Top 50 Tracks of 2019 (30-21)

30. Oh Sees “Face Stabber”

It seems like every year at this time I find myself writing about an Oh Sees, Thee Oh Sees, The Ohsees, The Oh Sees, or OCS song or album. Without fail, John Dwyer and his Castle Face cronies are back at it again in 2019 with “Face Stabber,” the eponymous track from their umteenth release. As expected the heavy chords rendered by Dwyer atop the destructive double drumming beats from the rhythm section find this instrumental track melting, nay, stabbing faces as it blazes it’s relatively efficient sub three minute trail of savagery complete with a good 45 seconds of aviary warbling. Tweet! Tweet! – Greg Scranton

29. Cloudlines “Like This”

A song we’ve premiered has never appeared on our end of year countdown before but that changes with Cloudlines‘ “Like This.” Premiered back in February, the song’s glitch pop production is reminiscent of CHVRCHES‘ “The Mother We Share” or Joywave‘s “Tongues” but the star of the show is Emily Watson’s expressive voice and vulnerable lyrics. When she sings “it’s so quiet, we don’t act like this/are you sad or are you just pissed?/Did I mess up? Can’t know what I’ve missed/Things were different when we last kissed,” its a universal feeling of a relationship in a weird place and trying to figure out if this is the end or just a valley that can be rectified. – Adam Tercyak-Morgan

28. Cherry Glazerr “Daddi”

The comparatively slick stop/start/stop production on Cherry Glazerr’s single “Daddi” helped to cast the trio’s take on the soft-hard-soft guitar rock dynamic in a more modern light. It’s a clever way to frame a song littered with quirky and often creepy lyrics depicting an apparently dysfunctional relationship. From verse to chorus, singer/guitarist Clementine Creevy alternates between a near-whispered coo and a frightening shout. “Daddi” is the strongest moment on Stuffed & Ready and a high-water mark for Cherry Glazerr. – Andy Mascola

27. Chris Cohen “Edit Out”

There is something undeniably evocative about Chris Cohen’s songwriting and yet I’m hard pressed to put my finder on just what it is that makes it so special. I’m often caught between comparing the ex-Deerhoof-er to the avant-garde post-DNA albums by Arto Lindsay and giving in to the guilty pleasure of suggesting he’s the next coming of yacht rock captain Christopher Cross. Alas, I’ve set sail for somewhere between the smooth sounds of the 70’s and the no-wave, pun intended, influences of Lindsay’s later latin influenced albums. Regardless of where you drop anchor with Chris Cohen on board, his compositions will fill your aural sails with sweet sounds of sage and jasmine. Bonus points awarded to those readers who currently sleep on waterbeds. – Greg Scranton

26. Stephen Malkmus “Viktor Borgia”

Stephen Malkmus’ wonderfully quirky first single from his 2019 “electronic” solo album, Groove Denied, has the former Pavement frontman dropping oddly satisfying, chunky bloops and bleeps all over a slow disco groove. Malkmus’ reverb-drenched vocals take on a persona akin to a cheery automaton as he sings lines like, “Your eyes, are like a present, from a peasant, oh, and I cherish them so.” After thirty years making music professionally, it’s refreshing to hear a veteran artist succeed in breathing new life into an often unfairly dismissed retro-synthetic style. – Andy Mascola

25. CFM “Street Vision”

It’s funny how album art can say so much about the sound and feel of a record without showing too much of anything at all. Such is the case with CFM’s Soundtrack to an Empty Room. As you might expect the photo on the cover depicts a comfy chair by the Hi-Fi next to the window shot from floor level. In this, his third album in as many years, Charles Frances Moothart II strips away any pretention or unneccessary fx pedals in favor of raw guitar heavy rock and fucking roll. Why have I waited until now to mention he’s the backbone to much of Ty Segall’s success you ask? Because if you’re still reading you already know this and that he’s a fucking boss. Slap on the googles for the best sounding view in the house, “Street Vision”! – Greg Scranton

24. Ex Hex “Cosmic Cave”

Mary Timony, Betsy Wright and Laura Harris returned with their long-awaited second album, It’s Real and its lead single “Cosmic Cave” let us all know there was no sophomore slump. With blazing lead guitar and driving drums, the track is as powerful as it is catchy. Its simple chorus of “dance with me, come on and dance with me” never sounds like Timony is begging for attention but rather demanding it and deservedly so. It’s a bop. – Adam Tercyak-Morgan

23. King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard “Planet B”

Rumor has it that this is Greta Thunberg’s favorite song of 2019 and really who can argue with her? Afterall, “THERE IS NO PLANET B!!!!” – Greg Scranton

22. Bon Iver “Hey, Ma”

The lead single from Bon Iver‘s album i,i was the delicate “Hey, Ma.” Justin Vernon employs a gliding falsetto over a steady bleep and understated horn and string arrangements. With his melancholic lyrics about a mother and child relationship, let the nostalgia rain down on you as only Bon Iver can. – Adam Tercyak-Morgan

21. DEHD “Wild”

Who!? What!? Yep! DEHD, pronounced “dead” narrowly miss cracking the top 20 “Best Songs of 2019” with their garage pop classic “Wild” from their FireTalk Records debut Water. The Chicago based trio pluck, strum, and bang their way into the top third with an unorthodox and stripped down original interpretation of 60’s garage rock classic reminiscent of The 13th Floor Elevators, The Sonics, and The Seeds. Don’t be one of those damn Hippies and miss out on this new fangled sound of 2019. – Greg Scranton


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