The Top 103.1 Songs of 2019

You voted ... we counted .. here it is - the top 103.1 songs of 2019 - as voted by YOU! 

The top 103.1 of 2019 is sponsored by Crofton Family Eye Care - providing quality eye care and eye wear for 45 years.  SEE that they CARE  

 

103.1 - You're the 103.1 for Me - Mary Prankster

 

How could we not include this lovely song that Ms Prankster wrote expressing her love for us!

 


103 - Rock n Roll Degenerate - Mary Prankster 

 

 

Baltimore's own Mary Prankster roared back on the scene in 2019 with a “genre-hopping joyride” of an album titled Thickly Settled.  We've settled on the 3:50 opening track - Rock n Roll Degenerate - as our favorite song from the album.

 


102 - Cosmic American Blues - OJR 

 

Nashville's Oliver John-Rodgers aka OJR returned in 2019 as well ... and there's something about the word play in the lyrics to Cosmic American Blues that we just couldn't resist.

 

 


101 - Wedding Bell Blues - Morrissey 

 

What a year for Morrissey - he had a run on Broadway, actually showed up and played shows (including a night when he turned Merriweather into a vegan venue) and sold other people's records with his autograph on them).  But, Wedding Bell Blues, a cover of the Laura Nyro song that was later made famous when the R&B group 5th Dimension released it in 1969, from his 12th solo album is what we'll remember Moz for the most in 2019   

 

 


100 - Love is the Only Way - Cage the Elephant

 

 

2019 might have been the year of the pig on the Chinese calendar - but it was the year of the Elephant on the WRNR calendar.  Love is the Only Way is not the only cut from CTE's Social Cues you'll see on this list! 

 


99 - Gimme Gimme - Meiko 

 

 

We love us some Meiko .. and Gimme Gimme from her fifth album “In Your Dreams” - an exploration into consumer culture - left us wanting more! 

 


98 - Go Crazy - G. Love 

 

 

G Love was another artist we were happy to have back in 2019 - and we were pretty crazy about the song he dropped on us with special guest Keb' Mo' 

 


97 - Rusty Nail - Peter Bjorn and John 

 

 

Another quirky hit from an old favorite ... the Swedish indie pop trio who gave us the 'whistle song' aka Young Folks returned in 2019 with no signs of rust :) 

 


96 - Hurry on Home - Sleater-Kinney 

 

 

Starting to notice a trend here?  The Olympia, Washington riot grrrl band burst back in 2019 and dazzled us with an amazing show at The Anthem and an amazing album The Center Won’t Hold

 


95 - Night Running - Cage the Elephant feat Beck 

 

 

Remember what we said about this being the year of the Elephant?  We present to you exhibit B - a smash hit with their 2019 tour mate - Beck

 


94 - Crowded Table - The Highwomen 

 

 

When this country super group composed of Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris, and Amanda Shires - made their live debut in April at Loretta Lynn's 87th birthday concert - we had no idea that we were going to get a full 12 song album ... that is as good as you would expect from these performers. 

 


93 - Suspirium - Thom Yorke  

 

 

Taken from the score of the 2018 horror film Suspiria - we loved what Thom did - but we think the live version of the song from the infamous Electric Lady Studios is more haunting than the movie was!


 


92 - Strangers - City and Colour 

 

 

City and Colour is the project of Canadian (hence the U in colour) ex-hardcore artists Dallas Green.  He began releasing his own music under this moniker (which comes from his first name being a city and his last name a color) nearly 15 years ago - and Strangers is cut with some deep meanings "about how you will never truly know another human being ... You’ll never really understand what it’s like to be inside someone else’s brain or heart. So, we need to appreciate the differences. If we do, maybe we can live better with one another." woah ...

 


91 -  Holy Roller - Emily Wolfe 


Evoking some serious blues rock and roll sounds - we loved this jam - produced by Ben Tanner of the Alabama Shakes - from the the Austin Texas tour de force that is Emily Wolfe 

 


90 - Moderation - Florence + The Machine 

 

 

OK - we'll say it ... if there is one thing we don't need in moderation - it's music and tours from Florence Welch.  Please come back in 2020 with more new music and tours F+TM!

 


89 - I Was Wrong - BAILEN

 

 

A band that keeps it in the family - BAILEN consists of twin brothers Daniel and David Bailen and their younger sister Julia.  And it wasn't just the twang in the song I Was Wrong that we loved - the idea that song is about "coming together and listening to the other side of an argument, hearing another perspective, and being able to say I was wrong" really had us thinking...

 


88 - Misery - Michigander 

 

A late add to the list ... you'll never guess where Jason Singer aka Michigander is from ... MICHIGAN.  The song may be called Misery - but it had us smiling every time it came on 

 


87 - Sunday Driver - The Raconteurs 

 

 

Another band that was back from hiatus in 2019 ...and with a FURY ... Jack White and Brendan Benson's The Raconteurs (also from Michigan) from start to finish - the album Help Me Stranger was a 2019 favorite - and Sunday Driver was one of the first (and best) songs we heard from it! 

 


86 - Kyoto - Haelos 

 

 

It's been said that timing is everything - and with the lyrics "Cherry blossom cherry blossom .. It's the air that we breathe" on a track that came out just as the Cherry Blossoms blossomed ... Haelos provided the perfect soundtrack for the Cherry Blossom Festival in DC 

 


85 - Deja Vu - SOAK

 

 

Derry Ireland's SOAK is a mighty force in a small package.  When we had the chance to bring her to Annapolis for a pop up happy hour show- it was a no brainer to have it at FADO - who's owner is from the same small town made famous by the Netflix show 

 


84 - Forgive Me - Smith & Thell 

 

 

Kind of a theme this year ... listening, compassion, and forgiveness.  Swedish pop/folk artists Smith and Thell's track was part of a project originally written three years ago - but in 2019 they combined the three songs into one and came out with Forgive Me - a song about a friendship that went a little bit downhill due to the duo's focus on their musical careers ... 

 


83 - Doin' Time - Lana Del Rey 

 

 

It's not often covers make our year end best of list ... and two covers (see Morrissey at #101) is unheard of ... AND the fact that LDR covered a song we play the original of (by Sublime) makes it all the more wild ... but the intoxicating spin Lana Del Rey put on this 90s classic was worth including it on the list 

 


82 - Sunflower - Vampire Weekend feat. Steve Lacey 

 

 

Back to the bands that roared back in 2019 ... Vampire Weekend hit us with a double album, Father of the Bride, that was full of hits, fun marketing and a tour that featured giant inflatable frogs, globes, and all request encores! 

 


81 - They Own This Town - Flora Cash 

 

 

Here's what we know about Flora Cash  ... Shpresa Lleshaj from Sweden and Cole Randall from Minnesota met online after discovering they appreciated each other's music.  They decided to link up in Sweden and collaborate together ... the output is amazing synth pop (that set the Severn River ablaze on a 2019 Rock N River Cruise) ... what we don't know is what Flora Cash means ... they've never revealed the origin or meaning of their band name to anyone.  

 


80 - Overexcited - Guster 

 

 

What is so amazing about this song is not the quirky lyrics, the catchy rhythms, or the unique percussions - it's that Ryan Miller - frontman of the Boston based band - sings the song with a perfect British accent ... they even brought in a coach to the studio - making sure the accent was true to form :) 

 


79 - Release - Grace Potter 

 

Another come back in 2019 - Grace Potter ... have you checked out our podcast with her??? Release is an amazing track from an amazing album

 


78 - Mockingbird - Wild Belle 

 

 

The sibling duo Wild Belle (multi-instrumentalist and producer Elliot Bergman and singer-songwriter Natalie Bergman) might be from Chicago - but they make some blissful island pop music - and Mockingbird is a perfect example of the "blazed out modern soul and world-rock sounds" they have developed

 


77 - Will We Talk - Sam Fender 

 

 

English actor, singer-songwriter and guitarist Sam Fender's album Hypersonic Missiles is just that - a hypersonic missile full of bar rock that would have you believing he was from the Jersey Shore and not North Shields, England. 

 


76 - The Game - Milky Chance 

 

 

Milky Chance are a German electronic pop duo with a strange name but some damn catchy songs ... The Game is a perfect blend of reggae/chillwave/rock that has us bobbing our heads uncontrollably when it comes on 

 


75 - High Steppin - Avett Brothers 

 

 

High Steppin was supposed to be a straight up country song by the brothers Avett - but instead it came out as a piano driven bouncy diddy with harmonies that had us .... HIGH STEPPIN all around the studio ...

 


74 - To The Ground - Death Cab For Cutie 

 

This may not sound like arena-rock - but to DCFC - this is arena-rock.  Reminiscent of something the Edge and Bono would release - this song is a reminder of what has made this Pacific Northwest band the powerhouse they have been for decades.

 


73 - N.Y.E - Joseph 

 

 

N.Y.E. is a song, as singer Natalie Closner Schepman can attest to, that reminds us that no matter what you're going through - New Years Eve can be a magical evening in which you can forget it all and get lost in the moment - every year.

 


72 - Turn Me On, Deadman - Robyn Hitchcock and Andy Partridge 

 

 

When you pair up two amazing artists like Robyn Hitchcock and XTC's Andy Partridge - you know the output is going to be amazing ... and Turn Me On, Deadman is proof 

 


71 - Summer Girl - HAIM 

 

 

With this song being such a departure from HAIM's pop forward sound - it's not hard to understand that it has some dark meaning - the song was written at a time when the band’s producer (and singer Danielle Haim’s romantic partner) Ariel Rechtshaid had been diagnosed with cancer.  Danielle has said of the lyrics:  "I was trying to send positive energy his way almost telepathically ... I wanted to be his sunshine—his summer when he was feeling dark.”   In regards to his cancer, Rechtshaid  has said he "caught it early, had a surgery & continues to keep a close eye"

 


70 -  Sympathy - Vampire Weekend 

 

 

This funk laden jaunt from Vampire Weekend's Father of the Bride is punctuated by the lyric “Now we’ve got that sympathy/ What I’m to you/ You are to me/ Let’s go.”

 


69 -  Wish You Were Gay - Billie Eilish 

 

For anyone who thinks Billie Eilish is a one hit wonder ... you need to get a copy of the album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, listen to it completely - and tell us if you still think she's a one hit wonder

 


68 - Better Than I Used To - Illiterate Light 

 

 

When staffer Bobby on the Street came back from SXSW - the band he said to keep an eye on in 2019 was a duo from Harrisonburg, Virginia called Illiterate Light.  That we did and we were hooked when we heard the sounds this duo could produce.  Check out the live performance of Better Than I Used To from the 2019 WRNR Snowball.

 


67 - You Had Your Soul With You - The National 

 

 

The National made Barack Obama's best of 2019 so why wouldn't they make ours?  While the beginning of this track sounds like a malfunctioning panic attack - the song unfolds into a beautiful The National-esque song ... and when you add in the fact that David Bowie band mate Gail Ann Dorsey is singing back up?  Duh - it's on the list!

 


66 -  Van Horn - St. Motel 

 

Go ahead ... try and not jam out to a St. Motel song .. we dare you ... St. Motel always bring the jam and Van Horn is the truth!

 


65 -  Justice - Citizen Cope

 

Cope delivers some lines in this song that we all needed to hear in 2019 and take into 2020 - like "There's so much trouble in the world  / Surrounded by miracles / So much hatred undeserved / But it will not work because / Still my love will be received" <3

 


64 - Shockwave - Liam Gallagher 

 

While we can pretty much give up hope on an Oasis reunion - we can at least take solace in the fact that Liam (and Noel) continue to producer solid rock songs through their own solo projects.

  


63 - Wars - Of Monsters and Men 

 

 

When Of Monsters and Men came rumbling to Annapolis many moons ago - we had no idea that they'd be still popping up in our best of lists in 2019 (OK - maybe we did because they were and are THAT good)

 


62 - Black Moon Rising - Black Pumas 

 

Another late entry to the list this year - Black Pumas from Austin TX have a funk / soul / Latin sound that's best described as as “Wu-Tang Clan meets James Brown” 


61 - The Runner - Foals 

 

Foals released two albums in 2019 - ‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Parts 1 and 2.  The Runner is on the later album and the lyrics describe the aftermath of the former.  Lead singer Yannis Philippakis described the song as “... a call to find a sense of purpose and perseverance despite the odds and despite the troubles we may find inside or outside ourselves.”


60 - Love You For A Long Time - Maggie Rogers 

 

What can we say about Maggie Rogers that we haven't said a million times ... we love her because of her amazing career path, her magical music, and because she's one of us - a Marylander :)  Maggie released this song just after being nominated for the Best New Artist Grammy Award and says “It’s a song about love in all its forms—romantic love, the love I feel for my friends, the love I feel for my band, and the love I’ve shared with all of you. I wanted it to sound like the last days of summer. I wanted it to sound as wild and alive as new love feels.”


59 - Might Be Right - White Reaper 

 

Despite the glam rock-esque guitars in this track - the band described their first new album in 2 years as “nu-disco boogie and grinning twin guitar leads into masterly crafted pop songs”  ... whatever that means ... we dig the tune


58 - See Through My Eyes - The Head and the Heart 

 

A single from the indie folk collective's fourth album is just as beautiful as ever and a song the band says  "is a song for anyone that needs to be reminded not to judge themselves. We made a video to try to illustrate stripping away the artificial reality of the every day to get to the core universality of the human species.”


57 - Good Luck - Broken Bells 

 

Broken Bells - another group we were happy to get new music from in 2019! Danger Mouse (producer extroidonaire) and James Mercer (The Shins) ... the track is "reflective of specific discussions between the two"  ... While we still haven't gotten that full album they have teased - they admit that despite constantly working on music - the "two always drift back to one another as Broken Bells. When it happens naturally, it happens—and right now it’s happened in the form of writing and recording sessions for the third Broken Bells album.”


56 - Hello Sunshine - Bruce Springsteen 

 

Bruce finished his Broadway residency, had a Netflix special and teased a full tour with his E Street Band in 2019 ... but he also released a country throwback album - Western Stars.  We aren't the only ones who loved this track ... it was also included on Barack Obama's best of 2019 list


55 - So Caught Up - Teskey Brothers 

 

The Australian duo Sam and Josh Teskey put out an album of what can best be described as 'Blue Eyed Soul' ... It evokes a powerful throwback sound that it could have come out of Memphis and not Melbourne.


54 - U (Man Like) - Bon Iver 

 

Another big year for Bon Iver ... headlining spots at festivals, sold out tours, and Grammy nominations  ... but this track - that features Moses Sumney, Bruce Hornsby, and Bryce Dessner - is the 2019 highlight from Justin Vernon for us.


53 - I Get No Joy - Jade Bird

 

We love us some Jade Bird ... we caught her as her star was rising in 2018 and it continued to rise in 2019.  She released her debut album, toured alongside some heavy hitters - like Hozier, Father John Misty,and  Jason Isbell ... but this track here - about “the stream of thought that runs through your head at all times as an over thinker” had lyrics like “Psychotic, hypnotic, erotic, which box is your thing?”  stuck running through our heads all year long


52 - Superposition - Young the Giant 

 

The second single off of the band's fourth album, Mirror Master - Superposition - not only got a lot of air time on WRNR - it was featured in the TV Shows Grey's Anatomy and Roswell, New Mexico AND was featured as a track in the video game - Rock Band 4


51 - Unchained - Devin Gilfillian 

 

From his debut album - Black Hole Rainbow - Nashville's Devon Gilfillian says this song "was originally inspired by the story of Brian Banks, an African-American professional football player wrongly accused of rape, but it’s evolved into so much more than just that.  It’s a song about empowering yourself to become your greatest potential no matter what tries to stand in your way.”


50 - Now That Your Gone - The Raconteurs 

 

The second entry on the list from the Nashville via Detroit heavy hitters that returned in 2019 with their amps turned up to 11.  On this bluesy ballad - Brendan Benson takes the lead on vocals and was the b-side to the band's 7″ single from Third Man Records - marking the band’s first new music since 2008.


49 - Hero - Michael Kiwnauka 

 

“Maybe all heroes die first” ponders the British singer songwriter - who pays homage to 'heroes' who have paved the way for us like Dr Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, John F Kennedy, Sam Cooke, John Lennon, Marvin Gaye, and more on this track from his third album - KIWANUKA.


48 - Black Cadillac - Mondo Cozmo 

 

Speaking of  John F Kennedy - Mondo Cozmo says “The lyrics of ‘Black Cadillac’ were written on tour while the Kavanaugh hearings were being televised. We would watch the hearings in the van on my phone. This was right after I was asked to go speak to Congress on behalf of the MMA legislation which ended in a lunch in the Kennedy Room of the Capitol where there was a small sugar spoon at the table that I wanted to steal.” 


47 - Change - The Revivalists 

 

As much as we loved The Revivalists song Change from the album Take Good Care - the trippy video following a fan who sneaks into a sold out show and spends the night dodging security amid fellow "RevHeads”.  Side note - the venue in the video, Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return, is described as “...a huge immersive multidimensional mystery dwelling complete with secret passages and portals to magical worlds amidst surreal and mesmerizing art installations.”  


46 - Dylan Thomas - Better Oblivion Community Center 

 

Another power duo to make  their debut - Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers came out of nowhere early in 2019 and blew us away with their debut album ... but after a brief tour - we haven't heard much from BOCC since the summer - but you can still contact them at (785) 433-5534


45 - Exits - Foals 

As we pointed out - Foals had two albums out in 2019 - Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Parts 1 and 2 - and Exits - from the first album - "is basically about trying to paint a visual picture with words about the state of where we’re at, and all the preoccupations that we have ... The environment being one, also the state of surveillance and all of the ways that we attached to the outside world. There isn’t any privacy." according to an interview frontman Yannis Philippakis gave  NME


44 - Lo/Hi - The Black Keys 

 

The Black Keys were back in 2019 - and the name of their album - 'Lets Rock' set the tone for what they were ready to unleash on fans who had been missing Dan and Patrick.  Lo/Hi was the first music we got from the duo in 5 years - and it was worth the wait!


43 - Mariners Apartment Complex - Lana Del Rey 

 

All it takes is one song to make you 'get' Lana Del Rey.  And for many, Mariners Apartment Complex was that track ... from the Grammy nominated album Norman F*cking  Rockwell - LDR delivers a hauntingly beautiful tune reminds you - “I fucked up. I know that. But, Jesus/Can’t a girl just do the best she can?


42 - Sisyphus - Andrew Bird  

 

Another song inspired by our current political landscape, Andrew Bird says this track, named for the king doomed by the Olympic gods to roll a stone unsuccessfully up a hill for eternity, came from the "the idea that our enemies are what make us whole—there’s an intimacy one shares with their opponent when locked in such a struggle. If we were to just walk away would our enemies miss us? How did we get to this point and how can we, through awareness of it, maybe pull ourselves out of this death spiral."


41 - Uneventful Days - Beck 

 

Another comebacker in 2019 was Beck ... he teased his 14th (!) album Hyperspace over the course of 6 months.  This track - had a much different toned down sound than some of the other 'junkyard-blues hip-hop' songs released earlier - but it reminds us that the Beck is a cosmic force. 


40 - Almost (Sweet Music) - Hozier 

 

We're not partial to Hozier because he gave us a personalized flask with his own blend of Irish Whiskey - ok, maybe we are - but dang - the guy can write a good song ...


39 - Slow Burn - Kacey Musgraves 

 

2019 was the year we saw Spacey Kacey turn country music psychedelic ... and it doesn't help that Slow Burn was written while she was in a "bit of an altered state"


38 - Wasted Youth  - Jenny Lewis 

 

The third track from her album On the Line, almost echoes the singer's troubled childhood.  “Why are you lying? The bourbon’s gone.  Mercury hasn’t been in retrograde for that long, oh no.  Stop your hiding and drop that bomb.  Do you remember when I used to sing you this little song.  I wasted my youth on a poppy  - Just for fun."


37 - Cuz I Love You - Lizzo 

 

 

Lizzo ... nothing more to say about this one ... LIZZO was everything in 2019


36 - Love Is Everywhere - Wilco 

 

 

A soft serenade from Wilco's Ode to Joy ... the vibes are 60s - but the message is what we need to focus on now - Love needs to be EVERYWHERE


35 - Different Kind of Love - Adia Victoria 

 

Look - we weren't the only ones who got down with the Nashville gothic blues badass ... this song also popped up on Barack Obama's best of list


34 - Falling Down The Stairs of Your Smile - The New Pornographers 

 

20 years into their career - The New Pornographers can still write some of the catchiest pop hooks - and Falling Down the Stairs of Your Smile - delivers that ... a reminder how just looking at someone can evoke so much love and joy


33 - Gloria - The Lumineers 

Does this band have any songs that aren't a woman's name? JK ... Especially since the song is about someone's intense battle with drug and alcohol addiction


32 - Social Cues - Cage the Elephant 

 

It is safe to say that in 2019 - as we deemed the year of the elephant - there weren't too many CTE songs we didn't like.  And with Social Cues - the band weighs in on the anxieties that accompany  the success as a rock star .... but hey - at least your on the radio :/ 


31  - Fighter - Joseph 

 

The Closner sisters went through a lot to put out the record, and the first single from their comeback album Good Luck, Kid - gives context to what they were going through.  In an interview with Nylon, Natalie says  "This song came from a moment when everything fell apart, and my sisters and I almost broke up our band, but we decided to stay and fight for it—to fight for each other"


30 - Patience - Tame Impala 

 

“Has it really been that long? Did I count your days wrong?”  Yes - it was that long for us to get the psychedelic comeback single from Kevin Parker ... but he didn't make us wait much longer for more - with a 2020 release and tour already lined up


29 - Red Bull and Hennessy - Jenny Lewis 

 

We don't recommend this drink ... but we do recommend giving  your full attention to this Fleetwood Mac - esque track from Lewis's brilliant record - On The Line 


28 - Rylan - The National 

 

Fans of The National will tell you that this song has been in the band's repertoire for a long time (they have been performing it since 2011) but in 2019 - it finally got a proper release - on the record I Am Easy To Find - and it was one of the year's best songs. 


27 - Knock Me Off My Feet - SOAK 

 

Two tracks from SOAK on the countdown . . . and rightfully so.  The Irish singer song  writer was kind enough to come all the way to Annapolis from Ireland to perform this track for us at a pop up happy hour at FADO on West Street


26 -Blind Leading the Blind - Mumford & Sons 

 

Another song on the countdown that has existed for a few years - but finally made it to a record ... but Marcus Mumford says “We’re proud that we’ve finally finished it, as it feels like one of the most challenging songs, thematically, that we’ve put out there, both for ourselves and our audience.  It feels it’s becoming harder and harder to coerce yourself into a listening, present and unafraid disposition, but that’s the gauntlet we’re throwing down for ourselves.”


25 - Love is Love - Grace Potter 

 

Love is Love is something that Grace Potter knows all too well ... and she opened up and talked about love, divorce, and starting over with Bob Waugh in an RNR podcast (listen HERE)


24 - Heart - Rainbow Kitten Surprise 

 

Surprise - that's a word to use when describing how much we loved this song.  With a name like Rainbow Kitten Surprise - we didn't know what to think when the single showed up ... but damn - we couldn't turn it off once we started playing it! 


23 - Seventeen - Sharon Van Etten 

 

Hey Obama - were you peaking at our list when coming up with yours?  Or did you happen to vote for our list a bunch - cause they sure are similar :)  On Seventeen - SVE writes a love letter to her hometown - New York City.  


22 - Help Me Stranger - The Raconteurs 

 

Again - we were elated to have The Raconteurs back in 2019 (maybe our ears weren't - cause the record stayed on long and loud) 


21 - Saw Lightning - Beck 

 

Remember that  junkyard-blues hip-hop style of Beck we referenced earlier - well here it is ... complete with Beck's raw acoustic slide guitar and harmonica playing plus  Pharrell Williams on drums, keyboards and mumbles.


20 - Everyone Hides - Wilco 

 

Not only was this the second single from Wilco's 11th album (Ode to Joy ) - according to lead singer Jeff Tweedy - “‘Everyone Hides’ is the first promotional video to feature Wilco as a living breathing band of humans in close to 20 years.  Maybe for obvious reasons we’ve avoided putting ourselves forward in this way and have tried to play to our strengths musically or, I don’t know, maybe we’ve just been lazy… Or suspicious of expenditures outside of our focus on album making. For whatever reason this time around we just said fuck it and had a blast.” 


19 - Burning - Maggie Rogers 

 

From Hudson Street Studios in Annapolis to the Ellen Show - Maggie Rogers is living her best life ... and the chorus on Burning - from her debut album, Heard It In a Past Life - sums it up with a cathartic chorus: "I'm in love, I'm alive, I'm burning."


18 - Peach Fuzz - CAAMP 

 

Want to know a secret - we weren't keen on CAAMP when they first came around.  A band that put an extra A in  their name to garner attention?  Seemed campy ... but boy were we wrong.  A week later we couldn't get enough of these Ohio boys - who have been "gigging, recording, grinding, and making beautiful noise" since 2013


17 - No Bullets Spent - Spoon 

 

Rarely do you find a track on a Greatest Hits record that's a hit.  But Spoon isn't like most other bands  ... they can put out a compilation spanning their 20+ year career and afford to include a new track that rivals some of their best work to date. 


16 - Calm Down - Pete Yorn 

 

Pete Yorn writes good songs.  Period.  And has been doing so for 20+ years.  In 2019 - when he released the reflective Calm Down - he reflected on that career, saying “I know I have changed internally in the way that I process the world and react to the world.  The coolest thing about the older songs is how they seem to grow with me.”


15 - Stay High - Brittany Howard 

 

When we heard that the Alabama Shakes were taking a hiatus - we were a little bummed out.  But what we got from that was a solo project from lead singer Brittany Howard ... and she explained the lyrics to the song Stay High (which she wrote in a greenhouse) were meant "to juxtapose how dreamy and playful and innocent and childlike the music was, like, to me the music is like sunlight“ in an interview with Pitchfork.


14 - Sing Along - Sturgill Simpson 

 

The companion album to an anime film doesn't sound like something Sturgill Simpson would release .. but the “sleazy, steamy rock’n’roll record” that accompanied the film he made for Netflix ended up being one of our favorites of 2019 and expanded his music to all new fan bases.

13 - Trampoline - Shaed 

 

From performing as The Walking Sticks at Middletons in Annapolis to performing on Dick Clark's Rockin New Years Eve - SHAED have certainly made it... and Trampoline is certainly the reason why they were one of the biggest artists in the world in 2019


12 - Orphans - Coldplay 

 

Coldplay's Chris Martin says that Orphans started as a voice memo he recorded on his phone one day ... and from there it morphed into a song that demanded to be released as the lead single to their album, Everyday Life.  He told RADIO.com “We’d been thinking so much about all these kids in refugee camps who are just like us. Well, I’m not a kid anymore but, people being labeled as just migrants or just refugees or just immigrants.  And really they’re human people just like everyone else, and we were thinking about particularly the young people who’ve been displaced, who just want to go home and be normal just like everybody else.”


11 - Alligator - Of Monsters And Men 

 

We know the Icelandic troupe can make some great indie folk/pop songs... but with Alligator- they step out of that mold and full on rock out


10 - When Am I Gonna Lose You - Local Natives 

 

Now here's a record that stuck with us for the entire year it seems.  And that's why the song lands in the top 10 of our countdown ... its not like the song came to the band easily - they recorded 25 (!) versions of the song before settling on the album version we have come to know and love.


9 - Go - The Black Keys 

 

The countdown has been full of great comeback songs - and Go was one of the best ... maybe its because of the tongue and cheek video for the song that shows Dan and Patrick struggling to reconnect ...The two joked “It was great making this video with Bryan (Schlam), partially because it was filmed at the very type of place it is making fun of.  The video was fun, but we still haven’t spoken."


 8 - Missed Connection - The Head and The Heart 

 

A song that started out as a story about how lead singer Jon Russell met his girlfriend eventually morphed into a song about how the Seattle band formed after meeting at an open mic night over 10 years ago.


7 - Complainer - Cold War Kids 

 

“It seems like now more than ever, the personal is political" explains Cold War Kids frontman Nathan Willett.  And this song serves as an anthem to anyone who wants to see change ACTUALLY happen: You say you want to change this world. Do you really believe in magic?… You can only change yourself, don’t sit around and complain about it.


6 - Colours - Black Pumas  

The Austin based / Grammy nominated duo Black Pumas may be  on top of the world now - but the video for Colours takes them back to their roots - busking on the streets.


5 - Life in the City - The Lumineers 

 

Heyyyy - a song by The Lumineers that isn't a woman's name :)  But just because  they changed up the naming methods - doesn't mean Wesley Schultz held back on his impassioned vocals - "And if the sun don’t shine on me today/ And if the subways flood and bridges break/ Will you just lay down and dig your grave?/ Or will you rail against your dying day?”


4 - Bad Guy - Billie Eilish 

 

Recorded in her bedroom - with her brother - on a laptop ... Billie Eilish is on top of the world.  And Bad Guy is the single that got her there.


3 - This Life - Vampire Weekend 

When rumors swirled that Vampire Weekend was coming out with an album in 2019 - without founding member Rastam - everyone wondered what the sound would be ... would it be the jangly indie pop  they were known for? Would it be the world beat sound of  frontman Ezra Koenig's solo projects?   Turns out it was everything ... combined into one amazing double album.  And the album jams from beginning to end

2 - Ready to Let Go - Cage the Elephant 

Year of the elephant we say (maybe vampire elephants) but seriously - Social Cues from Cage the Elephant was a raw look into the mind of lead singer Matt Schultz's mind...and he doesn't hold back on Ready to Let Go - which was inspired by the unravelling his marriage to French actress and model Juliette Buchs

 

1 - Harmony Hall - Vampire Weekend 

 

How do you pick a FAVORITE song of 2019?  It's like picking a favorite child ... they are all our favorites - but the line from VW's Harmony Hall really spoke to us and embodied the theme of this list (did you pick up on it?!): 

Anger wants a voice, voices wanna sing, singers harmonize till they can't hear anything
I thought that I was free from all that questionin'

...

I don't wanna live like this, but I don't wanna die


 

For more on Vampire Weekend - be sure to check out  our podcast with Ezra HERE