15 of the Best Love Songs of 2019 (So Far)
The new year is off to a fast start in the music realm. With releases from Lizzo, James Blake, Ariana Grande, and more we know that if the first few months of 2019 are foreshadowing of what’s to come, it’ll be a good year. We’ve rounded up the best, freshest “love” songs to spice up whatever love playlist you’re already working on. Whether it be about love for yourself, love for a partner, or love for your pals, this is the best 2019 has to offer so far.
“Do You Love Her Now” by Jai Paul
After an untimely and illegal leak, pop music’s most promising, multifaceted enigma turned to radio silence for nearly six years. Then in June 2019, Jai Paul made his triumphant return—not only releasing the previously leaked album, but also blessing his restless, yet still attentive, fanbase with two new songs.
“Do You Love Her Now” is one of the new originals that floats effortlessly across synth-laced piano keys and layered vocals, proving Jai Paul still has the Midas touch for pop’s most loving gems.
“Flood Hands” by Vagabon
Vagabon’s “Flood Hands” is a futuristic-surrender to love’s overwhelmingly all-encompassing parts. Its message and hypnotic, layered vocals and instrumentation, are all played and produced by Vagabon herself.
“Shooting Stars” by Kelis feat. Pharrell
It’s nearly cheating to put this cut on a 2019 list, but after Kelis’ 2001 Wanderland got caught in the crossfire of a label dispute, the album wasn’t officially dropped in the U.S. until last month. With The Neptunes’ production and Kelis’ flexing her pipes, “Shooting Stars” is a glorious cornerstone of what Pharrell’s signature beats sound like on a cozy love ballad.
“Imagining What To Do” by Helado Negro
“Imagining What To Do” is a sonic weighted blanket. With Helado’s hazy vocals over light guitar strums, he crafts a lullaby for the depths of winter.
“Puppet” by Tyler the Creator
It may be a tired point to make this deep into 2019, but a few years ago, it would be largely unheard of for Tyler the Creator to be making one of the best love songs of the year. But on “Puppet,” Tyler only unfolds the vulnerability he brought to 2017’s Flower Boy even further.
“What do you need? / Do you need bread? Do you need this? / Do you need a hug? Do you need to be alone?” he pleads on this complicated cut that sounds like a love cry, but is more so a slow reckoning of all he’s willing to give for a one-sided relationship.
“In Lust We Trust” by Steve Lacey
Left to Steve Lacey’s signature guitar chords, layered vocals, and nearly nothing else, “In Lust We Trust” is as sonically cut-to-the-point as it is lyrically. It works and sounds like a melodic love-summoning chant meant for replays.
“HER Love” by Common feat. Daniel Caesar
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of one of hip-hop’s most recognizable socially-conscious rap anthems, Common has blessed 1994’s “I Used to Love H.E.R.” with a 2019 update, courtesy of Daniel Caesar and Dwele’s vocals and a never-before-heard J Dilla beat.
The song originally worked as a commentary on hip-hop’s place in the time of gangsta rap, but with its added vocals, an additional romantic meaning seems to shine through. “I love you, so just be who you are,” Daniel Caesar asks gently.
“Ice Water” by Loyle Carner
With lyrics so heartfelt they dangle on the edge of painfully sugar-y sweet, “Ice Water” is British rapper Loyle Carner’s unapologetic ode to the most wholesome kind of love.
“Hard To Believe” by Kindness feat. Jazmine Sullivan and Sampha
“Hard to Believe” is a modern bop that further proves pop can have depth. The track gets a head start with Jazmine Sullivan’s crimson, fail-proof vocals that are backed up with a beat that calls as much from the past as it does the present. Cue Sampha for a harsh, satisfying end.
Cellophane by FKA Twigs
On “Celllophane,” FKA Twigs unmasks the majority of the vocal distortion she’s used on past projects, leaving a crisp vocal display to air out in the open — all singing of that exact kind of hauntingly upfront vulnerability.
Matched with a video that mimics the peaks and valleys of love with a striking pole-dancing performance, “Cellophane” is a complete and honest package of love, and the anxiety that sometimes comes with it.
“7 rings” by Ariana Grande
To the melody of The Sound of Music’s “My Favorite Things,” Ariana raps about a girl’s favorite things in 2019: money, friendship, and power. “My neck is flossy, make big deposits, my gloss is poppin,” Ariana half-raps, half-sings as she bounces around a bubblegum pink house, pouring up champagne and dancing with her best friends.
“Barefoot in the Park” by James Blake feat. ROSALÍA
“Barefoot in the Park,” sung almost full in Spanish, is a hauntingly gorgeous love track from veteran visionary, James Blake, and ROSALÍA, the classically-trained flamenco singer-songwriter who pushed the genre outside of its box in 2018. With tender (translated) lyrics like, “If they remove you from my side, and I had to find you, I’d go there to find you like the river goes to sea,” it’s hard not to fall in love.
“Dancing With a Stranger” by Sam Smith and Normani
“Dancing With a Stranger” is caught somewhere in between breakup song and love song. The track follows Normani and Sam Smith as they brag and lament about dancing with someone new, telling their exes that it’s their fault for letting it happen. The paired vocals on this track alone make it sound romantic, but the story is a little deeper beneath the angelic vocals.
“Juice” by Lizzo
With a roaring ’80s vibe, the queen of self-love comes through with an unapologetic anthem about being cute and getting cuter. “Juice” is an ode to the kind of love that needs no man for its growth, as Lizzo affirms, “I’m like chardonnay, get better over time—heard you say I’m not the baddest, bitch you lie!” With a technicolor video that includes nods to ASMR, late night TV, and the home shopping network, “Juice” is a self-love anthem for the ages.
“Miss Me” by Toro y Moi feat. ABRA
Toro y Moi and ABRA are a surreal lo-fi dream pairing. On “Miss Me,” ABRA croons over a classic Chaz Budnick beat—laced with distinct looping and twinkling beats—making for a light, sweet, three-minute track that begs to be played back as she sings of being addicted to the one you love.
Stay tuned for more additions throughout the year.
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