As 2019 comes to a close, the Last Mixed Tape looks back on the last year and comes up with its top 50 songs of 2019 Spotify playlist. See full countdown below.
50. Modernlove. – Liquorice
Rhythmically and melodically lush, the ambitious synth-pop of Moderlove’s latest single ‘Liquorice’ is an infectious listen from start to finish.
47. Melina Malone – Now Or Never
The debut offering from Melina Malone, the slow-burning beat of ‘Now Or Never’ works as the perfect backdrop to Malone’s instantly captivating vocal performance. A very promising start.
46. Fears – Bones
Set upon a sparse soundscape that pops and clicks with a jolting beat, Fears’ ‘Bones’ takes shape through the atmosphere soaked music and hypnotic vocal, making for an entrancing listen.
45. Lyra – Never Let Go
Multi-layered alt-pop, ‘Never Let Go’ showcases Lyra’s widescreen music in a way that swings for the fences. Dramatic, captivating and engrossing, Lyra’s latest offering is one that leaves a lasting impression.
44. Biig Piig – Roses and Gold
Set to a smooth, lo-fi R&B sound, ‘Roses and Gold’ is a melting pot of pin point beats as Biig Piig delivers an instantly captivating but laid back vocal that draws you in.
43. Loah & Bantum – April Brave
Set to a serene backdrop, Loah & Bantum’s latest collaboration ‘April Brave’ (the first in a string of upcoming releases from the pair) is a song drenched in a widescreen production that uses space and texture to create a dreamlike take on modern neo-soul with flourishes of alt-pop and synth-wave.
42. Elkae – I Feel
Set to a hazy, sun-soaked backdrop the vivid electro-soul sound of ‘I Feel’ makes for a compelling return from Elkae that finds her delving further into the lush pop sounds that shaped her previous offerings.
41. A Sleeping Giant – Waiting For Fire
From its sprawling soundscape of dense texture to the glistening overcurrent of melody that emerges from it all, ‘Waiting For Fire’ is a highly-stylized melding of intricate electronic sounds juxtaposed by emotive, reaching vocals that introduce A Sleeping Giant as an artist with a deep sense of his own sonic identity.
40. Laura Elizabeth Hughes – For You (Home)
There’s a clear depth of field to the music of Laura Elizabeth Hughes, wrapped around alt-pop production and songwriting Hughes latest single ‘For You (Home)’ has ambition and intimacy.
39. Skinner – My Brain Is Goo
Played out on top of a tense wash of scratching sounds, Skinner’s ‘My Brain Is Goo’ has a knife-edge sound that has a intensity to it which makes for a compelling track melded with several genre flourishes.
38. St. Bishop – Sleep It Off
A giant leap forward in style and sound, ‘Sleep It Off’ finds St. Bishop providing a fully-realized take on his ambitious alt-pop music with a track that’s set to a full-bodied beat the pulls back in the verses and opens up during the ambitious choruses.
35. Havvk – Operate
Taken from Havvk’s debut record Cause & Effect, ‘Operate’ the strong backbone and texturally intricate foreground that forms the propellant core of the band’s striking alt-rock music.
34. Sive – Oh Mother
Sive returns with sharp-edged indie-folk of ‘Oh Mother’. Set to jolting beat and persistent guitar line the song is a tense track that has bite to it, conveyed in Sive’s pointed vocal.
33. Elkin – DIY
‘DIY’ is a neon soaked offering from Elkin that pulses with a tense beat that evolves into a collage of synth lines that ebb and flow dynamically behind lush interlocking vocal weaving that pull you deeper and deeper into the track brilliant and highly-stylized sound.
32. Nerves – Faces
A collision of post-punk, noise and indie-pop, Nerves latest offering, ‘Faces’, moves from raucous verse to bone-rattling choruses in the blink of an eye, all the while showcasing the trio’s keen eye for melody in loudness.
31. Murli feat. Farah Elle – Play For Keeps
Taken from Murli’s new studio album The Intangibles, ‘Play For Keeps’ is set upon an ever contorting and evolving beat that flows and melds vivid genre flourishes into one forward moving sound as Murli and Farah Elle step in and out of the spotlight.
29. Pillow Queens – Brothers
Pillow Queens made their return in 2019 with the sonically and lyrically moving new offering ‘Brothers’ which takes shape through the strong ebb and flow between the verses and choruses.
28. Wastefellow – Fizzy Lifting Drinks
Augmenting, contorting and weaving sonically, the infectious central feel of ‘Fizzy Lifting Drinks’ conveys the characteristically singular slant Wastefellow has on the electronic genre as each carefully placed hook is bend out of shape and reassembled without the track missing a beat.
27. Molly Sterling – Feeble
Constantly building, Sterling uses every second to convey all the honesty, fear and acceptance behind ‘Feeble’ through a truly cathartic vocal and a thunderous crescendo that perfectly contrast the repose of the beginning. All said this is Molly Sterling taking her songwriting to a whole new level.
26. Participant – Death Of A Loved One
‘Death Of Love One’, taken from Participant’s Modern Retelling E.P, is a song that has a turbulent fragility to it, found deep within the musical ebb and flow as well as Participant’s heart-wrenching vocal.
25. Jafaris – Time
The high-point in Jafaris’ stand-out debut Stride, ‘Time’ has a vibrant sound brought to life by a bouncing beat, laid back feel and quick-snap delivery from Jafaris himself, the track is infectious.
23. Thumper – In My Room
Thumper return with the bone-rattling ‘In My Room’. The type of track that grabs you by the scruff, the band’s latest offering makes great use of their noise inflected music with a dynamic edge that pushes and pulls throughout.
21. Vernon Jane – Full Grown
A collage of intricate melodic guitars, a bone-rattling beat and a powerful vocal that dominates the foreground, Vernon Jane’s latest offering ‘Full Grown’ is a short sharp shock of a track that covers the sonic spectrum with propellant ferocity.
20. Blushing Boy – Consumer
Cast against a buzzing backdrop of isolating textures, the bone-rattling beats punctuated by angular guitar and brooding vocal performance that dominates the foreground of Blushing Boy’s first offering ‘Consumer’, takes shape with dreamlike neo-Noire indie music that packs a powerful dynamic scope.
19. Aoife Nessa Frances – Blow Up
Soaked in atmosphere, Aoife Nessa Frances’ ‘Blow Up’ has a hazy, hypnotic sound to it punctuated by beautifully set orchestration and an enchanting central vocal performance.
18. Naoise Roo – Black Hole
Naoise Roo returned in 2019 with the pulsing dark-wave sound of ‘Black Hole’. A relentless track, Roo’s comeback has a sonic heft to it that comes bounding in during the song’s hard-hitting dynamic moments, made all the more effective by Naoise’s tense, brooding vocal performance.
17. Dowry – Numb
Set to a stark indie-folk sound, the ominous swaying sound of ‘Numb’ finds Dowry creating a world of tense strings, reverberant vocals and heavy piano chords that entangle themselves around her enigmatic lyrics.
16. Autre Monde – On The Record
Set to a crunching indie-pop sound, Aurtre Monde’s sharp suited new single ‘On The Record’ moves to a pulse through hooks, infectious choruses and sax solos, as the production swings for the fences.
15. Soulé ft. C Cane – Love Tonight
A breakthrough track for Soulé, ‘Love Tonight’ is a song that instantly infectious to listen to. Covering a wide spectrum of vivid beats, the track is unashamedly brilliant pop that is pinpoint in how its hooks pull you into its vibrant choruses.
14. Saint Sister – Is It Too Early (Kilmainham)
Marking a sure-footed sonic sea change for Siant Sister, the duo’s comeback single ‘Is It Too Early (Kilmainham)’ merges their naturally enchanting vocal harmonies with a production populated by vivid synth textures with undercutting crunching beats.
13. Tandem Felix – Nightclub (I Sold My Soul To The Devil)
‘Nightclub (I Sold My Soul to the Devil)’ is a texturally lush offering that melds psychedelic inflected alt-country with serene indie-Americana to create a sound that hums above a bedrock of jangling acoustics, whirling organs and gently laid out vocal harmonies. A highlight in Tandem Felix’s stellar debut record Rom Com.
12. AE Mak – We Have It Right Here
AE Mak’s sound has grown so much throughout 2019 that it can be truly called singular. From the interlocking pops and clicks, augment movements and vivid beats of ‘We Have It Right Here’ it’s clear that AE Mak on the cusp of something great.
11. New Pagans – Charlie Has The Face Of A Saint
The angular alt-rock of ‘Charlie Has The Face Of A Saint’ finds New Pagans delivering a compelling listen via a song fueled by a pounding beat, dynamic guitar lines and a vocal that portrays the frustration and malaise through the peaks and troughs of the song itself.
10. Gemma Dunleavy – Better 4 U
Cast across a sonically rich canvas, the sound of Gemma Dunleavy’s latest offering ‘Better 4 U’ is an intricate tapestry of vivid beats that set the perfect backdrop for Dunleavy’s vocal weaving as it layers and intwines with the music.
9. Jackie Beverly – Someone Else
Awash with a textural deep backdrop, the serene alt-pop feel of ‘Someone Else’ portrays Jackie Beverly’s emotionally striking songwriting through a prism of an enchanting vocal performance, a minimal yet forward-moving beat, and harmonically rich atmosphere. All of which create a sonic world in and of itself.
8. The Murder Capital – More Is Less
A short, sharp shock that says more in under three minutes than most do in entire albums, the frustration, subversive lyrics and confrontational sound of the track embodies everything exciting about the Murder Capital as the band howls and growls its way through the song at an unstoppable pace.
7. Junior Brother – Full Of Wine
Pull The Right Rope’s crowning moment, the utterly breath-taking ‘Full of Wine’ captures Junior Brother’s singular voice with a music that is as expressive and free as any other song this year. A joy to listen to.
6. Just Mustard – Seven
The ongoing metamorphosis of Just Mustard arises once more in the shape of the viscerally contorting sound of ‘Seven’ as the band use the clashing soaring atmospheric vocals and brooding underbelly of their music to outstanding effect against a crisp production that gives added power to their overall sound.
5. Maija Sofia – The Wife Of Michael Cleary
It’s the harrowing ‘The Wife Of Michael Cleary’ that creates the high-water mark in Bath Time. Written about Bridget Cleary who was last ‘witch’ burned in Ireland, this song is haunting, as Sofia embodies the sorrow, the doom and the distress of Cleary’s story with a vocal performance that truly brought me to tears.
4. Girl Band – Shoulderblades
Taken from Girl Band’s landmark album The Talkies (which was chosen as TLMT’s Album of the Year 2019), ‘Shoulderblades’ finds the group doing what they do best, contorting and twisting noise into a glorious cacophony of tense guitars, imposing drum beats and raw unrestrained vocals.
3. Fotaines D.C. – Boys In The Better Land
Conveying the grit, determination to break out and sense of identity that is indicative of the Irish experience in 2019., Fontaines D.C’s ‘Boys In The Land’ captures the whirlwind of sound that has to the Dublin band capturing the imagination on a global scale.
2. Sinead O’Brien – A Thing You Call Joy
From its unrelenting rhythm to a turbulent undercurrent of post-punk influenced sounds and a vocal that dominates the foreground and your attention with pin-point delivery, Sinead O’Brien’s ‘A Thing You Call Joy’ is a brilliantly singular release that lives in a world of its own creation.
1. Whenyoung – The Others
The bristling, pointed sound of the ‘The Others’ provides the high-water mark of Whenyoung’s stellar debut Reasons To Dream. “Tell your kids that nothing’s equal, even in a land like this. Ignorance is peaceful” sings Aoife Power, in one of many hard-hitting lyric moments while whenyoung wrack up the tension in a song that’s already pushing eleven. Indeed, it’s a testament to the band themselves that they seem to always find that little something extra to give in each song.