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20. Tame Impala – Patience 

They might be the most underrated overrated band going at the moment. They headline festivals despite not having a proper smash hit, but do crank out listenable music at an efficient and consistent pace. They were hipster music before everything rock n’ roll became hipster, therefore some of their elusiveness seems to lack in 2019. Like all of their music, ‘Patience’ has that snake-dancing mesmerizing sound, where you can just drift off into the ocean and starfish for two hours.

19. Tegan & Sara – I’ll be Back Someday

Telling them apart may prove difficult, but their music serves as an ever-changing wardrobe. Whether it be a torturous relationship or just an introduction to music that your parents listened to, the Canadian twins keep it fresh.

18. Matthew Madigan – Best for Me

Madigan parks the acoustic guitar beside his three-legged dog and gives the piano an honest go. The keys play nice with his harsh whispers and delivers an earnest love letter to his Dear Ma. Move over Tupac and Kanye, there’s a new song for Mom and it’s 7 hours away in Dublin.

17. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Black Star Dancing 

It’s a surreal sensation when one finally discovers the genius of Arcade Fire. It took Noel over a decade, but boy, they clearly made an impression. ‘Black Star Dancing’ could of easily sat along side any track on the ‘Reflektor’ album, but here it is in 2019, in Noel’s latest collection.

16. Gothic Topic – Drunk on a Rhythm

People are drinking less and less as we enter the 20s’ 2.0. Non-alcoholic booze, weed shops and apparently people getting drunk on the sound of music. Gothic Topic is stumbling out of the sound booth, but with no dreaded hangover to follow.

15. The Japanese House – Maybe You’re the Reason 

The future is a mash-up remix featuring every genre known. It’s 90s’ sound effects, its 80s’ reverbs, it’s the coolest rapper alive (Posty) dressing like Elvis, it’s The Japanese House releasing a beautiful song that has every trait of a 90s’ song right here in the last year of a bat-shit crazy decade.

14. Catfish & The Bottlemen – LongShot 

You can practically smell the Tom Collins cocktails on these British lads, a Kooks-sounding bunch with a bit more swagger. The song is loaded with the intensity of someone who knows their chances are slim,  reminiscent of an up-and coming Alex Turner. If the Arctic Monkeys are the template, then only glory should follow for the Catfish.

13. Post Malone – Circles 

Maybe he isn’t just another exhausting, pseudo-gangster with face tattoos. Maybe he isn’t just trying to reap the benefits of the shock value that comes with somebody that looks the way he does. Post had the competition running in, wait for it, circles in 2019, when suddenly he didn’t disappear, he instead came back with more brilliant sing/rap content, making him the closest thing that exists to Drake. He’s self destructive, but clearly sensitive and even more apparent, tremendously alert of his talents.

12. Ed Sheeran feat. Chris Stapleton & Bruno Mars – Blow

Sheeran making a collaboration album and not forcing his own creative nature on others was one of the more brilliant moves of 2019. Stapleton has his signature country roar in the middle and Bruno has his signature, cocaine-laced sexual machismo smothering the final segment. Sheeran’s casual demeanor and approach would allow a weaker man to be run over by trends, but it has helped him remain poignantly relevant in the final chapter of the decade.

11. The Killers – Land of the Free 

For all the criticism that we read daily on social media of President Trump, there was rarely an artist or group that took a public stand against his actions. Besides ‘Fuck Donald Trump’ a shallow and simplistic shot at the Orange One, The Killers dug through their closet, put back on their Springsteen costumes and finally gave Trump, and American policy as a whole, a shot to the chin.

10. Foxygen – Work 

One of those songs that sounds like it could spill over into a million pieces, the barely-controlled chaos somehow works. It’s fun, quirky and even a bit foxy.

9. Bear Hands – Backseat Driver 

This is what MGMT was supposed to sound like in 2019. They are off trippin’ on God knows what, so Bear Hands took the indie-synth wheel and gave directions from the leather seats in the back.

8. Taylor Swift – Lover 

Her ‘Nothing compares to you’ moment, Swifty again shifted gears to keep the competition guessing, and predictably, hit another home run. The album as a whole didn’t have the mega-grip on the world that 1989 had, but it kept her firmly in position as the world’s biggest pop star.

7. Kanye West – Selah

It was the most anticipated album of the year, event-like, the way we had come to expect Kanye albums to be received. The music scene has changed drastically during his tenure, but from his Trump worshiping, Kardashian impregnating antics, we weren’t allowed to forget about him. He made Jesus walk, and now he’s declared him King, an uncommon boast for a musician to make, but he has taken it a step further by devoting his entire album to God and making sure there wasn’t one curse on the album. Jesus is King, so with that out of the way, lets hope we can re-crown Kanye again in 2020 as the leader of rap.

6. Vampire Weekend – This Life 

Maybe the most important band that nobody cares about (or at least not as much as they should.) They are incapable of releasing average music and seem keen on only recording albums that show tremendous growth. “This Life” sounds like it should be in a Steve Martin comedy, yes a modern-day ‘Father of the Bride’ if you will, with cheesy shots of people smiling in tuxedos, fat kids eating too much cake and old people dancing.

5. Keuning – Boat Accident 

Sent into exile by Brandon Flowers, or perhaps alternatively, Dave Keuning had enough of the flamboyant front man and managed to put out the surprise album of the year. It wasn’t awful, it wasn’t good, it turned out to be …excellent. It is easy to forget that the Killers are a sum of numerous influences, and a number of them played a significant role in Keuning’s life. The Cars, Rick Springfield and the 80s’ as a collective, made Keuning’s album a reality in 2019.

4. Sam Smith feat. Normani – Dancing with a Stranger 

He’s today’s George Michael, with equal vulnerability, less overt sexuality and way more assertiveness. His voice is second to nobody’s, and anytime he drops a new album, it is as big of deal as anybody not named Drake or Taylor Swift.

3. The Black Keys – Lo/Hi

Just when we thought we couldn’t handle another Black Keys radio single, let alone tour, they mercifully left us alone for a couple years. And in 2019, we pined for them like a drunk lover on the phone begging for a second chance. They welcomed us back, and gave us a big smooch in the form of ‘Lo/Hi’ a Black Keys sounding song if there ever was one. The highs, the lows, the static crunch of the axes and the way they seem to place us all at a dive bar in the south with their two piece duo banging away.

2. Harry Styles – Falling 

While most song writers try to be as opaque as possible about their subjects, bashful Harry is as precise as one could be. Most artists wouldn’t be capable of dominating the song vocally the way Harry does, but his chops are on centre stage throughout his entire 2019 album.

1. Bombay Bicycle Club – Eat, Sleep, Wake / Nothing But You

It has the charm of a quirky cereal commercial that you just can’t get out of your noggin. Of course, the eating and sleeping revolves around one particular individual and not a bowl of Cheerios. Bombay’s shoe-gazing, love-struck syntax follows the lead of the heat-beating bass guitar keeping both tires fully pumped on this gin-fueled bicycle.