Stream The Best New Artists Of 2019 (So Far): Lil Nas X, Maggie Rogers, Billie Eilish, More : All Songs Considered On this week's All Songs Considered we share NPR Music listeners' picks for the top new artists from the first half of the year.
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Poll Results: Your Favorite New Artists Of 2019 (So Far)

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Poll Results: Your Favorite New Artists Of 2019 (So Far)

Poll Results: Your Favorite New Artists Of 2019 (So Far)

Poll Results: Your Favorite New Artists Of 2019 (So Far)

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/733434031/733576503" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Clockwise from upper left: Billie Eilish, Maggie Rogers, Nilüfer Yanya, Better Oblivion Community Center, Lil Nas X Courtesy of the artists hide caption

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Courtesy of the artists

Your picks for the best new artists of 2019 (so far) include a lot of bands and musicians we've been following for a while – Maggie Rogers, Stella Donnelly, Nilüfer Yanya and Jade Bird have all been releasing music for several years – but they didn't drop an official full-length debut until this year.

The first half of 2019 has given us a lot of emerging artists to celebrate, from Lil Nas X and his insanely catchy (and endlessly meme-able) "Old Town Road" remix featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, to the Irish punk group Fontaines D.C. You'll find the top-ten most-mentioned new artists from our online poll below, along with a couple of our own favorites.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, Billie Eilish was by far (like, more votes than all of the others in the top ten combined) the number one most-mentioned artist.

The Results

Cover for When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

1. Billie Eilish

  • Song: bad guy

Our listeners' number-one pick for their favorite new artist so far this year is, at just 17-years old, a master of spooky, monsters-under-the-bed bedroom pop. The slithering track "Bad Guy" is a bona-fide boogieman banger.

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Cover for Heard It in a Past Life

2. Maggie Rogers

  • Song: Light On

Lighting up our poll's runner-up spot is Maryland's own Maggie Rogers. We've been following her since 2016, when her song "Alaska" caught the attention of Pharrell Williams. But she didn't release her debut full-length, Heard It in a Past Life, until this past January.

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Song
Heard It in a Past Life
Album
Heard It in a Past Life
Artist
Maggie Rogers
Label
Polydor
Released
2019

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Cover for Miss Universe

3. Nilüfer Yanya

  • Song: In Your Head

Nilüfer Yanya's music is as cosmopolitan as her life story. Raised by Turkish and Barbadian parents in London, she carbonates her Britrock sound with influences ranging from jazz to trip hop. Listen for the '80s electro-pop flourishes and rich vocals on "In Your Head," from her debut album Miss Universe.

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Song
Miss Universe
Album
Miss Universe
Artist
Nilüfer Yanya
Label
ATO
Released
2019

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Cover for Better Oblivion Community Center

4. Better Oblivion Community Center

  • Song: Exception to the Rule

Better Oblivion Community Center gave an outstanding performance at the Tiny Desk earlier this year. In "Exception to the Rule," from their self-titled debut LP, Conor Oberst's and Phoebe Bridgers' smooth, perfectly matched vocals layer over angular synths, making for a memorable, melodically-driven cut.

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Cover for Jade Bird

5. Jade Bird

  • Song: Lottery

Anchoring our listeners' top five picks is singer-songwriter Jade Bird. Though she may hail from across the pond, her self-titled debut album has a distinctly fun-loving American feel to it. The track "Lottery" is a winner in particular, showcasing her powerful yet sensitive vocals and adept songwriting.

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Cover for Old Town Road (Remix)

6. Lil Nas X

  • Song: Old Town Road (Remix)

Call it beating a dead horse, but this list would be incomplete without a mention of Lil Nas X. The former SoundCloud rapper's countrified trap track "Old Town Road" catapulted him from obscurity into stardom when it went viral as a meme. He's since signed to Columbia records and collaborated with country legend Billy Ray Cyrus on a remix of "Old Town Road" and landed at number six on our listeners' top ten favorite new artists.

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Cover for Sasami

7. Sasami

  • Song: Morning Comes

Sasami's self-titled debut album finds the singer struggling to understand loss and heartache, only to find it's perhaps life's most universal experience.

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Song
Sasami
Album
Sasami
Artist
Sasami
Label
Domino
Released
2019

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Cover for Dogrel

8. Fontaines D.C.

  • Song: Too Real

Coming in at our number-eight spot is the Irish group Fontaines D.C. In this twitchy and ferocious cut from Dogrel, they deliver a sound that feels as fiery and physical as their live performances.

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Cover for Beware Of The Dogs

9. Stella Donnelly

  • Song: Tricks

"You tell me, 'you look so much better when you drop the attitude,'" sings Stella Donnelly on "Tricks." It's a song, like much of her music on Beware of the Dogs, that takes aim at the condescension, misogyny and obnoxious behavior of horrible men.

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Song
Beware Of The Dogs
Album
Beware Of The Dogs
Artist
Stella Donnelly
Label
Secretly Canadian
Released
2019

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Cover for Tales of America

10. J.S. Ondara

  • Song: American Dream

J.S. Ondara is Kenyan by birth, but his debut album Tales of America represents American music at its finest. In songs like the opening cut "American Dream," Ondara uses the Americana idiom to express his own experience as an immigrant.

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Song
Tales of America
Album
Tales of America
Artist
J.S. Ondara
Label
Verve
Released
2019

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Cover for Essentials

Bob's Pick: Patio

  • Song: Vile Bodies

An unfortunate truth: A Google search for Bob's pick – "patio" – and the name of their debut album – "essentials" – returns garden furniture. Unlike a wicker lawn chair, however, "Vile Bodies," from Patio's debut album Essentials, packs a lot of punch. Restrained and anxious, the song's tense guitar lines echo this track's themes of self-defeat.

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Song
Essentials
Album
Essentials
Artist
Patio
Label
Fire Records
Released
2019

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Cover for Crush on Me

Robin's Pick: Sir Babygirl

  • Song: Flirting With Her

Robin's pick for our list is also the act behind his favorite show at this year's South by Southwest festival. Kelsie Hague, the artist behind Sir Babygirl, delivers an infectious collection of genre-bending songs on her debut LP Crush on Me.

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Song
Crush on Me
Album
Crush on Me
Artist
Sir Babygirl
Label
Father/Daughter Records
Released
2019

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