Kristy Guilbault

As productive as screaming into the void can be, sometimes the most effective way to air grievances is simply with a sigh. Meg Duffy, who was the longtime lead guitarist for Kevin Morby, switched their focus to Hand Habits in 2017. Duffy's second album, placeholder, leads off with the title track, a soft yet scathing lamentation of being secondary.

Out of earshot of our bosses, over reheated rice and beans, the NPR Music interns have our own conversations about the music we love. And when it came time for year-end lists, we thought we ought to have a bigger say.

So today, at the end of our time here at NPR, we shove our Tupperware aside in the name of interns' choice: our favorite music that came up again and again during lunch conversations and after-work happy hours.

Winter can bear the heart of darkness, as it ushers in daylight saving's premature sunsets, brutal drops in temperature or, as Brooklyn-based quartet Bethlehem Steel bluntly puts it in a press release: "Post-tour depression, seasonal depression, depression depression."

From the ominous narratives of Vince Staples to Kanye West's blunt partisanship, the line between the personal and political in hip-hop is becoming increasingly thin.

In the self-care era, the pursuit of happiness ironically seems to be more elusive than ever. Is the secret to fulfillment landing your dream job? Face masks? More cowbell? The answer, according to And The Kids, is actually quite simple: "Life is a bastard, life wants to kill you, don't get old."

When visiting your hometown for the first time in a while, it's easy to simultaneously feel like a native and foreigner. The stilted smiles in family photos haven't changed, despite the thin layer of dust; however, you have. The surreal video for L.A. synth-pop trio ASHRR's single "Don't Wait Too Long" addresses the alienating power that memory and time have over a person's lifespan.

In the summer of 2015, the song "Lean On" by Major Lazer and DJ Snake was nearly inescapable. The summer anthem, which went to generate over 1 billion streams, featured a relatively unknown Danish artist. It launched singer Karen Marie Aagaard Ørsted Andersen — better known as MØ — into the mainstream.