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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Playlist: best songs of 2019

2019 had plenty of brilliant tracks, largely made up by a number of impressive pop songs by women — Lizzo, Billie Eilish, and Carly Rae Jepsen, to name a few. The following is just a list of some that I felt were exceptional, going above and beyond in some way.

1. Angel Olsen – Lark

The opening track from Angel Olsen’s” All Mirrors” is a stunning display of dynamics as it moves back and forth between Olsen’s more subdued and grandiose singing with explosions of strings and pounding drums.

2. Big Thief – Not

The way singer Adrianne Lenker uses negation on this song to highlight unanswered questions is a good display of Big Thief’s strongest attribute — songwriting.”It’s not a rouse / not heat / not the fire lapping up the creek.” The jarring 3-minute guitar solo at the end is just good music.

3. Weyes Blood – Movies

Accompanied by a self-directed video, Natalie Mering “Weyes Blood” beautifully captures the true power that film — and to a greater extent, all media has over humanity.

4. Kelsey Lu – Poor Fake

“Poor Fake” can best be described as whimsical, an almost euphoric disco-pop track by classically trained cellist, Kelsey Lu that could have garnered mainstream attention had it been released as a single.

5. Tyler, The Creator – EARFQUAKE

The pop hit “EARFQUAKE” sees Tyler, The Creator fully secure in his new identity. Emotionally frank, it lays out the narrative of his love life for the world to see — “You’re my favorite garçon (boy),” he sings.

6. Faye Webster – Kingston

Much like the rest of her album “Atlanta Millionaires Club”, Webster’s brand of Americana music is nothing short of left-field here with her mix of country and jazz influences, paired with dreamy vocals that make it feel seamless.

7 . FKA Twigs – cellophane

As the lead single from “MAGDALENE”, “cellophane” is FKA Twigs at her most vulnerable — “Why don’t I do it for you? / When all I do is for you?” Her voice, in all of its heartbreak and anguish, is placed at the forefront, backed only by a soft piano.

8. Thom Yorke – Dawn Chorus

From Thom Yorke of Radiohead’s solo album “ANIMA” is the hauntingly beautiful “Dawn Chorus” — a song that feels transcendental. During its 5 minute run-time it feels as though it places the listener on an entirely different plane.

9. Stella Donnelly – Old Man

Written in the midst of the #MeToo movement, Stella Donnely’s “Old Man” candidly stares in the face of male power. The song is melodically simple, but lyrically quite brilliant. “Oh are you scared of me old man? / Or are you scared of what I’ll do? / You grabbed me with an open hand / The world is grabbing back at you,” she sings.

10. “Dylan Thomas” by Better Oblivion Community Center

The alt-country/folk duet by Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst was a gem this year and arguably one of the best songs either had written, with a feeling of familiarity and lyrics you can easily scream along to.

Honorable mention:

  • “Juice” by Lizzo
  • “Harmony Hall” by Vampire Weekend
  • “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X
  • “Seventeen” by Sharon Van Etten
  • “Hey, Ma” by Bon Iver

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