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12 Best Love Songs of 2019
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is best set to music—preferably in the summer with the windows rolled down. In the long list of topics covered by musicians, it’s hard to think of one more universal than love, and 2019 has already delivered a reliable list of tracks to fall back on, no matter the circumstance.
Below are a dozen of this year’s finest love tracks—ones that depict something special, no matter if it’s about the beginning, ending, or middle of a relationship. Maren Morris slides in with some relationship philosophy, while FKA twigs sheds light on a relationship’s final stages. Lizzo, per usual, slays the house down with the vocal punch that is “Cuz I Love You,” and for those teens in the room just looking for a romantic ear worm to blast at the pool, Shawn Mendes might have a bop in there as well. What we’re trying to get at is that in the throes of 2019, the music industry has the singles that you need to soundtrack your love life.
“Just You and I” – Tom Walker
Sometimes you just go through interim periods where circumstances in life suck, but “Just You and I” talks about how even the bad times are surmountable if you have someone you love by your side. Plus, it’s set to a good beat, which is a refreshing change when it comes to a song about overcoming obstacles.
“The Bones” – Maren Morris
Maren Morris’ sophomore album is packed full of powerful hits, but the stripped down nature of “The Bones” may be her best on the album. Go ahead and just use “The Bones” as the blueprint for your next (or current!) relationship. As Morris croons, “The house don’t fall when the bones are good.”
“Cuz I Love You” – Lizzo
Damn, girl. Talk about opening up an album with a one-two punch. Taking on that overwhelming feeling that comes when you jump into a new relationship, Lizzo rips open her debut LP with a powerful shout.
“Mine Right Now” – Sigrid
Sigrid’s “Mine Right Now” is one of those unconventional love songs that stays firmly in the present. Singing over a drum-heavy, playful beat, the Norwegian artist sings about the idea of living in the now, even if the long term spells disaster.
“Heaven” – Khalid
Khalid could sing an instruction manual and it would still sound more romantic than most love songs. The young artist brings “Heaven” to life, depicting the potential end of a relationship that’s being staved off by the desire to reconcile physically.
“Young and in Love” – Ingrid Michaelson
In her Stranger Things inspired album, Michaelson marries her indie roots with her more recent pop fusion, producing an ’80s-infused album that pairs perfectly with the Netflix hit show. But inside, you don’t need a deep knowledge of Stranger Things to appreciate the simplicity of “Young and in Love.”
“Married in a Gold Rush” – Vampire Weekend
I want to live inside the beat of “Married in a Gold Rush.” The duet doesn’t ask too much from its singers—it simply tells an adorable story of a couple in love. Bonus points for enlisting Danielle Haim’s vocals for this simplistically sweet single.
“Smoke.Netflix.Chill.” – Tank and the Bangas
Part hip-hop, part-funk, “Smoke.Netflix.Chill.” is a different take on a love song. The track tells a romance story nonetheless though. For anyone who’s ever struggled communicating exactly what’s on their mind, this song is for you. Bonus: it’s the most fun take you’ll find on romantic anxiety out there.
“Put the Hurt on Me” – Midland
The mix of country music and love songs typically spells out heartbreak, but “Put the Hurt on Me” is the perfect encapsulation of fully turning yourself over to the concept of love. Midland doesn’t shy away from doubling down because if you’re going to open yourself up to hurt, it should be with someone you’re all in for.
“Cellophane” – FKA twigs
“Cellophane” is a heartbreaker. That’s the thing about love: sometimes it comes with a bit of desperate sadness. Chronicling the difficult ending of a relationship, sometimes you’re left with more questions than answers. That’s what FKA twigs takes on, with the vain hope that maybe love can still be salvaged.
“If I Can’t Have You” – Shawn Mendes
Listen. Oftentimes, we scan our playlists looking for the edgiest artist when a perfectly commercial pop song will do. Cue: Shawn Mendes. The 20-something singer comes along with this absolute ear worm that is perfect for whatever party or get together you’re having. You want love in the air? Turn this up.
“Burning” – Maggie Rogers
More Maggie Rogers, always. There’s nothing too deep here—just a song about being in love and opening up to the idea. Rogers’ 2019 single is about the pure heat of being in love—the best kind of love song out there.
Justin Kirkland is a writer for Esquire, where he focuses on entertainment.