Stereogum’s 50 Favorite Songs Of 2022

Stereogum’s 50 Favorite Songs Of 2022

Here at Stereogum, one of our fondly held listmas traditions is eschewing a staff-wide countdown of the year’s best songs in favor of personal top 10 playlists of tracks that ruled our past 12 months. Could we flip it around and do personalized album lists while collaborating on a songs list? Sure, but “songs” feels like a broader and much more chaotic pool to narrow down than “albums,” and anyhow, tradition is tradition.

Thus, your Stereogum staffers are back with our individual lists of beloved tracks from 2022. The only rules were to pick songs that came out this year (or were included on an album released this year) and no song could repeat across multiple lists. Below, check out playlists for each of our lists, and share your own favorite song lists in the comments. —Chris DeVille

Scott Lapatine

1. Alvvays – “Tile By Tile”
2. Steve Lacy – “Sunshine” (Feat. Fousheé)
3. Braxe + Falcon – “Step By Step” (Feat. Panda Bear)
4. Arctic Monkeys – “There’d Better Be A Mirrorball”
5. SZA – “Shirt”
6. Cola – “Water Table”
7. Cave In – “Blood Spiller”
8. Jockstrap – “Greatest Hits”
9. Knifeplay – “Promise”
10. Naima Bock – “Campervan”

When I started putting my picks together I accidentally deleted my entire Apple Music library and playlists. That was quite a surprise as I’m a very online guy and this had never happened to me before. Apple support was like, “sorry it is gone forever.” So I’ve switched my streaming subscription to Neil Young Archives. This list wasn’t too difficult to compile, though, because it was impossible to forget Arctic Monkeys’ Bacharach vibe shift, the joyous union of Braxe + Falcon + Lennox, and Alvvays’ stupendous Blue Rev (from which I could’ve picked any number of tracks). Unfortunately next year’s list will be 10 Zuma demos.

Tom Breihan

1. Beyoncé – “Thique”
2. Beyoncé – “All Up In Your Mind”
3. Beyoncé – “America Has A Problem”
4. Beyoncé – “Pure/Honey”
5. Beyoncé – “Summer Renaissance”
6. Dazy & Militarie Gun – “Pressure Cooker”
7. Hitkidd & GloRilla – “FNF (Let’s Go)”
8. High Vis – “Talk For Hours”
9. End It – “New Wage Slavery”
10. Kay Flock – “Shake It” (Feat. Cardi B, Dougie B, & Bory300)

It’s me, hi, I’m the asshole who won’t shut up about Renaissance, it’s me. It seems hopelessly wack to devote five of the spots on your 10-best-songs ballot to one album, especially when you’re only dealing with deep cuts. But that five-track run at the end of Renaissance? Hoo, baby. Forget it. Game over. That shit goes crazy. It’s not that there weren’t other good songs this year. I love Dazy and Militarie Gun’s ragged basement-Britpop banger, GloRilla’s career-making Memphis anthem, High Vis’ surging fists-up empathy jam, End It’s 73-second class-war sprint, and Kay Flock and friends’ Bronx drill head-smacker. All great songs. All almost as good as any random track on Renaissance.

Chris DeVille

1. Joyce Manor – “Don’t Try”
2. Horsegirl – “Beautiful Song”
3. Wednesday – “She’s Actin’ Single (I’m Drinkin’ Doubles)”
4. High Vis – “Trauma Bonds”
5. The 1975 – “Part Of The Band”
6. SpiritWorld – “DEATHWESTERN”
7. Yumi Zouma – “Mona Lisa”
8. Caitlin Rose – “Getting It Right” (Feat. Courtney Marie Andrews)
9. Cloakroom – “Lost Meaning”
10. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – “The Dripping Tap”

As usual, my coworkers sniped several tracks that might have appeared here; they have great taste, I guess. I will leave those a mystery other than to note that there’s an alternate universe in which “Expert In A Dying Field” is my #1. As for the songs I actually did list, most are from artists I wrote about in depth this year — from Joyce Manor’s brilliantly concise power-pop chestnut to King Gizzard’s kosmiche-meets-Philly soul sprawl, with crystalline indie-pop, Earth-scorching metallic hardcore, and rollicking Americana in between. It’s a chicken-egg situation: Did I come to love these songs through the repeat exposure that comes with writing reviews and features, or did I choose to highlight these releases because I was drawn to these tracks in the first place? I’m guessing the answer is yes.

Rachel Brodsky

1. Alvvays – “Easy On Your Own?”
2. The Beths – “Expert In A Dying Field”
3. MUNA – “Anything But Me”
4. Tove Lo – “No One Dies From Love”
5. Julia Jacklin – “Love, Try Not To Let Go”
6. Rid Of Me – “PDA”
7. Avril Lavigne – “Dare To Love Me”
8. Pool Kids – “That’s Physics, Baby”
9. The 1975 – “Happiness”
10. Band Of Horses – “Crutch”

Part of me wanted to pull a Tom and list out every song from my favorite album of this year — Alvvays’ Blue Rev. But I resisted and just went with “Easy On Your Own?,” mostly because I feel it sets the tone for the band’s slightly updated whirlwind sound while staying true to the previous two albums’ signature yearn. The rest of my list is bonkers-obsessed with indie, pop, and pop-punk — the Beths’ “Expert In A Dying Field” is self-explanatory; the joyful groove of the 1975’s “Happiness” sounds like drinking a vodka martini feels; Band Of Horses’ entire 2022 album Things Are Great was wildly underrated this year, and I could listen to the perfectly harmonized “Crutch” on repeat all day; Rid Of Me’s cover of Interpol’s “PDA” was better than the original, IMO; and I’ll just end this by saying that Avril Lavigne’s vocal soar on non-album single “Dare To Love Me” was unparalleled. Hooks and sticky melodies are great, but when a vocal cracks your heart open and makes you feel stuff — that’s everything.

James Rettig

1. Girlpool – “Violet”
2. Yung Lean – “Bliss” (Feat. FKA Twigs)
3. Maria BC – “Betelgeuse”
4. Guerilla Toss – “Mermaid Airplane”
5. Porridge Radio – “Back To The Radio”
6. Sudan Archives – “Home Maker”
7. Carly Rae Jepsen – “Western Wind”
8. Empath – “Passing Stranger”
9. Fontaines DC – “Jackie Down The Line”
10. Show Me The Body – “WW4”

In 2022, I think I spent more time with the albums that actually dominated our year-end list than ever before. Much of my listening time this year was spent binging Alex G and Alvvays and all the rest. Maybe I’m getting lazier and less curious, probably I’m just getting older. That said, I typically dedicate my favorite songs list to albums I loved that didn’t get any shine on our other lists, and I’m eager to continue that tradition. These songs mean a whole lot to me, and are also (primarily) the sorts of things that can get lost in the shuffle when making a big ol’ consensus driven list. Up top is a track from the (for now) swan song from one of my favorite bands. On down are songs that I kept returning to over the year, plus one that I played on a loop for two weeks straight and then completely forgot about until it came time to make this list. It’s now on repeat again. (I’ll let you guess which one.) Until next time…

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