Author: Dan Shade (@dan_shaded)
Although I too had Taylor Swift’s Midnights album in my Spotify wrapped, my criteria for the best songs of 2022 are more nuanced than just popularity. Top 40 and Hot 100 lists are easy popularity contests, but my songs of the year are based on a set of criteria that each song had to at least meet one of:
- Mixed/Remixed/VIP’d: Played often
- Buzz Worthy: Discussed heavily in the circles
- Significance: Significant for the artist/genre
- Sound Production: – The track is just HOT (and released in 2022)
- Longevity: It’s on my playlists to stay!
*If the song wasn’t formally released this year, it at least gained traction in 2022*
Without further ado, here are the tracks that stamped their mark on my Airpods this year!
Top 10 Songs of 2022:
- Hamdi – Skanka
The first time I heard this track was at a Griz free show for the people in Denver. It was mixed into his DJ set, but the way it rocked the crowd was something I’ll never forget. Shazam caught it and it popped up multiple times throughout the year, including a John Summit techno/house set at EDC Orlando. It’s still in heavy rotation and doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
- LYNY – Noxious
If you participate in the experimental bass scene at all, you’ve very likely heard this song that sounds like a duck quacking to some fire low-fi bass. It’s experimental, very recognizable, and a perfect fit for a lot of styles of sets from the festival set to the afterhours. There’s never a bad time for this track from rising Chicago-based artist LYNY.
- Griz & CloZee – Color of Your Soul
Debuting at Space Camp in December 2021, this track captured the tribal energy of Clozee with the colorful wubs of Griz. It’s a euphoric, loud, and melodic celebration of our humanity, and no matter how many times I heard it this year, it hasn’t lost its shine.
- Kx5 – Escape (John Summit Remix)
Even if you don’t think you’ve heard this song, you probably have. It was at almost every music event I attended this year. We couldn’t get enough of the melody of true escapism. No song made me want to dance like no one was watching, like this one.
- G Jones – Operator
With incredibly detailed sound production and scales that will take you up the mountain and through the valley, G Jones has created a full-ranging composition within a single track. Played as an ID long before its release, the song still staggers me, particularly live.
- Flume – Slugger 1.4
If you haven’t heard the story, Harley (Flume) announced that he had discovered a laptop he had thought was lost, which had a selection of never released music from his self-titled album era. The song sounds both familiar and relevant despite being years old now. It was an exciting story and a reminder that Flume has known where music was going before most of us.
- Odesza – The Last Goodbye
The long-awaited album release from Odesza finally dropped as a single called “The Last Goodbye”. The song captures the tone of their fourth studio album perfectly. It’s moody, emotionally resonant, and has some unique sound production mixed in. Their tour has wrapped up, but don’t be surprised if they make multiple festival appearances including the already-announced appearance at the Electric Forest in June 2023. I’m confident this era of Odesza is going to be around for a while.
- Marten Horger & BRANDON – Let’s Try It
Racking up over 3 million streams, this track also made a solid amount of appearances throughout the house/techno festivals I attended this year. Something about the way the bassline comes in just never gets old. This track was in my top 5 most listened-to songs this year and I was apparently in good company.
- Skrillex & Noisia – Horizon
We still have not gotten our ears on the long-awaited, much-rumored Skrillex album, but he’s definitely released some incredibly unique tracks lately (“Supersonic” from 2021 being a track that’s shown ‘super’ *sorry* longevity). “Horizon” captures a few different genres with its melodic drum n bass underscore and meditative subtle lyrics that drive through the peaks and valleys of the sound design.
- La Fine Equipe – Don’t Panik (Clozee Remix)
Clozee played this at every set I saw from her but always with a slightly different flavor of sound design or visual effects to keep it fresh and exciting. The track has finally been released, but fans of her are already very familiar with its booming trip-hop bass lines, live DJ influence, and lyrical flow. When she played it at her Red Rocks show, she even brought out a French DMC Champion to scratch vinyl to this very song!
Other honorable mentions (categorized because we love a category):
Best Sound Production:
- G Jones – Operator
- Deathpact – Falling
- Flume – DLHC
- Culprate – Fly
- Skrillex – Torture Me
- Fred Again.. – Delilah (Pull me out of this)
- Rezz & Deathpact – Chemical Bond
Underrated Tracks You Might Have Missed:
- Josh Teed – Nightmare Sonata
- Jaenga – Candles in the Sky
- Tape B – Exposed
- I_o, Lights – Fever
- Blanke – Polaris
- Wreckno – Delusional
- G Space – Hurt
Elusive IDs Finally Released:
- Smoakland & Ravenscoon – Never Heard of Ya
- GRIZ & Zeds Dead – Ecstasy of Soul
- Kevin De Vries – Dance with Me
- Raaket – Selecta
- Tipper – Groundscore
- Zeds Dead & Subtronics – Gassed Up VIP
- Smoakland – Method
You can hear every song listed above in This Spotify Playlist!
There’s an overwhelming amount of incredible artists, genres, releases, and edits and no list will ever be comprehensive. The best we can hope for is some good word of mouth and enthusiasm from those around us.
Tell us what you think of these lists and what your top songs were!