Best Songs of 2021

Here’s a list of my top songs for this year, in an order that might be surprisingly mixable. These are not necessarily from 2021; I just happened to have heard them in the last twelve months.

  1. No Hard Feelings, by Wolf Alice on Blue Weekend
  2. Getting Older, by Billie Eilish on Happier Than Ever
  3. Drivers License, by Olivia Rodrigo on Sour
  4. Champagne Problems, by Taylor Swift on Evermore
  5. Obedear, by Purity Ring on Shrines
  6. Humankind, by Coldplay on Music of the Spheres
  7. Natural Blues (Reprise Version), by Moby on Reprise
  8. Don’t Go Dark, by Bleachers on Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night
  9. Deja Vu, by Olivia Rodrigo on Sour
  10. Hard Drive, by Cassandra Jenkins on An Overview on Phenomenal Nature
  11. She Used to Be Mine, by Jessie Mueller on Waitress – Original Broadway Cast Recording
  12. Traitor, by Olivia Rodrigo on Sour
  13. Black Hole, by Griff on One Foot in Front of the Other
  14. Fallen Angel, by Erasure on The Neon
  15. The Let Down, by Francis Lung on Miracle
  16. Good Girls, by Chvrches on Screen Violence
  17. Hero, by Weezer on Van Weezer
  18. You Had to Be There, by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones on When God Was Great
  19. Made to Love (feat. Ronnie Wood, Gina Martin & Dr. Mos-Shogbamimu), by Imelda May on 11 Past the Hour
  20. Happier, by Olivia Rodrigo on Sour
  21. Let Me Love You Like A Woman, by Lana Del Rey on Chemtrails Over the Country Club

As you can see, Olivia Rodrigo is on here four times, and they are all deserving. What a talent! “Happier” is my favorite song of hers, and perhaps for this mix, though Cassandra Jenkins’ “Hard Drive” is such a delightfully oddball song…they’re both great.

Favorite Songs of 2020

Here’s a list of my top songs for this year, in an order that might be surprisingly mixable. These are not necessarily from 2020; I just happened to have heard them in the last twelve months.

Horses, by Tomo Nakayama on Music from Touchy Feely
August, by Taylor Swift on Folklore
Conversations in the Dark, by John Legend on Bigger Love
Husavik, by My Marianne feat. Will Ferrell on Eurovision Song Contest
Now I’m in It, by Haim on Women in Music Pt. III
That Feeling, by Young London on Laggies
I Hate Everybody, by Halsey on Manic
Scared To Live (SNL Live), by The Weeknd on After Hours (Deluxe)
This Is Everything, by Grouplove on Healer
Delete Forever, by Grimes on Miss Anthropocene

Playing Dead, by Breathe Owl Breathe on Your Sister’s Sister
This Summer, by Loren Allred on This Summer
Bad Decisions, by The Strokes on The New Abnormal
Inner Child, by BTS on Map of the Soul: 7
Retrospect, by Vistas on Everything Changes in the End
Nothing at All, by Perfume Genius on Set My Heart on Fire Immediately
Death Stranding, by Chvrches on Death Stranding
Empress, by Snow Patrol on Wildness
Spring, by Angel Olsen on All Mirrors

We lost an excellent filmmaker this year, Lynn Shelton. Three of the songs featured on this list are from her movies — Touchy Feely (Horses), Laggies (That Feeling), and Your Sister’s Sister (Playing Dead). Touchy Feely is my favorite film of hers, but really, they’re all excellent.

Skin Deep: Dreamcast and Playlist

At My Book, the Movie, I dream up the perfect cast for the film adaptation of Skin Deep. Please, if you have Awkwafina’s and Cate Blanchett’s phone numbers, give them a ring for me.

At largehearted boy, check out the the music for Skin Deep.

There’s even a Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure.

Favorite Songs of 2019

Here’s a list of my top songs for this year, in an order that might be surprisingly mixable. These are not necessarily from 2019; I just happened to have heard them in the last twelve months.

Love Song, by Lana Del Rey on Norman Fucking Rockwell!
Married in a Gold Rush, by Vampire Weekend feat. Danielle Haim on Father of the Bride
Cracking Codes, by Andrew Bird on My Finest Work Yet
Gloria, by The Lumineers on III
Hustle, by P!nk on Hurts 2B Human
Paper Rings, by Taylor Swift on Lover
Bad Guy, by Billie Eilish on When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Make It Right, by BTS on Map of the Soul: Persona
Some Kind of Love, by Dido on Still on My Mind
Orpheus, by Sara Bareilles on Amidst the Chaos
Falling for Boys, by Julia Michaels on Inner Monologue Part 2

Digital Boy, by Serena Jade (Live from the Rockwood Music Hall, NYC, 8-3-2019)
Stupid Things, by Keane on Cause and Effect
Allergic, by Post Malone on Hollywood’s Bleeding
I Was Terrible, by How to Dress Well on Care
Young Enough, by Charly Bliss on Young Enough
Billie Jean, by Weezer on Weezer (Teal Album)
Real Love, by Carly Rae Jepsen on Dedicated
Feels Good, by Lissie on Castles
Light on, by Maggie Rogers on Heard It in a Past Life

Many good tunes here, but I really dug the Charly Bliss song. Hugely anthemic, Young Enough just soars and soars.