Dave - "Lesley" feat. Ruelle
"Plucking just one track from Dave's 2019 PSYCHODRAMA album is akin to picking one flower from a perfect bouquet—the record is such a magnificent whole, listening to one without listening to the rest is nigh on impossible. But "Lesley" is undeniably a standout track, an 11-minute rap/spoken word ballad flush with a mesmeric harp riff and powerful bursts of strings. The topic is domestic violence, a gruesome tale told through the eyes of a victim's friend; "Lesley" undoubtedly weighs heavy on the emotions but the message is vital, Dave doing his part by using his platform to denounce toxic masculinity and sexual violence." Nick Benson, Contributing Writer
Dayglow - "Nicknames"
"Hailing from Fort Worth, Texas, singer-songwriter Sloan Struble, aka Dayglow, encapsulates all the best of indie pop and indie rock in the 21st century - the charming lyricism of Grizzly Bear, the catchy synth elements of MGMT and Phoenix, and the playful melodies of Vampire Weekend and Cayucas." David Sikorski, Senior Editor
Deborah de Luca - "19 Calls"
"Cinematic, dark and all-around hypnotizing, de Luca does an amazing job setting the scene and build. It's a warehouse driven track that's consistently been on repeat for me, and one that my non-techno-loving friends seem to enjoy." Vivian Lin, Staff Writer
Denzel Curry - "SHAKE 88"
"After listening through ZUU multiple times I kept finding myself coming back to this absolute beast of a track. "SHAKE88" is one of the hardest-hitting twerk anthems I've ever heard in my entire life. It's outward and uncompromising attitude is the epitome of the Florida roots that made Denzel the icon he is today." Max-Pasion Gonzalez, Contributing Writer
Denzel Curry - "WISH" feat. Kiddo Marv
"Buoyant, fearless, and above all addictive, Denzel Curry's "WISH feat. Kiddo Marv" was an anthem for the summer that never faded. Exhibiting a side of Curry that may not have existed before 2019, the track simply cannot be overplayed." Audrey Flynn, Contributing Writer
DJ Bogdan - "Love Inna Basement (Midnite XTC)"
"As close to a 90's rave tune as you're ever going to get in the 21st century - it's Objekt's "Theme from Q" on steroids. One of those tracks that has about 4 completely different parts within it.. that all sound as good as each other. The mystery surrounding DJ Bogdan simply adds to the hype surrounding this track, and if you're lucky enough to have heard it getting dropped out and about this summer, count your blessings." Beth Taylor, Contributing Writer
DJ Gollum & Shinzo - "I Wanna Be a Hippie"
"DJ Gollum has been a pioneer in the hands-up music genre and this track further proves that. The synth melody in this is one of the German producer and DJ's best to date." Lennon Cihak, Contributing Writer
Dom Dolla - "San Frandisco"
"2019 was the year of set IDs turning into official releases and Dom Dolla, arguably, had one of the best ones. Hearing this track for the first time during his Do LaB set at Coachella, "San Frandisco" was immediately infectious as soon as the "San Francisco, where's your disco?" line dropped. It's a wrist flicking, booty shaking and shuffle inducing track which has crowds popping off as soon as the opening beat comes in." Rachel Steer, Contributing Writer
Dominic Fike - "Acai Bowl"
"Dominic Fike, genre breaker, boundary pusher and lyricist extraordinaire. This guy has some of the most thoughtful lyrics, compounded with some of the most refreshing vocal melodies and voices in general. I have no idea what genre I would classify him as, but badass is the top one. There is something so personal and vulnerable about tracks like "Açaí Bowl" and that is what keeps me coming back." Lindsey Oh, Contributing Writer
Don Quez - "TIM" feat. Lildaddex
'"TIM" (Time is Money) had the whole 209, Bay Area and beyond losing their minds. The trifecta of production, steez, and slick visuals makes this joint a certified bangalanger. Time is money, indeed, and slapping "TIM" is three minutes well spent." Mark Gavigan, Contributing Writer
DRAMA - "Dead and Gone"
"DRAMA are masters of creating multi-layered melodies that leave you mesmerized on the dancefloor. Thier 2019 single "Dead and Gone" is a moody synth heavy track that showcases the type of evocative songwriting and enchanting vocal delivery that makes them so special. The Chicago pop duo have had a killer year and I'm excited for what's to come from them in 2020." David Sikorski, Senior Editor
Dreamville - "1993" feat. J. Cole, JID, Cozz & EARTHGANG, Smino & Buddy
"One of the greatest battles of the year took place on this track of the Grammy-nominated 'Revenge of the Dreamers III' tape released by Dreamville. "1993" is a playful and witty posse-cut where California rapper, Buddy interrupts each of the six other lyricists because they should just all be smoking weed and relaxing instead of trying to prove their lyrical ability. The Elite-produced song is easily one of the favorites off of the highly anticipated hip-hop album." Gregory Castel, Contributing Writer
DUCKWRTH - "Crush"
"This past year found underground hip-hop favorite DUCKWRTH touring with unexpected but equally respectable acts in their own genres - a stint with both electronic duo Louis the Child and everyone's favorite pop star Billie Eilish. Each rhyme delivered from DUCKWRTH is sewn together effortlessly between each line to create a smooth and groovy track that unknowingly keeps you reaching to hit repeat. "Crush" is a deconstructed hip-hop track that keeps a simple but effective hook that elicits an OG Timbaland production and is one of my favorite singles of the year." David Sikorski, Senior Editor
EARTHGANG - "UP"
"Pure turbulence cooly disciplined by EARTHGANG duo Olu and WowGr8, "UP" stands out from the fantastic Mirrorland tracks with its push-pull tempo and sprawling adlibs. A clear force to be reckoned with, this track embodies the sheer talent of a group that will only continue to please." Audrey Flynn, Contributing Writer
EARTHGANG - "This Side"
Earthgang's debut album, Mirrorland, is filled with elements of love, respect, and positive reinforcement. "This Side" represents the dynamic mentality and thought process of the breakout rap duo. They come to the highest evolution by sharing fluid verses between each other with modest aspirations for life in a very pressing way.
Elderbrook & Rudimental - "Something About You"
"Finding words to try and describe this track is a tough one. Elderbrook's light heartfelt vocals gently lift and guide you to a warm place of security and comfort. As the soft playful melody builds, an electrifying horn section stirs the soul and awaken every emotion building deep inside you all at once. "Something About You" is truly one of the most enchanting tracks to come from the English producer and singer-songwriter. The accompanying video is also a tear-jerker and a must-watch for everyone." David Sikorski, Senior Editor
"This was a match made in heaven. Elderbrook's vocals with Rudimental's horns is just unfair, and it holds home to some of the most visceral songwriting I've heard a long time." Jason Heffler, Editor
Eli & Fur - "Into The Night"
"This song has been on repeat ever since it came out. Eli & Fur never cease to amaze me with their vocals, their carefully curated synth sounds, and this track beautifully illuminates their craft with ease. There's something magical about each break in "Into The Night"and despite the repeating lyrics, the duo are able to drive home how personal the song is." Vivian Lin, Staff Writer
Elley Duhé - "VILLAINS"
'"VILLAINS" is a powerful track about opening our eyes to systematic evil and oppression, and I truly don't think there are many artists like Elley Duhé speaking so boldly on topics this deep." Celeste Daniela Ceres, Contributing Writer
Eskmo, Kira Kira - "Backbone"
"Fusing cinematic influences with gloomy soundscapes and forward-thinking percussive elements, "Backbone" highlights Eskmo skill as a world-class producer, always moving the needle and never afraid to experiment." Pedro Daim, Contributing Writer
Everybody Eats - "What's His Name"
"Everybody Eats' self-titled debut project serves up top-notch production and crafty, in-your-face rhymes on a platter that's appetizing yet not overfilling. If one person eats, the whole squad eats. Big facts." Mark Gavigan, Contributing Writer
FEET - "English Weather"
"I was first introduced to FEET earlier this year and it was one of my first pieces for EARMILK, and since I have been HOOKED. I love their quirkiness and insanely brilliant tunes. What's Inside Is More Than Just Ham is a cracking album. Long live FEET." Paige Sims, Contributing Writer
Floating Points - "LesAlpx"
"Floating Points was not playing around when it came to "LesAlpx." The track wastes no time getting down to business with an assault of dramatic, heavy production. A good set of speakers or headphones pays off here because Sam Shepherd gives you all these little nuances and layers in sound while driving "LesAlpx" straight into your core. However, the beauty comes in his ability to restrain the unstoppable force he's created and still bring serenity within all the strategic chaos." Lauren Jefferson, Contributing Writer
flor - "slow motion"
"These four Oregon natives have crushed it again with their sophomore album ley lines. The album's second track, "slow motion" is a dreamy lovestruck masterpiece." Maria Bocci, Contributing Writer
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib Bandana - "Giannis" feat. Anderson .Paak
"Freddie Gibbs has been an underrated talent for years. The industry always wanted to put him in a box but he always busts out the seems. He was coming off his entertaining Freddie album and collaboration with Curren$y when he first announced Bandana as a final installment project with Madlib. I always thought Freddie sounded the best with Madlib and Bandana boosted that theory. Bandana made a larger audience recognize his talent at a greater level as it highlights the duo's chemistry. The Album of the Year tour title is fitting." Sky Taylor, Contributing Writer
French 79 - "Hometown"
"The '80s have had a massive resurgence lately, partly thanks to "Stranger Things", but also due to talented and curious producers exploring the limitless potential of exciting synth instruments and sounds. French 79 created a truly melodic rhythm with this track that leads you into this captivating synth-filled bridge. "Hometown" is everything charming, delightfully moody and all so mesmerizing." David Sikorski, Senior Editor
Gang Starr - "Lights Out" feat. M.O.P.
"Gang Starr's return from their unofficial hiatus at the end of the decade is quite poetic and fulfilling. I never thought I would hear another Gang Starr project since we lost Guru but damn Preemo pulled this off and gave us a perfect project solidifying the duo's legacy. The project stayed true to the duo's original formula of dope beats and dope rhymes and to top it off we got to hear from all their longtime affiliates from Jeru, Group Home, Freddie Foxx, etc." Tayo Odutola, Staff Writer
Get Real, Claude Vonstroke & Green Velvet - "Jolean"
"What felt like the longest tease ever, the iconic set ID and Get Real release silence-breaker "Jolean" was finally released to the rejoice of house music fans everywhere. The track is what fans would expect with Green Velvet's quirky house lyrics and Claude's energy lifting and body-moving sound. I'm calling it now as one of the main festival rinses of 2020." Rachel Steer, Contributing Writer
Gidon Schocken - "Show Me The Way" feat. Filippo Fabbri, Ori Lichtik and Tahel
"This track is one of the many collaborations on Gidon's 2019 LP Immerse, featuring the likes of Filippo Fabbri, Tahel, and Ori Lichtik - all amazing musicians in their own right. Gidon is a clear big believer in complete freedom when it comes to collaborations, so teaming up with various artists on one track was intriguing to see, as each artist brought something so inescapably unique to create an interdimensional single uniquely it's own." Steve Likoski, Contributing Writer