22 Nov 2019

Song Crush - Listener's choice 2019

From Song Crush, 3:35 pm on 22 November 2019

All year the Song Crush team have introduced you to new songs they're loving, but this week host Kirsten Johnstone threw the call out to you the listeners, for your favourite tune of 2019. Here's a handful of the answers we got. ​

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Ra Costelloe - Open Road

“Absolute banger of a song, it's a bop and it truly speaks the sound of NZ. with reggae vibes and old school guitaring.” Atarau Hamilton - Hawkes Bay

JARV-IS - must I evolve?

The song that’s hung around in my brain recently is Jarvis Cocker’s (Jar-vis?) must I evolve? Like him it’s ironic and funny (dragging my knuckles to Frankie Knuckles) and aware and and quirky. I like the call and response at the start too. I’m not a bloke but I’ve known plenty of blokes who have resisted growing up as the years roll by. This song captures that in an amusing way. Eleanor Aitken - Wellington

Blossoms - Your Girlfriend

“It tells the tale of a narrator lovesick with their friends’ lover, through a masterful melody & infectious pop chorus in under 3 minutes! It made me a convert to the Blossoms camp and they have an upcoming album due in early 2020. It is my song of my year because well.. is any further explanation required?” Thomas Hewett - Tawa

The Felice Brothers - Hometown Hero

“Beautiful soft banjo, accordion and the chorus harmonies. The Felice Brothers have always excelled at writing songs about the inherent good in flawed people, even on this more politically charged and cynical album. A simple song about a man getting out of prison, it all comes together so well, from the tender opening to the slow build as the song moves along. Its heartbreaking and uplifting and the whole song captures that uneasy feeling.” Duncan Allan - Wellington

Aro - Korimako

“It's really simple. There's two voices and a guitar and their loops. And it's like a bird song. It's so sweet. And then super catchy and it's an earworm, they get in there and you can't help but catch that beat, catch that tune. And even though I'm not really 100% sure what the waiata is about, I'm singing it. My kids are singing, the dancefloor is singing it, and it's really easy to catch in your body.

 And the fact that I bring it to my dance floor, and it brings a lightness that people are playful with each other, it works.” Kaia Hawkins (an openfloor dance teacher in Kāpiti)  

Racing -  Run Wild.

"This gives me a hands outstretched, wind in my hair, standing on a mountaintop feeling of freedom and release that only music can give." Josh Burrell - Tauranga 

Matt Berninger and Phoebe Bridgers - Walking on a String

"I guess I liked it so much because the arrangement is such a magnificent display of restraint and dynamics.  So nice to hear a song that’s in no rush to prove itself. The way it builds from the instrumental through that last verse to the outro is quite something.  Great instrumentation and tasteful playing by all, and is this the best Phoebe Bridgers vocal performance on tape? Her singing is delicate and expressive, but strong in that crescendo when it needs to be and a perfect foil to Berninger’s steadfast baritone.  Fun video too – with a cameo by Zach Galifianakis whose “Between Two Ferns” film this song was apparently made for. I wonder if this song is representative of the forthcoming Booker T-produced Berninger solo record? Here’s hoping." Clint Meech - Wellington 

Eros - Nicholas Britell 

"The score to the Barry Jenkins film If Beale Street Could Talk is as beautiful and slow and suspenseful, romantic and melancholy as the movie. I’m a writer, so I make soundtracks of instrumental music to write to, and this has been top of my focus playlist." Gem Wilder - Wellington

Mark Ronson and King Princess - Pieces of Us

"I absolutely adore this song. I've been a fan of King Princess since she released the song 1950 early last year. All her releases since have veered wildly between radio friendly pop rock and wildly profane gay anthems.

This was her first collaboration with Mark Ronson who I'd never put much stock in. I always viewed him as the guy who took too much credit on 'Uptown Funk'. But between this, their recent cover of 'Happy Together' and his whole album Late Night Feelings (which he dubbed 'an album of sad bangers') its been an big pivot.

There's something so magical about this song. So much to enjoy. The lyrics are a triumphant catharsis defining the demise of a recent relationship. The slap and pop of the bass in the background give it a funky edge we don't really hear anymore. It's a great track and definitely going to arrive in at number one of my Spotify Top 100 come December. Timothy Keats - Wellington 

Mike Dunn, Natural High 

This is my track of the year by far. Coming from Chicago a house legend it so now and is so so groovy; it carries an important message to a place that is often filled with messy chemical highs. While it was officially released at the beginning of the month, it has been in many of the mix sets that I stream; but never in full. With a radio friendly version and a club mix, I am not disappointed with either. It’s a stripped back disco house gem that will be on high rotation on my playlist this summer. Simon Hart - Dunedin

Listen to all our listener song crushes, as well as the team's latest discoveries here: