It's Tradition Now

Every year, we scour all the award ceremonies, the end-of-year lists, ask the folks in our networks, and reflect on what really stood out to us in the year just gone. We first did this for 2017, and that is our most ever circulated playlist.

Over the year it can be hard to keep up with all the different releases across the industry as a whole, so we love using the opportunity after the Grammys, after the dust has settled a bit, to make our very own Best of the Year playlist. While our 2017 one was our most popular one, they have all really gained respect from listeners and even folks from the industry who applaud the, maybe slightly eccentric but always interesting, selection.

This is also an excellent time for us to collect last year's highlights, as many of the brightest recording stars of the year just gone will be hitting the road this year, so in a way we're selecting for what we're guessing will be interesting shows for y'all to attend.

Previous years have featured artists like Julia Michaels, Liam Gallagher, Janelle Monáe, Khalid, The War on Drugs, Margo Price, Alessia Cara, St. Vincent, Kendrick Lamar, Alice Merton, Shawn Mendes, Ella Mai, Brandi Carlile, Billie Eilish, grandson, Maggie Rogers and many more.

What To Expect

We don't necessarily care so much for genre, although we are majorly biased toward the pop-rock world. We also are not fussed about the size of the act, this is by no means a rival to the charts of Billboard. The best, in our opinion; can be super popular, still kind of undiscovered, and anywhere in between.

What is important to us though is that each song can stand on its own as a bop, but that the playlist also flows well. It's energetic enough to get the blood pumping a bit, but we never steer into the too-annoying-for-an-office-background territory.

We can never include every song, so this playlist aims to include solid bangers from the year just gone, but also maybe a less-obvious song from artists who've been visible. Many tracks are probably familiar to most, but there should also be lots of discovery for everyone, as it has been for us to put this selection together. 

This year we start with a nod to the one and only queen, Beyoncé, with Bow Down from her live Coachella performance, both available as an album and a Netflix performance (and an interesting lesson on audience intensity, but that's a story for another time...).

What a year it has been for female artists, and that is reflected in this selection. It's impossible to create a list of memorable music from 2019 without the likes of Ariana Grande, Lana Del Rey, Billie Eilish, and Lizzo being heavily featured.

It's far from being only a pop-playlist though, Gary Clark Jr. who is officially the most swagger-cool rock artist (technical terminology obviously) at the moment for those who are into rock, reggae, hip-hop and 'epic shit' to include an audience comment. AJR who was brought to our attention by Miss Americana, Taylor Swift herself, have to get credit for being just so lyrically creative (worth listening for!), and Anderson .Paak who suddenly everyone's obsessed with. Heck even Greta Thunberg, 2019's person of the year makes an appearance (can you spot her?). 

Our office has been huge fans (and seen the live shows, which are excellent – go see them!) of K. Flay and grandson and Of Monsters And Men and Panic! At The Disco for a long time, so they are all included. And last but certainly not least we need to service the ever-growing hip-hop lovers and Latino jammers, stay for all your favs including J. Cole and Rosalía as well as lesser-known artists like Easy Life. Finally, the K-Pop frenzy made it to our playlist as well, see if you can pick them out.

How can all this variety possibly work in one playlist you ask? Good question my friend, but that's what we do. 

Tell us what you think, or what we may have missed, on social!