Monthly Archives: January 2020

BEST MUSIC 2019

And so the decade ends not with a burst of inspiration, but in a lack of musical notability and excitement. The music industry is at it’s lowest point focused solely on exploiting whatever’s left of the Pop machine which is now laughable to even those were weren’t in on it before. There are no new icons, no more legends, nothing to inspire the population to make their own greatness. That’s all been removed from the plan which has now climaxed in 2019. The plot just seems so tired now though and I can only assume so much is missing from the world that people are going inevitably to take note and take action.

Every generation is talking about it. Where’s the big push of new sound? Where are the rock bands? The boundary-pushers? The ones who continue to forge new territory are struggling to survive and make a living while the longest running # 1 song in history on the Billboard Charts is Old Town Road, surpassing the Beatles, Queen, U2, Prince, and every artist who’s ever released a single or sang a note. It’s a perfectly fitting message to the world – it’s time to wake up and realize what’s going on. Everything is out of whack out there. Debt, money, pop culture, social media, our education system, the government, politics, healthcare, our food, you name it. Music is no different and that’s become obvious now to so many searching for artists to start changing their lives again.

I have been working on my Best Of The Decade List and listening back to it sends me into contemplation about how we felt musically in 2010 to what we’re feeling now. The content bleeds out with intensity in the first half of the decade, but trickles downward as the years pass with less and less potency. As for 2019 itself, it was by far the most difficult year to find great music. Though the great music is still wonderful it only makes me long for the years when there was so much astounding content I could barely sleep from the excitement of it all. I created a career off of that excitement. It’s more of a shoulder shrug now when we share new music and I’m finding artists are struggling to make lasting music because the inspiration pool is so small. Those artists still making music out there are commendable as it feels like a barren apocalyptic post-war zone. I myself had to stop releasing music just to get my bearings and let it all burn for a while. I believe this is where the slope ends. I do. And 2020 forward will be the beginning of something really amazing. I can feel it.

On a positive note 2019 ends with one of the greatest musical masterpieces I have ever heard, that is Cellophane by FKA Twigs. The emotion in her performance is nothing short of transcendent. Her melody and lyrics move me every time I listen to the song and I am so grateful to finally have such emotional response to something of that magnitude. My tears have been longing for song to crawl inside. Other works on this list have made for  sparkly standout listening experiences in a year otherwise riddled with tepid indifference. Several unknown indie acts came through with absolutely stellar tracks that barely register on the streaming count ticker. I do hope people discover and support new bands as that is my intention with putting focus tracks you may not have heard. The most notably fierce performance comes from Belgian’s Brutus whose front-woman is a blazing force to be reckoned with. Chelsea Wolfe and Wy’s multiple appearances on the list skew the majority over to the female side which is an important reflection of what’s happening in the world.

New Music Friday never offered less to all of us, but as usual I am happy to celebrate the rare and extraordinary standouts. Make no mistake every year I usually end up with nearly 300 songs that I can’t part with. This year I could barely make 50. There are diamonds here though, and some exciting tracks that still pushed my emotional buttons and had me humming along and dancing…just enough to get through the year and keep hope alive for whatever’s coming next.  Enjoy!

2019 BEST SONGS – SPOTIFY PLAYLIST

 

1. FKA TWIGS | CELLOPHANE

fka-twigs-new-video

2. BON IVER | HEY MA

bon iver Hey-Ma-1559561229-640x640-1

3. SHARON VAN ETTEN | SEVENTEEN

Sharon2-Ryan-Pflugerc

4. CHELSEA WOLFE | BE ALL THINGS

be all things

5. MIDDLE KIDS | REAL THING

middle kids

6. CHASTITY | SUN POISONING

chastity 1

7. CHELSEA WOLFE | DERANGED FOR ROCK & ROLL

for rock n roll

8. IONNALEE | OPEN SEA

ionnalee

9. WY | SOFTIE

softie

10. AUGUSTINE | LUZON

luzon

11. BAYONNE | QA

bayonne

12. LAVEDA | DREAM SLEEP

dream sleep

13. ROSEMOTHER | DAFFODILS

rosemother

14. WY | SWEDISH SUMMER

swedish

15. LUST FOR YOUTH | NEW BALANCE POINT

new balance

16. STARFLYER 59 | YOUNG IN MY HEAD

young in my head 1

17. SOFT STREAK | IN THE DARK

soft streak

18. WILD NOTHING | BLUE WINGS

blue wings

19. BRUTUS | WAR

war

20. MELBY | VCR

vcr

21. DIVINO NINO | MARIA

divino

22. GRACE IVES | MIRROR

grace ives

23. CARACARA | BETTER

caracara

24. BRUTUS | DJANGO

brutus django

25. LAVEDA | IF ONLY YOU SAID NO

if only you said

26. BUHU – BIG FALLS

buhu

27. BYE BENICO | I’M NOT THE ONE

bye beneco

28. OURS | KILL ME

Ours

29. FERN | 4AM BREAKFAST CLUB FT.LUCY’S MIRROR

Fern

30. WY | TIRED I

wy again

31. CHARLI XCX | CROSS YOU OUT FT. SKY FERREIRA

charli

32. VAMPIRE WEEKEND | FLOWER MOON

vampire weekend

33. KATY PERRY | HARLEYS IN HAWAII 

harley's in hawaii

34. STRAND OF OAKS | KEYS

strand of oaks

35. HOT FLASH HEAT WAVE | FLOATING

hot flash

36. HATCHIE | STAY WITH ME

hatchie

37. BUCOLIC | EARTH TONES

bucolic

38. SAEYERS | CRUISE

sayers cruise

39. MANNEQUIN PUSSY | DRUNK II

manequin

40. WY | HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN LOVE

wy band

41. OKEY DOKEY | MODERN CHEMISTRY

okey

42. SHELTER BOY | TIDES

Shelterboy

43. WESTKUST | RUSH

west kust

44. THE HOLD STEADY | DENVER HAIRCUT

the hold steady

45. KATY PERRY | NEVER REALLY OVER

never really over

46. PART TIME | HONEY LIPS

party time

47. AT MISSION DOLORES | JON EEKS BETS ON THE HORSES

jon eeks

48. REVERIES | DREAM LIFE FOREVER

reveries

49. THE VACCINES | IF YOU WANNA

vaccines

50. STARFLYER 59 | HEY, ARE YOU LISTENING?

young in my head