Well, it has been a minute since I’ve been here. What better way to kick off our return than with a juicy 2019 list of the music we’ve been listening to! Since I’ve been M.I.A. for a few months, I’m going to treat you to a massive list of all the things that stole my heart this year.
Some updates on my end: my music taste and experience has expanded over the past few months. I now have a monthly radio show on dublab.de called “This Must Be The Place,” and I’ve been organizing concerts with cumming collective & Popanz. I’ve also discovered my new found love for DJing, so things have been pretty hectic. Lucky for you, all of these busy times have involved music, so I have many goodies to share with you all!
Since it is a tradition for HEY to do our top 5 albums and songs, I will stick with this format. I will also include some honorary mentions that extend the list to share my top 20. Follow my cute playlist to discover these inspiring artists and follow all of the links to buy and support them as well. It is so vital that we listeners buy music, so if you can afford to purchase your favorite artist’s album or EP: DO IT!
MY TOP 5 TRACKS 20199
5. Girl Ray – Keep It Tight
Genre boundaries don’t exist in 2019 anymore. Artists and bands aren’t scared to branch out and create something that genuinely makes them happy. This is definitely the case with Girl Ray’s new pop-infused album called Girl. “Keep It Tight” is a toe-tapping tune filled with shimmering chimes, swirling synth, and a groovy bassline. It’s as if you’re looking through a colorful kaleidoscope, and it takes you to a red velvet room where the three girls are doing a synchronized snapping dance. Then they serenade my favorite line of the song: “Oh, he’s fucking with my trio.” They’ve incorporated a new identity, one inspired by their love for Ariana Grande and Drake. Yet, they haven’t compromised with their core Girl Ray sound.
Another memorable lyric: “I’ve had a few boys, it’s true / he dipped me like a casual fondue.”
4. Haim – Summer Girl
A doot, doot, doot melody echoes in the warm summer air, and loose basslines blow through your hair like a clear evening breeze. Haim’s first single after their 2017 album release is a glimmery pop song about giving hope to someone who doesn’t have any. Heavily inspired by Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side,” relaxed grooves, and a brisk saxophone solo, the Los Angeles siblings gifted the world with the perfect summer anthem.
“Whenever I would come home in between shows, I wanted to be his sunshine—his summer when he was feeling dark.” – Danielle Haim
3. Shari Vari – Not a Perfect Day
I’m a sucker for albums’ last tracks. Sometimes if you listen carefully, their strength is something that carries the theme behind an entire album. “Not A Perfect Day” is definitely my favorite last track on an album from 2019. When I’m walking home drunk from a long night at a party, I put my headphones in and blast this song. This cheerful yet melancholic ballad is fearlessly sung by Sophia Kennedy (the other half of Shari Vari being Helena Ratka). And for some reason, I think I can sing just as good as her when I listen to this song on my drunk walk home.
The lyrics remind me that we are all just having a shitty day sometimes. As the brazen trumpet and jolly piano chords float me back along the brisk Cologne sidewalk, Shari Vari guide me home to my warm apartment.
“Shari Vari is everything you didn’t know you were missing in your life.” –Bandcamp
2. Caribou – Home
Backed by a beautiful sample of Gloria Barnes’s track called Home, Dan Snaith, aka Caribou is back with his first material in five years. When I wake up in the morning or get home from a long day of meetings, I blast this track. Gloria Barnes’ looping voice wraps around you like a warm blanket as the array of instruments makes you forget about any negative thoughts. “Baby, I’m home,” and it has never felt so good.
“That’s how it was with Gloria Barnes’ ‘Home’—I kept returning to it, meaning to do something with it but not knowing what. Sometimes making music feels like a process I’m in charge of… but there are other times when things just present themselves, and my job is to follow their lead. It wasn’t until the circumstances of someone close to me mirrored the refrain of the original song that the track all came together.” – Dan Snaith
1. Marie Davidson – Work It (Soulwax Remix)
This is definitely my banger of the year. I am already in love with the original song by Marie Davidson. Still, this Soulwax remix really resonated well with the dancefloor all year round. During Love International Festival, I was dead from dancing beneath the sun all day. I was climbing through some trees on the Croatian coastline when I suddenly heard the piano bit from Outlander’s “Vamp” looping between the branches. On the beach stage, Optimo was playing a wicked late-night set, and they reeled me back into the dancing mood with this Soulwax & Marie Davidson banger.
On the next page, you will find my top albums from 2019 – here you can find this year’s annual list and others from the past years.