Make Yourself a Fresh Playlist with the Best New Music!
Now that we’re well into the year, it’s time to look at some of the best new music you need to check out to freshen up your music library. All of these artists are great in their own respect, but these particular tracks are where they shine the most. From well known artists such as Vampire Weekend to some underrated acts like TOBi, here’s a list of the best new music we think you should check out for 2019.
Vampire Weekend – Harmony Hall
It’s been 6 long years since Vampire Weekend’s last album, Modern Vampires of the City, but they’re back and as good as ever! VW released two singles from their forthcoming album, Father of the Bride and both are well worth a listen. Harmony Hall is the standout of the two, which draws from the Grateful Dead, as most VW songs do, but their other song, ‘2021‘, is a more unique track that has Japanese roots and shows off a catchy hook. Ezra Koenig says that they will drop two tracks a month for the following three months leading up to the release day.
Khalid – Better
Following his breakout year, Khalid recently released his new EP, Suncity, back in October. The standout track, ‘Better‘, is a refreshingly normal R&B track that doesn’t try to outdo other artists in the same genre with flashy production. Some would say that this makes Khalid’s music forgettable, but I feel the exact opposite. Let’s be honest- as much as I love pop/R&B music, the newer artists are all beginning to sound the same! I’m rooting for Khalid’s career to grow even bigger in the coming years.
Dominic Fike – 3 Nights
I can’t think of enough good things to say about Dominic Fike. ‘3 Nights’ is the standout track on his recently released EP, ‘Don’t Forget About Me, Demos’, but there is tons to love about the album. Heavily influenced by the likes of notable artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Blink-182, Fike also showcases hints of his freestyle rap background. If you’re into artists like Jack Johnson or Mac Demarco, then you’re going to love Dominic Fike’s chill jams. As an added bonus, he fits right in with the young artists of today by rockin’ face tattoos! Since I couldn’t decide on a favorite, here is another one of my top picks from the EP – King of Everything.
The Beths – You Wouldn’t Like Me
Sometimes Spotify introduces you to some absolute gems in their Discover Weekly playlists – at least I’m pretty sure that’s how I came across New Zealand band, The Beths. Their newest album, released by way of Car Park Records last summer, has had them touring internationally – headlining smaller rooms stateside, and opening up shows on tour with Death Cab for Cutie right now. When I did my year-end most-listened check-in, I was surprised at how much I listened to them: 72 hours! Three whole days with the Beths. Catch them if they’re coming your way, or just check them out on your favorite streaming platform.
TOBi – City Blues
Here’s a new one, and this guy’s a charmer. He’s equal parts Anderson Paak, Kendrick Lamar and Frank Ocean with jazz samples blended together as well as modern hip-hop and R&B production. TOBi is currently Toronto-based and signed to Jonathan Master’s new label, Same Plate, living under the Sony umbrella. Having just recently gotten a social media bump in support from the likes of The Game, Snoop Dogg, Jamie Foxx, Tiffany Haddish and a number of other notable figures in sports & entertainment, this is someone to watch in 2019.
Caleb Hawley – A Minute of Your Love
Straight up, I love one-take music videos and Caleb Hawley recently debuted a new single from his forthcoming record with a simultaneous release and feature of this new tune. It’s always fun to watch how it comes together, and while this isn’t exactly sitting in the room with him and watching him piece the arrangement together, it’s still a well-crafted song and a fun video. Caleb, his band, and some members from the local NYC community are shown performing a wealth of rare percussive instruments alongside one another in the above video, and it’s probably worth mentioning that Caleb has been steadily dropping music everywhere recently, with his next album due this spring.
Maggie Rogers – Light On
Maggie Rogers came to us out of nowhere, shining ever since going viral on MTV as she debuted her song Alaska. Watch it if you haven’t, and then see Pharrell just kind of be taken aback by this sound – this girl doing her own original thing and totally owning it. Since then, she’s performed at festivals, on SNL, and released her debut record (which I played on an endless loop for the first couple of weeks after its release). Maggie falls in-between indie, pop, and alternative. That said, I’m sure you’ll be hearing lots of her on the radio and be talking about her with your friends soon enough, because she offers something for everyone on this release.
American Football – Uncomfortably Numb (ft. Hayley Williams)
American Football are quote-unquote emo gods, and then they went ahead and added Hayley Williams from one of my most favorite contemporary acts, Paramore, for this one. Hard to believe it’d be anything but sad and great. As a precursor to this single and her social media hiatus, Hayley was gushing on twitter about how much their then most-recent album had stuck with her. So, surprise(!): she’s on the next album, mostly doing backing vocals on this particular track, but with a short part all to herself that perfectly complements the song. I’m a big fan of this, and it’s hard not to be when you’re a fan of both American Football and Paramore.
J. Cole – Middle Child
I’ll admit that I never got into listening to J. Cole because I ignorantly viewed him as a bootleg Drake. I know, I was wrong but I’m glad I ended up giving him a chance. That said, his latest single, ‘Middle Child’, is a testament to his abilities. In fact, my admiration for Cole increased as he raps about how he lives his life as opposed to his peers. Props to you for being fearlessly upfront, J!
Alec Benjamin – Swim
Alec Benjamin’s entire mixtape, Narrated for You, is the best thing I’ve heard in a long time. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to listen to an album all the way through and thoroughly enjoy every minute of it. His breakout hit, ‘Let Me Down‘, is starting to work its way up the charts, especially after releasing a collab version of the song featuring Alessia Cara. Out of all the gems on his mixtape, ‘Swim’ is my favorite and I hope it finds the same success.
Logic – Keanu Reeves
Finally, Logic is back with a new single and apparently wants to clear any misconceptions about how hard he can go. I’ll admit- I don’t know much about Logic or his story, but I like this song and just wanted to throw it on the list for anyone else who might enjoy it.