LIST: The Top 100 Songs of 2022 (100-50)
Updated: Dec 20, 2022
***READ PART 2 HERE***
100. Love Object, “Epicurus”
The Italians Do It Better renaissance is in full swing with not one but two compilations in the 2020s, with presumably more to come. New act Love Object is able to gracefully capture the classic Italo disco sound the label is known for while adding their own spice to the formula.
99. Alto Arc, “Bordello”
Alto Arc flew under the radar as a lowkey super group this year, piecing together PC Music’s Danny L Harle, Deafheaven’s George Clarke and Hundred Waters’ Trayer Tyron for the screaming, demonic ass heavy trip-hop cavalcade that is “Bordello”.
98. Jane Remover, “Royal Blue Walls”
On her newest set of tracks, with “Royal Blue Walls” being the best, Jane Remover sheds the hyperpop roots in favor of a washed out, beautiful rock sound.
97. Quavo / Takeoff, “HOTEL LOBBY”
I’m disappointed in myself as a music journalist that it took the very tragic death of Takeoff for me to give this track a serious listen, because it’s incredible. There is a newfound fervor from both of these men after Offset left the trio. The bars are tightly delivered and clever, get in, get out, very good stuff. R.I.P. Takeoff.
96, Rina Sawayama, “Catch Me In The Air”
Yes, Rina’s sophomore album was overly saccharine and “inspirational”. Yes, this song perfectly falls under those labels. But it’s her vocal presence and the build-ups that makes this one an exception to the rule.
95. Toro Y Moi, “Postman”
Chaz Bear is back on his psych camp shit with this one, combining the fat riffs of Parliament-Funkadelic with the ticky-tacky of ‘80s children's television programming. While most indie musicians build songs, Toro builds little colorful words for himself.
94. Wilco, “Cruel Country”
The ironic patriotric country ballad is nothing new for the American songbook, but Wilco has just been around long enough to do it right. It’s about personal struggle, the coldness of the U.S.A., but never specific enough to be read as political. It’s twangy, catchy but still impactful in its own way.
93. Rico Nasty, “Gotsta Get Paid”
I’m a little cautious about a trip-hop revival. That is unless someone like Rico Nasty is leading the charge. “Gotsta Get Paid” is badass, catchy and most of all, fun as hell.
92. LEYA / Okay Kaya, “Win Some”
When you hear LEYA perform a song like this live, you could hear a pin drop from the stark reverence of the audience. Marilu’s despondent harp sound and Adam’s violin and vocal style here is assisted by Okay Kaya, and as a trio they paint a dark and meditative picture for us.
91. death’s dynamic shroud, “Fall For Me”
Stepping out of the shadows as a mysterious vaporwave group, dds up their songwriting game to make epic cybernetic ballads like “Fall For Me”. It’s part Oneohtrix Point Never power ballad, part Daft Punk Tron soundtrack, the pure scale and effort of this track is incredible.
90. Soccer Mommy, “Unholy Affliction”
Speaking of Oneohtrix Point Never, this year he helped Soccer Mommy concoct some of her most wicked tracks yet, including the drum heavy, desire-filled “Unholy Affliction”.
89. Chief Keef, “Chief So”
Two years in a row, Chief Keef has been on an absolute hot streak. It culminated with one of his best songs generally speaking, “Chief So”. I love the brutality of it and all the repetition, creating this chant around the title that forces its way into your brain and stays there.
88. Yung Kayo / Eartheater, “hear you”
Hyperpop really got abandoned by all the K heads and is in the hands of the rappers, and they are doing the absolute most with it. In an operatic duet with the queen of Queens Eartheater, Kayo gets ethereal as fuck.
87. Hudson Mohawke, “Bicstan”
Turns out this dude has way more talent in him that just that awkward sex track “Cbat”. “Bicstan” is the best track from his newest LP, stretching chipmunked vocals over speedy, colorful rave rhythms.
86. Speed, “Not That Nice”
ARRGHH!!! Once in a while, we need a good hardcore track to really reset ourselves, and Speed really delivered on that this year. The Australian group is aggressive and technical on “Not That Nice” .
85. Sky Ferreira, “Don’t Forget”
While she certainly could have come through with more fireworks for her first track in three years, “Don’t Forget” brings back her classic sound with distorted riffs and infectious ‘80s pop vocals. Hopefully it won’t be another three years before we hear something else.
84. Panda Bear / Sonic Boom, “Go On”
Bringing a classic ‘70s sound back for a new generation, the Animal Collective singer and his Spacemen 3 co-producer collide for the kaleidoscopic, life affirming “Go On”.
83. Wet Leg, “Supermarket”
On “Supermarket”, we see a traditional relationship being destroyed by weed. It’s tongue-in-cheek and self-aware, yet so deeply sad and relatable. “You got too high-e-i-e-i!”
82. Steve Lacy, “Bad Habit” & 81. Harry Styles, “Late Night Talking”
I want to pair these together because they represent two sides of the same coin. Are they the most original or well-performed cuts of the year? No. They draw a lot from the past and fall back on songwriting tropes. However, their energy is too powerful to deny, and they both offered a reprieve on modern radio from all the bullshit they were trying to pump out to us. Salute to these men.
81. Jean Dawson, PORN ACTING*
With an eclectic sound that pairs emo rock with rap, Jean Dawson is a one-of-kind performer. “PORN ACTING*” is my favorite offering from him yet due to its pure overblown energy, he really knows how to be direct without being obvious. Great guitar tones and vocal takes all over this thing.
80. Yeat, “Poppin”
While we here at ANTIART are not fully sold on the idea of Yeat as an interesting artist generally speaking, “Poppin” is a pretty good explainer of what makes him special. Slurred lyrics, hypnotic beats and immediate payoff, very representative of the current young, hip-hop vibe.
79. Kali Uchis, “NO HAY LEY”
Kali definitely sheds some of the subtle anglicism of Sin Miedo, but makes up for it in pure danceability and energy. Salute to her as well for doing this house trend the right way, with beautiful vocals and really clean production from El Guincho and others.
78. Them Airs, “Exploded Whip”
The boyz (and one girl) from Connecticut, a flagship Anti band, still got the juice. The shouted group vocals and angular guitar tones feel very “Them Airs”, but the sound feels much more concise this time around. Can’t wait to see what else they have to offer in the future.
77. MOTHERMARY, “Pray”
Taking the sacrilegious pop angle that Madonna did in the ‘80s and “90s, real life twins MOTHERMARY deliver a seductive and sinful dark pop banger that would make Christ blush.
76. Deaton Chris Anthony, “Shed Head”
Imagine the ice cold science synths of Gary Numan underneath the boyish punk vocals of Blink-182 and you roughly get where Deaton is at. He takes his nostalgic analogue sound to a new level here, making things conceptual but not overly convoluted. It’s dream-making synth pop for the youth.
75. Joy Orbison, “pinky ring”
U.K. garage with sampled vocals can go wrong in many ways, either by doing too much or too little. Orbison hits the sweet spot with “pinky ring”, keeping the material intriguing and buzzing but still subdued.
74. Rauw Alejandro / Baby Rasta, “PUNTO 40”
“PUNTO 40” is a dirty, digital reggaeton banger from a man Wikipedia calls “the king of modern Reaggeton”, Rauw Alejandro. Although there was a lot of cool pop experimentation on his newest record SATURNO, it was the classic style that really captured my favor.
73. Destroy Lonely, “NOSTYLIST”
Destroy Lonely, like Yeat, is not the deepest or most clever rapper in the book, but he does have the crucial hype factor. “NOSTYLIST” is non-corny extension of his signer Playboi Carti’s Whole Lotta Red.
72. piri & tommy, “words”
The music of piri & tommy, like fellow UK girl PinkPantheress, is short, sweet and to the point. “words” is their best offering so far, a house track about thinking before you speak.
71. Pusha T, “Let The Smokers Shine The Coupes”
The Arby’s commercial nearly pushed T over the hill for us personally, yet his newest album is so good that it’s hard to deny the power. The Pharrell produced “Let The Smokers Shine The Coupes” is a sample heavy coke-bar filled riot that no one else could make.
70. Hackle, “Bakelite”
In the absence of new Sematary material, fellow Haunted Mound member emerges from the shadows with a furious track that sounds like a cross between Waka Flocka Flame and Leatherface. HAUNT-A-HOLICS!
69. Earl Sweatshirt, “Titanic”
The line “you look drained you should get some rest” from this cut has taunted me all year in my late night writing sessions, and I had to include this track not just for that reason but also because it’s a slapper. “Revenge is best served, cold dish…”
68. yeule, “Too Dead Inside”
Cybernetic pop music like this is the future that Grimes carved out so many years ago with Visions. So while she’s doing whatever she's doing now, it’s songs like “Too Dead Inside” by computer pop star yeule that will keep us forging ahead into the unknown.
67. Black Country, New Road, “Chaos Space Marine”
Before leaving BC,NR, Isaac Woods was kind enough to drop this absolute gem. It’s a flawlessly produced, nerdy and cinematic rager about, what exactly? I don’t know. But that’s never really the point, it’s the adventure of it all! So long chumps!
66. SASAMI, “Call Me Home”
I don’t think there has been an artist that’s made as much of a drastic stylistic shift this year than former lo-fi indie chick SASAMI. Even with more extreme punk songs all over her newest LP, this slightly woozy, heartfelt ballad is her very best song yet.
65. Daphni, “Cloudy”
Daphni, aka Caribou, aka Dan Snaith’s newest record is full of looping dance memories like “Cloudy”, but none of them stand out to be quite as elegant or intriguing.
64. Izzy Spears, “FIST”
In the masculine pantheon of hip-hop saying “suck a little dick” without following up with a pause is pretty ballsy. Thankfully we have people like Izzy Spears to flip this on it’s head, even if it’s just for a short amount of time.
63. Mura Masa / Shygirl / Channel Tres, “hollaback bitch”
Doing what she does best over jazzy, nocturnal production, Shygirl is swerving a fuckboy with no hesitation. Her fearless style always yields these interesting perspectives that always get made into bangers by adept producers, and “hollaback bitch” is no exception.
62. Genesis Owusu, “Get Inspired”
Genesis Owusu is back sooner than expected to tell you to stop your damn complaining and GET INSP-IRED (howboutdat?). Continuing the same rap/funk/rock/pop fusion he cultivated on his near flawless debut, “Get Inspired” is just another grand showcase of his endless talent. Shoutout Ourness ✌️
61. Bad Bunny, “Neverita”
60. Kelela, “Happy Ending”
It seems like all the music meme pages love to ask people for new music, but don’t appreciate artists who actually do it. Kelela has been radio silent for a while, but has returned this year with some of her best and most energetic material, “Happy Ending” being the best of the best. It’s a sick, impassioned little breakbeat record that has me very excited for her new record.
59. Hittkidd / GloRilla / Latto / JT, “F.N.F. (Remix)”
Crunk music is meant to be aggressive by its design, but that was usually led by men, whether it’s Lil Jon or Duke Deuce. This time, the women are in charge and they’re stealing everyone’s hoes and scaring everyone in the neighborhood. This is the insecure man’s worst nightmare, a crazy celebration of female friendship.
58. Lil Uzi Vert, “Just Wanna Rock”
Lil Uzi is so talented that he doesn’t even let his rapping do the talking for him anymore, it’s just a pure Jersey Club vibe that propels this one. The rave is his newest creative chamber, and this is the most exciting statement in that genre from him since “Futsal Shuffle 2020”.
57. Chat Pile, “Slaughterhouse”
Maximizing the atmosphere of their sludge metal with industrial drum machines, Chat Pile invokes the fear of God on “Slaughterhouse”. There is a real urgency to what is going on here, appearing first in the heavy riffs before spreading to the panicked, desperate lead vocals.
56. Nathy Peluso, “ESTÁS BUENÍSIMO”
Nathy is the hardest working pop star in all of South America for sure, maybe on Earth generally speaking. On “ESTÁS BUENÍSIMO” she’s taking a break from her endless gym runs, vocal warmups and dance rehearsals to engage in the indulgences of the flesh. And no one deserves it more, let the girl take a break!
55. The Hellp, “meant2be”
Harkening back to the prime time days of ‘00s electro, The Hellp makes magic on “meant2be”. Once you get over the indie sleaze of it all, what lies below is a prime distillation of the best of that period, where groups like Crystal Castles or SALEM would drop underground classics on a weekly basis.
54. Yves Tumor, “God Is A Circle”
Continuing down the indie rock rabbit role they’ve dug themselves into, Yves Tumor depicts a white hot romance, one that may be too powerful to sustain. It’s an existential love ballad hidden between the riffs, just listen carefully and allow Yves to seep in.
53. Beach House, “New Romance”
Beach House’s little evolutions are always so exciting to keep an eye on. “New Romance” feels like a much brighter and hi-fi version of the sound we all know and love, and with it comes additional beauty in the finer details. Never has Victoria’s purposeful poetry sounded so crystal clear.
52. Eartheater, “Mitosis”
Every new Eartheater song just sounds like the world ending by the order of some new beast. With assistance from Sega Bodega, the beast is a slow moving but vocally powerful snail monster that uses her tried-and-true vocal wailing to great effect.
51. LustSickPuppy / Andy Morin, “BOY DESTROYER”
In the absence of new Death Grips material, hearing anything Andy Morin aka Flatlander produces is a blessing, the sound is so distinct and triggers something in people. It’s even better that NYC rap-punk DIY phenom LSP is at the helm here, steamrolling men with her signature DGAF force.
50. beabadoobee, “Sunny day”
While her debut was a little too wistful and nostalgic for my particular taste, “Sunny day” is way too cute to possibly be able to deny. Plain and simple.