Top 20 Tracks of 2022 (20-11)

20. Vince Staples ft. Ty Dolla $ign “Lemonade”

Before it was used in an Acura Next-Gen Integra commercial, “Lemonade” was simply the standout track from Vince Staples‘ album Ramona Park Broke My Heart. It is easy to see why Acura would have tapped the single for commercial use; the chorus of “feelin like ice cold lemonade” is a perfect evocative image for the summer but that isn’t quite what the song is about. Talking about issues with fame and money, Staples ends the chorus with “sometimes life tastes bittersweet” bring the simile full circle. – Adam Tercyak-Morgan

19. Bad Nerves “Alright”

This band is the UK’s little secret for now until they blow up. Bobby Nerves piercing vocals and the band’s punk aesthetic never sounded so good and we have a huge welcome mat whenever they want to wash upon our shores. – Robert Frezza

18. Horsegirl “Anti-Glory”

If you’d heard Horsegirl’s single “Anti-Glory” without knowing you were listening to a band that had been together less than a handful of years, you may have assumed you were experiencing an uncovered gem from some short-lived, underground indie rock act from the early nineties. The Chicago trio, made up of Nora Cheng, Penelope Lowenstein, and Gigi Reece, have a mature sound and compositional acuity that belies their young age. With a simple beat, a pulsing bass, and a tense lead guitar line snaking through, “Anti-Glory’s” lyrics describe being seduced and compelled to dance by a band. Ironically, Horsegirl’s “Anti-Glory” does just that. – Andy Mascola

17. Frog Eyes “When You Turn on the Light”

Although “When You Turn on the Light”, the first single from Frog Eyes’ excellent full-length album The Bees, came out in the first weeks of this year, the heart-wrenching song stuck with us throughout 2022. Over sustained, distorted electric guitar touches and a simple drum pattern reminiscent of The Ronette’s “Be My Baby”, Carey Mercer sings an achingly “sad memory song” about a roommate’s boyfriend being killed in a car accident and the roommate’s subsequent overdose. Throughout “When You Turn on the Light”, the mentioning of objects associated with a professional painter’s studio help to artfully flesh out this beautiful, cathartic lament on the processing of grief. – Andy Mascola

16. Abby Sage “The Florist”

The titular track from Abby Sage‘s 2022 EP, “The Florist” is a meditation on minimalism. Building pathos with a mixture of folk and kraut rock, the instrumental is mesmerizing. It is only enhanced with the lyrics which was mostly just a select few phrases repeated, the most haunting of which is the chorus mantra “cut step, trip crack/cut down, trim back.” – Adam Tercyak-Morgan

15. Steve Lacy “Bad Habit”

Steve Lacy sets himself apart from his original band the Internet but at the same time grew from his roots. His R&B grooves will get you addicted in “Bad Habit” as he croons “I wish I knew, I wish I knew you wanted me”. – Robert Frezza

14. OFF! “Kill to be Heard”

In a song lasting exactly two minutes, the Los Angeles punk supergroup OFF! seemingly squeeze out every last ounce of energy and anger they have with their devastating hardcore anthem “Kill To Be Heard”. Frontman Keith Morris sounds gloriously maniacal as he shouts lines like, “False flag, rapture sham, at the children’s prison camp!” OFF! take no prisoners as the band’s ultra-heavy sound attacks fast and without mercy. There’s no preparing for this one. “Kill To Be Heard” is a moment you need to experience to believe. – Andy Mascola

13. Tegan and Sara “I Can’t Grow Up”

12. Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Burning”

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs sound may have gotten slicker throughout the years but this particular tune is a true return to form off their new album Cool It Down. – Robert Frezza

11. The Dare “Girls”

The Dare, the project of Brooklyn-based DJ Harrison Parker Smith, scored a retrotastic dance hit with the song “Girls”. Modeled in a musical and lyrical style similar to electroclash bangers from the aughts, Smith’s energetic and oddly horny track found a home in clubs all over NYC. As if to keep things lively and fun, “Girls” adds levity to the revelry as Smith sings lines like, “I like girls who pregnant, girls who give it up for lent, girls who so fuckin’ kinky that they’re bent.” “Girls” proved, once again, a song need not take itself too seriously to be both catchy and cool. Let’s hope this isn’t the last time we hear from The Dare. – Andy Mascola

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