10. EGOISM - What Are We Doing?
The Australian duo won us over last year with their fantastic single "Sorry", and in 2019 they delivered another dreamy shoegaze gem in the form of "What Are We Doing?". The song sees them delivering a powerful punch of a chorus, as well a some sumptuous harmonies from the two. Given their rate of singles over the past few years, we're surely due an album from them in 2020, and if it's of the strength of what's already come, then it will be one of our musical highlights of the year.
9. Blossoms - Your Girlfriend
Stockport based group Blossoms enjoyed a radio hit in "Your Girlfriend" over the summer without the song ever troubling the singles chart (something something guitar music is dead something something). It's a great little gem of a song about being in love with someone you can't be with.
8. Billie Eilish - Bad Guy
"Bad Guy" has been one of the bone fide biggest songs of 2019 worldwide, in spite of, or possibly because, it doesn't sound like any other pop song out there this year. It's quite a claustrophobic song, underpinned by a banging hook and topped off by Eilish's hushed and confrontational delivery and dark yet humorous lyrics.
7. Maps - Just Reflecting
I owe a lot of my musical tastes to hearing the first album by Maps back in 2007, with "We Can Create" being the record that first got me interested in more alternative types of music rather than just what was in the charts.
Twelve years on, and James Chapman is still creating music of beauty, with the song that most caught my ear this year being "Just Reflecting". The song harks back to the "nu-gaze" sound of his debut album, whilst adding sweeping orchestral soundscapes to create something incredibly majestic & cinematic.
6. Mark Hegan - Skyward
Formerly of much loved local band In An Instant, released his debut single under his own name, "Skyward", having re-located from Bangor to London. It's a song about feelings of isolation and of losing one's identity after uprooting oneself, which successfully melds electronic and rock elements in a great way.