The new year is here, and it’s time to celebrate it with new music. It’s also a time to reflect on the past and make plans for the future. So here, we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite new songs, as well as some old favorites that deserve an extra listen this season.
One of the biggest trends in music right now is a massive shift toward old songs. According to a recent report, old songs now account for 70 percent of the U.S. music market, up from 20 percent in 2006. It’s a sad fact that the working musician is being forced to spend more of their time and money on old songs than they are creating fresh ones. And it’s a trend that’s only going to continue.
It’s also a trend that means it’s more difficult to make a living as an artist, as many of the best-selling artists today are making their money off of their old recordings rather than their new ones. That’s a problem for everyone, but especially for working musicians.
Thankfully, some of the artists in this list are taking it upon themselves to make some great new music to celebrate the New Year. From big names like Taylor Swift and Beyonce to up-and-comers who’re still finding their voice, there are plenty of options for fans looking for a little something different to enjoy on the eve of 2019.
If you’ve been waiting for a good dance-floor hit from the rap scene, look no further than Yung Kayo. He’s a rapper with a penchant for braggadocios trap bars, and his newest single, “YEET,” is a standout. It’s a bit like a cross between Atlanta and PC Music, with Kayo delivering a hard-hitting one-line hook over a bassline that sounds a bit more upbeat than what we typically expect from Young Stoner Life rappers.
He might be a bit naughty, but he’s a genuinely talented rapper. In this sense, he’s the best of Young Stoner Life’s up-and-comers.
A new song doesn’t just sound great; it can be an important tool in the fight against oppression, whether in South America or elsewhere around the world. Nueva cancion, a genre that spread quickly throughout the region during the 1960s and 1970s, was an outlet for singers and songwriters to express political anger and dissent.
The lyrics of these songs often spoke directly to the conditions in their communities, from the ravages of war to the rise of imperialism. They could also serve as a call to action, a way for people to reaffirm their culture and traditions in the face of political oppression.
Another thing that’s become a constant on new albums is the use of sampling. This is a technique that’s used to give modern music a classic, vintage feel. It’s a trick that’s especially handy in the world of hip-hop, where there are few recognizable samples out there to draw from.
The only real problem with this strategy is that it can sometimes feel like a cop-out, especially on a new album that’s trying to make a statement about what it means to be American. Beyonce’s version of Kilo Ali’s 1982 hip-hop track “Cocaine” uses sampling to subvert that message, reimagining it as a high-spirited party tune that lures listeners in with its title. The result is a song that’s just as effective at subverting the message of its source material as it is at celebrating it.