From pop comebacks to international acts finding crossover success to gorgeous ballads and irresistible dancefloor bait, was quite the year. Here are the songs we couldn't stop playing this year. Think the vulnerable voice of Nina Simone waxing poetic about the ills of millennial dating. Following in the footsteps of international kings like Burna Boy and WizKid, Rema's crisp, charming vocals float over a bouncy rhythm that blends Afropop and hip-hop to create three minutes and 15 seconds of sheer joy. Sex sells, but Rapsody has never been one to conform to hip-hop's misogynistic views of women. Angel Olsen's lush, throaty voice connects with an eerie, '80s-leaning production to create a musical masterpiece. One of the most ubiquitous songs of came from pop's newest power couple. Hate it or love it, Shawn and Camila make magic together. DaBaby covers common rap tropes, yes, but it's his signature breathless, rapid-fire flow matching the high-energy beats he cruises on that sets hi, apart from his contemporaries.
This year has seen exciting new songs from indie veterans, career-best so far music from bubbling stars, and much more. Between BTS and Brockhampton , the boy band is both thriving and evolving. Still, the hallmarks of a grade-A boy-band bop remain airtight harmonies, an irresistible hook, and matters of the heart. The once very guarded singer lays it all bare on her new album, Magdalene , reflecting on the personal pains of her last few years. Now, think again: Was there also an artist who relished in making the masses uncomfortable more than Billie Eilish? Brown skin, black braids, brown liquor — sip, sip, sip. The result is cultural fusion done beautifully.
Fat White Family – Feet
The fact that The Highwomen even exists is impressive. They make that statement over an unabashedly pretty melody, going in and out of duets and harmonies with seamless, generous sweetness. Carly Rae Jepsen has built a cult following on the power of her brand of pure, heart-on-your-sleeve pop. Her widely-praised third album was even nakedly called Emotion. Bandana , the widely acclaimed album from rapper Freddie Gibbs and producer Madlib, was forged in trying circumstances: Gibbs says he wrote most of the record in an Austrian jail while awaiting his eventual acquittal from sexual assault charges. And that something is a propulsive, infectious disco sensibility. With a retro-sounding melody that resonates across generational tastes, the song has already become a dancefloor mainstay.
Unlike the best movies and TV shows of the year, where the release of genuinely good entertainment feels finite, the amount of great, new music in a given year feels endless. It's just about finding it. So, after deep-diving across release platforms, scouring the charts, looking into the most interesting, emerging names, and returning to classic, fan-favorite artists, we bring you the best songs of , starting with a ranked top 10 and then 90 more gems that you should know about. These tracks are the ones we put on repeat all year because of just how good their beats are, the ones we had some good cries too, and those that somehow sounded unlike anything we had ever heard. Check them out below, and then head to our best albums of the year list to do a full deep-dive into all of the good music that came out in Tyler, the Creator has steadily risen from alt-rap collective Odd Future's elusive leader to a bona fide, game-changing creative.