Each year around this time, websites like this one start to roll out their Top Songs or Best Albums of the Year lists. It may seem like a pretty straightforward exercise in list-making, but the purposes are many. First and foremost, they serve a highly shareable piece of content, delivering a broad range of relatable media nuggets for as many people to engage with as possible. Slightly less important than that is that they provide the authors of said lists a chance to exhibit their refined, or calculatedly unrefined, musical taste. Perhaps, if it’s gamed just right, it might inspire outrage, which only further heightens the shareability factor.
In their purest form, lists like these, including the one I’m about to unfurl here, should simply be a reminder of some enjoyable music you may or may not have heard this year. That’s the job of the music writer, after all: to draw readers a map to where the treasure is buried. And to make everyone think they’re cool.
So, here you go, the best however many number of songs this ends up being of the year, from me, the guy who is good, including links to things I wrote about the songs over the course of the year where applicable. There’s no real order here until the end. [Spotify playlist included now at the end.]
“Weekend” by VÉRITÉ
With a glut of this sort of production-swooning style this year, it’s not easy to maintain a sense of humanity.
“Dirt Stash” by Sneeze
“Dirt Stash” has an unmistakably corrosive edge, but it’s a purposefully noise-hampered, hook-laden track. (Read more)
“Alkaline” by Papertwin
The song’s dark, analog synths have a sense of momentum to them. It’s exactly the type of track you’d put on your headphones and zone out to yourself as you walked or ran through the city. Read more.
“Never Get Close” by The Slow Revolt
The rare example of the electronic r&b moment we’re in where the emotional impact of the instrumentation matches the vocals.
“Ghost” by Sir Sly
Haunting in the exactly the way you wish you’d get haunted.