Whether you’re a fan of raucous punk or cutting-edge hip-hop, the best albums from female artists in 2019 have offered us diverse examples of artistry. We got some great releases from newcomers who landed on the music scene with dope debuts, indie and pop darlings who impressed us with their soul, and icons we haven’t heard from in a while. Here’s an unranked rundown of the year’s most noteworthy releases so far.
Ariana Grande, Thank U, Next
Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next is a 12-track sass-fest that takes trauma and tragedy and turns it into pure pop magic. The beats are a mix of reggae, rock, airy ballads and spacious R&B/trap hybrids. Her personal pop mantra thank u, next gives us the pop rush we need while 7 rings gives us a contemporary R&B twist to Rodgers and Hammerstein. What has helped cement Thank U, Next in pop history is that Grande dropped this album six months after releasing her 2018 album Sweetener. It doesn’t hurt that thank u, next has broken tons of records including the largest streaming week ever for any album by a woman, along with having the biggest debut of the year.
Lizzo, Cuz I Love You
Lizzo is a proud plus-sized soul singer with powerhouse pipes who gave us an unapologetic, utterly irresistible and flawless debut album. Specifically, she bestowed upon us 33 minutes of sentimental soul ballads and hip-hop self-love anthems. From the bouncy funk-pop of Juice to the Missy-Elliott assisted Tempo to the gospel trap of Heaven Help Me to the gritty old-school soul of Jerome, Lizzo is unstoppable.
G-Flip, About Us
Melbourne artist G-Flip’s debut album About Us is a warm yet heartbreaking collection of tracks that solidifies her place in Australian music. Since uploading her debut track About You back in 2018, it’s hard to ignore this multi-instrumentalist and self-taught producer. G-Flip’s mix of tender melodies and multi-confessional lyrics have struck a chord with music listeners. G Flip’s triumphant debut presents tracks like the love-lorn lament Morning, to the infectious upbeat single Drink Too Much to the tear-inducing Bring Me Home to I Am Not Afraid to counteract the last track!
Sharon Van Etten, Remember Me Tomorrow
It’s been five years since Sharon Van Etten dropped her 2014 album Are We There and we have been practically starving to get new music from her. Now in 2019, Van Etten released her shape-shifting record Remind Me Tomorrow, which pushes the bends from her humble hushed, disgruntled folk-rock roots by entering the pop realm. She sheds her folk skin in favour of the triumphantly nostalgic Seventeen and synth track Comeback Kid. Remind Me Tomorrow shows us that change is good and there’s no reason to be afraid.
Lana Del Rey, Norman F***ing Rockwell
Lana Del Rey could have the most dedicated fanbase of any music artist, and she is yet to disappoint her loyal followers with this majestic pop collection Norman F****** Rockwell. Del Rey turns this album into a tour of sordid dreams and goes undercover into America’s twisted fantasies of glamour and danger. Her piano ballad the greatest is considered one of the best songs she’s written. It’s an anthem for the seemingly inevitable apocalypse, referring to the Trump’s presidency. Her album consists of swooning melodies in Mariner’s Apartment Complex and F*** It, I Love You as well as the gorgeous end-of-summer mood of Venice B****. It isn’t surprising that Del Rey is full of surprises.
Check out the playlist below for these artists as well as other standout albums from female artists this year.