The Digital Fix picks the Best Pop of 2019
The last twelve months have been a strong year for pop with a diversity we've rarely seen before and more genre cross-over than we can remember. It's also been a year where singles and EPs have led the way and while there have been some cracking albums it seems that artists have embraced the shorter form of telling their stories through their music.
Our rundown of the best pop of the year includes albums, EPs and singles as it'd be unfair to dismiss artists who have upped their musical game just because they haven't put out a 12 track LP...
Here are our picks for the best pop of the year...
Billie Eilish - When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
It's impossible to ignore the impact Billie Eilish has made on the music of 2019. Released back in March but recorded between 2016 and 2018 it is an album of stunning, original sounds that have captured the ears of those who would usually turn their noses up at the genre.
Standout tracks include 'Bad Guy' and 'Bury A Friend' but this is an album that demands your attention start to finish.
Lizzo - Cuz I Love You
We love Lizzo, and her third album is the breakthrough she so rightly deserved. Strong powerful soul tinged pop that features some of the most powerful vocals ever recorded. From the opening hip-hop/rap laden opener to the funk of 'Juice' the breadth of music here is astounding and rightly places Cuz I Love You in the upper echelons of pop albums of the year.
Lewis Capaldi - Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent
It's impossible to avoid the juggernaut that Lewis Capaldi became in 2019 - his music has been everywhere - but unlike many others his success is utterly deserved. Deeply affecting music from an artist who is as self-deprecating as he is talented. Obvious high points of his album include the outstanding 'Someone You Loved' and album opener 'Grace' but the extended edition also includes the brilliant 'Let It Roll' which gives Capaldi the chance to let his hair down a little.
Alice Merton - Mint
Alice Merton's brilliant album got the TDF seal of approval with an 8/10 review and it's so easy to see - a voice that shows hints of Florence Welch alongside some of the most interesting pop music we've heard in a while. Almost anthemic at times, Mint is a cracking LP and well worth an investment of your time.
Natalie McCool - Woman's World / Someone Nue
No new album from Natalie McCool in 2019, but that didn't mean we didn't get new music (including a brilliantly fun Christmas single) - but the highlight has to be her two wonderful tracks earlier in the year. 'Woman's World' was a Bowie-esque track with a swirling soundscape that imagined a world with no men. The equally refreshing 'Someone Nue' was a brilliant hint of what we can expect this year - and we're hoping that includes a new album...
Maisie Peters - It's Your Bed Babe, It's Your Funeral
Maisie Peters has been on our radar for a while but she really hit big with this year's EP, It's Your Bed Babe, It's Your Funeral - just six tracks but they're all perfectly formed, sumptuous pop. There is some surprisingly playful stuff in here too - 'April Showers' in particular includes a particularly brilliant middle eight and 'Take Care Of Yourself' is surprisingly affecting. Maisie is going to be a massive pop star and her EP is deserving of every plaudit it receives.
IDER - Emotional Education
IDER's indie sound crossed over big-time this year with an album of solid, often remarkable tunes. Any LP that kicks off with something as strong as 'Mirror' and then follows it up with the exciting and pounding 'Wu Baby' is one that you can't fail to appreciate. They're also one of the UK's best live acts so do yourself a favour and check them out when they tour in 2020.
Georgia - About Work The Dancefloor
A stunning Glastonbury set saw Georgia's sound find a new audience and it doesn't get better than her dance pop anthem 'About Work The Dancefloor' - a single that could well be one of the best of the year. We're hoping to see her make more big crossover strides in 2020.
Taylor Swift - Lover
Taylor Swift's return was always going to be a high point - and while Lover is a great album by any standard it doesn't quite match up to 1989 or Red. Despite this, it still manages to make our top pop list and that's a testament to not only Swift's impressive songwriting talent but also her pin sharp production.
Lover as an album might not be as instantly appealing as her earlier albums, but it has a depth that continues to reveal a longevity that will see the LP stick with you long after it finishes playing.
Sigrid - Sucker Punch
Wow - Norway's biggest pop export really took centre stage this year and her album Sucker Punch was packed with stunning tracks from the uber-catchy 'Strangers' to the emotionally charged one-two of 'Don't Feel Like Crying' and 'Don't Kill My Vibe'. It's an outstanding debut album and one that marks the launch of a career that will see Sigrid become a superstar.
Her live shows were also fantastic with the diminutive singer commanding a stage presence like no other.
Christomer Comstock has been a solid producer for a while, but 2019 saw him hit new heights, not only with his latest album Joytime III but also his many collaborations with some of pop's biggest names. Working with the likes of Chvrches for the transcendental 'Here With Me' it's hard to see a 2019 without Marshmello's influence in everything. He even made history with is live set that took part entirely within the video game Fortnite.