Follow Billboard. All rights reserved. The past and the future combined in , a year of satisfying comebacks from veteran artists and exciting breakouts from newer ones. Read the list below, with a Spotify playlist of all at the bottom. An unlikely combination of three very different alt-leaning acts, "I've Been Waiting" is far more seamless than it has any right to be, finding common ground in the artists' shared pop sensibilities. As it toggles between vocals from all three, it's impossible to tell where the verses stop and the chorus starts -- it's all hooks, really, a song where every part feels like That Part. In a more just world , this would've been the song to get the late Lil Peep his first Hot top 40 hit.
Fat White Family – Feet
The fact that The Highwomen even exists is impressive. They make that statement over an unabashedly pretty melody, going in and out of duets and harmonies with seamless, generous sweetness. Carly Rae Jepsen has built a cult following on the power of her brand of pure, heart-on-your-sleeve pop. Her widely-praised third album was even nakedly called Emotion. Bandana , the widely acclaimed album from rapper Freddie Gibbs and producer Madlib, was forged in trying circumstances: Gibbs says he wrote most of the record in an Austrian jail while awaiting his eventual acquittal from sexual assault charges. And that something is a propulsive, infectious disco sensibility.
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From pop comebacks to international acts finding crossover success to gorgeous ballads and irresistible dancefloor bait, was quite the year. Here are the songs we couldn't stop playing this year. Think the vulnerable voice of Nina Simone waxing poetic about the ills of millennial dating. Following in the footsteps of international kings like Burna Boy and WizKid, Rema's crisp, charming vocals float over a bouncy rhythm that blends Afropop and hip-hop to create three minutes and 15 seconds of sheer joy. Sex sells, but Rapsody has never been one to conform to hip-hop's misogynistic views of women.
In , with one killer track, an artist could become a household name, sparking infinite conversations and even more memes. In addition to all the new names, established artists like Lana Del Rey and Vampire Weekend redefined themselves and reset the trajectories of their careers. At the end of one year, and looking ahead to the next decade, here are the tracks we believe will stand the test of time. Listen to selections from this list on our Spotify playlist and Apple Music playlist. Shawn Mendes seems beamed in from a pop era before face tattoos and pink hair and cursing: Last year, when the Canadian heartthrob revealed he liked to— gasp! On paper, Mendes is pining after the girl who got away with the obsessiveness of an Instagram stalker—and yet his effervescent delivery, and shameless cheesing in the video , make it clear that this winning rom-com of a song has a happy ending. The titular vocal sample, chopped into oblivion, is a suitable mantra: Nate returned to footwork while recovering from an injury that left him temporarily paralyzed from the waist down, a particularly cruel irony in a scene defined by movement. What emerges is a strangled, melodic hook offset by unsettling vocal effects and chords that spiral upwards in a nervous twist of energy. The exhilarating track from her seventh studio album, Beauty Marks , follows the singer in the throes of infatuation, with a throwback disco beat that mimics her joy.