Welcome one and all to the Ryan Music Awards for 2019, as well as the showcasing of my playlist for 2019! If you haven’t been following my Twitter, I’ve been posting my top 5 listens every week for the first half of the year. After that I just posted something every month because life got in the way. Having the list really helped me pick the songs I was obsessed with earlier on in the year, because if I’m honest, I forgot which songs I liked…
Many of the tracks on this list are songs that I discovered this year and surprisingly, none are repeat offenders from last year’s list, even though some of the honourable mentions are. I honestly can’t believe how quickly this year has passed, it’s been fucking crazy. I won’t go into too many details, but just know that I’m walking into 2020 a homeless man.
Just like last year, I’ve got some paragraphs about each of the songs, you can read them if you want but a lot of this is just for me to track my personal growth in the years to come.
Quick shout-out to my good friend Verónica for sending me about 30%
the songs on this list, our future fans thank you for your service… (Here’s that extended playlist I’ll hint at later)
The Grey – Arrows In Action
Opening this year’s playlist is my favourite discovery from this year, Arrows In Action. They made it to number 5 on my most-played Artists list, despite only having 10 tracks to their name. For me, The Grey is a personal anthem that describes the way I feel and the emotional space I often find myself in.
Awful Ever After – Hot Milk
Second on the playlist is the debut single from UK band Hot Milk. They’re a new band this year and I thought it was appropriate to open the playlist with another track from an emerging band like them. This track is incredible and I fell in love with it the minute I heard it. There’s not much more for me to say about it, I’ll let the song speak for itself.
Playing Catch With .22 – I The Mighty
There’s a story behind the lyrics of this song that screams at the Ryan from four years ago, but I’ll save that for another time. This was the first song that got me into I The Mighty, I’d heard a couple of songs beforehand, but it wasn’t until “Playing Catch With .22” that I really started liking this band.
I Can’t Feel – Yours Truly
Yours Truly are a band that I’ve had an eye on since they released “High Hopes” in January of last year. Since then, they’ve released their second EP Afterglow, which is definitely worth a listen. “I Can’t Feel” is debatably the best song on the EP and definitely the one I play the most. It’s a song about invisible, unexplainable pain and I can really relate to that.
Back To Back – Waxflower
If you ask me how I managed to stumble across Brisbane band Waxflower, I honestly can’t tell you. However, I can tell you that I saw them play “Back to Back” on their acoustic run in Australia with Between You & Me. This song managed to make it into my top 10 songs for the year and it’s not surprising why. With relatable lyrics and some pretty catchy guitar parts, this track is a must-listen.
Lost Cause – SECRETS
This paragraph was the first thing I wrote on this post. Aside from being an absolute bop, it’s also a lyrical work of genius that I relate to more than I feel comfortable talking about. There’s so many lines that I want to rave about, but there’s one that stands out that little bit further, “I wasn’t meant for making it, but I’m not the type to call it quits”. I might get a tattoo relating to that somehow…but I’m not sure yet.
Icarus – With Confidence
I saw With Confidence twice on both of their headline tours across Australia and they were absolutely as good as I expected them to be. Icarus is the song of theirs that stuck in my head the most this year, even though there were so many of their tracks that I was jamming to. As an added bonus, it slays when they play it live.
Forfeit – Arrows In Action
This is actually the only band on the list that I discovered from Spotify. These days I only discover new music when it’s sent to me, or just from hearing it at out and about and pulling out Shazam. “Forfeit” was the first song I heard from Arrows in Action and it’s safe to say that I fell in love with this song and their sound immediately. Relating to every word only solidified my addiction to this song, I still have it stuck in my head.
Poppin’ Champagne – All Time Low
All Time Low are the reason I got into alternative/pop-punk/rock music in the first place and despite having a quiet year, I still managed to make them my most-played artist on Spotify. While this track wasn’t my most played from them, it was definitely one of them. So Wrong, It’s Right got me through the end of last year and it’s been one of the few albums I’ve played consistently throughout this year.
Out of Sight – Locket
Introducing Locket, another new discovery from this year. This song screams at me. Lyrically I relate more than I care to admit and every second is just as catchy as the next. Let me introduce Locket, another new discovery. I decided to feature their debut single “Out of Sight” first because it really is the perfect introduction to this band. The whole album is amazing to listen to but I only had space for two tracks. I highly recommend listening to All Out if you get the chance!
Medicine – Tiny Moving Parts
I really have been meaning to check out the rest of this band’s discography, but for now let me show you the one song I do know. Medicine is an absolute bop with it’s catchy lyrics and incredible riffs. I’m not normally a fan of more technical riffs, but I have to appreciate when something sounds good. I’ll let you guys know if I start liking other songs from this band.
For What It’s Worth – Northshore
The third song on this list is yet another new discovery for this year. Sorry, this isn’t the third song on the list, but I think that shows how shit my brain is right now. Apologies in advance for the chaos that will carry on through the rest of this list. So yeah I discovered this song at the start of the year and it’s amazing love the guitar so much. Go stream it on Spotify or Apple Music!!! :)))
West Coast Daze – Space Weather
Space Weather’s “West Coast Daze” is undeniably a masterpiece that blends stunning guitar parts with amazing vocals to produce a unique sound that pays homage to bands like Dance Gavin Dance and I The Mighty. That’s how I’d advertise this track if I had to. I don’t, because once you listen to it you won’t be able to stop listening.
Throw Me To The Wolves – Elder Brother
I lied. There was a second band that I discovered through Spotify, although it was less of a discovery and more of a stumble. Elder Brother sound like an indie band, but carry all the elements for a rock outfit. Maybe that’s why I like them so much, but either way, this song is easily one of my most played for the year, probably because I really do wonder whether I’m the only one thinking of…
Just Right – Grayscale
Do you ever listen to a song and fall in love instantly? That was me and “Just Right”. I really haven’t felt very alive all year, even if I have felt more like myself than ever before. That may be an oxymoron, but it’s really had me wishing for those times from the past where I really did feel alive, a nostalgia that this track somehow manages to capture perfectly.
We Need To Talk – Waterparks
For the longest time I couldn’t get around Waterparks. It was such a tragedy but maybe I really didn’t like Awsten Knight’s voice. When I finally found appreciation for them I spent a week being obsessed with their 2018 album, Entertainment. There’s something about this song that hits me in all the right spots. Every time I listen to it I get transported to a place I don’t necessarily want to be, but I guess that’s the power of music.
Nowadays – Valleyheart
“Nowadays” is the perfect song to describe my day-to-day angst. There are days when life just sucks and it’s on those days that I scream every lyric while idiotically dancing around my room. This song sits similarly to Castlefield’s “Escape”, even though lyrically, they’re on completely different playing fields; they give off a similar melancholy that I can’t explain as anything other than turquoise.
Talking To Myself – Gatlin
When I first heard this song, I’d already listened to Gatlin’s song “Maniac”. Choosing between the two was almost impossible, but I settled with “Talking To Myself” because lyrically, I relate a little more. This year has been rough and I literally have felt like I’ve been talking to myself more than ever before. It’s this weird sensation when I notice it, because some days it feels like I’m my own best friend. That can be really jarring.
Places – OWEL
This song is so beautifully crafted that I don’t think I can provide words that are eloquent enough to match this song’s elegance. “Places” is a track that really does fill a musical void that you’re completely unaware of until you hear it. OWEL are such a talented group, I really love most of what they do.
21 Questions – Waterparks
I’d be lying if I said that this song isn’t my favourite Waterparks song. Even though I haven’t exactly been interested in a girl already in a relationship, there’s something about this song that makes me feel as if I have. Perhaps it’s the raw nature of the song, but regardless, this song is the perfect sad song for every emo’s needs.
Daylily – Movements
Daylily was one of my early year finds and unsurprisingly, it’s still floating around my various playlists. *cough cough* Yangst cover, *cough cough*. I was actually lucky enough to see Yours Truly do an acoustic cover of this song on their Afterglow tour in Australia. This song is truly a beautiful masterpiece and I really do hope that you all have a pink cloud summer.
“better” – Jetty Bones
This was one of those accidental finds that hits you when you least expect it. Originally my friend Verónica sent me the music video for “the part:” because it had lesbians and hence my discovery of Jetty Bones. I’m running out of ways to say “this is my favourite song by this artist”, so that’s how I’m saying it. This is my favourite song by Jetty Bones.
Degenerates – I The Mighty
When I first listened to “Degenerates”, I really loved the up and down flow of the track. It still gets to me. There’s honestly something so amazing about a song that can fluidly build and ebb so effectively. This song is definitely a must listen and is another of my favourites from the band and my top pick from their latest album.
The Stages of Grief – Awaken I Am
Awaken I Am wrote and released an EP this year called The Beauty In Tragedy. They did all this after their guitarist died in a car accident the year before. Somehow they managed to move forward and write something so amazing. I got the chance to see the whole EP live when they toured with I The Mighty and let me tell you, it’s their best work so far.
Bulls In The Bronx – Pierce The Veil
Bulls. In. The. Bronx. This song is such a bop and I decided to put this classic on the playlist because of my reoccurring obsession with it. Pierce The Veil are an amazing band that are super unique and this is definitely one of their best songs. I thought about trying to learn the guitar on it because it’s so cool, but I really am a lazy bitch.
Strangers – Secrets
Coming in at number six on my most played songs according to Spotify, the second Secrets song on this list had to be “Strangers”. Honestly, I was a little surprised that this song took the spot that it did, but it definitely deserves it. “Strangers” tells of a relationship destined for death and the struggle to hold on to it despite knowing how toxic it is. I think that’s all too relatable.
A Love Like War – All Time Low
Don’t ask why, because I don’t know; but earlier this year, I was OBSESSED with this song. The guitar on this track is just the right amount of catchy for me to look up the tab and try to play it. Long story short I never got very far, mainly because the tab was inaccurate, but it was a good enough excuse to put more All Time Low on the playlist.
Close Enough – Arrows In Action
Okay you might be asking, “Ryan, why are there four Arrows In Action songs on this list?” Well thank you for asking, but I think it’s pretty self explanatory. These boys are super talented and very underrated, so I decided that I wanted to give them as much exposure as I could. Give this track a listen, it’s an absolute bop and is also their first produced by All Time Low drummer Rian Dawson.
Stupid For You – Waterparks
Before I started liking Waterparks, I’d heard “Stupid For You”. Of course I had, I’ve known about Waterparks for at least two or three years by now. Maybe timing really is everything because I only fell in love with this track when I heard it again this year. I really have been in a similar position before, but not for a while. If my life controlled my music taste, then I guess I found this song before I needed it.
Slip The Noose – The Maine
This is another classic case of “I saw this song live and now I love it”. Honestly The Maine are incredible live, even though I don’t love their songs as much as some of the other bands I saw this year, their energy and stage presence beat every other band I saw this year. Accompanying the release of You Are OK, The Maine have been huge advocates for mental health, raising awareness with every show. It’s inspiring and provides another definite reason for their spot on this list.
One Little Lie – Simple Creatures
Simple Creatures are a “trash-pop” band formed from the genius talents of Alex Gaskarth and Mark Hoppus. Anything that either of these two have a hand in is automatically incredible and “One Little Lie” is no different. While I haven’t loved everything that the duo have put out, this track is one of the songs I haven’t been able to stop spinning since I first heard it.
Red – Pale Waves
I first discovered Pale Waves in January and gave them some inconsistent plays throughout the year, but recently gave them a more permanent spot in my ears. Their debut album My Mind Makes Noises is full of amazing tracks, but Red is the one I love the most as we speak. Other contenders are listed in the honourable mentions and are also included in the extended edition of the playlist.
Candy Coated Lie$ – Hot Milk
Time to feature the latest single from Hot Milk, “Candy Coated Lie$”. This song has it all, epic instrumentals, amazing vocals and catchy lyrics. Even better, it has a political vein, calling out the bullshit that we’re so often forced to swallow. Think of this track as a battlecry,
Adrenaline – Simple Creatures
This second Simple Creatures song is my other obsession from the group. There’s something about these two songs that I love and I can’t believe that I got to see them live when they toured for Good Things Festival.
I Felt Younger When We Met – Waterparks
“I said I’d love you to death so I must be dead”. That’s how this song starts, with those lyrics. The minute I heard them I was already in love. It’s rare that the final track of an album can carry so much weight without being acoustic. Personally, I think that this song is one of, if not the best song on Waterparks’ latest record. It perfectly captures that feeling of loss when a relationship that was supposed to last forever is gone.
Afterglow – Yours Truly
Here’s the Yours Truly feature Part 2. Afterglow is a great EP and Afterglow is a song that I magically fell in love with when, you guessed it, I heard it live. There’s something about hearing an amazing song live and recognising the greatness of it in that moment. Once I did, I started playing this track constantly, especially at work. I don’t know, it just really fits my work playlist.
Son of Robot – Dance Gavin Dance
I never write these in order, so you should know that this was the last song I wrote for. There’s no particular reason, especially since I really did spend a lot of time this year listening to Dance Gavin Dance. “Son of Robot” is one of my favourites and I believe it might be my played track from the band. I’m tired so this is me; see ya next year kids.
Dead! – My Chemical Romance
My Chemical Romance are back. That is all. That’s the tweet.
Want Me Around – Knuckle Puck
This song made the honourable mentions of my 2018 playlist and it somehow ended up making it onto my half-yearly list that I never bothered to tell anyone about. I’ve listened to this song a lot over the past few months and every so often, I have a reawakening where I fall in love with the lyrics and relate all over again. There’s something about a song like this that just draws me in and that’s why it deserves a spot on this list.
Proper Dose – The Story So Far
Apparently this song was my fifth most played song on my Spotify for the year. Ironically, I had just taken it off my regular playlist for a bit of time on the bench. To me, this song’s about addiction, regardless of the cause. I get that more than I’m willing to admit. Add the catchy guitars and I was hooked, no wonder I spun it so many times this year.
Hourglass – Set It Off
If you haven’t heard of Set It Off before, then this isn’t the track I’d recommend you start with. Pause the playlist and take a listen to “The Haunting” and then come back and listen to “Hourglass”. What just happened won’t make a lot of sense, so just understand that this track is still a banger and the best from Set It Off’s latest release. (“The Haunting” is just a flawless masterpiece)
Other People – Locket
Locket’s debut album was incredible and this track is no different. “Other People” really speaks to me on some weird level. Maybe it’s because I really am unrecognisable when compared to the me of the past, or maybe it’s because it’s just so musically perfect. It’s another one of those turquoise songs that just scream at my heart. Just listen to it.
Love Is Dead And We Killed Her – Doll Skin
If this isn’t some kind of female empowerment anthem, then maybe I really am that oblivious. Either way, I’m all for female empowerment, especially in music. This track isn’t just pretty (violent) words though, it’s full of catchy guitar parts that I wish I had the motivation or talent to be able to learn and play myself.
Wide Awake – Hot Milk
Wide Awake is my other favourite from Hot Milk’s debut EP. While I love the EP as a whole, this track as well as “Awful Ever After” are my favourites. I’m going to use this space to remind everyone how much I love the title: Are You Feeling Alive. This year I’ve grown so much and gotten to a place where I feel more like myself than ever before; but the price I paid was the feeling of life. That’s why I love the title so much.
Dinner Bell – With Confidence
There’s a story behind why this song made it to the playlist, but I don’t remember it. All I remember is waking up with this song stuck in my head and falling in love with it shortly after. Funnily enough it was about a month or so before my first time seeing With Confidence…and yes, it hits just as hard live.
Weightless – All Time Low
If you know what’s been going on in my life, you really know that it hasn’t been my week, or my month, or even really my year. That’s why I’m so excited for 2020. It’s going to be my fucking year no matter how much conjuring it takes. That’s why this song’s on the list, I’ve known it forever, but it’s suddenly clicked. And I love it.
Turn It Off – Paramore
“Turn It Off” is an amazing track from Paramore. It isn’t one of their famous ones, but I love it. Maybe it’s a favourite because of my ex-christian status, but maybe it’s just because I can really relate to it in general. Nobody really knows, but it just felt right to add to this playlist, so I did.
Bullfrog – Stand Atlantic
Some of you may know that I went to my first gig in February and saw Stand Atlantic. They were incredible and hearing this song live is what made me fall in love with it. Before the concert, I wasn’t such a big fan of it, but now, this song can get me dancing no matter what mood I’m in.
Pennsylvania – Elder Brother
Here is the second track from Elder Brother and the last track before the finale. This song flows perfectly into Throw Me To The Wolves and features an awesome guitar solo. These two tracks really show off what the band do best and I seriously cannot recommend them highly enough.
Three Night Stand – Arrows In Action
Finally, the final song on the list, my most played song for 2019, Three Night Stand by Arrows In Action! Out of everything on my Spotify Wrapped, this one was the most surprising. While I do love this song, it isn’t necessarily my favourite from the band. It probably only sneaked past because I rarely skip this song when it comes up. I’m always in the mood to listen to this iconic track and that’s why I decided to let it close off this year’s playlist!
Drive – With Confidence
M.J.F. – Arrows In Action
Home Isn’t Home Anymore – Space Weather
Floral and Fading – Pierce The Veil
Promise Me – Badflower
Lost My Cool – Stand Atlantic
Last Young Renegade – All Time Low
Together – Waxflower
Kimi Ni Furete – Riko Azuna
Maniac – Gatlin
the part: – Jetty Bones
Six Feet Under The Stars – All Time Low
Last Time – Secrets
That’s What You Get – Paramore
Thank You For The Venom – My Chemical Romance
All That Matters – Jeff Williams
Eighteen – Pale Waves
The Lying Eyes of Miss Erray – I The Mighty
No Parachutes – OWEL
Rise – Riko Azuna
The Fuss – Against The Current
Television Romance – Pale Waves
I’d Do Anything – Simple Plan