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Hey guys, welcome to The Reclusive Blogger’s Top 50 Songs of 2021. This is the first of two year-end music roundups and recaps.
Here I’ll highlight my top 50 songs of 2021 and break down my 10 and why. These are my favorite tracks that had the biggest impression on me this year. Even with all the ups and downs, it has been quite the mega year for music. It’s always great to look back shine a light on those songs again. To make it easier for you guys to listen to every song, I’ve included a Spotify playlist. I unveil my top 50 songs of 2021 all below…
1. BASTILLE – DISTORTED LIGHT BEAM
Why it’s #1 – ‘Distorted Light Beam’ was the surprising first taste from the band’s upcoming fourth album. DLB showcases a band hungry for reinvention and striving to always be the very best version of themselves. Co-written and produced with Ryan Tedder and Maty Maro. It’s the bands’ most pop forward and commanding song to date. Seeing Bastille push themselves & explore more pop sounds, dynamic lyricism, and production more than ever into their “Bastille” soundscape is refreshing. That’s why ‘Distorted Light Beam’ is number one. That and the fact it’s so darn catchy.
2. LIL NAS X – Montero (Call Me By Your By Name)
Why it’s #2– Boundary pusher and new King Of Pop, Lil Nas X has had one incredible year. One of those things included the debut of my next pick Montero. The music video alone is a work of art. But the fact that a Queer man of color is ruling the pop and rap scene cannot be denied. Not only is Montero also catchy as hell but it’s pushing the boundaries, from the visual imagery he paints lyrically, to the references, truly everything. We have a new King Of Pop and his name is Montero.
3. CAROLINE POLACHEK – Bunny Is A Rider
Why it’s #3- ‘Bunny Is a Rider‘ has Caroline completely leaving her ‘Pang‘ sound behind and I love it. From the start of the whistle, I was hooked. It’s weird, and it feels like you stepped into some unknown territory, unsure of where you are headed. The sparse yet slick production is a new sound for Caroline as is the syncopated at times almost staccato rhythms her vocals take on. It isn’t until this crazy joyride is over you realize you want more.
4. THE MARIAS – Hush
Why it’s #4- ‘Hush‘ (and Cinema) was one of the more arresting pieces of music this year. The single was an addicting blend of futuristic pop, a sleek and heady bass line, and edgy alternative guitars. What truly carries makes this song is the vocal interplay between the duo of María Zardoya, and Josh Conway.
5. JOJO – Creature Of Habit
Why it’s #5- JoJo let’s go on this beautifully vulnerable track about staying in a co-dependent relationship just because it feels familiar but not happy. Her powerhouse vocals shine throughout. As well as her unmatched ability to emote fluctuating emotions that often come with heartbreak, romance, love, relationships, is why this is #5 and she’s consistently my go-to.
6. SAD NIGHT DYNAMITE – Smoke Hole
Why it’s #6- Not only does the production on this incredible track go hard, but it’s hard to place genre-wise. The Somerset duo take inspiration from bands Massive Attack or the Gorillaz. They cleverly elevate mixing so many genres and create this all-out creeper of a jam. It slinks along until it finally worms its way into your ear, and unlike anything I’ve heard of late. Even their stop motion meets claymation music video is full of horror and creep.
7. HALSEY – I’m Am Not a Woman, I’m a God
Why it’s #7- Halsey comes full circle as an artist on this exceptionally powerful track. It’s an absolute banger of a song going full throttle from the start of its two minutes and fifty-six seconds. Underneath the darkened pulsating synths and thrashing guitars. It’s Halsey owning her power and being a badass full stop. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross are producers. Their signature DIY style complements a wrought and difficult tale. Halsey’s lyrics on this song and throughout the album tackle difficult themes. She described it as a treatise on childbirth, misogyny, the patriarchy, love, feminism, and even death.
8. BTS – Butter
Why it’s #8- This is not only one of the biggest songs of the year but it is from the biggest band & arguably the biggest artist. BTS has slowly taken over the world and not only captured our hearts but our eyes and ears. ‘Butter’ has an undeniable groove that mixes the best of K-POP and American Pop/R&B rhythms. To put it quite simply it’s an earworm, with easy to sing lyrics. The cherry on the top is the bright, and super colorful dance-heavy music video.
9. OLIVIA RODRIGO – good 4 u
Why it’s #9- It Girl Olivia kicked it up several notches displaying a fierce side of herself on this Pop Punk number. Borrowing a thing or two from the badass rock and pop girls of the aughts. It’s fittingly the breakup anthem of this year. Rodrigo had us all spinning over this artful and thrilling takedown of an ex who moves on way too quickly.
10. MARINA – Purge The Poison
Why it’s #10- A gifted songwriter whose ability to quickly tap into emotions is something of a gift. Marina uses that talent to hone in on critics, climate control, and even misogyny. It’s a well-crafted takedown of conspiracies, egos, and how we’re destroying the planet. All set to brash fuzzy guitars, blistering synths, and a raging bass line. Marina ponders the human condition, friendships, witches, and living in Hollywood. It might seem like a lot but Marina ties it all together brilliantly. Her signature husky timbre hit hard almost staccato-like in her delivery.
…And the rest of the best top 50 songs of 2021!
11. ARLO PARKS // Portra 400
12. AFI // Dulcería
13. SELENA GOMEZ & RAUW ALEJANDRO // Baila Conmigo
14. ADELE // Easy On Me
15. DOJA CAT & SZA // Kiss Me More
16. RAUW ALEJANDRO // Todo De Ti
17. FRED AGAIN // Marea (We’ve Lost Dancing)
18. HYUNA & DAWN // PING PONG
19. GLASS ANIMALS // I Don’t Wanna Talk (I Just Wanna Dance)
20. THE WEEKND // Take My Breath
21. NORMANI (FEAT. CARDI B) // Wild Side
22. MITSKI // Working for the Knife
23. J BALVIN & SECH // Una Nota
24. WILLOW (FEAT. TRAVIS BARKER) // t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l
25. TWICE // The Feels
26. MANESKIN // I Wanna Be Your Slave
27. GIRL IN RED // Serotonin
28. SAWEETIE (FEAT. DOJA CAT) // Best Friend
29. SIGRID // Mirror
30. JUSTIN BIEBER (FEAT. GIVEON & DANIEL CAESAR) // Peaches
31. STROMAE // Santé
32. HAYLEY WILLIAMS // My Limb
33. ASHNIKKO (FEAT. KELIS) // Deal With It
34. PLACEBO // Beautiful James
35. SELF ESTEEM // Prioritise Pleasure
36. JOYWAVE // Pray For The Robot
37. AU/RA // Bite Marks
38. SHARON VAN ETTEN & ANGEL OLSEN // Like I Used To
39. YEBBA // October Sky
40. DAVE & STORMZY // Clash
41. SNAIL MAIL // Ben Franklin
42. CHLOË // Have Mercy
43. LORDE // Solar Power
44. CL // Spicy
45. MUNA (FEAT. PHOEBE BRIDGERS) // Silk Chiffon
46. MARIE NAFFAH // Wasteland
47. WOLF ALICE // The Last Man On Earth
48. MEGAN THEE STALLION // Thot Shit
49. BO BURNHAM // All Eyes On Me
50. THE RECLUSIVE BLOGGER & VALSHAL // Electric Dark
I truly look forward to doing this every year and reminiscing over what a fantastic year it was in music. I would like to end my list by thanking everyone for supporting me and TRB and for reading and listening. Please be sure to check out my new podcast and subscribe by clicking here.
You can stream my Top 50 Songs of 2021 playlist on Spotify here.
I want to know what was your favorite music is this year? What are you most looking forward to in music next year? Tweet me on @thebrittneyw or leave a comment below! What did you agree or disagree with from my list? Furthermore, please subscribe to my publication and share this article. Any support is much appreciated and isn’t just supporting me, but independent music journalism as a whole. My list for my ten best albums of 2021 is out this week.
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Just in time for the upcoming Christmas Holidays, I updated my annual Christmas playlist. The playlist features an eclectic mix of songs. From staples, new hits, to classics redone, and a few unknowns, and rarities, that are looking to become someone’s sentimental favorite. I’ve highlighted a few new songs in the post and attached a longer playlist. It’s perfect for keeping any Holiday get-together or family gathering going nonstop, (safely of course)!
David Shaw // “Blue Christmas”
Lead vocalist David Shaw of The Revivalists husky timbre does exceedingly well on this somber Christmas classic dating back to 1948 about unrequited. It’s famous amongst the country circuit and made famous by Elvis.
Duncan Laurence // “Wishes Come True”
Duncan Laurence, the former 2019 Eurovision winner new original Christmas tune all at once showcases his classic vocals, songwriting talent, and how with just the emotion, melodies, and lyrics to set the scene. It’s a slow burner filled with hope and nostalgia.
Tilian (feat. Anthony Green) // “Christmas Don’t Be Late”
These two pair up for a jovial synth-pop take on the Christmas classic most notably done by Alvin and The Chipmunks.
The Imaginaries // “Christmas Town”
Indie Americana husband/wife duo, Shane & Maggie of The Imaginaries’ new original Christmas song is inspired by Chickasha, OK aka Christmas town. Taking inspiration from that the duo crafted a nostalgic and enjoyable ditty perfect for any Christmas playlist.
Ashnikko // “Carol Of The Bells”
The blue elf keeps her somehow merges her eccentricity and Christmas in this unique, amusing, and creative take on this Holiday classic!
She & Him // “Last Christmas”
Ah, yes She & Him the cool kids of Christmas have graced us with the 10th anniversary of one of my favorite collections of Christmas music. The updated version features an absolutely smooth and breezy cool remake of “Last Christmas“. Enjoy cool cats…
Kelly Clarkson & Ariana Grande // “Santa, Can’t You Hear Me”
Pop queens and current Voice coaches duet on this fun and fabulous R&B/Pop modern Christmas number. From the powerhouse vocals to the sassy lyrics, it’s no wonder each has carved out quite the niche in the Christmas music market.
SYML // “Jingle Bells”
SYML updates a classic bringing a beautifully layered sound yet chill acoustic sound. It’s your modern coffee house Christmas tune but not in a cheesy or bad way.