Welcome to YEAR END COUNTDOWN WEEK! Today we start with my Top ten songs for 2022. This includes some big hits, some obscure stuff, and downright good songs. Many different genres are covered here, and I'm pretty sure there's something here for everyone. Be sure to check out the @thedeathofthemixtape on instagram for the accompanying mixtape so you can listen as you read. Enjoy!
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HAPPY ACCIDENT, I DON'T KNOW WHO NEEDS TO HEAR THIS…
At number ten, we start the countdown with the slow grueling downturn of emotions. Hailing from Kentucky, Sarah Beth Tomberlin creates a song that’s stuck in a rut metaphorically, as Sarah Beth ruminates about the struggles of compassionate relationships and the feeling of being used only when it’s good for the other. Her second album released this year is full of these types of emotions, if you feel the hesitancy and sadness permeating throughout, especially on “Happy Accident.”
ABOUT DAMN TIME, SPECIAL
I often am either all in or all out when it comes to LIZZO, and while I think the heights of her fame are inevitably going to dwindle, this calling card for her second full length record is simply hard to resist. The beat is catchy, Lizzo’s wordplay is still top notch. Her rhymes are also excellent in this song, which is only matched by the upbeat dance track mixed into the background. It’s hard to find an artist that has done more for awareness and openness in recent years than Lizzo has, and while the album wasn’t a home run for me, this song is infectious and absolutely deserves to be on this list.
8 KING PRINCESS
FOR MY FRIENDS, HOLD ON BABY
As a person who has extreme difficulties with mental health, this song resonated with me on a very personal level. On “For My Friends,” King Princess speaks freely about her own struggles and how patience is required for loving and experiencing herself. Again, the lyrics are very transparent in their difficulty, but with the addition of a great synth pop beat, the song breathes life into the issues we all have as human beings. During this year, this song was there for me during moments of rough living, but with that knowledge of a tricky life, songs like this create a barrier for the listener and a repository for the hurt.
7 NILUFER YANYA
The lyrics are sung in a rushed manner, yet it never hinders the song. Quite the contrary, as it’s a full blown anthem in the shape of renewal. Seeing this song performed live this year at Shaky Knees was the perfect atmosphere for a song that makes You feel strong dancing to this track, like you could “Stabilize” the world with just dancing. Yanya has grown musically in a pretty consistent manner, and if quality songs like this are the new norm for Nilüfer, I’m all about it. Just one of those lose yourself songs that we all need, especially when raw emotions need to be eliminated.
6 HEALTH w/ NINE INCH NAILS
ISN’T EVERYONE, DISCO 4
Health has been a reliably heavy band since their inception, but with added focus and intensity from Nine Inch Nails, it all seems way easier. Reznor voice fits in with Health's music like a glove, not only adding precision to an already stellar track, but building a bridge between older industrial gods and the new ring bearers of the genre. There’s little here to complain about, only that one song isn’t enough when you hear how rewarding the product was. If it were up to me HEALTH would be the de facto opener for all NIN shows, but I am not a god,
5 THE SMILE
YOU WILL NEVER WORK IN TELEVISION AGAIN, A LIGHT FOR ATTRACTING ATTENTION
As you’ll learn in the days ahead, I really love this record. And this song only adds to its brilliance. The first thing I notice is the demanding drums and the reverberations of the instrumental elements. Yorke's voice also shimmers savagely as he barks out hurried vocals that match beautifully with the whirlwind of surrounding song. It’s one of the more intense songs on her record, yet it’s in these rapturous moments where we see the juxtaposition of the bands easier to swallow ambient tracks.
4 SHARON VAN ETTEN
MISTAKES, WE’VE BEEN GOING ABOUT THIS ALL WRONG
Not quite the best song in her career, but one that gave me the energy to keep going this year. “Mistakes” lands at number four on the Year End Songs list. Etten's vocals and lyrics are nothing if not brutally honest, and listening to “Mistakes” gives the feeling of familiar vulnerability inherent in most of her works as a solo artist. The song itself is pretty straight forward alternative rock, and while I never get used to her unique voice, it’s always cathartic to know you’re not alone in C.K. you all bouncing back from your own “Mistakes.”
ROBOT WRITES A LOVE SONG, THE UNRAVELING OF PUPTHEBAND
One of the easiest things to enjoy about Pup, the band, is the way lyricist and guitarist Stefan Babcock can make sense of turbulent times in the lives of mature adults. On “Robot Writes a Love Song” Pup walks the line between serious and humorous, with the lyrics representing a failed relationship, but using computer lingo to bridge the gap between loss and understanding. The chorus and bridges are ideal for a sing along, which again makes it easy to sing and relate to. All in all, it’s an honestly heartfelt breakup song about redemption and understanding. For all of these reasons, Pup’s technological heart break anthem lands at number three.
2 WET LEG
CHAISE LOUNGE, WET LEG
Other than the number one track , there’s been very few songs this year that had the impact that this track has. The double entendres flow rapidly through the brief three minute song? With vocalist Rhian Teasdale waxing proctor about the sexy dangers of college and the world at large. The rhyming of suggestive lyrics makes the song easy to laugh at as well, yet it’s never a bad song for driving either. This song has brutally not been part of the recent best songs of the year lists I’ve seen, which is a tragedy in my opinion, and this song is a perfect calling card for a new set of female rockers who want to blur the line between Seductive and serious, which they do amazing well at.
1 DEMI LOVATO
29, HOLY FUCK
When I first heard this song, it was under the guise of a formally pop star queen venting and turning over all the dirty traumatic stones of Demi’s life and her recovery. To be clear, this song is vulnerable and waking up to the wreaking of what life’s used to be like. The lyrics don’t hold back on Lovato’s frame of mind during her adolescence, but it frames everything in a manner that’s easy to digest and understand, even if the source material is no laughing matter. Essentially she was a pawn in a game of grooming, but it took her years, until she was near her Saturn return in years that she wasn’t able to grasp before. “29,” to me is about remembering your mistakes and naivety and managing to turn them around through real world and life difficulties. Beyond the material, Demi’s voice can fill stadiums here, with the rock oriented music really hammering down the brilliance of this emotionally cathartic song. I present to you, my song of the year, “29” by Demi Lovato.
Landon Murray is a music connooisseur who craves sounds of all shapes and textures. He's seen over 2000 bands and looks forward to welcoming you into his world of sound,
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