There is so much music out there. Some of it is good and some of it is bad. Some of it is “important” and some of it is super unimportant. It’s hard to keep up! October, for example, was jam-packed with new tunes. Pop stars are trying to promote their pre-Christmas albums and a bunch of other random humans who make art also put out albums. It’s really not safe to head into November without catching up.
Here are the 50 songs you needed to hear last month:
What rock do you live under? This is the number one song in America. Come on.
Bieber has a new album out in October and this is the third single. It is also super popular.
Horns! Blue lights! Hair flips! Tiny human with huge voice Ariana Grande is back with another breathy, groovy hit. Her new album is expected later this year.
Selena's second solo album came out this month and it's twelve solid singles. We also did a big interview with Gomez if you can't get enough of this song.
There's something undeniably sultry about every single vocal track on this song.
At almost seven minutes long and with more than five costume changes, the video for Grimes' "Flesh Without Blood" is almost as artistic as the sweeping, thumping song itself.
Optimal boy band One Direction is about to release their first album without former member Zayn. It'll be interesting to see if their new album carries the kind of sappy slow vibe of this single.
Gwen Stefani's new single is about her recent breakup and though it carries a pop beat, it also carries a massive load of heartbreak. "I don't know why I cry/ but I think it's 'cause I remembered for the first time/ since I hated you/ that I used to love you." STOP IT, GWEN I'M SOBBING
"Saved" has the same catchy synths as all of Fetty Wap's Top 40 hits, but with an even catchier chorus you can't help but dance to.
This is a country song.
This really was the month of Drake's "Hotline Bling" even though that song came out months ago! The video dropped in mid-October and suddenly there were remixes everywhere. I, personally, am partial to Erykah Badu's rhythmic voice.
Another lady singing "Hotline Bling!" Happy October!
Not only does "Sandra's Smile" have the sweet harmonies of a Christmas carol, it has an activist edge: it's about Sandra Bland, a black woman who died in police custody earlier this year.
Chance the Rapper's flow is so smooth he might just be an angel.
Former teen couple Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber "accidentally" dropped an old single from three years ago. While this is most likely part of a publicity scheme for both artists who have new albums, it's still a fun song.
Charli XCX, London grunge pop star, premiered "Vroom Vroom" on Beats One this month. It's produced with electronica artist Sophie, and it's sound is so complicated and unexpected that it's difficult to stop listening to.
Raury's childlike, soothing voice is what makes this simplistic track feel a lot more complicated than it really is. Raury's voice soars and swoops through this track until it drops into a beautiful rap.
What's that? You wanna ROCK? Rock with Savages!
Demi Lovato dropped her new album Confident this month. "Yes" has a kind of choral quality to it that shows Lovato really does have some vocal pipes.
With a trickling piano melody, "Janus" is the perfect song to put on in the background while you walk through fall leaves.
El Vy's "I'm the Man to Be" has it all: a walking bass line, a slapping drum, and a voice that trembles through it's chorus.
"No one fucks it up like us." Amen, Ellie. Amen.
The queen of the angry-belting chorus perfect for screaming in the car is back with a vengeance. If you need me, I'll be over here screaming along.
This is infinitely better than "Alright."
I love a great young voice, and that's exactly what LÉON is. There are incredible beats behind her silky voice and a melody that's easy to remember.
"I ain't never gonna get enough."
This song is six and a half minutes long and some people like it. I took a nap while it played!
Vanessa Carlton wrote a classic song called "A Thousand Miles," and then kind of disappeared from the public eye, but this song is great. Her new album is very good, and "Operator" is a catchy, enjoyable song that makes you remember how much we all loved Carlton to begin with.
I will not link to this song because it is terrible and misogynistic in a way that I cannot even really explain because the video makes so little sense. Just know that it came out this month and that Weezer still exists.
Punky boy band 5 Seconds of Summer put out this song that I wanted to dislike but ended up singing for three days. Enjoy!
With FKA Twigs vibes, Kelela's "Rewind" boosts its creepy rhythmic melody to a new level.
More country! Here it is!
Jessie J has one of the best voices in music, but here she's perfectly subdued, adding a beautiful harmony to Cool Uncle's tenor.
Just in time for the holiday season, Nao has brought us a synth heavy jam to sing in our computer voices.
Jerky. Groovy. Dancy. Ch-Chingggggg.
In this song, Neon Indian repeats the words "answering machine" over and over again, which is exactly what the booping and beeping in the background of this song sounds like!
boop boop boop. This is a fun song! boop boop.
I cannot get enough of Joanna Newsom's fluttering harps and high octave voice. Listening to this song is like listening to the eyelashes of angels fluttering against the tiny bones inside your ear that produce sounds.
This song is classic Janet Jackson.
Algier's music falls somewhere in the empty space between R&B and straight rock and fills it with gorgeous, clipping guitars and deep honey voices.
Indie darling Alex G put out a full LP this month titled Beach Music. "Bug" is my favorite song on it.
I wish I were going "downtown" and "running around" with Majical Cloudz and his buttery voice.
This music video is just like the classic holiday movie The Holiday! They switch lives. What a fun date.
There are some good guitar riffs in this song. I don't really like it, but people who I respect really do.
"I'm fucking hideous and spiteful when I'm left to my devices, I soak my tentacles in ice baths if you feel a draft, I'll be home indoors, I'll be home indoors because I'm wasting away my life and gifts on being a jellyfish same thing I wish for every new year cuz I'm lazy and a loser, they don't come true I'm blaming everyone but myself, I'll be home indoors, I'll be home indoors because I'm wasting away my life and gifts on being a piece of shit should I go shake out on the sidewalk or should I stay inside and shine in artificial light, if I could I would do it so much better off than try, I won't be failing if I don't so I'll sit with stingers ready, in case somebody comes to fill my head with petty jealousy and show me all the things I could be doing if I were a vertebrate, but it's comfortable not wondering at all if I'd've made it, should I'd've stayed at home indoors, I'll be home indoors, because I'm wasting away my life and gifts on being a piece of shit, I'm being a piece of shit, you're right I'm a jellyfish."
Alessia Cara, who's jumped into fame with her earlier hit "Here," is on the verge of releasing her first studio album in November. "Wild Things" embodies the attitude of "Here" but adds the production value Cara needed to make her next move into pop stardom.
"Everything you want in the world, you deserve."
Courtney Barnett's stunning album released earlier this year was full of songs that were just upbeat enough to suit the suburban landscape she sang out. But on "Shivers," Barnett takes her voice to new lows. There's a darkness here, and it works.
Oh: 40 out of 50 of these songs are available on Spotify, so here’s a playlist for you:
Correction: a previous version of this piece misspelled Vanessa Carlton's last name.
Kelsey McKinney is a culture staff writer for Fusion.