So here we are again at the end of another year. While I have not been very active in the blogosphere this year, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been listening to music and taking notes! So, just under the wire, here are my favorites of 2019.
10. Vampire Weekend – This Life
The type of song that can make you feel like the suns shining and the bird are singing, even if you’re in the middle of a cold foggy rainstorm.
9. Nilufer Yanya – In Your Head
Heard this song on a new music playlist and it grabbed me from the first riff. Can’t really tell what’s going on in her head, but the song kicks ass.
8. Bruce Springsteen – Stones
It took me a while to warm up to Bruce’s latest release, Western Stars, as it was so different from what I would have expected. But its filled with gorgeous melodies and grand arrangements, and as we have come to expect from Bruce, brilliant characters. This was one of my favorites from it.
7. Amanda Palmer – The Ride
A perfect song for a Sunday morning – a tour de force performance that tells you everything you need to know about this ride called life. Favorite lyric:
Everyone’s trying to stay on the side where the water’s just boiling more slowly
Frogs in a pot, well that’s one thing I’ve got
At least some of the frogs in here know me
6. Better Oblivion Community Center – Dylan Thomas
This out of the blue paring between Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers is the perfect example of a collaboration that you hope isn’t just a one off.
5. Leonard Cohen – Happens to the Heart
I didn’t get into Leonard Cohen til towards the end of his life. After his death, went back and listened to his catalog and wished I had paid more attention earlier. This posthumous release is one last gift from this master songwriter.
4. The Beths – You Wouldn’t Like Me
I raved about this song back in Feburary, and the feeling never faded. A great song from a great album which hits one of my wheelhouses – guitar power pop with a female singer. And for some reason, the Southern Hemisphere (in this case New Zealand) seems to have more than its fair share.
3. Martha – Love Keeps Kicking
One of my favorite guitar riffs of the year from England’s punk pop masters Martha. And the video is a hoot to boot!
2. Alex Lahey – Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself
You know what I said a bit earlier about guitar pop, female singer, and the Southern Hemisphere? Exhibit B from Australia. I could put this song on an extended replay loop and not get tired of it.
1. Little Steven – Superfly Terraplane
It was a great year for one of my favorite artists. Springsteen’s extended break from E St. Bnd projects has allowed many of the band members the opportunity to pursue their own projects, and Little Steven has taken full advantage. Releasing his first album of all new material in decades, he also toured extensively with the Disciples of Soul and continued to kill it live – definitely one of my concert highlights this year.
If I was king of the universe, this song would be a massive #1 hit worldwide. Alas, I’m not but its still my song of the year.
Wishing everyone worldwide a Happy New Year! Looking forward to more great music discovery in 2020!