The 2022 edition of our Annual Report begins today with our Top 50 Songs list. As the year winds down, stay tuned for more awards, lists, and articles about the best music, film, and TV of 2022. You can find it all in one place here.
Things are still far from perfect, but relatively speaking, 2022 was an okay year. With a push towards returning to semblance of normalcy, the last 12 months felt a bit like the “hard launch” of live music’s return; luckily for us, there was plenty of fantastic new music worth — to paraphrase Paramore — leaving our houses for.
Really. We had a lot to pore over. Early-year Artist of the Month alumni Momma and Wet Leg gave us riffs that we’re still humming along to in December. Indie rock veterans like Alex G, Big Thief, and Alvvays each managed to put out some of the best songs in their already-fantastic discographies. Bad Bunny, Taylor Swift, Harry Styles, and Beyoncé kept pop fans fed, while cuts from rising acts like Ice Spice, Soul Glo, and Bartees Strange set new standards for what their respective genres can be.
That’s not to say everything’s been perfect. The past year has given us a laundry list of aspects we need to re-evaluate within the music business in order to maintain it both as a lucrative stream of income and as an accessible form of entertainment for consumers. We sure don’t have all the answers, but we know they’re questions worth asking.
And if you needed any proof, here are just 50 songs released in 2022 that reminded us that music is a fine art, and worth fighting for.
— Abby Jones
Editor’s note: Scroll to the end for a playlist of all 50 tracks.