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27th Dec 2019

The 10 Best Songs of 2019

Dave Hanratty

Best Songs 2019

The good stuff, song by song.

Another year, another end-of-year countdown list.

This one, as the headline suggests, focuses on the very best songs of the calendar year that was 2019.

A decent 12 months? Maybe. Let’s find out, eh?

#10. The Claque | ‘Stray’

The shimmery, strideful half of a double A-side released by brand spanking new Dublin outfit The Claque, who boast some Girl Band DNA in their genetic make-up.

They’re also really very good at experimental pop with a serrated edge. If there was any justice in the world, this would be everyone’s sound of the summer.

#9. Lana Del Rey | ‘The Greatest’

The crystallisation of one of the decade’s great songwriters.

#8. Grimes ft. i_o | ‘Violence’

A song purpose-built for cruising down a neon-drenched cityscape in a flying car in the year 2049. So, if you ever find yourself doing that, whack this on.

#7. Thom Yorke | ‘Dawn Chorus’

Thom Yorke in ‘crafting incredibly emotional and intense music’ shocker.

‘Dawn Chorus’, the standout from a terrifically-realised third solo record, is a legitimate knockout of a song in that it takes the breath from your body, juggles it about a bit, gifts it back and then asks you how you feel about the experience. Shaken, to be honest.

#6. Billie Eilish | ‘Bury a Friend’

The moment when you realised that Billie Eilish was for real.

A tectonic calling card for one of the most exciting and interesting artists around right now and a clarion call for those who appreciate the majesty of intelligent dark pop.

#5. Clairo | ‘Bags’

A dream of a chorus and the announcement of a major player, ‘Bags’ is a true ear-worm that begs to be listened to for about six months solid.

Sounds a chore, but not with this one.

#4. Denzel Curry | ‘RICKY’

One of the most immediate, high-octane and clever listens of the year.

#3. Big Thief | ‘Not’

Folk-punks Big Thief cast a spell on an awful lot of people in 2019, releasing two albums in the space of six months and maturing into a must-see live appointment.

‘Not’ comes from that second record, unleashing the kind of explosion that the band usually hold back on, with Adrianne Lenker’s eventual guttural vocal delivery provoking many a goosebump.

#2. Slipknot | ‘Unsainted’

Full disclosure; this writer has been a Slipknot fan since the glory days of 1999.

‘Unsainted’ grasps the silver medal on ferocious merit, however.

It is their best single since ‘Duality’ in 2004 – aka the one that even people who claim to loathe the band cannot help but enjoy – and the promise of a bright future, should the Iowa brood want for one.

#1. FKA twigs | ‘Cellophane’

We’ve heard a million love songs before, most of them about heartbreak and the hope that perhaps one day we can be restored and move forward in life.

‘Cellophane’ is as spectacular as any of them and a true transcendent work for a fearless artist that reached deep down and created something timeless as a result.

Clips via The Claque, Lana Del Rey, Grimes, Billie Eilish, Clairo, Denzel CurryBig Thief, Slipknot, FKA twigs

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