We don't make ranked lists on Pigeons & Planes anymore, and the only definitive "best of" list we make these days is Best New Artists. We thought about capping the year with a Best Artists of 2019, but it didn't feel right. The way music moves today is different from how it moved even just a few years ago. Music is in constant motion, and there's no traceable rhythm to the state of music overall. Picking out a handful of our favorite artists and calling them the best of the year feels arbitrary.
Take 2018 for example. We included Juice WRLD in Best New Artists to emerge in the first half of 2018. By 2019 he was a superstar, and now he's gone. Also on that list: Tierra Whack, MorMor, Sheck Wes, Yung Bans, Snail Mail, Smooky Margielaa, Valee, Bakar, Omar Apollo, Grip, Gunna, Cautious Clay, JPEGMAFIA, Hana Vu, Superorganism and more.
Don't get me wrong, it's a great list, but it was based more on potential than anything, and these days a career in music comes with so many other factors. Some of those artists stalled out because of personal situations or label/business issues that we may never hear about. Some of them focused on touring or planning future projects. Some went viral on TikTok and blasted to new heights fueled by major label marketing budgets, and some are still steadily building and may have a banner year in 2020. Who knows? We can't call it with any degree of certainty—there are just too many variables.
Instead of an end-of-year list, we're going to keep things moving month by month and stay focused on what's happening in this very moment. Right now, these are some of our favorite new artists. If you want to see all of our favorite new artists from 2019, just check back on all the Best New Artists here.
Thanks for following along, and we'll see you in 2020.