Wait, it’s already December? Impossible! Time flies when you’re listening to awesome music, I suppose. It took me a bit, but finally managed to filter out the 19 jams that have captivated me most in the past twelve months.
As per usual I will not include any Eurovision entries, because there wouldn’t be much room for anything else really. No, not true – but you can check my Eurovision 2019 Review if you want to know what tickled my fancy in the Eurovision bubble. This list is meant to show you what I listen to outside of it. I will however divulge which Eurovision entries I kept on listening to after the Contest ended: Malta, Albania and San Marino managed to stay in my playlist for a surprisingly long time, in the expected company of Italy, Iceland and Azerbaijan. Winner Netherlands only kept my interest for a couple of weeks, even if I still don’t mind him winning the trophy.
Before we get to my 19 of ’19 though, I can’t look back on the year without saying goodbye to one of my earliest childhood (s)heroes. Her voice has colored many moments in my life, ‘Join Us..’ was one of my first ever albums and I know each track by heart, and the way she was able to emote was out of this world. Sleep tight Marie Fredriksson, and thank you for sharing your magic with us.
Excuse me while I dry my tears.
Now, down to business – here’s what’s been playing at Casa Dimivision this year:
19. Alice Merton – No Roots
I know, I know: this is from 2017 and not 2019. But if Lizzo can have a hit in 2019 with a song that stems from 2017 (”Truth Hurts) then I sure can include this magnificent piece of haunting pop in my 2019 hitlist. It was originally released as an EP track and then included on Alice’s album ‘Mint’, which contains a couple of great bangers like ‘Lash Out’ and ‘I Don’t Hold A Grudge’. But ‘No Roots’ is one of my current obsessions, and will probably have a fix camping spot in my ‘Adorbz’ playlist for months to come.
18. Tove Lo – Jacques
Tove Who? Was what I said until a couple of months ago, before I got introduced to her (thank you, ALC and especially Harrow). She’s like the next best SIA and even if not all of her songs manage to seduce me, her latest album ‘Sunshine Kitty’ has a couple of killer tracks. ‘Jacques’ is by far my favorite, and together with a couple of the other lasses in this list she could well from a kind of Spice Girls 2.0 – Girl Power, y’all!
17. Regard – Ride It
Probably one of the catchiest grooves I’ve heard this year. Simple as that.
16. Rex Rebel – Big Shot
Once upon a moon my favorite band was K’s Choice, not in the least because of Sarah Bettens’ magnetic voice. Now Sarah has made room for Sam, and luckily his voice is still as magnetic as it was in his past life. Especially in this more electronic-infused laidback setting. Bonus points for the chills that are brought by the line ‘cause I know who to be – there is gold waiting for me’. A-men.
15. Sofia Reyes ft. Rita Ora & Anitta – RIP
I’ve probably been too influenced by the Zumba classes I’ve been taking these past couple of years, but this makes me want to grind my hips every single fracking time I hear it. That chorus is everything. That’s all.
14. Cigarettes After Sex – Heavenly
Melting in 3, 2, 1… If ever I get married *insert laughter here* I want this to be the first song me and my imaginary husband dance to. He can choose whatever follows, but I’m putting my foot down on this one.
13. Billie Eilish – Bad Guy
Billie is probably the biggest (musical) hype of the year and I can see and hear why, especially in this haunting track. Or stuff like ‘my strange addiction’ or ‘copycat’. Her sound is probably a bit too angsty for me to fully ride the wave, but girlfriend sure has her own style and view on things – respect.
12. Miley Cyrus – Mother’s Daughter
Never been a Miley fan, but between this and her Mark Ronson collab ‘Nothing Breaks Like A Heart’ she finally won me over. There’s only one word for this: FIERCE.
11. MARUV – Siren Song
Kinda feels like cheating on my own ‘non-Eurovision’ rule, but hey: it didn’t go to Eurovision, did it? Still madly pissed about that, tbh. This performance had me at the first ‘come to me’, and that choreography is EVERYTHING. This song also introduced me to the rest of MARUV’s work, with bops as ‘Focus on me’ and ‘Drunk Groove’ – check them out, you won’t regret it.
10. Dua Lipa – Don’t Start Now
Discolicious, darling. Especially in this live performance (the actual video rather dreadful). Can’t wait to hear the rest of the upcoming album.
9. Ladytron – Deadzone
One of my favorite bands of all time and they didn’t disappoint with their magnificent album ‘Ladytron’ (even if a more creative title would have been welcome). Lots of great, classic Ladytron bops on there with this one as the clear stand-out. Hypnotic.
8. Madonna – Bitch I’m Loca
Of course the grand High Bitch herself needed to be included. It’s been a mixed experience with her this year for me. Her five minutes of shame at Eurovision had me working overtime defending her against haters, and the fickle yet somewhat brilliant album that’s ‘Madame X’ demanded a couple of listenings before its genius was revealed. And while everyone drools over the more experimental stuff like ‘Dark Ballet’ I’m more intrigued by the Latin infused stuff. Especially ‘Batuka’ and ‘Faz Gostoso’ – but I’m highlighting her signature bitch-track here, simply cause the groove is to die for. And so are Maluma’s sultry vocals.
7. Alaska Thunderfuck – Frances
After the disappointment that was the album ‘Puppet’ my fave Drag Race queen is back with the vengeance that is the album ‘Vagina’. (I know.) Lots of great tracks with out of the box ideas (see: ‘Leopard Print’) that tickle my extravaganza bone, and this one takes the crown: an avantgarde rehash of the intro track to ‘The Nanny’ – ‘Primary Caregiver’, sorry. Genius.
6. Todrick Hall – Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels
Speaking of genius: much like Miley Cyrus I never really got the hype around miss Hall, but BAM. This track broke down the door, shat on the carpet and slammed a few mirrors. And then came the EP’s Haus Party 1 & 2, with more awesome tracks than Madonna has had on her last three albums. Yes, I went there. Bitch is what? Tha bomb. Dot com.
5. Aya Nakamura – Pookie
Can’t stop shaking my hips to this. Somebody help me!
4. Tiësto, Jonas Blue & Rita Ora – Ritual
If there is such a thing as the perfect pop song this will probably come as close as any song can get. Perfect during those hot summer days, perfect for having this on while walking down the street with my headphones on, pretty much perfect.
3. Charlotte Gainsbourg – Such A Remarkable Day
Technically from December last year but I only discovered it during her magnificent concert at Rock Werchter this summer. Blown away. The signature fragile vocal over the stern electronic vibe = chills. Still. Every Time.
2. Hot Chip – Hungry Child
My fave song of my fave album of the year ‘A Bath Full Of Ecstacy’. Almost everything on there is so freaking good, but this tops it. No really, go listen to it now. Thank me later.
1. Lizzo – Juice
I heard this for the first time while I fell asleep in front of my TV and woke up at 2 AM. Ridiculousness (my guilty pleasure) had already finished and MTV was playing music videos – something I didn’t know they were still doing, tbh. This woke me up, crept its way into my brain & soul and has fixed itself a permanent position in both. What? My DM’s. *mic drop*
How about you, what tickled your fancy?