Mac Miller, Free Nationals' 'Time', Tyler the Creator's ‘Earfquake’: Best music of 2019 yet

'Time' almost seems like a tribute as the song was released just months after Mac Miller’s passing.

Devki Nehra July 11, 2019 23:44:30 IST
Mac Miller, Free Nationals' 'Time', Tyler the Creator's ‘Earfquake’: Best music of 2019 yet

(We're halfway through 2019, so what better time to take stock of what this year brought to us in terms of entertainment and pop culture? Firstpost is rounding up the best films, web series, songs and albums so far, and also looking at what else is in store for the rest of the year.)

The past six months in music have been good to us all. There have been several comeback albums, unexpected breakout hits and surprise releases for fans to look forward to.

Here is a list of some of the best songs of 2019 so far:

Sam Smith, Normani - 'Dancing With a Stranger'

Sam Smith's duet with former Fifth Harmony member Normani is an infectious pop number about love, longing and moving on. 'Dancing With a Stranger' details a night out, where the singers try to find solace in the arms of a complete stranger. Smith delivers his frustration and grief masterfully, complementing Normani's sensual vocals.

Ariana Grande - 'break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored'

Ariana Grande always wears her heart on her sleeve, something that almost always reflects in her songs ('thank u, next', 'imagine' and many more). 'break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored' is her very straightforward message to a boy she desires. She wants him to leave his girlfriend because she wants him all to herself. The music video shows her kissing a lookalike of herself, leading fans to share their crazy interpretations - (a) The song is about Ari falling in love with herself, (b) It's for her ex Big Sean, who had just started Jhene Aiko and, (c) This is her coming out song. 'break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored' mixes trap with R&B and artfully samples NSYNC's 'It Makes Me Ill'.

Bonus - Grande also performed with NSYNC at Coachella this year. You can watch the video here.

Banks - 'Gimme'

'Gimme' is the first single off of Banks' new album III, two years after she released Alter. The rousing, synth-heavy track, as she described is, "about knowing what you deserve, saying it out loud, and demanding it with no apologies".

Lil Nas X feat Billy Ray Cyrus - 'Old Town Road'

'Old Town Road' slaps hard and nothing anyone says can change that. It's genre-defying and definitely irked a lot of purists but still stayed on Billboard's top spots (though not without courting controversy). With elements of both country and hip-hop, the song's hook will be embedded in your brain, after just a cursory listen.

Lizzo - 'Juice'

'Juice' is a groovy, retro-inspired proclamation of self-love by this singer, rapper and flautist. Its catchy and cheeky as Lizzo belts out, "I'm not a snack at all/Look, baby, I'm the whole damn meal." Lizzo time travels to the 1970s in the video, where she parodies Jane Fonda's home workout video, stars in an infomercial and hosts a late-night talk show.

Tyler the Creator - ‘Earfquake’

Tyler’s new album Igor chronicles the story of his break up, or anyone’s for that matter. In ‘Earfquake’ he earnestly tells his significant other that their love has shaken him to the core. Charlie Wilson and Jimmy Wilson joins him in the background while Playboi Carti’s mumble  shakes things up.

Fun fact - Tyler had said that the song was originally written for Justin Bieber. Rihanna, too, was offered to record it. But both of them passed it along.

Bonus: A now viral reaction video to Playboi Carti's rap in the track

Free Nationals, Mac Miller, Kali Uchis - 'Time'

Free Nationals, the band Anderson.Paak tours with and Kali Uchis took fans by surprise with ‘Time’, featuring Mac Miller’s posthumous verse (fi. It’s about exiting a relationship and letting time heal all wounds. Kali’s silken voice confesses, “Without you, I’m miserable / I think I got too comfortable.” It almost seems like a tribute as the song was released just months after Miller’s passing.

Jonas Brothers - 'Sucker'

The sibling trio made their return memorable with this very quirky song of the Summer  from their album Happiness Begins

Daniel Caeser - 'Frontal Lobe Muzik'

Daniel Caesar's Case Study 01 may not be as satisfying as his debut Freudian, but it is worth a listen. Caesar breaks out of his serious, broody lover mould in 'Frontal Lobe Muzik' with a little help from Pharrell Williams.

Billie Eilish - 'bad guy'

At her rebellious best, Billie Eilish talks about how she is the "Make your mama sad type/Make your girlfriend mad tight/ Might seduce your dad type" in this danceable hit from her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

Bastille mashed up Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance', Taylor Swift's 'Bad Blood' and Dick Dale's 'Misirlou' in their cover of 'bad guy'. Watch them here.

Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello - 'Senorita'

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello take you through their summer rendezvous in this effortlessly sensual duet. While Mendes had been singing about making goo-goo eyes at the girl he liked across the room, this one has him in his grown-up shoes.

Mark Ronson feat Camila Cabello - 'Find U Again'

Mark Ronson's Late Night Feelings is full of "sad bangers", according to him, featuring many noteworthy guest musicians from Miley Cyrus, Lykke Li to Camila Cabello. Co-written with Tame Impala's frontman Kevin Parker, 'Find U Again' devastates as Cabello sings, "There’s a you-shaped space in my bed/ always you-shaped thoughts inside my head."

BTS feat Halsey - 'Boy With Luv'

Boybands can be extremely corny, but the BTS are just so charming. Halsey joins in the chorus of 'Boy With Luv', making it an easy, breezy track that will definitely age well.

Vampire Weekend - 'Unbearably White'

Out of all the songs in Vampire Weekend's Father of the Bride, 'Unbearably White' immediately caught my fancy. From the extensive research that went behind understanding the song (thanks Google), the title seems to have been inspired by an article about how white musicians are dominating the indie music scene. Ezra Koenig goes nowhere near that issue in 'Unbearably White' and instead sings about a failed relationship.

Toro y Moi - 'Laws of Pleasure'

A deliciously funky joyride is what 'Laws of Pleasure' is. Toro y Moi's carries in it an important message that life is about both winning and losing. 'Ordinary Pleasures', 'Miss Me' and 'Freelance' are also worth a listen.

The second half of the year has many gems (hopefully) in store. Rumour has it that Adele is currently working on a new record, which will be out by the end of 2019. Tame Impala is also expected to make a comeback, almost four years after its last album Currents. Devendra Banhart's album Ma arrives on 13 September. Maybe this is the year Frank Ocean gets something new out and so does Kanye West with Yandhi. Stay tuned.


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