While the coming months will have people debating what takes the prize for the Song Of The Summer, 2019 has been steadily offering up tracks that could easily take that honor. Sure, Lil Nas X’s genre-defying smash “Old Town Road” might seem like the most impactful song of the year, but that doesn’t take away from the artistic statement that Lizzo has crafted with “Juice” or the magic that came from Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber teaming up on “I Don’t Care” or the pop bliss of Shawn Mendes’ “If I Can’t Have You.” From hip-hop anthems from the likes of 21 Savage, J. Cole, and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie to indie standouts from Strand Of Oaks, Charly Bliss, and Jenny Lewis, the year has delivered a wealth of amazing songs, and it’s only June. Here are the Uproxx Music picks for the 50 best songs of 2019 so far.
50. Alex Lahey, “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself”
This Australian pop-rocker delivers one catchy number after another on her second album, The Best Of Luck Club. The grabbiest song is “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself,” a driving synth-accented rocker about the damage that being away from home can have on relationships. While Lahey writes it as a pep talk, what’s less clear is whether she’s giving it to herself.–Steven Hyden
49. Halsey, “Nightmare”
On “Nightmare,” Halsey wields her femininity like a knife. Over harsh guitars and drums, Halsey turns her pop princess crown to steel as she sings about the brutality of being a woman. The song unfolds in seething anger, driven by Halsey’s impassioned voice and backed by some pounding bass. In a political climate hell-bent on knocking down the already disempowered, Halsey puts a voice to a shared anguish. She says it best herself: “I’m tired and angry, but somebody should be.”–Chloe Gilke
48. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, “Look Back At It”
It takes quite a bit of gall to borrow a section of a Michael Jackson song for your album’s lead single. Clinically speaking, you’re certifiably insane if you borrow two sections from a Michael Jackson song for your album’s lead single. And yet, that’s exactly what A Boogie did on “Look Back At It.” Miraculously, not only did the Bronx’s melody king emerge unscathed but also with a solid hit in hand. The three-minute bop is endlessly catchy and puts The King Of Pop’s iconic riff to effective use.–Jordan Coley
47. YBN Cordae, “Have Mercy”
YBN Cordae demonstrates why he’s one of the more intriguing young artists in the game on “Have Mercy,” a track that shows off not just his lyrical gifts, but his ability to fuse substance and debauchery into the same package. He rhymes “I don’t know where I’m goin’ / but I hope I’m on the right path” on the chorus, then steps on the correct trek by slinking through a pair of verses over some hypnotizing flute play.–Andre Gee
46. BTS, “Boy With Luv” Feat. Halsey
Korean pop sensation BTS doesn’t need to collaborate with American artists to find domestic success, they are already stadium-level headliners capturing attention at a global level. But “Boy With Luv” finds the group going for the jugular, teaming with pop powerhouse Halsey on a track that effortlessly fuses their own language with English. If you need an explainer as to why BTS is an undeniable force, start here.–Philip Cosores
45. Girlpool, “Hire”
The Los Angeles duo made a name for themselves with their 2017 sophomore album Powerplant, and their new album, What Chaos Is Imaginary, proved it was more than a fluke. Their greatness is exemplified in songs like “Hire,” a songwriting success that doesn’t have a chorus but still manages to be catchy. It’s an angsty rocker that’s both grungy and calming, proving that this band is capable of some real nuance and substance.–Derrick Rossignol
44. Jamila Woods, “Zora”
Jamila Woods’ Legacy! Legacy! brings the souls of inspirational figures to life as an enamored ode and it’s “Zora” that imbues Their Eyes Were Watching God author Zora Neal Hurston with notable elegance. Jamila exercises her poetic voice tenderly to channel Hurston’s spirit in song as a way to embrace a masterful being undeterred by foreign assumptions about life.–Cherise Johnson
43. Anderson .Paak, “Make It Better”
After spending so much of his recent career channeling Blaxploitation legends like Dolemite, Goldie, and Youngblood Priest, it’s almost a shock to the system to hear Anderson trade in his feathered fedora for pillowy production and a velvet-smooth Smokey Robinson feature, but it’s a shock that gives way to silky satisfaction.–Aaron Williams
42. Cass McCombs, “Estrella”
On his ninth album Tip Of The Sphere, the veteran indie singer-songwriter Cass McCombs steps away from the obscurantism of his previous work for the amiable approachability of classic-rock guitar jams. The most beguiling track is “Estrella,” a supernatural love story anchored by McCombs’ Jerry Garcia-esque guitar licks.–S.H.
41. Marshmello, “Here With Me” Feat. Chvrches
Chvrches have always toed the line between indie and pop, but this year, they made their first earnest attempt at full-on pop by collaborating with electronic music giant Marshmello (which led to some controversy). Sure enough, it’s their most-streamed song on Spotify, and Lauren Mayberry shows that her voice belongs in the pop sphere. The tenderness of Chvrches’ solo material lies in the verses, and the EDM-style chorus was destined for the radio.–D.R.