PLAYLISTS

This is the best of 2019—all fresh off the press in the previous year. Mainstream pop from America, Australia, Europe and the UK mingle with the best hip-hop, lo-fi, Afrobeats, alt pop and alt rock. It has a classic trail-mix style of genres, but you've also got some dried figs and bitter chocolate to remind you that there's more out there than the US Top 40. And no Taylor Swift. Never Taylor Swift.

Parlez-vous francais? Here are some songs by people that speak French, are French, or have some correlation to French stuff. The overall vibe is pretty relaxed, some mellow synths, with the brutal lyricism that makes you feel like you're standing outside a French nightclub with no one else around at three in the morning, looking at your reflection in a puddle that's full of little cigarette butt boats.

Sad today? Not quite. We're in that weird middle place between sadness and anger. Nothing's quite right but nothing's really wrong, right? Or wrong? Alt rock and poisonous alt pop might be a nice place to rest—think the four-hour bus from San Diego to LA, it's already late but you can't fall asleep because you'll miss your stop, eventually. The wifi is spotty so you can only listen to downloaded tracks. Throw this on loop to ride out the night.

What can you even say about indie music? If I had a boat, this is the kind of music I would play on it. Mellow guitar and romantic, '70s-inspired vocals, simple songs about loving people and songs about loving love. For now, play this at picnics in Griffith Park, eat brie with a plastic knife and think about sand and travel, cheap plane tickets and the summer sun in places far away from home.