My Top 10 Songs of 2019

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

To continue my Year In Review style posts, i'm seeing 2019 out with a countdown of my Top 10 Songs of this year. As always i've been saving all my favourite releases from the last 12 months into a Spotify playlist, which features the likes of The Japanese House, Craig David, Dua Lipa, Shawn Mendes, Fletcher, No Rome, Shura, Sam Smith, Avril Lavigne, Alma, Giggs, The 1975 (of course) and many more. You can listen to it in its entirety here, but the best of the bunch can be found below.

10. Hope For The Underrated Youth - Yungblud

Since seeing him for the first time at Reading Festival this year, 22 year old Doncaster born Yungblud has certainly got a new fan in me, so much so that there was no way he couldn't feature in my highlights of 2019. Yungblud - real name Dominic Harrison - was actually a Disney star before turning to music, featuring on The Lodge in 2016. Thankfully, he ditched the Micky Mouse persona and turned to being unapologetically himself; delivering pop-punk tunes often in a dress and a face full of make-up. Hope For The Underrated Youth sounds like it's fresh off of a My Chemical Romance album, with a message of freedom of speech. Taking to Twitter, Dom explained "this song is about freedom of expression. there is hope for this “underrated youth” and i believe the future looks bright because we are in it." The passion in his message comes across loud and clear in the vocals, visuals and live rendition, and with his extremely dedicated fanbase rapidly increasing by the second, I don't doubt we'll be seeing massive things from Yungblud in 2020. 

9. South of the Border - Ed Sheeran ft. Camila Cabello & Cardi B

Just before announcing his extended break from music following an extensive touring schedule, Ed Sheeran left us with one of his best releases to date; No.6 Collaborations Project. The album featured a bunch of A-list collaborations from the likes of Stormzy (Take Me Back To London), Justin Bieber (I Don't Care), Travis Scott (Antisocial) - to name but a few - but it was his team-up with Camila Cabello and Cardi B that really stole the limelight for me. The video follows the trio being a series of spies, and the track itself is incredibly catchy and somewhat sexy - yes, Ed Sheeran and sexy in the same paragraph... It seems that the 28 year old really can deliver anything at this point, and this record was an exceptionally good exit before his well deserved hiatus. 

8. Hallucinations - PVRIS

My favourite female-fronted band made their comeback after two years in 2019, and as always they really didn't disappoint. Following Death Of Me (which was another strong contender for the Top 10), PVRIS then dropped Hallucinations which sees their creepy, dark visuals meet lighter, pop-ier sounds. Singer Lynn Gunn explained to NME this is the direction they always wanted to go in. “We’ve always had little easter eggs that have bridged things from record to record, bridged our progress together. A lot of those ‘lighter’ songs – What’s Wrong, Winter, Nola 1 – were a bridge to where we wanted to go in the future. It’s been really natural." The track is the title for their latest EP release, which as predicted is flawless from start to finish. 

7. Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored - Ariana Grande

When Ariana Grande treated us to two full-length albums in the space of 6 months, I think we all lost our minds a bit. I, for one, was hung up on Thank U, Next opener Imagine for the longest time, and when Break Up With Your Girlfriend followed a couple of months later, I knew I was well and truly whipped. Ariana switched her reign from Princess to Queen of Pop with a more mature side to her sound and visuals, and I struggle to find anyone that isn't a fan of at least one thing the 26 year old pocket rocket has delivered in the last few years. 

6. Talk - Khalid

I was absolutely obsessed with Khalid's Free Spirit album when it was released back in April, and besides Intro (which is genuinely one of my favourite songs ever), Talk completely has my heart. It's a timeless track that still sounds as fresh as it did the day of release, no matter how many times i've now listened to it. As usual, Khalid's voice just delivers effortlessly throughout the track and the video is fun, colourful and a vibe i'm completely into.

5. Nightmare - Halsey

This is the creative shift i've been wanting from Halsey for the longest time and when she delivered it, she delivered it with such passion. Nightmare is without a doubt my favourite release from the New Jersey born singer, and the themes throughout the track hold so much power. Speaking about what it's like to be a woman in the 21st century, often pointing to comments from men about her (our) self worth or physical appearance, Halsey sings "I'm tired and angry but somebody should be" - preach it sis. An absolute anthem.

4. Ladbroke Grove - AJ Tracey

AJ Tracey was first brought to my attention when I heard him featured on Craig David's Somebody Like Me (which is an absolute banger, may I add) and when he took over every radio station in the country with his release of Ladbroke Grove, it really did feel like UK Garage was finally making a well wanted, and needed, comeback. This is another track that I struggle to get bored of no matter how many times I hear it, and i'm sure it will definitely go down as one of the most memorable releases of 2019.

3. People - The 1975

It obviously wouldn't be a favourites of mine without my all-time faves, and thankfully The 1975 completely knocked it out of the park this year making my choice very, very easy. People is unlike anything we've ever heard from the Manchester quartet before, but as usual, it works. Matty channels his inner glam-rock with nods to Marilyn Manson and Ozzy Osbourne in the visuals, and the angry explosive track has become a fan favourite when the band open with it at their live shows. Described by NME as a 'bone-rattling cry for human kind to sort their shit out', The 1975 aren't shy to making a statement in their lyrics and visuals. Speaking to Radio 1 during it's premiere, Matty said they felt like they were going back to "first rehearsal vibes" with this release and the authenticity definitely shows.

2. Lights Up - Harry Styles

While music was already thriving in 2019, heartthrob Harry Styles upped the game even more so when he made his comeback in October. The ex One Direction member proved he was a musician within his own right after his debut album in 2017, and Lights Up continues to showcase his growth and power as a solo artist. Releasing the single on National Coming Out Day, Harry spends the visuals flirting with all genders and continues to be unapologetically flamboyant while still balancing just the right amount of mystery. The lyrics to Lights Up explores identity and freedom, and the music ditches his previous soft-rock for almost R'n'B tones. Could Harry Styles fart down a microphone and i'd love it? Probably. But is this an incredible track worthy of everyones ears? Absolutely. 

1. Bad Guy - Billie Eilish

Choosing the top spot was an absolute no brainer for me, as Billie Eilish took the world by storm dropping her debut album this year. At just 17 years old, Billie has broke records left right and centre, and Bad Guy has become a massive anthem loved across the world. As a self-confessed Belieber, her dreams came true when she finally met Justin Bieber at Coachella this year, which lead to a remix of the track with the man himself. The album is incredibly powerful, and Bad Guy is the perfect introduction to the weird and wonderful world of Eilish. In the Summer, her Reading Festival set was upgraded from a small tent to main stage, and the festival saw it's biggest turn out for a non-headliner in it's history, and after selling out arena's in minutes for her 2020 tour, I wouldn't be surprised to see Billie headlining festivals all over the world in no time (Edit: as predicted, she's headlining Mad Cool in Madrid and I am of course going). During a radio interview, Eilish says the track is making fun of people's personas, including her own - "the initial idea for the song is like people that have to tell everybody that they are a certain way all the time? They’re not that certain way. In general, I feel like you will never catch a bad bitch telling everyone she’s a bad bitch." 

What have been your favourite releases of 2019? Let me know in the comments!

© Image Source: Harry Styles by Tim Walker

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