As 2019 winds down and 2020 waits in the wings, I have taken some time to reflect on the last year: all the ups and downs, triumphs, the moments of laughter and tears. As I reflect, I also look back on the music I listened to, which made up my soundtrack for 2019. There are some old constants (Fleetwood Mac) and some new pop sensations (Julia Michaels), but I realize that a huge part of my year was peppered with the ear-worm, top-of-the-charts hits that play on a loop on the radio, at department stores, sports events, parties, etc. While I do enjoy most of this music (Selena Gomez’s latest, anyone?), I realized that I almost missed out on plenty of 2019’s new music—songs that are just as likely to get trapped in your head but that may offer more introspection and prove to be more soothing.
Here are some of the best songs of 2019 that you may or may not have heard. They didn’t make it onto the Billboard charts, but they are worth a listen. From Novo Amor and Bon Iver’s soulful tunes to Francis and the Lights’ electro-rap beats, I hope you wind down the year with some music that is new (to you).