The end of another year (and decade!) has passed, which means it’s time for me to serve up another curated, eclectic playlist of the tracks and albums I loved the most. Look back at 2019 with me here in this signature special feature.
Like the year before it, 2019 proved to be another turbulent time in which music was a much-needed escape. In recent years, artists like Bishop Briggs, Phoebe Bridgers, and Banks were at #1 on my year-end music reviews, and now it’s time again to share my personal highlights from the past year. As always, you might discover some music that you missed out on the first time around.
Below, you’ll find a list of the year’s other hot tracks sorted by when I first heard them, followed by my top 40 albums. Tap or click on any track or album to listen to it on Apple Music and read their editors’ synopsis. Let’s get started!
The trend I noted last year of female artists slowly taking over the entirety of my year-end lists continued again in 2019, with all but one of my top 40 albums of the year by women (as well as all the vocals on the only one that isn’t). If you like the direction my year-end lists have been going in recent years, then you’ll love my new radio show Signal Boost on WRFL, which I host live weekly, with playlists featuring new music by women, nonbinary, and queer artists.
This list comes at a time of reflection and transition, standing at the precipice of a new decade—and not gonna lie, it’s been a rough one. But in an increasingly uncertain world, music offers inspiration, comfort, and glimmers of hope where we need it most. This year, it was a story of breakthrough new artists charting a new path forward, pioneering favorites revisiting their past to create their most surprising and authentic work to date, and an established artist breaking out on her own for the first time, creating something truly transcendent. It’s a fine way to go out. I can’t wait to hear what the new decade will bring.
To hear more about why I chose some of the tracks and albums here, you can listen to this year’s TC & RED: LIVE podcast. I hope you also found yourself some new faves here. Thanks for reading my top 40 albums of 2019!