty lyrical concepts. “Ashes to Ashes” is indeed one of the catchiest tracks Hval has ever written, as its gently pulsating dance arrangement underscores the pretty chorus. Delve a little […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #8

8. Carly Rae Jepsen, “Now That I Found You” On a terrific album that saw Carly Rae broadening her sound a little more, “Now That I Found You” was the one big, instant classic CRJ track. The arrangement falls right in her wheelhouse: tentative and sweet verses build to a chorus of euphoria and fireworks, […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #9

9. Lana Del Rey, “Doin’ Time” On a masterpiece of an album loaded with astounding original compositions that established her as an American pop icon, Lana Del Rey also pulled off an astonishing cover of one of the best songs by the late, great ska-punk singer-songwriter Brad Nowell. Incredibly, Del Rey and producer Andrew Watt […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #10

10. Tove Lo, “Sweettalk My Heart” I could have chosen a much edgier Tove Lo track from 2019 to single out, but as the months have gone by, “Sweettalk My Heart” has grown on me tremendously. It’s a unique song in that its melody and sensibility is a lot lighter and brighter than anything she’s […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #11

  11. Charly Bliss, “Capacity” “I used to think that I should be good at everything,” sings Eva Hendricks, “Now I know I was wrong.” Life lessons, man. Charly Bliss confronted their collective early-20s misery on their stupendous second album, but instead of whining about it, Hendricks and crew take a mature approach. Yes, the […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #12

12. FKA twigs, “Cellophane” Four long years after the outstanding M3LL155X EP, FKA twigs announced her much-awaited return in triumphant fashion with the aching ballad “Cellophane”, a song seemingly inspired by her engagement to actor Robert Pattinson and the racist remarks made by cruel Twilight fans (just another reason to avoid that series). That engagement […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #13

13. Ashley O, “On a Roll” I have no idea what Black Mirror is, but I could not escape the news that Miley Cyrus played a pop singer on the tv show. Normally I wouldn’t care, but what hooked me in, along with everyone else, was the fact that her fictional character sings a completely […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #14

14. Charli XCX w/ Christine & the Queens, “Gone” Charli XCX’s hotly anticipated album Charli was a mild disappointment, but “Gone”, her collaboration with Héloïse Letissier, was one of a handful of inspired moments. A sublime marriage of Charli’s futuristic take on pop music and Christine & the Queens’ much funkier sound, “Gone” sees both […]

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The Best Tracks of 2019, #15

15. Haim, “Summer Girl” Two years after their last album, Danielle, Este, and Alana kept themselves in the public eye in 2019 by putting out a series of very, very good singles, the best of which being the sweet “Summer Girl”. Softly jazzy in a ’70s Joni Mitchell sort of way, the song was written […]

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