Best Songs of 2019 (So Far!)
Let’s be clear: the phenomenon of “Baby Shark” has been fun, and has proven to be a surefire way to usher your favorite niece or nephew off to dreamland (warm milk could never!!!). But as far as the best songs of 2019 are concerned, well, those are a seahorse of a different color.
Since January, and thanks to releases from reliable music superstars like Pink and Ed Sheeran (plus, newly crowned radio royalty like Lizzo), pop music has — thankfully — gotten a particularly powerful shot in the arm. If we weren’t grooving along to “Tempo” or “Kill This Love,” we were hanging with our “Girl” Maren Morris or commissioning Halsey to wake us up from a raging sociopolitical “Nightmare.”
Yes, there will be a million more tracks to love and discuss once the weather cools and 2020 approaches, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Below, PopCrush has collected our favorite pop songs of 2019 (SO FAR!!!). Check 'em all out and get to streaming — or buying… some of us still do it!
Didn’t see a song you loved on our list this year? Let us know in the comments or hit us up on Twitter!
After nearly a year-long wait, Blackpink returned to the music scene ready to rally their troops with the vengeful break up anthem “Kill This Love.” The group continues to take chances with their music, this time blending militaristic horns and a drumline with thick, electro-pop beats to create an addictive single that packs a heavy punch. It’s also Blackpink’s most English-heavy single, with Jennie and Lisa’s shared rap verse quickly becoming one of the most iconic moments in K-pop from this year. If love is a battlefield, Blackpink came to conquer... and they’re not taking any prisoners. — Emlyn Travis
Longtime fans of the aught’s most famous singer-songwriter were likely a bit thrown off by Bareilles’ sixth studio album Amidst the Chaos, which forfeited the Grammy nominee’s pop-leanings in favor of full-tilt, ‘70s-inspired Carole King cosplay. Still, “Saint Honesty” stands out for its commitment to Bareilles’ winning simplicity, and the result is perhaps her most stunning track to date. Written with Lori McKenna, the tempered ballad chronicles a relationship with familiar weather metaphors that don’t feel tired — at times, Bareilles welcomes each drip and drop of inclement weather. “'Cause we're collecting evidence of one remarkable storm / How wild it was to find it, finally feel the climate / Instead of only staying dry and warm,” she nearly whispers, before settling into a chorus that’s as beautiful and delicate as any Nor’easter’s lingering icicles. — Matthew Scott Donnelly
If you seek this year’s summer jam, look no further than Ed Sheeran’s song “I Don’t Care” featuring Justin Bieber. The duet is fun, catchy and proof the two put out their best work when they’re vulnerable and in love. The lyrics are super down-to-earth and serve as both a love ballad and the perfect song to belt out in the car. Our only hope is that Sheeran and Bieber release another banger like this soon. — Natasha Reda
Like the crack of a snap bracelet or the sheen of a fresh batch of Creepy Crawlers, the fifth single off 17-year-old Billie Eilish’s debut album might someday define the sullen mood and insolent tones of this generation’s teenagers. “Bad Guy,” produced by Eilish’s brother Finneas (the siblings collaborated on every track off of When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?), functions like an electropop hourglass, gradually filling space without adding anything superfluous: every beat, breath and bit of silence seems perfectly fated. “I’m the bad type / Make your momma sad type / Make your girlfriend mad type / Might seduce your dad type,” Eilish spits over finished product that’s equal parts masterfully sophisticated and childishly defiant. Here, work and play are not mutually exclusive. — Matthew Scott Donnelly
Consider the patriarchy cancelled. Halsey flips off all manner of misogyny (internalized and otherwise) by unleashing the pent-up frustration of a thousand women's marches on this politically charged pop-punk banger. The fiercely feminist artist's rage is palpable across razor-sharp lyrics — "I don't owe you a goddamn thing!" she snaps back at a command to smile — while aggressive production by Cashmere Cat and Benny Blanco punctuate Halsey's self-assured delivery. "Nightmare" is a relentless rage-pop rallying cry that's equal parts moody R&B and riotous emo rock revival, and 100% badass. — Erica Russell
“Juice” may have been the pop hit that finally (FINALLY) secured Lizzo’s landfall among the Billboard mainstream, but “Tempo” is exactly what longtime fans have craved from the Detroit-born rapper and power-belter. A contender for song of summer (and Lizzo’s first track to hit a component chart), “Tempo” is powerful but still subdued enough for low-key grooves, and lyrics issue the proud Big Grrrl’s conviction to championing her fellow plus-sized pioneers (“Thick thighs save lives, call me little buttercup,” she purrs before firing off the song’s enduring battle cry: “Slow songs are for skinny hos / Can’t move all of this here to one of those / I’m a thick bitch, I need tempo”). Throw in a tongue-fatiguing feature from Missy Elliott, and you’ve got a recipe for a decade-spanning dance hit. — Matthew Scott Donnelly
Though some believed Lewis Capaldi would not have ever been able to match the rawness he depicted in “Bruises,” he proved all uncertainties wrong in 2019 when he released “Someone You Loved” — a piano-centered ballad that conveys so much emotion it will leave you wondering who broke his heart. From his captivating vocals to stunning lyrics, the track leaves you feeling sad but in the most beautiful way. “Someone You Loved” has the ability to move your soul like that. — Natasha Reda
Pink has the uncanny ability to make you feel so many emotions in just under four minutes. “Walk Me Home” brings out the theatrical and powerful side in her vocals. The drum beats make you want to stomp or clap along to Pink singing, while her singalong style can be interpreted a few different ways, providing the perfect backing track to a variety of life situations. The track is a far cry from her punk rock days but still retains the underlying Pink creativity that only she can produce. — Jacklyn Krol
As the first boy group from Big Hit Entertainment since BTS, there was a furor of excitement surrounding TXT and their debut single “Crown.” While the synth-pop song holds a cheery youthfulness to it, its lyrics reveal a deeper, inspirational message, centering around a boy who becomes fearful and reclusive when horns sprout from his head. It’s not until he meets a boy with wings, which some believe to be BTS member V, that he changes his perspective and takes pride in his uniqueness. Bubbly, empowering and unique, “Crown” is a solid debut single and a fresh take on the importance of believing in oneself. — Emlyn Travis
Maren Morris shares the life struggles of women while uplifting listeners everywhere with her single “Girl.” The song reassures ladies everywhere that everything will be okay, and has become an anthem that almost any woman can relate to. The lyrics are thought-provoking with some of the most clever and relatable rhymes. Her storytelling capability and soulful vocals shine through on the song. This release really cemented the idea that her music can shine not only in the country genre but in other music genres, charts and radio stations. — Jacklyn Krol