What a year it's been in music, friends! Cardi B's out here making history and queer artists are slowly but surely inching their way further and further into everyone's living rooms and radios. It's a crowded industry, but an exciting one. The pop landscape has exploded, and from its rubble rise new genres, new ways to make music, and new boundaries to push. The following 10 songs represent a year of empowerment, flirtation, and the desire for something better. Music is, after all, a place to escape when the going gets tough. It's a community builder and a great empathizer. These are the songs that hit the hardest, pulled the deepest, and stuck around a long time, without ever becoming annoying. Why waste more time reminiscing? Let's cut to the feelings (like, all the feelings), below.
"A Violent Noise" - The xx
The xx found their calling on the dance floor this year with I See You. They found a way to mix their muted vibes with Jamie xx's genre-defining production through songs like "On Hold" and "Say Something Loving." It's the album's fourth track, though, that shines the brightest and packs the lowest lows. Themes of self-medication, feeling lost in a club setting, and the desire for something to swell into a dizzying guitar-meets-synth concert. "How could eyes this wide lose sight of the world inside?" Oliver Sim asks as the song comes to climax. With a song as enveloping as this, it's easy to see (and feel) why.