The New Year is a great time to look back at the songs that changed your life in the past twelve months, and the ones you still love. And if you’re looking to start a new song, here are some ideas for what to listen to in 2019 and beyond.
The most successful artists are the ones who are able to craft an emotional payoff. It’s the only way to get people hooked on your music. And in this age of social media, it’s the only way to create a buzz around your work.
This is especially true for country musicians, who often struggle to find their voice and tell a compelling story. That’s why it’s so refreshing to see artists like Hailey Whitters and Chris Brown taking the genre in a completely new direction.
In “Boys Back Home,” Whitters and her band make a stunning, almost-surreal portrait of her small Iowa hometown. Instead of the drivel that crowded country radio for the last decade, she’s crafted a lush, rich narrative about the people who mean so much to her.
It’s also a reminder of the importance of staying true to yourself. It’s a lesson Whitters learned from writing about her father, who died in 2016.
On the upcoming album, she takes the psalmist’s exhortation to sing a new song, and expands on it to include the words, “play skillfully,” and “shout for joy.” It’s a beautiful thing, and it’s an encouragement that you can do whatever you’re putting your heart into.
One of the best ways to do this is by listening to new music, especially the kinds of songs that aren’t readily available yet. This can be a difficult task, especially for those who haven’t developed an appreciation for certain styles, or aren’t familiar with their history. But it’s a crucial part of finding a unique voice.
Stream the new songs you love on Spotify and Apple Music now!
In this week’s episode of The Sound of the Times, we rounded up a few of our favorite new songs from this past year. You can listen to them below, and subscribe to our channel on YouTube to stay up to date with all of our new content.
Yeule, a Belgian duo comprised of Charlotte Adigery and Bolis Pupul, traffic in the avant-garde of European electro-pop. Their debut as a duo, “Topical Dancer,” is a lively record with some serious flashes of absurdism and social commentary; it’s the sort of dance record that lives in your brain as much as it does on your body.
A crisp piano opening and siren synth punctuate the song’s ethereal vocal performance. As the song swells, yeule’s voice rises to match the intensity of what they’re feeling. This is one of the most emotionally resonant tracks of the year, and it’s a reminder that you can find a powerful emotion in even the most unexpected places.