Editor's Note: NewsTribune Lifestyle Editor Chris Yucus is compiling a list of his favorite songs of 2019, and will update with new entries as the year progresses.
"Sisyphus" by Andrew Bird
Bird deftly wields the ancient Greek legend of Sisyphus, using mythology as metaphor here with his witty and well-crafted lyrics. Along with the literary lyricism, the singer-songwriter's beautiful whistle is also given a chance to sign in this track, of off his strong new album "My Finest Work Yet." (5-17-19)
"Chaotic Good" by Simen Mitlid
This light, bouncy tune reminds me of a split between some old-school Simon and Garfunkel-type folk and The Shins. That's a winning formula for Mitlid, a folk singer-songwriter hailing from Norway. The track is a single in advance of his upcoming second album, the follow-up his 2017 debut full length, "Everything Is the Same." (4-25-19)
"Dead of Night" by Orville Peck
From the album "Pony" (Subpop)
Peck, a mysterious leather-masked Canadian alt-country crooner, has a beautiful baritone voice that's on full display in this track off his debut album "Pony." The haunting steel guitar lends an ambience that would be right in place in the soundtrack of a dreamy western directed by David Lynch (who Peck has cited as an artistic influence.) (4-5-19)
"Jesus and Elvis" by Hayes Carll
From the album "What it is" (Dualtone)
Singer-songwriter Hayes Carll, a true Texas troubadour, tries his hand at a tune he originally helped write for Kenny Chesney. Carll's take on the song plays like a classic John Prine track with a little extra splash of old-school country.
Carll's newest album "What It is" is a great listen, full of outlaw country vibes and witty lyrics, definitely worth a listen. (3-15-19)
"Chip On My Shoulder" by Rat Boy
From the album "Internationally Unknown"(Hellcat Records)
This song's a high-energy fusion of punk and rap from 23-year old British singer-songwriter Jordan Cardy, off his new album "Internationally Unknown." The track definitely gets the blood flowing with an aggressive guitar riff and catchy vocal hook. Who says punk is dead? (2-21-19)
"Gallipoli" by Beirut
From the album "Gallipoli" (4AD)
Beirut's new album "Gallipoli" debuts Friday, Feb. 1, but I couldn't wait until then to share the title track. It's such a warm-sounding song, with beautiful trumpets signaling a far-off land not covered in snow, a great escape from our currently brutal Northern Illinois winter.
Like what you hear? Check out "Nantes" off of Beirut's 2007's classic album "The Flying Club Cup." (1-29-19)