Welcome to our yearly music playlist where we highlight the best songs of the year. This year’s two part edition consists of the top 10 most fearless tracks of the year that touch on universally experienced topics such depression, addiction, mental health, anxiety and fear. We hope these tracks give you some sense of hope and encouragement to overcome your own life obstacles and struggles and realize you are not alone. 

10. half•alive – “Still Feel”

The genre bending trio drove the music masses wild with their swagger dripping funky single “Still Feel” with the accompanying choreographed dance dazzling music video. Not only do your hips automatically crave to sway to the beat but your mind is overwhelmed with their out of this world songwriting abilities with their song concept of outer space as a metaphor for when you are feeling unsettled and not feeling like you are fulfilling your life’s purpose. However,  you will always find hope in hopelessness. Countless artists and bands speak on everyday struggles but there are very few who speak on the life periods when you feel unrooted and you floating through your life like half•alive has with this track.

Catch all the latest news on half•alive on their Official website

9. J. Cole featuring kiLL edward – “FRIENDS”

Best known for his unapologetic social and politically charged storytelling, Cole takes it to an unforeseen next level of transparency and bravery with his stand out track “Friends”. The track touches on the countless everyday situations and circumstances in people’s communities that can contribute to drug use, addiction and depression. kiLL edward, his alter ego opens up about his own struggles while Cole effectively speaks to him/himself about finding ways overcoming your demons with a form of therapy, in his case Mediation. In many communities around the world there continues to be a stigma on speaking about mental health and therapy and it’s refreshing to see a critically acclaimed rapper/lyricist bringing this universal topic to the forefront. 

Catch all the latest news on J. Cole on his Official website 

8. Chloe x Halle – “Babybird”

The sister R&B duo have been buzzing throughout the music sphere for quite sometime. The unforgettable track “Babybird,” from their well received debut album, The Kids Are Alright, is about the trials and tribulations of leaving home, growing up and facing your fears about the unknown life journey ahead of you. The beautifully written song soars to unseen music heights with powerhouse vocal runs and harmonies on a savory, haunting catchy soundscape oozing encouragement and empowerment. “Babybird” is a music gem that gives a sense of community to their listeners who are going through a dramatic life change or transition.

Catch all the latest news on Chloe x Halle on their official website 

7. Lostboycrow featuring Bea Miller – “Waste of Time”

The first time I heard this track was on a playlist of new music I had on shuffle. The jazzy thumping soundscape captured my immediate attention, not only was a luminous blend of sounds I had yet to experienced before and it wasn’t until I heard the mesmerizing buttery vocals that realization set in, it was singer-songwriter Lostboycrow singing about his soul baring truth of dealing with his personal demons. The storyteller has remained consistent with sharing relatable stories while successfully carving out his own unique artistic space of music innovation and emotive storytelling and “Waste of Time” is no exception.

Catch all the latest news on Lostboycrow on his Official website

6. Katey Brooks – “In Your Arms”

This powerful ballad is about the raw vulnerability in her vocals about being in love and embracing wholeheartedly all the aspects of this relatable human emotion. Sometime ago, I had an insightful chat with Brooks about the inspiration and making of this tender track. 

SR: What does this track mean to you? Did you know when you made it, it would not only be empowering track for you but also for your listeners?

KB: This track means the absolute world to me.  It was an expression of love that I felt I only could put across in a song.  It’s also brought back a certain someone into my life – so it’s been pretty meaningful all round!! I think I knew pretty early on that it had something.  I felt, or at least hoped that the people listening would connect.  I think this is a state of being we can all relate to.  If it empowers people then I’m absolutely delighted.

SR: The track doesn’t hold back on shining on a spotlight on things that most people choose to hide or avoid talking about, was it your intention to bring forth your truth while giving a sense of community to those who can relate to what you’ve gone through?

KB: Always.  That’s absolutely always my intention with every song I write.  Initially when I write a song it’s about how I’m feeling and what I want to say, and then as soon as that raw energy has done its thing, I start thinking about the impact for others, and how it might translate/connect for them.  I think as a writer that’s essential. Great question!

SR: Is there anything you wish your listeners would take away from listening to the track?

KB: A warm feeling inside, a little bit of euphoria, and a moment of connection to themselves, and their hearts.  That would make me smile to know.

Catch all the latest news on Katey Brooks available now on her Official website

Keep your eyes peeled for part 2 of our most fearless top tracks of 2018 coming next week!