Top 89 of 2019: Luke Taylor, digital producer

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Top 89 of 2019
Top 89 of 2019 (MPR Graphic)

Top 10 Songs of 2019

As always, in no particular order:

Maggie Rogers – "Love You For A Long Time"

Released on Nov. 21, this recent single displaced Rogers' "Burning" from the working list I keep all year long. It seemed more appropriate to include this track released this calendar year, but anything by Maggie Rogers is brilliant. She is a top-class songwriter and performer, and I think we'll be enjoying Rogers' music for a long time.

Better Oblivion Community Center – "Dylan Thomas"

With a persistent groove underlying smart, literate lyrics befitting its title, this is a fantastic track to emerge from the collaboration of Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst.

Sunflower Bean – "Come For Me"

Driving beat, punchy guitars, cool synth and Prince-like vocals and lyrics — you can't go wrong with this one.

Alex Lahey – "Don't Be So Hard On Yourself"

The Australian singer-songwriter delivers another guitar-driven, well-crafted song that provides an affirmation that's punctuated by a soaring chorus.

Bleached – "Hard to Kill"

Los Angeles pop rock with to get you dancing with an irresistible beat, hand claps, melodic guitars — and whistling in the style of Peter Bjorn & John.

Vampire Weekend – "Harmony Hall"

Could have picked anything off Vampire Weekend's excellent Father of the Bride album, but "Harmony Hall" was the first track I heard. It was a perfect intro to the record, especially the way it begins quietly then builds to its awesome chorus.

26 BATS! – "Do What You Do"

Fantastic vocals and instrumental arrangements conspire in this pitch-perfect blend of jazz and pop.

Big Thief – "Century"

The slow build on this beautifully lo-fi song sneaks up and completely captures your attention, holding onto it all the way through the final note.

The Highwomen – "Redesigning Women"

One listen to the chorus on this song and it's stuck in your head the rest of the day — in a good way! Amanda Shires and friends are looking to change that Nashville sound, and this song shows exactly that.

Chance the Rapper – "Do You Remember"

A track from Chance the Rapper's first full-length album, it puts all of Chance's abilities on full display: songwriting, rapping, singing, arranging, plus the collaboration with Ben Gibbard on the chorus. Evoking summers past and present, this song gives us a more reflective and slightly nostalgic Chance; I personally love the lyric where Chance raps, "I love my city / They let me cut the line on the Dan Ryan."

Honorable Mention

Mandolin Orange – "Golden Embers"

The entire album, Tides of a Teardrop, is a work of art. Any of the songs on that record could be on this list.

Mattiel – "Keep the Change"

Powerful lead vocals over a driving beat are the hallmark of this song, accentuated by a perfectly executed transitional drop with chimes placed front and center.

Cigarettes After Sex – "Heavenly"

Horrible band name, beautifully mellow song.

Tyler Childers – "All Your'n"

The title may have eluded some — the second word is a regionalism formed by the contraction of "your own" — but Kentucky singer-songwriter Childers shows his softer side with this uplifting love song.

Top 10 Albums of 2019

Mandolin Orange – Tides of a Teardrop

Such a great album from this band who keep getting bigger and bigger. The recent Spotify lists alerted this North Carolina duo that they're big in Brazil — something they hadn't known previously but now may inform a future tour.

Vampire Weekend – Father of the Bride

Great to see this band return with the next iteration that builds on their signature sound.

Chance the Rapper – The Big Day

A true innovator, Chance was going to release a proper album when he was damn good and ready; 2019 was that time.

Maggie Rogers – Heard It In A Past Life

When describing her album title, Rogers suggested she just felt born to make music for reasons she couldn't quite explain. Her songs showcase her otherwordly talent.

The Avett Brothers – Closer Than Together

An important record for 2019 and beyond.

Lizzo – Cuz I Love You

They're calling 2019 the Year of Lizzo. Here in Minnesota, we've watched Lizzo's ascent for some time, but this is the dawning of a mega superstar.

J.S. Ondara – Tales of America

Not only a fantastic record, but Ondara's story itself is an inspiring one.

Brittany Howard – Jaime

Howard writes and performs from the heart. Her show at the Palace Theatre in St. Paul the night before the official album release proves exactly that.

Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

Another precocious songwriter and performer, we'll be following the career of Billie Eilish for a long time to come.

The Cactus Blossoms – Easy Way

Page Burkum and Jack Torrey remain at the center of this band, but the album also displays the group's expanded lineup and gently evolving sound.

Vote now: Top 89 of 2019

The Current Staff's Top 89 of 2019

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