We’re so close to the end of 2019 that some folks have already finished their “best songs” list for the year. But over here we’re still adding them to the playlist.
Billie Eilish – “everything i wanted”
Ah, here it comes—the inevitable perils-of-fame ballad. But though Eilish is following in the thought-paths of celeb predecessors both more and less gifted than she (“If I knew it all then, would I do it again?”), she looks back with subdued musing rather than anguished brooding. And she offers up a testament to the sweetest bro-sis relationship in pop. Good for them.
Tinashe feat. 6Lack – “Touch & Go”
We are just days away from a new Tinashe album, Songs for You, and to tide us over is another great single, based around a moody, wavering beacon of a synth, with Atlanta R&B fella 6lack making for a decent one-track consort. No lie: The way the strings take over the melody at the end made me gasp.
Jessie Ware – “Mirage (Don’t Stop)”
Jessie Ware has always had a gift for writing disco songs that sound like some forgotten classic you’re half-convinced you’ve heard before, and in this case you kind of have: Someone’s a big fan of “Let the Music Play,” huh? But the Shannon homage is just one element of the sumptuous production.
Cheekface – "No Connection"
City Pages has tirelessly been trying to get you to listen to Cheekface for months now. And yet, when the L.A. band announced their upcoming tour, there was no Minneapolis date. Will that stop us from sharing their great new song? To quote Cheekface, “No!” But we will do so a little sulkily. P.S.: Cheekface, come to Minneapolis. P.P.S.: Or at least St. Paul.
Omar Souleyman – “Shi Tridin”
Can I promise that I could distinguish this instance of frenzied electronic dabke from the dozens of other tracks I’ve heard by this Syrian wedding singer turned global star? No, but if it’s the first (or maybe even the 15th) you’ve heard from him, that shouldn’t matter.
TNGHT – “First Body”
“An awkward attempt at making the melody of a sea shanty into a post-trap banger,” a disappointed Stereogum commenter grumbles eloquently—and admit it, doesn’t that doesn’t make you at least a little curious? The good news is the electronic pan flute and judiciously hesitant beat here sound more like deconstructed Balkan Beat Box to me, a guy who was admittedly underwowed by their older stuff.
Every week, music editor Keith Harris scours the vast musicscape for six worthy tracks to add to City Pages' ever-expanding 2019 playlist.