It seems like every year I comment about how challenging it is to put together a “Top Songs” list, because unlike albums, which are larger works meant to be taken as a whole, songs are fractions of that whole. There are multitudes more songs in the world than albums, so in essence it’s like splitting hairs. Imagine my surprise then, when this Top 50 Songs of 2019 list came together rather easily. Perhaps there were fewer standout tracks than normal to really catch my attention. It was a slightly “off” year for music, so that might have helped too. Color me clueless as to the actual reason, because all that matters is these are 50 songs I can say without a doubt are the ones I loved and in many cases listened to most this year. My sincerest apologies if your personal favorite didn’t make the cut. Everybody has their own unique tastes, and while I’d hope most of these songs will satisfy, you might feel differently. That’s okay! The songs on this list span across nearly every genre of music and range from dancefloor bangers to depressing bops and back again. My sincerest hope is that you’ll discover something new you haven’t heard before, and may even fall in love with it as much as I have. There are really only two rules I set when composing this list:

1. Songs must appear on an album, EP, or standalone single released in 2019 (so no new Tame Impala, Grimes, The 1975, etc. from 2020 LPs).
2. Only one song per artist, to help spread the love around (featured guest vocals don’t count).

Every song on this Top 50 is accompanied by a link to stream it (and in many cases watch the video) on YouTube. There’s also a Spotify playlist embedded below, organized just like this list, from #50-1. Please enjoy, and feel free to share your own opinions or lists in the comments!

50. Maggie Rogers – The Knife [Listen]
49. DaBaby – Suge (Yea Yea) [Listen]
48. Sleater-Kinney – Hurry On Home [Listen]
47. Denzel Curry – RICKY [Listen]
46. Barrie – Clovers [Listen]
45. Amber Mark – What If [Listen]
44. Octo Octa – I Need You [Listen]
43. Jenny Lewis – Wasted Youth [Listen]
42. Sky Ferreira – Downhill Lullaby [Listen]
41. Lizzo – Tempo (ft. Missy Elliott) [Listen]
40. Toro y Moi – Freelance [Listen]
39. Soccer Mommy – Lucy [Listen]
38. Rico Nasty – Time Flies [Listen]
37. Jade Bird – Uh Huh [Listen]
36. Sturgill Simpson – Sing Along [Listen]
35. Caroline Polachek – So How You’re Hurting My Feelings [Listen]
34. Aldous Harding – The Barrel [Listen]
33. Megan Thee Stallion – Cash Shit (ft. DaBaby) [Listen]
32. (Sandy) Alex G – Gretel [Listen]
31. DIIV – Blankenship [Listen]
30. Charly Bliss – Young Enough [Listen]
29. Faye Webster – Right Side of My Neck [Listen]
28. Slowthai – Doorman (ft. Mura Masa) [Listen]
27. Weyes Blood – Everyday [Listen]
26. Jai Paul – He [Listen]
25. Ariana Grande – NASA [Listen]
24. Solange – Binz [Listen]
23. Thom Yorke – Dawn Chorus [Listen]
22. Perfume Genius – Eye in the Wall [Listen]
21. Jamila Woods – ZORA [Listen]
20. Rosalia / J Balvin – Con Altura (ft. El Guincho) [Listen]
19. Mark Ronson – True Blue (ft. Angel Olsen) [Listen]
18. Nilufer Yanya – Baby Blu [Listen]
17. Taylor Swift – Lover [Listen]
16. Squid – Houseplants [Listen]
15. Lil Nas X – Old Town Road (Remix ft. Billy Ray Cyrus) [Listen]
14. Lana Del Rey – The Greatest [Listen]
13. Clairo – Bags [Listen]
12. Vampire Weekend – This Life [Listen]
11. Cate le Bon – Daylight Matters [Listen]
10. Angel Olsen – All Mirrors [Listen]
9. Sharon Van Etten – Seventeen [Listen]
8. Billie Eilish – bad guy [Listen]
7. Helado Negro – Running [Listen]
6. Big Thief – Not [Listen]
5. Normani – Motivation [Listen]
4. FKA twigs – Cellophane [Listen]
3. Brittany Howard – Stay High [Listen]
2. Charli XCX – Gone (ft. Christine & the Queens) [Listen]
1. Mannequin Pussy – Drunk II [Listen]