The past and the future combined in , a year of satisfying comebacks from veteran artists and exciting breakouts from newer ones. Read the list below, with a Spotify playlist of all at the bottom. An unlikely combination of three very different alt-leaning acts, "I've Been Waiting" is far more seamless than it has any right to be, finding common ground in the artists' shared pop sensibilities. As it toggles between vocals from all three, it's impossible to tell where the verses stop and the chorus starts -- it's all hooks, really, a song where every part feels like That Part. In a more just world , this would've been the song to get the late Lil Peep his first Hot top 40 hit. Now please, get off his lawn. There are a lot of "what ifs" when a relationship ends, but the title of Lady Antebellum's latest heart-wrenching hit has to be one of the scariest. The song -- which recalls the same yearning tone as the country trio's breakout single "Need You Now" -- perfectly captures that fear of the unknown, thanks to Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley's hopeless harmonies. We all know the desperate feeling of struggling to move on, and we all should know there's a light at the end of the tunnel eventually
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Did any songs exist in besides "Old Town Road"? Contrary to what every open car window for the last nine months might suggest, the answer is: yes. And what this year had to offer is a continued expansion of what makes a song, a song.
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Kanye West has also been somewhat productive throughout this period. We tabulated the votes. Our own editorial list might look a little different, but the result is an excellent reflection of an incredible period in music history. You can also read the list in the July issue of Rolling Stone.
In , with one killer track, an artist could become a household name, sparking infinite conversations and even more memes. In addition to all the new names, established artists like Lana Del Rey and Vampire Weekend redefined themselves and reset the trajectories of their careers. At the end of one year, and looking ahead to the next decade, here are the tracks we believe will stand the test of time. Listen to selections from this list on our Spotify playlist and Apple Music playlist. Shawn Mendes seems beamed in from a pop era before face tattoos and pink hair and cursing: Last year, when the Canadian heartthrob revealed he liked to— gasp! On paper, Mendes is pining after the girl who got away with the obsessiveness of an Instagram stalker—and yet his effervescent delivery, and shameless cheesing in the video , make it clear that this winning rom-com of a song has a happy ending.