They say music is a universal language. Every year hundreds of songs come out that people fall in love with. With the new year just starting, we reflected on some songs that came out last year that we love. Here are the top three songs of 2019 for some APN staff members.
1. “Sucker” by the Jonas Brothers
I can happily say I have officially survived the Jonas Brothers breakup. The Jonas Brothers were my go-to boyband; I had a crush on all of them. They were my absolute all-time favorite band when I was younger. When they called it quits back in 2013, I was devastated.
On March 1, 2019, like many fans in the Jonas fandom, I was brought to tears of joy when the band released their first comeback single “Sucker”. This song is purely one of my top three songs of the year because of how happy it has made me. In the seven years the Jonas Brothers were broken up I never stopped listening to them. This song is super catchy and I had it on repeat for weeks. It’s nice to know that the Jonas Brothers can still bring me the same amount of joy at 22 as they did when I was younger.
2.“Glass House” by Machine Gun Kelly (feat. Naomi Wild) [EXPLICIT]
Machine Gun Kelly is a rapper from Cleveland, Ohio, who has been gaining a lot of attention and popularity lately. On July 5, MGK put out his fourth studio album: “Hotel Diablo.” “Glass House” is the fourth song on the album and it was one of the first songs from the album I fell in love with. While MGK is known for his upbeat, hard-hitting, fast-rapping songs, “Glass House” has a very different vibe to it.
The song starts off distant and quiet with Naomi Wild singing. The beat then comes in and MGK starts rapping but not in his usual fast-paced almost violent kind of way. He raps and allows his emotions to show. The emotions and lyrics are very raw and MGK talks about some of the hard times he has gone through. While this song sounded different from some of MGK’s past music, it definitely captured my attention and earned a spot on my daily playlist.
3.“First Man” by Camilla Cabello
The first time I heard “First Man” was completely by accident when it popped up on my Spotify Discover Weekly playlist. After listening to it the first time I was hooked. I love both of my parents and am always so thankful for all that they do for me and for all of their support. Ever since I was a little girl I have always dreamed of my wedding day and getting to walk down the aisle and dance with my dad. In this song, Camilla is singing to her dad saying how thankful she is that he is the first man to have ever loved her. I feel like when I heard this song I could relate to it and all I could think about was my dad.
When it comes to boys, my dad is always watching my back. To him, I’m his little girl and who knows if anyone will ever be good enough in his eyes for his daughter. The fact that I was able to grow up with a loving dad who has shown me how a man is supposed to act by the way he loves and treats my mom and how he has always loved and supported me is something I am forever grateful for. I am proud that I am his daughter, that the love he has for his little girl will never go unappreciated and that this song perfectly encapsulates all of these feelings into four minutes perfectly.
1.“Saint Tropez” by Post Malone [EXPLICIT]
Post Malone released his third album in September of this year and being a huge Post Malone fan, it wouldn’t seem right to not include one of his songs in my top three. “Saint Tropez” is one of ten songs on the album that does not feature any other artists, which is one of the reasons I enjoy this particular song.
The song’s enticing lyrics tell the listener about Malone’s extensive wealth and how long he has waited to be this rich. I’m usually not one for celebrities bragging about how amazing their lives are, but Malone’s voice and the simple, but catchy, beat ties the piece together in a way that makes you forget about the blatant boasting.
2.“She” by Harry Styles
This Beatles-esque song piqued my interest due to the almost psychedelic lyrics and beautiful guitar solos. The song tells a story of a man who dreams about an elusive woman only named as “She.” I enjoy the sense of calmness the song also brings, its lyrics and the soft beat lull the listener into a state of catharsis. The album as a whole is fantastic and different from Harry’s first album, but this song stood out to me.
3.“Shining on my Ex” by bbno$ and Yung Gravy [EXPLICIT]
This song is a little ridiculous, but it’s so catchy and actually did help me get through a breakup. The lyrics tell a plain message about being better than your ex, but in a mildly abrasive and petty way: Shine on your ex by being better than them. The song is fun to jam to. All of Yung Gravy’s songs are strange, but this is one of my personal favorites.
1.“Deja Vu” by Dreamcatcher
Dreamcatcher is a Korean girl group composed of seven members. Towards the end of September, they released their latest EP, “Raid of Dream.” The title track, “Deja Vu,” is easily one of my favorite songs of 2019. I love the soft beginning of the song, almost sounding like a gothic ballad, which quickly transitions into a rock song with powerful vocals and hard-hitting chords. I hope Dreamcatcher will stay with this fantasy concept they have been rocking.
2.“Fill Me Up Anthem by Gus Dapperton
Gus Dapperton has been on my radar since the release of his single “Moodna, Once With Grace,” in 2016. I was ecstatic that he released his debut album “Where Polly People Go to Read,” in 2019. Off that album comes another one of my favorite tracks, “Fill Me Up Anthem.” This track is a rollercoaster, from the harmonizing tranquility of vocals at the beginning of the track, to the harsh delivery of lyrics in parts of the pre-chorus, and chorus. If you are looking for an animated and unique indie artist, Gus Dapperton is the guy for you.
3.“I’m a little drunk” by Lim Jae Hyun
This is my favorite song that came out in 2019. I’m a sucker for ballads. Lim Jae Hyun’s voice is magical to me. It is riveting and pulls you in to listen to the story he has to tell. The song starts off slow, as most ballads do, but then his high notes hit you, and the song transcends into something more. To be able to translate so much emotion with just your voice alone is something special. I cannot speak Korean, but just listening to the song, I know it is a sorrowful love ballad, and once you look at the lyric translations, it is. I hope to hear a lot more from Lim Jae Hyun in the near future.
1.“My Oh My” by Camilla Cabello
I’ll be honest with you, I could not name another song this woman has made. However, this one, I dig. It’s consistently upbeat with an overall fun and flirtatious tone. I consider it a new-age party anthem: a tune to play for times when you’re absolutely feeling fresh about yourself.
2.“Nightmare” by Halsey
I got hooked on Halsey thanks to two of my closest friends. Halsey is an empowering artist who puts nothing but her truth into each and every song. She is considered part of the electro-pop genre, although “Nightmare” takes on a rebellious, modern punk sound. The lines “I keep a record of the wreckage of my life” and “broke down and put myself back together again” strongly resonate with me as I’m sure they do with others. Halsey is relatable in the sense that she’s been dragged through hell and back, and “Nightmare” is proof of her strikingly raw real persona.
3.“everything i wanted” by Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish’s music was a lovely discovery in 2019. I’ve learned a bit about her from watching interviews on YouTube as well as her appearance on “Carpool Karaoke.” She writes and records all of her songs alongside her brother, Finneas, in his bedroom. This song was dedicated to him, thanking and appreciating him for how far they’ve come in their creative journey. Eilish is a humble, low-key individual and one could easily interpret this song as a depressive expression of the fame she’s received. Especially in the first five definitive lines,
“I had a dream / I got everything I wanted / Not what you’d think / And if I’m being honest / It might’ve been a nightmare”
“everything i wanted” once again showcases her soulful soprano range in her voice. Vulnerability is palpable within each word.
1.“Te Quiero” by Maluma
This song is currently my favorite to listen to. I have it on repeat most of the time. It mixes Latin salsa and reggaeton so I’m able to enjoy the best of the two in one song. I first heard this when I was on Apple Music looking for new songs. My playlist was getting dull and reggaeton is a great source of upbeat music that makes you want to dance. I was familiar with Maluma’s music but I didn’t really listen to his songs until I found this one. He’s now my favorite Latin artist.
2.“Another Life” by Motionless in White
Punk music has and always will be my first love. I first discovered it when I was in middle school and it encouraged my wardrobe choice. I wore black clothes, painted my nails black and wore black eyeliner which then progressed to heavy black eyeliner. Even if I wore darker colors, I can say that it was the most enjoyable time of my youth. I discovered so many bands and fell in love with the looks, their music and their messages. I may not dress the way I used to but I’m still in love with this genre and this song brings me back those memories.
3.“Fancy” by Twice
Twice is an all-girl Korean idol band. Back in early high school, I stumbled on a video one of my favorite youtubers at the time had uploaded. She was mentioning what her most played songs were and since she appeared to be into punk music, I thought it would be a great idea to get song recommendations from her. That’s when I heard my first K-pop song. Immediately, I was amazed. I started looking through more of the artists, more idol groups and became a full supporter of K-pop music. Twice is my favorite girl group now, and this is my favorite song of theirs. It’s incredibly catchy and the dance is addicting.
1.“EARFQUAKE” by Tyler, The Creator [EXPLICIT]
Tyler, The Creator propelled himself off of the pastel and alternative vibes that made his last album “Flower Boy” a success to create the Grammy winning album “IGOR.” In the song he reminisces on a past lover whom he thinks he did not treat well but is still in love with. The song carries forth a large feeling of pathos throughout with a strong feature by Playboi Carti whose unique, though undecipherable voice concludes the song on a genuine high note. For these reasons, Tyler, The Creator is fully deserving of the token of best song of the year, queue speeches.
2.“The Box” by Roddy Ricch [EXPLICIT]
Roddy Ricch, a debutant out of Compton, California, released his first official studio album, “Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial,” at the end of 2019. Before which, his most recent mixtape, “Feed Tha Streets II,” peaked at 67th on the Billboard 200; compared to his album, in which “The Box” served as the headliner, which remained on the number one stop on the Billboard for just about a month. The upbeat song with very many ambiguous connotations sees Ricch in the metaphoric rat race, trying his best to make money by any means necessary in American society that pits legality against life in tough regions such as Compton.
3.“bad guy” by Billie Eilish
Alright, let’s talk about it. Billie Eilish, now 18-years-old, took the music industry by storm in the year 2019 and ‘Bad Guy’ was one of the songs that propelled her into the limelight. The release of her ethereal alternative second album “WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?” saw Eilish discover a new voice that spoke massively to her fanbase, many of whom are either around her age, suffering from depression and anxiety, or both. The hook and chorus for the song have a melodic and repetitive quality and yet still manage to maintain their uniqueness throughout the song. Some people will not like this song on the list, but I guess that makes me the…”Bad guy.”
1.”Blinding Lights”by the Weekend
I have been listening to the Weekend since 2012. His music has always been a hit since then. One of his most recent singles, “Blinding Lights,” had a completely different vibe from his other songs. This song uses a synthesizer, which the Weekend has never been used in his songs before. This instrument is known for having many effects on a keyboard that is similar to a piano. They were really popular during the 1980s. This instrument makes the song’s melody catchy. I enjoy hearing retro music, and this song has blended perfectly for that genre.
2.“Watermelon Sugar” by Harry Styles
I have recently started to listen to Styles latest album “Fine Line” which my sister introduced me to. There are a few more of his songs within the album that are also very good. Although this album came out in the winter, I’m surprised that the artist was able to portray the feelings of summer. I will be looking forward to listening to this album for the upcoming months.
3.“Say So” by Doja Cat [EXPLICIT]
This song was all over Youtube clips and many memes on social media. I finally went ahead and listened to the full song. It is very catchy, even though the lyrics are hard to understand. It is upbeat and I can not help but dance along with it when I hear it. I am not familiar with the artist but they were able to make this song trendy.
1.“Leader of the Landslide” by The Lumineers [EXPLICIT]
Part five of a ten-song album that tells the story of an addiction-ridden and estranged fictional family through three generations, Gloria Sparks, Jimmy Sparks and Junior Sparks. “Leader of the Landslide” is the second song in Junior’s chapter, and tells the story of a distraught teenager angry at his toxic father and longing over his lost first love and his mother who abandoned him. I think this is one of my favorites of 2019 because the album “III,” is one of my favorites of the year. Not only do I adore how it begins and ends with a slow, melancholic melody, reminiscent of previous tracks on the album, but I love how it transitions into the emotions of Jimmy growing through his troubles.
2.“Afterglow” by Taylor Swift
Although not a single, this track is by far my favorite on Taylor Swift’s 2019 album Lover. Swift sings of herself sabotaging a relationship, taking responsibility for the problems she may have caused and apologizing for them, an important aspect of any healthy relationship. “Afterglow” can be seen as a response to many critics saying she plays the “victim card.” Here, Taylor shows that sometimes, she is the issue and she does not want sympathy, she just wants reconciliation.
3.“7 Rings” by Ariana Grande [EXPLICIT]
Possibly the most popular song of my top three, but definitely one of my favorites of the year for personal reasons. I genuinely love listening to Grande humble brag about her accomplishments and bank account, every time I hear this song it reminds me more of my sister and me blasting it on repeat when it was first released. It was because we had nothing else to listen to, but also because it was that catchy and fun to listen to. Eventually, in March 2019, we got to sing it with Grande live at the Times Union Center in Albany, New York, perfectly showcasing how much this song affected my 2019.
1.“Hello, My Love” by Westlife
Westlife is an Irish band composed of four talented members. Their song “Hello, My Love” inspires an uplifting mood about what we know to be love. It’s realistic by describing the insecurities of an almost too-good relationship that begs the question: Why me? But the thing is, love doesn’t have a rule book. It is not defined by the strict standardized norms of society. We may love someone even if they have a short temper, or if they are a huge nerd about something. Love makes it so that the even-temper is treasured, that the visible nerdiness is a symptom of their passions showing. What may be flaws are not flaws at all. Love is flexible, subjective, and a constant enigma that stumps us all. And unfortunately, we just have to come to terms with that.
2.“Artemis” by Lindsey Stirling
Lindsey Stirling will always be special to me. After being shot down by “America’s Got Talent,” Stirling continued to gracefully mix the two genres of violin and dubstep to create something extraordinary and unique. Not only is her music incredibly moving, the music video for “Artemis” specifically and accurately portrays the Greek myth that the name refers to. Artemis was told to be the goddess of the hunt, forest and hills, the Moon, and archery. Therefore, we witness Stirling perform beautifully in the woods, dancing with her violin, acting as if Artemis would in a musical setting. Stirling constantly surprises me by her music when combining pieces that reflect back a type of class and sass simultaneously.
3.“Transcending Toxic Times” by The Last Poets
The Last Poets are complex to describe because they are made up of several groups of poets and musicians coming from the late 60s. Despite the undeniably groovy background music, “Toxic Times” discusses the turn our Earth has made (and no, not because of the planet’s natural orbit) for the worst. The song make points regarding the endless problems in our world that ought not to have ever been problems, such as how sickness is profitable, the educational system that has repressed the minds of children and teens, the way the White House functions. From the richer getting richer to the poor getting poorer, “Toxic Times” protests the severity of today’s unbalanced way of living and that we must do what we can to become our own heroes, rather than submit to our villains. A revolution is the only solution. A revolution of the mind, body and soul.
1.“Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish
“Bad Guy,” by the young pop star Billie Eilish, was a breakout hit in the spring and summer of 2019. With a mixture of a groovy and memorable chorus, this song promotes a cynical sense of feminism. Eilish’s signature whisper-like tone only lures the listener in more. Overall, the song has a decent flow, is creative in its lyrics and doesn’t rely on a typical idea like a romantic breakup.
This song by the Christian rock band Skillet brings a listener onto their feet from the get-go. Pumping with plenty of rock and bass elements, while the song follows a formulaic motivational tone, Skillet puts a unique spin on it. The song uses the word “Oh,” several times throughout the beginning and end, but it works. By the time that the chorus hits, the guitars are blasting melodies of heroism and perseverance. Like before, Skillet continues to jam confidence into its music and doesn’t cease to impress.
3.“Someone You Loved” by Lewis Capaldi
As soon as it hit, “Someone You Loved” became a hit across radio stations nationwide. Perhaps the reason for its success was its relatable and meaningful lyrics. The end of a toxic friendship kind of song. The end of a relationship kind of song. The parents just filed for divorce kind of song. Through each note and verse, Capaldi gives off clear emotion just through his voice. Distant murmurs and a sad, heartbreaking chorus only add to that thought. In this song, Capaldi speaks to all ends of the scope, to those that have been hurt before and to those who did the harm.