Top 10 Singles of 2022

It’s that time of the year again! This is honestly just a lot of fun for me so please take all this with a grain of salt. I would love to hear what some of your favourites were from the past year, however. Please feel free to leave a comment here or on one of my other social posts. 2022 had a lot of great music (and movies… but we’ll get to that later). Let’s explore some of my favourite songs from 2022!

10. “Diet Coke” – Pusha T

Photo taken from Genius

Harkening back to the “chipmunk soul” phenomenon largely popularized by one of his frequent collaborators, Pusha T’s “Diet Coke” is one of his most enticing songs yet. While his lyrical explorations remain the same, the passion and energy he brings to his music have only grown with each record. It’s Almost Dry featured some of his best production yet and “Diet Coke” was its crown jewel. Without a doubt, it was the most infectious hip-hop cut of the year.

9. “Worldwide Steppers”- Kendrick Lamar

Photo taken from Genius

Gestating with a manic energy, “Worldwide Steppers” is the closest I felt Kendrick got to the harmony of production, concept, and delivery that he displayed on DAMN and To Pimp A Butterfly. His invocation of Eckhart Tolle’s pain bodies marks a distinct shift away from his usual Christian framing, but its how Kendrick emphasizes how trauma can deform people into “killers”. And, he’s not one to shy away from his own pain, both given and received. It’s what makes him still one of the most exciting artists in hip-hop.

8. “Welcome To My Island” – Caroline Polachek

Photo taken from Genius

I had already set my top ten when Caroline Polachek decided to release this masterpiece. I guess I can’t complain too much; it’s one of the best pop songs of the whole year. When she writes a good hook, it hits, emphasized by the sparse production behind the chanted verses which gives way to an explosion of sonic colour when the chorus comes around. Very much looking forward to Desire, I Want To Turn Into You’s release next year.

7. “Runner” – Alex G

Photo taken from Genius

The breezy folk of Alex G’s latest album is at its peak when it coalesces with his undeniable ear for a good melody. On “Runner”, he demonstrates that he also has the lyrical muscles to support up his mystical compositions. What he creates here is a perfect balance to the point where each moment feels both effortless and entirely calculated.

6. “BREAK MY SOUL” – Beyoncé

Photo taken from Genius

The closest Beyoncé came to dance as liberation on Renaissance. The Big Freedia sample is the best of the year and the house-inspired production with the gospel backing are all-consuming (and tailor-made to my tastes). The writing here is probably the best on the album (which… isn’t saying a whole lot but still). If the rest of the album competed at this level, it may have topped Lemonade for me.

5. “Belinda Says” – Alvvays

Photo taken from Genius

Pitchfork’s song of the year could’ve just as easily been mine. Each of these top five are basically interchangeable (and I’ll probably flip them in my head long after this is posted). “Belinda Says” is Alvvays at their best: a massive chorus, explosive guitar licks, and a nostalgic haze. Undoubtedly this year’s best “driving on the highway at night” song.

4. “Out of Time” – The Weeknd

Photo taken from Genius

Without a doubt, “Out of Time” is the catchiest song of the year. We’re lucky to have The Weeknd to put a new spin on a highly accessible sound while infusing it with thematic depth. With a soundscape ripped straight from Off The Wall, The Weeknd’s most Michael Jackson-y record since “In the Night” is a straight banger.

3. “Joy” – Kings Kaleidoscope

Photo taken from Genius

“You’re the joy of the joy that I’m living in.”

If I had to pick a song that defined the year for me, it would likely be the song before this on its respective album – “You and I Again”. The song, a confessional of being “caught in a circle, no surprise” with the realization that “maybe the mess of me only grips at your heart”, is a beautiful, heartfelt moment rooted in struggle. But it’s “Joy” where all of the pent up emotions on the album can truly be unleashed. It’s the definition of cathartic for me, the buildup to a glorious explosion that never feels to make me dance wildly around the room.

2. “About You” – The 1975

Photo taken from Genius

“Do you think I have forgotten about you?”

Given a shoe-gazey quality by Warren Ellis, “About You” sounds like something straight out of a dream. The elegant simplicity of the chorus is jarring, especially given The 1975’s reputation for grandiose hooks. The angelic background vocals from Carly Holt only cement the feeling of wistfulness that’s never truly clarified. Sure, in the context of the album, it’s most likely about a past romantic interest, but buried under the haze of guitars the refrain becomes a general statement about the potency of feelings and memory and that those who matter to you never truly disappear.

1. “Concorde” – Black Country, New Road

Photo taken from Genius

“I was made to love you – can’t you tell?”

The most moved I’ve been by a piece of music in quite some time. The instrumental arrangement here actually eclipses the sung verses for me in sheer beauty. Realistically, any of the songs from this record could’ve been in this spot, but I often find myself coming back to “Concorde” and feeling that same swell of emotion during the breakdown after the second chorus. It’s heartbreaking in virtually every way and is unparalleled in how it perfectly packages its wistful feelings. This may be my song of the decade, so far.

Thanks for reading!

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