TheThe songs we've had on repeat all year.songs we've had on repeat all year.
This year has marked quite an explosive end to a decade in terms of music, as we appear to be looking at a future of young musicians doing exactly what they want, how they want, while many long-established artists have refused to compromise their sound to stay relevent. The result is some seriously unapologetic and infectious tunes that will stay on our playlists for a long time to come.
1. Bad Guy - Billie Eilish
She's released without doubt our favourite album of the year with 'When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go?' at the age of just 17, and it's almost impossible to pick any one single to talk about here. 'Bad Guy' however is an example of how pop doesn't have to be the stereotypical sound you're used to hearing, because Billie Eilish has seriously changed the way we think about chart music.
2. Crown - Stormzy
Not that we ever doubted him, but Stormzy smashed the bar with his second album 'Heavy is the Head' after raising it high with 'Gang Signs & Prayer'. While the world might be vibing with lead single 'Vossi Bop', we decided that the emotionally-charged'Crown' was way more impactful, dealing with the various pressures and criticisms that the grime star has experienced over the last couple of years.
3. You Need To Calm Down - Taylor Swift
Taylor's epic single from 'Lover' came just in time for Pride, and while she's no stranger to writing songs about brushing off haters, 'You Need To Calm Down' has got to be the best one yet. Some may see it as a token gesture towards the LGBTQ+ community and a way to profit from Pride, but to those people we say: "Why are you mad when you could be GLAAD?"
4. Old Town Road - Lil Nas X
Putting country rap on the map was Lil Nas X earlier this year when 'Old Town Road' went viral as part of the #Yeehaw Challenge on TikTok. It gained further attention when Billboard were branded "racist" for removing the song from the Hot Country Songs chart for allegedly not fitting in with the genre enough. Later country star Billy Ray Cyrus proved otherwise by joining Lil Nas X for an incredible remix.
5. Before You Go - Lewis Capaldi
Everyone's favourite Glaswegian Lewis Capaldi stole hearts with his incredible debut album 'Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent', featuring the Platinum hit 'Someone You Loved', as well as his latest 'Before You Go'. Capaldi may be the guy who puts a smile on our faces whatever our mood, but this song tackles suicide with earnest candor.
6. Break Up Bye Bye (Frock Destroyers Version) - The Cast of RuPaul's Drag Race UK
It has to be said that Drag Race UK smashed their first song and dance performance in the first season in a way that Drag Race US hasn't been able to do in ten years. The drag queens were tasked to perform an original song with their own verses and a dance routine, and Baga Chipz, Blu Hydrangea and Divina De Campo's team did so well that they won the task and even stormed the iTunes Chart.
7. Cellophane - FKA Twigs
Few heartbreak songs cut quite as deep as this number from FKA Twigs' eagerly anticipated album 'Magdalene'. All the pain that she's experienced in the last three years while she's not been releasing music is overflowing in this song, her vocals at their purest and most vulnerable. The rest of the album is an extension of this tear-jerking emotional journey.
8. Parents - Yungblud
This 22-year-old emo rapper from Doncaster is proving to be quite the role model for people who struggle to be themselves in a conformist world. This single from Yungblud's 2019 EP 'The Underrated Youth' sees him reassurring the young generation that they don't always need to listen to adults, especially when it comes to their choices in sexual expression.
9. Deutschland - Rammstein
Taken from arguably their greatest album ever, Deutschland is just one example of a series of near flawless tracks from German rock titans Rammstein. The new album - either untitled or self-titled, the concensus remains unclear - is an indomitable release and their first in 10 years. That decade has not been wasted.
10. Memories - Maroon 5
In a most ambitious and creative move, Maroon 5 decided to use the classical piece Pachelbel's Canon as the basis for their harmonic sequence in their current single 'Memories' to wondrous effect. We don't often see it in pop music, but Maroon 5 somehow made it work in their sentimental track about a lost loved one.