The 10 Best Songs of 2019 (So Far)


Spotify Performance with Lana Del Rey's New Album 'Lust For Life'

Getty ImagesChristopher Polk

2018 was a doozy, to say the least, and our ability to power through it was bolstered by break-up tunes and self-acceptance bops from music’s fiercest women, splendid odes to hustling, and…HAAAAAAAAAAAA AHHHHHH AHHHHH HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

But new year, new battles to face. Thankfully, we’ve already been gifted musical gems that can comfort, rouse, and entertain us. Here are the best songs 2019 has to offer (so far).


“Nights Like This” by Kehlani ft. Ty Dolla $ign

“But all that glitters isn’t gold, I was blinded / Should have never gave you my heart on consignment,” Kehlani sings out the gate on her new song “Nights Like This.” It sounds like Kehlani’s having one of those nights. She’s thinking about a dishonest someone who “took my feelings and just threw ’em out the window” and now she’s left to pick up the pieces of her broken heart. The mommy-to-be brings Ty Dolla $ign into the mix, and the west coast crooners’ voices blend seamlessly until the song’s end. Nerisha Penrose



“Dancing With a Stranger” by Normani, Sam Smith

There’s a lot to love about “Dancing With a Stranger.” For starters: Normani and Sam Smith. Two soulful, passionate voices harmonizing about an enchanting stranger over a colorful, upbeat rhythm. You can’t help but get up and, well, dance—whether by yourself, with friends, or with the cutie you just swiped right on. Nerisha Penrose



“Almost (Sweet Music)” by Hozier

Hozier returned at the top of the year with his first song in almost five years, and everything you loved about the singer who gifted us “Take Me to Church” in 2013—his rich, throaty vocals and addictive soul-flavored instrumentals—remains intact. Nerisha Penrose



“Song 31” by Noname ft. Phoelix

“I sell pain for profit, not propaganda” Noname says matter-of-factly on her newest single “Song 31.” She also silkily raps about the consequences of capitalism, factory farming, and staying independent. Close collaborator Phoelix joins in for a chorus as smooth as it is sharp. Nerisha Penrose



“Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have, But I Have It” by Lana Del Rey

The start of the new year usually finds most people in a contemplative state, and Lana Del Rey’s solemn ballad fits right in. The singer’s wistful vocals pour over a delicate piano melody; although she battles with her own demons (“Don’t ask if I’m happy, you know that I’m not / But at best, I can say I’m not sad”), Del Rey forges ahead towards happiness. Even though having hope is dangerous, it’s not as bad as living without it. Nerisha Penrose



“Juice” by Lizzo

Sometimes you just need to scream “I’m goals” to yourself. Even if you’re not quite there yet, Lizzo’s “Juice” is there to give you the boost you need. “Ain’t my fault that I’m out here makin’ news”? The self-love queen sure came out strong in 2019. —Estelle Tang



“Snowblind” by Tanya Tagaq

Inuk throat singer Tanya Tagaq’s forthcoming EP, Toothsayer, was actually created as an accompaniment to an exhibition at London’s National Maritime Museum. Its first single, “Snowblind,” is full of thrumming echoes not dissimilar to flurries of snow; its pretty eeriness is perfect for the winter. —Estelle Tang



“Anti-Lullaby” by Karen O

Per the title, don’t listen to this one before you go to bed. Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O channels the darkness in this “anti-lullaby,” which comes from the forthcoming Amazon Prime series Hanna. “Do not sleep / She waits for you to sleep,” she sings: very chill, not scary at all. Estelle Tang



“Wasted Nun” by Cherry Glazerr

“People want girls to be strong, I want to be strong, but I just feel angry, and those are two very different things,” said Cherry Glazerr’s Clementine Creevy in a press release. That’s the feeling driving “Wasted Nun,” a kind of primal scream that is terrifyingly relatable. Wind down all the car windows and get it all out. —Estelle Tang



“Seventeen” by Sharon Van Etten

Five years after she released her last album (she went back to college and had a baby in the meantime), Sharon Van Etten follows in the tradition of art devoted to New York City with this bittersweet tribute, which she calls a “love letter” to the city. It’s just one of many raw, knowing, and loving tracks from her 2019 album Remind Me Tomorrow. —Estelle Tang



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