75 Best Songs of 2021

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This year when you were waiting in line for vaccine shot, taking an Uber to a bar for the first time in a year, or killing time in between watching any of the following:

Joe Biden’s inauguration
The Tokyo Olympics
Giannis dominate the NBA
Tom Brady dominate the NFL (again)
The process of freeing Britney (we did it)
The fluctuating prices of crypto and NFTs
or Squid Game

You were probably listening to something. And it was probably Adele or Olivia Rodrigo. But a lot happened in music this year, including a robust year for indie music, the return of concerts, the first annual Indie Pong Song of Summer Competition, and me finally seeing Everclear live and absolutely losing my mind. You were listening to something, and when you look back and listen to it a few years from now it will always remind you of the year that we got our lives back. Here are my top 75 songs of 2021. Keep in mind that this is objective and definitive, and if you have a different opinion it’s probably wrong.

Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/76S58vvSbS5Z1MJrVIHotY?si=f3745224e00f452e

75. “Be Sweet” – Japanese Breakfast
74. “deja vu” – Olivia Rodrigo
73. “Eastside” – F.A.B.L.E., ‘Kechi, Sage P, Domerie
72. “Great Mass of Color” – Deafheaven
71. “HUH?” – Serena Isioma
70. “I Do This All The Time” – Self Esteem
69. “peacewise silence” – Ackerman
68. “ENTERTAINMENT” – SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE
67. “Txu Txu” – PPJ, Páula, Povoa, Jerge
66. “Never Been More Sure” – Royel Otis
65. “Name” – spill tab
64. “Come To Life” – Kanye West
63. “American tterroristt” – RXKNephew
62. “You Lose!” – Magdalena Bay
61. “Brand New” – TARYN
60. “All Grown Up” – Londo
59. “Take Off” – Prinze George
58. “Crying During Sex” – Carol Ades
57. “Surrender” – Tseba, PRICIE
56. “Heaven is a Pill” – thanks for coming
55. “Head Cheerleader” – Pom Pom Squad
54. “Velcro” – spill tab, Gus Dapperton
53. “telephone wires” – maxime.
52. “Gang Signs” – Freddie Gibbs, ScHoolboy Q
51. “Sister” – TSHA
50. “Give Me Your Love” – Girl Ray
49. “Hidden Qi 隐.气” – Mindy Meng Wang 王萌 and Tim Shiel
48. “Root Mean Square” – Summer Like the Season
47. “These Things Will Come To Be” – DJ Seinfeld
46. “Down On Your Luck” – SACHI
45. “Comerte Entera” – C. Tangana, Toquinho
44. “Basement” – Church Girls
43. “the angel of 8th ave.” – Gang of Youths
42. “La Perla” – Sofia Kourtesis
41. “Silk Chiffon” – MUNA, Phoebe Bridgers
40. “Swing of Things” – MAY-A, Powfu
39. “I Don’t Live Here Anymore” – The War On Drugs, Lucius
38. “Back To Oz” – Sufjan Stevens, Angelo De Augustine
37. “Hard Drive” – Cassandra Jenkins
36. “You Could Be” – Anz, George Riley
35. “Handsome Man” – Wednesday
34. “Mazda5” – MyKey, marinelli
33. “Rich & Famous” – Shelley FKA DRAM
32. “3 AM” – HAIM, Thundercat
31. “Welcome To The People (Baltra Remix)” – Jaded, Baltra
30. “Only for Tonight” – Pearl Charles
29. “spit it out” – Roksana
28. “Strawberry” – Doss
27. “Skyscrapers” – Nina Kraviz
26. “Bouncin” – Tinashe
25. “Enough” – Appleby
24. “Wake” – Big Scary
23. “Good Ones” – Charli XCX
22. “Jail 2” – Kanye West
21. “Little Things” – Big Thief
20. “Louisiana Jukebox” – Mad Gatsby
19. “Cold Blood” – Junior Varsity
18. “Go Outside” – Ratboys
17. “Payday” – Doja Cat, Young Thug
16. “Peaches” – Justin Bieber, Daniel Caesar, Giveon
15. “But She Loves You” – Merk
14. “We’ll Figure It Out” – Black Dresses
13. “ALL COPS ARE BASTARDS*” – BLACKSTARKIDS
12. “Xiu” – Yu Su
11. “The Mission” – Bakar
10. “He Gets Me So High” – beabadoobee
9. “Don’t Need You” – Genesis Owusu
8. “Breathe” – Lawrence Rothman, Caroline Rose
7. “Starstruck (Vegyn Remix)” – Years & Years, Vegyn
6. “THE DOOR IS CLOSING” – SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE
5. “She Likes To Get High” – Cry Baby
4. “object permanence” – Sydney Sprague, Danielle Durack
3. “The Beginning” – Magdalena Bay
2. “Show Up” – Samia
1. “Jackie” – Yves Tumor


Some notes:

68. “ENTERTAINMENT” – SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE

You have to listen to the whole song, I admit the beginning is… challenging. But the transition from chaos to catchy and light-hearted perfectly sets up one of the best albums of the year.

67. “Txu Txu” – PPJ, Páula, Povoa, Jerge

Love this track. I specifically wanted to single it out because my ACTUAL favorite track of 2021 was released in November of 2020, and it’s amazing:

26. “Bouncin”- Tinashe

Why does Tinashe never miss, ever?

27. “Skyscrapers” – Nina Kraviz

This one is really interesting to me, because Nina is basically the most badass techno DJ in the game. I never expected a pop song, and I certainly didn’t expect one so aggressively good.

25. “Enough” – Appleby

It was hard to choose only one of Appleby’s songs, there were a lot of contenders. This Chicago native is up next. Mark my words, up next.

16. & 17.”Peaches” and “Payday”

These songs are truly so, so good. Peaches was more or less an anthem of this year along with Kiss Me More, which is also a banger but didn’t quite make the list. Payday did though, well-deserved.

15. “But She Loves You” – Merk

This song is so cool. To me it’s the quintessential song of the year that demonstrates doing more with less. The sounds are so simple, but the way they crescendo together is brilliant. A top 15 spot was a no brainer.

13. “ALL COPS ARE BASTARDS*” – BLACKSTARKIDS

BSK are the best, and continue to steadily rise with groundbreaking sounds and just… energy. All the love.

11. “The Mission” – Bakar

I’m not here to die on the hill of that nepotism is a good thing, but this take on nepotism being an earned thing that we all aim to get for our kids is refreshing.

9. “Don’t Need You” – Genesis Owusu

Easily one of the best albums of the year.

5. “She Likes To Get High” – Cry Baby

How fun is this song? What a just absolute jam. Tickles the ol’ nostalgia bone.

4. “object permanence” – Sydney Sprague

This was my #1 most listened to song of the year on Spotify

Wink GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

One thing I can say for sure about object permanence is that it has lasting power, times a million. I’ve listened to this song almost everyday for a year and it’s never gotten old once. The way a top 5 should be.

3. “The Beginning” – Magdalena Bay

This was album of the year for me, not close. I don’t know how they did it- Magdalena Bay somehow made an album that sounds like Rumours but done by Britney Spears. Every song sounds different, the melodies are amazing, it’s just a home run.

2. “Show Up” – Samia

According to Spotify Wrapped I’m a a Samia superfan so I guess you have to take it with a grain of salt but

SAMIA IS THE GREATEST ARTRISAT DISFJNSKDNFLKJSDF

Sorry I blacked out for a second, Samia has some chill tunes.

Also Big Wheel doesn’t make me cry nothing makes me cry:

1. “Jackie” – Yves Tumor

The thing with the best song of the year is that you just know. This song blows my mind every single time. Yves has also been making bangers for years. Keep being the coolest human being on the planet Yves, you’ve earned it.

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