Now that we’ve made it into the Top 50, I suppose The Ghost should add a little commentary for each track. Fine, I can do that, especially since I only have to do that for ten songs. Yes, it’s an unusually short playlist today. That’s because I’ve saved the remaining Top 40 for Sunday afternoon. Beginning at 3 PM CST on Deep Ellum Radio, you can hear me counting down my top hits from #40 all the way to numero uno. But let me not get ahead of myself just yet. Let’s reveal #50 through #41 right now.
- Mountain Natives, “Two Side of the Same Coin”
This was quite the busy year for Mountain Natives, seeing the release of both a full length album (Essential) and an EP (We Call Each Other Home). Plenty of great songs to choose from, but there’s something about “Two Sides of the Same Coin” that just clicked the strongest out of all the tunes.
- Alex, “T.G.F.Y.”
So, who else’s Facebook feed is flooded with ads for musicians? Many of the advertisements are wastes of time. but every now and then, you’ll discover an act that makes you (almost) want to thank Zuckerburg and his algorithms. Such is the case with young Dallasite Alex, who managed a strong quartet of catchy pop tunes this year. But the strongest of those was this track here, which was fittingly enough the song that got me hooked on her music.
- Ron Bultongez, “Learning to Love”
Mr. Bultongez went from “Darling of the Ghostys” in 2017 to national fame in 2018 as he took to the American Idol stage. After his stint on the TV show, he released the Learning to Love EP, filled with his strongest lyrics to date, which are well demonstrated on the EP’s title track.
- Nobody’s Girl, “What’ll I Do”
This Austin singer-songwriter supergroup demonstrated that storytelling and pop hooks need not be separate things in this tale of a girl who falls for Mr. Wrong.
- Ducado Vega and Zenya Vi, “Somethin’ Kinda Beautiful”
When it comes to Ducado Vega, he is an over-the-top, unpredictable character. And yes, one can “expect the unexpected” from Mr. Vega. And yet of all the unpredictable, unexpected, unforeseen things he could have done, “Somethin’ Kinda Beautiful” is the most shocking. It’s not because it’s the most over-the-top song, but that it’s the most restrained, simple, and beautiful track he’s done to date. Somethin’ Kinda Beautiful indeed.
- Taylor Young, “Shine on Me”
Both John Pedigo and Taylor Young found time to take a break from The O’s and release material of their own. While Pedigo’s Magic Pilsner released a strong self titled debut, it’s this solo track of Mr. Young’s that found its way into the Top 50.
- Medicine Man Revival, “Voodoo Queen”
Sultry and rocking, this jam from MMR has been the duo’s strongest tune to date.
- BBQT, “Golden Twenty”
The songs off of BBQT’s Let’s Go are short, sweet, straight to the point rockers that don’t fail to satisfy. Any of the tracks could have made the cut on the countdown, but “Golden Twenty” had a little something extra special to it. Is it the cool drum opening, the “all right” scream at the beginning of the tune? Who knows, but it all comes together smashingly.
- Reagan James, “Roomate”
Ms. James released her most ambitious release yet with the Assume the Moon Do EP. There’s a certain dreaminess and indie pop sensibility that has been melded with her R&B/pop stylings that she’s demonstrated the past few years. The one track I keep coming back to is “Roomate”, which melodically feels like a slow-down, spaced out version of Ghost Town DJ’s “My Boo”. And if you don’t see how that’s a good thing, I don’t know if we can be friends.
- Kaela Sinclair, “I Cry Too”
Ms. Sinclair, who topped last year’s countdown with the achingly beautiful “Clear Eyes”, has created another gorgeous tune with “I Cry Too.”