Hey there! This is KC and here for all of you is my top 10 singles/albums/EPs of 2019 (in no real order, I’m bad at picking favourites)! You’re welcome.
TESSA VIOLET / BAD IDEAS
I am not exaggerating when I say I’ve been waiting for this album since 2017. No joke. Thankfully, I can proudly tell you that it was well worth the wait. Tessa Violet takes us on quite the emotional journey with this album. She explores the concept and intricacies in relationships, from a bubbly, borderline-obsessive “Crush” to the painful heartbreak song “Words Ain’t Enough”. Each song delves into a different aspect of this heartache Violet sings about. The album only runs a couple minutes over half an hour but Violet makes sure each song brings its own energy, its own message, and its own sound to the listeners. It’s really variety at its finest.
She gives it all in this album. You wanna dance? “I Like (the Idea of) You” or “Crush”. You wanna cry? “Words Ain’t Enough” or “Honest”. You wanna just be in your feelings, so to speak? “Feelin’” and “Bored”. With all this variety and with songs that hit close to home for everyone, this album was well worth the wait to receive in 2019.
THE WRECKS / “FVCK SOMEBODY”/”FREAKING OUT”
I love the Wrecks more than anything. That’s just a fact. I love them so much I’m willing to forgive the fact that they only really have like eight released songs over the course of four or more years, including the two that were released this year “Freaking Out” and “Fvck Somebody”. Am I technically cheating by listing them on the same point? Yes, but it’s my list. These songs are a promising return after the Wrecks’ first EP “Panic Vertigo” released in 2018. “Freaking Out” is an electric ode to the extreme highs and lows that life brings you, with its extremely catchy chorus and charmingly relatable and paradoxical lyric “I’m freaking out, but I feel fine”. It’s really just an addicting song.
“Fvck Somebody” is an anthem for anyone who’s ever wanted to leave a relationship without feeling guilty for breaking someone’s heart. The chorus proudly states “I wish you’d f*ck somebody, steal my money, break my heart” basically wishing that their significant other would do anything just so that they don’t have to be in this relationship any longer. A niche topic, yet extremely relatable. The Wrecks have an album coming out in 2020 (so they say and I will personally hold them to it) so these two singles create a promising idea of what this album will be.
WATERPARKS / FANDOM
There is no way under the sun I could sum up this album and why you should listen to it in a paragraph, but I shall try my best. This is Waterparks’ sixth release and it is a huge mark on their growth as a band. Slowly diverging from pop-punk, this album dips its toes into many genres and even blends genres. It’s a compelling and honest take on love and obsession in the modern day culture of “stans” and the love for celebrities.
On the surface, it’s a series of love songs and songs of heartbreak, but with the title of the album being “Fandom”, we know that those songs go deeper than what they present on the surface. The best example of this being “Dream Boy”, a song that could seem like a bubbly love song is, in reality, a take on obsessive fans that believe their idol taught them what love is. Another being “High Definition” a song desperately pleading with itself to let itself love but is blocked by the feeling of never being able to actually be close with others. Even cooler than these double-meaning songs, is that the album is full of intricate transitions as well as this amazing looping effect on the last song that swings it perfectly into the first song of the album, starting the cycle all over again. An upbeat recommendation? “Telephone” or “Easy to Hate”. A more lowkey, sad recommendation? “Worst” or “High Definition”.
CARO / SONGS FROM 3AM
This short album by Caro is her first, I believe, but it is so intricate and relatable in the most painful way. It’s only seven tracks but packs quite a punch. The whole album is a take on those thoughts and feelings that plague your mind at 3am. It really is a heartbreaking 19 minutes, but so worth it. She writes these crushing songs on unrequited love and one night stands from this melancholic point of view everyone can relate to. Plus, she mixed and wrote everything herself with the help from a co-writer on only two songs.
For a first album, for her first released music, it’s absolutely incredible what she’s managed to do. It’s an extremely poignant, sensitive, emotional, and relatable take on modern day relationships and how it feels having a connection with someone in the 21st century. Recommended songs: 3am, i don’t miss u, and rock bottom.
DODIE / “BOYS LIKE YOU”
dodie is an artist I absolutely adore, so it’s not shocking her song released this year is on the list. “Boys Like You” is a song after my own heart; a song about liking a boy who just is not meant for you. A boy who plays games and you know he plays games but here you are, in this situation anyway. It’s an extremely relatable song for anyone who’s been in a predicament like this. Not to mention, the soft vocals of dodie lull you into this hypnotic song, you can’t help but fall completely under her spell.
With devastating lyrics like “I gotta remember, that I’m just a toy, but you got my hopes up, and now I’m annoyed”, dodie goes for the throat with this song in the best way possible, making it impossible to not resonate with the song somehow. Even further, the music video is this amazing dance sequence dodie stars in herself. A short concise and clear song, no excuse not to go listen to it.
ADAM MELCHOR / “I CHOOSE YOU”
I first heard this song live, coincidentally at a dodie concert, and immediately fell in love. When it was released this year, I felt that this song is everything a love song should be. I stand by that. It’s a cute and romantic declaration of love with lyrics like “if I could talk to anyone, I wouldn’t waste nobody’s time, cause I choose you, out of billions of people”. Who wouldn’t fall in love if someone said that to them? I know I’m in love already.
It’s a song proudly stating that out of all of these options in the world, out of everything he could do, this person is the only one Melchor would choose. Not to mention that the music video is super cool. It’s Melchor in skeleton make-up (a callback to an earlier released music video for his song “Joyride”) as he plays baseball against another team. It has absolutely nothing to do with the song, but it is just super compelling to watch. The song is just a light-hearted cute ballad about falling in love. I have no words for how precious and heartwarming it is so just listen to it, okay? And check out that music video.
CONAN GRAY / “MANIAC”
Another absolutely killer single. Conan Gray has a decent amount of music released out in the world, and all of it is amazing but “Maniac” just hit differently. It’s such an infectious song. It’s a song about an ex making up lies about their previous relationship as Gray explains to them how the ex can go off and make up any lies he wants, it won’t change the fact that the ex is, essentially, a maniac. It’s extremely catchy and upbeat and tells a really clear narrative. It’s one of those songs that is literally a story. It paints a picture, you could create an entire short film in your head whilst listening to this song. I really dig that, I feel like songs with extremely clear narratives don’t come up as often.
Just like the previous two songs on the list, it has an amazing music video to accompany it. It gives off some Scott Pilgrim vibes in that it’s Gray and a girl working at a movie theatre, when all her ex’s in zombie form attack. Fits the narrative pretty well. It’s fun, colourful, and compelling, perfectly matching the catchy and upbeat nature of the song itself.
AJR / NEOTHEATER
Ah Neotheater. An album with such striking lyrics that when I listened to it the first time, I was brushing my teeth, heard the first song and literally stopped what I was doing, looked in the mirror and went “really? Ouch”. Perhaps it’s my age, perhaps it’s my circumstances, perhaps it’s both, but this song struck me in a way I hadn’t felt in an album for a bit. It’s an album about growing up, about a time of transition, about change.
The whole album is almost framed like a theatrical event with “Next Up Forever”, the first song, and “Finale (Can’t Wait to See What You Do Next)”, the last song, mimicking each other. It takes you through heartbreak, through birthdays, through learning the world is a tough place, to moving out, to songs that mimic a therapy session. Words cannot describe how many topics this 12 track album covers. It is extremely intricate, in its music and its lyrics. A song that makes you cry? “Don’t Throw Away My Legos”. A party song? “100 Bad Days.” A heartwarming letter to your future child? “Dear Winter”. It’s like I said, this album really has it all.
MXMTOON / THE MASQUERADE
This album properly fits the name masquerade. It’s a detailed exploration of feelings, so to speak. Mxmtoon takes us on a journey through the nerves of telling someone you like them, crying at prom, breakups, and the fear of being in love. All super relatable topics. Mxmtoon pulls us into the album with her soft vocals and contrasting sounds from her melancholic tunes to her more upbeat declarative songs. More so, the album is accompanied by acoustic versions of each song so if you want just a chill, soft vibe, you can listen to the acoustic only. She even has a graphic novel that is attached to the album, she really gives us her all. It’s a painfully relatable album, which is part of what makes it so appealing.
Even with some sadder songs, some heartbreak, her lyrics and her way of expressing herself is so relatable you don’t even focus on how sad some songs are, rather you find yourself laying down in the middle of the night, listening to “my ted talk” going “oh that’s me”. It’s a cool representation of the mind of a young person, which I always appreciate. Want to dance “prom dress” (trust me), “seasonal depression” (once again, trust me). Wanna wallow a bit? “my ted talk” and “late nights”. Lastly, the album has transitions that make listening in order a truly amazing experience.
MAISIE PETERS / IT’S YOUR BED BABE, IT’S YOUR FUNERAL
Maisie Peters, to me, is the queen of amazing EP titles. Her first is Dress Too Nice for a Jacket, which I didn’t think could be topped until her second EP, released this year It’s Your Bed Babe, It’s Your Funeral. How amazing is that? It’s so cheeky, you feel like you have to listen to it to just find out why it has that kind of title. In the six tracks Peters gives us, she really gives us quite the variety.
Sure, there’s “This is on You” where she pulls the title of the EP from, stating how she is fed up sacrificing everything for her significant other and the downfalls of the relationship are on them. Then there’s “Look At Me Now” which contrasts that ideology with a song about not being over someone. But then there’s “Adore You” which is just an adorable love song and “Personal Best” an ode to friendship. She tackles all these subjects and more in six tracks. She doesn’t stick with one idea, rather she touches upon ex’s, friends, self-care, and love. It’s like a really good variety pack of songs. She also has some acoustic versions of the songs out, in case you want that more acoustic vibe.
Want a song that will make you call your best friends crying that you love them? “Personal Best”. Love song? “Adore You”. Comfort song? “Take Care of Yourself”. This EP is truly a gift, and not just because of its amazing title.