The Top 10 Songs of 2022

#10: “Moderation”/ Cate LeBon

The supremely talented Cate LeBon delivered a career topper with Pompeii, and early on, “Moderation” is its pinnacle. Subtly intertwined horns, bouncy bass riffs and falsetto wails combine perfectly into a track that resonates with its bright, playful nature.

#9: “Runner”/ Alex G

There’s an element of effortlessness as acoustic guitar melts into a piano riff and evolves behind Alex’s G’s scream over what would otherwise seem like a straightforward track. Instead, it all combines joyfully into perhaps his greatest single song over what is certainly his best album.

#8: “June”/ Destroyer

Is this disco? Is this rock? It’s June, and no song has ever sounded more like June. And only Dan Bejar can croon a line like “A fucking idiot/ someone made/ in the snow.” This constantly shapeshifting track stays true to its indelible core riff and leads into Bejar’s patented spoken-word vocal style through an explosive coda. 

#7: “Fractals”/ Beth Orton

An outlier on an otherwise spacious and atmospheric (read: glorious) album, “Fractals” glides above groovy bass interjections, disparate piano lines and fluttering horns that melt together into perfect chaos behind Orton’s subtle vocal delivery.

#6: “Over And Over”/ Beach House

The slow burn into explosive melodic perfection has been the Beach House formula for well over a decade, but the duo take it a step further here on the highlight track that concludes the second chapter for their four part epic Once Twice Melody. Atmospheric choral vocals combine with a punchy and repetitive synth, adding an element of electronica that is a bit out of the box for this band. The crescendo is a truly showstopping moment.

#5: “The Only Heartbreaker”/ Mitski

Technically released at the end of last year, but Mitski’s Laurel Hell didn’t drop until early 2022, and its strongest track continued to gain steam as the year powered along. The pinnacle of her headlining set at Pitchfork Music Festival, this power-glam rock single would have been a smash hit in the 1980s, and doesn’t sound too shabby 40 years later either.

#4: “Bites On My Neck”/ yeule

There is such patience employed here over this heart-wrenching track from the Singaporean solo artist, where a single synth line communicates a penetrable sense of yearning. Pounding percussion combines with high octave vocals and perfectly timed “uh!” punches.

#3: “Flower Of Blood”/ Big Thief

There are many ways to go when trying to select a single highlight song from Big Thief’s sprawling epic Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You, and there aren’t too many wrong answers. But sitting midway at its core, “Flower of Blood” resonates as the most innovative glimpse into the band’s full potential. Distorted blasts of discordant electric guitar combine with dark, intense sampled drum beats as lead singer Adriane Lenker’s distant falsetto seems to drift just under the surface.

#2: “The Smoke”/ The Smile

When Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood combine to make music, only good things can come of it. On this highlight track from their first album together as duo The Smile, a bouncing funk bassline combines with blasts of horns underneath Yorke’s unmistakable falsetto. There’s an element of excitement here; this song couldn’t be written by anyone else, but also sounds unlike anything you’ve ever heard.

#1: “Many Mirrors”/ Alvvays

“Many Mirrors” is a gem of dream pop perfection in its simplicity, hitting all the right notes with its persistent, ringing guitar riff and lead singer Molly Rankin’s soft and sweet vocals emoting as she sings “I can’t believe we’re still the same,” her voice fluttering over an extra syllable on the last word. There’s a warm, beaming element of hope at the core of this year’s greatest song as Rankin repeats the poignant lyric “Light years away/ And you’ve got so much life to offer in you” across its steady, unwavering pace.

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