2019 was a tremendous year for Christian music!!! Both my wife and I are huge music fans, and I thought it fitting to produce a playlist of our favorite songs of the year… songs that have been well-traveled on the Schwarzy radio waves! I have to say, this was challenging, exciting, and difficult – all at the same time! My initial hand-picked list had nearly double the number of tracks, and although I wanted to whittle it to 20 songs… I just couldn’t do justice to the amazing artists by eliminating that many! I always try to form my playlists so they flow from one song to the next… so while I tried to “countdown” to our favorites at the end, there are some liberties based on making the playlist AWESOME!!! With that in mind… here is our countdown playlist of our 30 favorite songs of 2019.
#30 “B4ssline” – Press Play
Press Play has been on a roll as of late with some amazing tracks! This is one that could easily have been higher on the list, but I really wanted to start the mix off with a bang!
#29 “Try” – Smalltown Poets
Wow! I was honestly surprised to discover that Smalltown Poets is still rolling out music. “If You’ll Let Me Love You” was one of my all-time faves from the 90’s, but that was over 20 years ago now! Glad to see you guys keeping at it!
#28 “Wolves” – The Persuaded
The Persuaded has been around for a while, but 2019’s Dawn of Destruction album has to be their breakthrough. This song rocks!
#27 “Enough” – Social Club Misfits (featuring Austin French)
Social Club always impresses me with their diversity in incorporating various styles into their music. Adding the contemporary style vocals of Austin French to their repertoire was pure genius… this track is really good!
#26 “Mayhem!” – Soul Player & CALAZAES
Anyone up for some awesome house/techno music? This is the perfect title for this song and a great addition to this mix! Keep at it – your music is well-loved!
#25 “Dead Man Walking” – Jeremy Camp
It’s been nearly 20 years since I saw Jeremy Camp at the Bay Area radio station I worked for in college. My favorite was his acoustic performance at a quaint San Francisco restaurant we had select artists perform at – just him and his guitar… he even sang via request a 2nd offering of “Understand.” That was a long time ago, but he is still the same talented up and coming musician I remember!
#24 “This Year for Christmas” – Phil Wickham
I typically try to keep Christmas songs separate from playlists like this (in fact, I removed all but this one), but my wife insisted this was less of a “Christmas” song and more of “1st love song to his wife” which made her all googly-eyed! It is a fantastic track and well worth the listen 🙂
#23 “Forever Young” – LZ7
LZ7 is a favorite in my household, and this catchy tune is a fun listen! It has stayed in my playlist for several months, and now, in our 1st cold Wisconsin winter, it is a nice reminder that summer will return! On a side note… how did I miss until just recently that Linz has ties to World Wide Message Tribe?
#22 “Mary Kate” – Jacob Stanifer
I have to be honest… I miss the electronic influences in songs like “Breaking Away” and “Freefall.” With that said, this is a really good song. I consider it my current guilty pleasure! The theme of it reminds me of a lot of the old song “Fishy” by Philmore, (which – free tidbit – is where my wife got her name fishy mom!). With that said, “Mary Kate” is fun in its youthful romantic sort of way!
#21 “Are You Listening” – Wake Me
This Denver based group hit the nail with this song! Caution: this song can be very addictive!!!
#20 “The Broken One” – We Are Vessel
For months now, this song has been in my recurring playlist which I regularly update by adding/removing songs to keep my music “fresh.” I can never bring myself to remove this song, it is just too good.
#19 “Run with the Giants” – Sam Tinnesz & Built By Titan
We are huge Built By Titan fans in our household and it seems that nearly every song is a gem! This is our favorite from 2019.
#18 “Raise a Hallelujah” – Jonathan David Helser & Melissa Helser
When I was comprising this playlist, I asked my wife if there were any songs I was unaware of and needed to consider. “Raise a Hallelujah” was at the top of her list! She was right on with this one! This is a great worship tune.
#17 “Made to Be” – Jesus Loves Electro feat. Eric Tryland
This song just makes me happy 🙂 Jesus Loves Electro struck gold with this song!
#16 “Momentum” – Formula
I was just starting to wonder if Har Megiddo would return with new music (definitely check out his past offerings!) when my wife informed me that his new group Formula released their 1905 EP in November. I’m sure that others play similar music to this, but I’ve never heard it… to me, this is unique and really, really good!
#15 “Keep It Coming” – King Arthur & Kevin Aleksander
First off, this playlist is starting to get REALLY good! I started getting into Kevin Aleksander via Phocust (thank you Tyler!) and his stuff is cool! This is the song that definitely belongs higher on this playlist, but it just flowed better on the playlist here. Wow… this song is awesome!
#14 “Completely” – Ledger
Skillet has been my favorite band since 1998 (although Phocust is catching up fast!) and 2018 introduced both John Cooper’s side project – Fight the Fury and Jen Ledger’s solo beginnings. Both hold their own extremely well! When Jen first joined Skillet, I described her voice as “hauntingly intoxicating.” In her latest single “Completely”, she offers more of a “melodically intoxicating” sound!
#13 “This Is Not the End” – Manafest
Personally, I have always enjoyed rap music the most when it is mixed with another genre – call it a hybrid or accent with another style of music. It doesn’t matter if it’s electronic, pop, rock, etc… With Manafest, I feel that his best offerings come when he mixes rock and rap. I was really excited to hear this release that brought Manafest back to his earlier sound! So good 🙂
#12 “Greatness of Our God” – Newsboys
This is a little bit of a “safe pick” for my playlist, but it has been a long time since I’ve heard Peter Furler. This is a great worship song and is worth checking out!
#11 “Get Loose” – Kevin Aleksander & Phocust
Are you ready for it? This song is… awesome!!! Wait, how did this song not crack the top 10? Sorry guys 🙄.
#10 “Play to Win” – Disciple
Talk about consistency! Disciple is a long-time favorite of mine and they continue to put out quality tunes. I debated which song from their latest album to include, and finally settled on “Play to Win.” Honestly, I could have tossed a dice to determine which of a half dozen songs to choose – that’s the nature of a great band!
#9 “Legendary” – Skillet
Once again Skillet impresses with their anthemic rock sound! “Legendary” is only the latest in a LONG line of chart-toppers… congrats Skillet!
#8 “God Only Knows (Timbaland Remix)” – for King & Country & Echosmith
This is another of my wife’s picks, and wow… this is really good! I grew up enjoying Rebecca St. James – well… big sister has got to be proud 🙂
#7 “We Are the Stars” – Gandhi’s Gun
Unfortunately, in whittling down to 30 songs, several hard rock songs had to be cut off the list. But NOT this one! Gandhi’s Gun is dishing out some serious quality here!!!
#6 “Blaster 11” – Levi Whalen
Levi only gave us 1 new song last year… but boy is it GOOD!!! Congrats on an amazing track Levi!
#5 “Wonderful” – Sean Be
Oh my goodness! This song was released on November 1st and instantly took my breath away! For a short, 2 minute song, it packs a punch! In that regard, it reminds me a lot of PFR’s “Great Lengths.” I often put this song on repeat and listen to it 2 or 3 times in a row!
#4 “Not Dead Yet” – Righteous Vendetta
This song ROCKS! The line “It’s a metaphor, come on!” is THE BEST line in any song I’ve heard in a long, long time! This song offers everything you would want – intensity, pace, driving drums, screaming vocals, great lyrics, singability, awesome guitars… etc, etc, etc… awesome track!
#3 “Eyez on the Prize” – Aaron Sprinkle
Anyone that’s been following me or my wife’s music posts over the past months will know that I have a sort of “man-crush” on Aaron Sprinkle’s music (maybe it’s the name???). His album Water & Guns is quite possibly the best album PERIOD of the last decade! “Eyez on the Prize” is off his latest instrumental offering and is spectacular! It offers a little 80’s, a little electronic, and a whole lot of AWESOME!
#2 “King of Creation” – Oh Snap It’s Luke!
For those of you that don’t know… this song is unlike ANY other than Lucas has put out thus far. OSIL! offers a straight-up, fun-loving, care-free, electronic-driven pop style of music. Thus, this pure and simple, worship oriented, non-electronic song is unique and amazing! Thank you, Lucas, for this gem!
and the #1 song is…
#1 “Lightspeed” – T-Eleven & Phocust
This playlist could have so easily been “The Phocust show!” But, to try and divvy out the love, I chose only a couple of the Phocust collab songs. Tyler – please know that you are officially in the – “I don’t care if I haven’t heard the new song yet… it’s a hit!” club 🙂
And that concludes our 2019 playlist! Thank you to all the artists for bringing us such tremendous music! I already have a few songs to consider for 2020 and look forward to a new and exciting year of great tunes!