Ranking songs each year is a subjective, arduous task that, in our case, is best summarized as a simple playlist. So, in lieu of some arbitrary review of songs that’ll just get lost in the year-end shuffle, I’ve put together a condensed list of songs released in 2019 that’ll hopefully be on repeat into 2020 and beyond. At the end of this post, be sure to check out the embedded Apple Music playlist to get the party started.
Bobby and I both agreed that Bowie unquestionably had best output of 2016, but having memorialized his unfortunate death earlier this year and giving “Lazarus” top honors for the best song of 2015. This year’s playlist has been curated to a different theme, mixing significant emerging talent with surprising comebacks from established rock / pop veterans. One pleasant common thread for 2016 is that we see a major dominance of talented female vocalists and musicians, featuring fantastic releases from The Kills, Warpaint, Bleached, Kino Kimono, GOAT, Sunflower Bean, Carla del Forno, etc. On a different note, being that this list is comprised of songs, versus albums, one notable ommission was the album, The Glowing Man, released by the reformed, eponymous group, Swans, led by Michael Gira. Given the controversy surrounding The Glowing Man and its conclusion of this particular iteration of the group, the expectations were high, but solely in terms of composition and songwriting the album is certainly worthy of acclaim, but its long-form structure is not really suitable for this list. However, condensing these songs to a narrower focus has resulted in an eclectic, high-energy mix to try inspire some semblance of hope in 2017, hopefully extinguishing the dumpster fire, 2016.