Here it is – after spending copious amounts of hours listening to thousands of songs and collating the top 30 each month, I have arrived at my year end, 100 best tracks of the year. The end product contains a lot of material from those earlier aforementioned top 30’s (obviously) but also tracks that either never made those lists and have become favourites as the year went on or more recent discoveries whilst cramming in as much listening as humanly possible in the past 8 weeks!! It’s also been interesting to see that songs that featured high up on the monthly lists fell out of favour with me and some of the lower entries have made it onto this one.
100. Bo Burnham – All Eyes On Me (Inside (The Songs) – Album)
Taken from the Netflix special he produced during last year’s lockdown, the songs have really stuck with me this year and have had a much more profound impact on my listening than I would ever have imagined whilst watching the show. They are so good that the album works without having to watch it but really hit home if you do.
99. Nina Kraviz – Skyscrapers (Skyscrapers – Single)
I came late to this track and had I heard it’s dance/pop excellence earlier in the year I’ve no doubt it would have featured even higher on this list.
98. Danny L Harle – Boing Beat (feat. MC Boing) (Harlecore – Album)
Absolutely insane hardcore gabba techno dancefloor smasher, sounds a bit like Crazy Frog pumped full of E’s freestyling over ‘I Wanna Be A Hippy’ by Technohead – but even better!!
97. KAM-BU – Are You On? (Black On Black – Album)
Dark, moody, dangerous sounding UK hip-hop, this has a seasick, nauseous bassline that makes you feel like you are melting away. Be sure to check out his other 2021 releases, all of which are quality.
96. deadmau5 – Channel 43 (feat. Wolfgang Gartner) (Channel 43 – Single)
Total banger, this hasn’t been off my listening list since January. It has a Daft Punk vibe and is a fine slice of robotic disco funk.
95. Remi Wolf – Quiet On Set (Juno – Album)
Taken from one of the best pop albums of the year, this is it’s undoubted highlight, all Neptunes collaborating with Timberlake meets Beck production and catchy as hell vocals which will have you singing along by the end of the track.
94. Bo Burnham – That Funny Feeling (Inside (The Songs) – Album)
Beautifully fragile song that perfectly captures the lockdown feeling for anyone that struggled (is maybe still struggling) with their mental health during such an unprecedented and world changing time. It has the perfect balance between humour and sadness and sums up the strangest 18 months or so that we’ve had to go through as a world in our lifetime.
93. LISA – LALISA (LALISA – Single)
Already liked BLACKPINK, now a fan of LISA’s solo material. Excellent double A-side single to start off her branching out on her own, next year should see her become one of the world’s biggest stars.
92. Tkay Maidza – Cashmere (Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 3 – EP)
Superb, slinky future pop, containing an absolute earworm of a chorus, this lady has been on fire the past couple of years and is well worth checking out.
91. Ed Thomas – Empty Love (Empty Love – Single)
More widely known as a collaborator with dance artists (Chase & Status, etc.), this was a taste of what he could do on his own and it didn’t disappoint. It’s reserved and delicate and almost accapella and really has an air of beauty to it. The only disappointment was that he didn’t release a follow up of any kind this year, hopefully that will come in 2022.
90. Tyler, The Creator – CORSO (CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST – Album)
Tremendous hip-hop banger from Tyler’s equally great full length. Another track with a Neptunes feel to the production with a sprinkling of Dr. Dre for good measure – the bassline on this when it kicks in is sublime.
89. Spiritualized – Always Together With You (Always Together With You – Single)
Spiritualized have never released a bad record but this is far and away their best release since Let It Come Down (2001). It’s a perfect amalgamation of their spaced out balladry but layered with glorious Beach Boys-esque harmonies, creating a luscious soundscape to get lost in.
88. Angel Haze – Weight (Weight – Single)
I was a big fan of her debut New York EP (2012) but wasn’t enamoured with any of her follow up material until this. Don’t call it a comeback but this is certainly a return to form and I hope she gets some props for her rap style becoming such an integral part of the female rap revolution.
87. NGHTMRE – MOSH (feat. Smokepurpp) (MOSH – Single)
Still an electro hip-hop banger four months on from it’s release and a track that has grown in stature in my listening lists as time has gone on.
86. Obskur – Bayside (10 Years Of Eats Everything Remix) (Bayside – Single)
The original of this came out in 2020 and was great but this remix was even better. A proper club banger, it reminds me of ‘Renegade Master’ by Wildchild and that’s never a bad thing.
85. Prospa – Want Need Love (Dimension Remix) (Want Need Love – Single)
This is such an uplifting slice of dancefloor magic, it’s still putting a smile on my face after so many listens and is just one of a number of Prospa tracks that could have made this year’s list.
84. Chloe – Have Mercy (Have Mercy – Single)
This track gets better with every listen, so much so that it’s worked it’s way up this list and no doubt would keep climbing with more time. It’s a superbly produced and performed piece of R&B pop and a fantastic debut solo single proper from a lady best known as part of a duo with sister Halle.
83. Wilkinson – Keep Dancing (feat. Amber Van Day) (Keep Dancing – Single)
The always reliable Wilkinson has released a handful of really good singles again this year with this being the best of the lot. It’s also home to one of the best bassline’s you’ll hear on any track in 2021.
82. Amine – Charmander (TWOPOINTFIVE – Album)
One of the coolest and weirdest sounding hip-hop tracks of the year, it mixes almost J-Pop style music to some tasty rap beats and keeps up a pace that makes it a track you can move to.
81. Art School Girlfriend – Is It Light Where You Are (Is It Light Where You Are – Album)
This track has been a real slowburn for me, good enough on the first few listens to make my tracks of the month list but with repeated listens, it’s textures and tones reveal a thing of beauty that puts it from good to great.
80. Chris Lake – Beat Freak (feat. Riva Starr & lau.ra) (Beat Freak – Single)
What I love about this track is it’s simplicity. It’s a house club banger, nothing more, nothing less and contains one of the squelchiest and most addictive bassline’s on this list. It never fails to make me happy when it kicks in and that’s a sign of it’s greatness.
79. Caroline Polachek – Bunny Is A Rider (Bunny Is A Rider – Single)
This is definitely a track that once you’ve heard it it’s well and truly lodged in your brain. Her catchiest release so far, it’s poppy nature suits her well and has driven up the anticipation for what 2022 holds for her.
78. CHVRCHES – How Not To Drown (feat. Robert Smith) (Screen Violence – Album)
Widescreen, epic pop rock featuring the legendary Robert Smith from The Cure, the whole album is really strong and well worth adding to your listening lists.
77. Nicki Minaj – Seeing Green (feat. Lil Wayne & Drake) (Beam Me Up Scotty – Album)
This track is all about the beat. It has one of the most crisp production’s of the year and is just so inviting for these three top MC’s to do their thing. It brings back the feeling of the late 2000’s Young Money glory days.
76. Dimension – Sensory Division (Organ – Album)
Proof that Dimension is not only a top remixer but more than capable of producing a drum’n’bass banger of his own. This has atmospheric builds and beats that get your feet moving – the perfect combination for this style of music.
75. Dave – Mercury (feat. Kamal.) (Titanium/Mercury – Single)
Standalone single from the best artist on the UK rap scene, this should have been included on his album and would have helped push that record to even greater heights.
74. Wolf Alice – How Can I Make It Ok? (Blue Weekend – Album)
I loved the Blue Weekend album, it’s one of my favourites of the year and this was it’s high point, the perfect balance between pop and alternative rock that they specialise in. There are a number of tracks from that album that could have jockeyed for a position on this list and not been out of place.
73. Foo Fighters – Waiting On A War (Medicine At Midnight – Album)
The album was solid, nothing spectacular but this track was classic Foos, a sing with all your heart at the top of your lungs epic rocker with an awesome double time coda to power us to the end.
72. Tokischa – Tukuntazo (feat. Haraka Kiko & El Cherry Scom) (Tukuntazo – Single)
Guaranteed to get you moving, this is an infectious Latin party starter, relentless throughout and full of joy – grab a drink and play this loud!!
71. Tinashe – Undo (Back To My Heart) (feat. Wax Motif) (333 – Album)
The undoubted best pure pop song of the year, Tinashe is an artist that should be so much bigger than she is and I highly recommend the 333 album for anyone whose interest is piqued by this beauty.
70. Aaron Smith – Nocturnal (Nocturnal – Single)
This is a beautiful song, full of heartbreaking melodies and soaring vocals, it’s the type of track I think Ed Sheeran want’s to make but chickens out and produces more middle of the road material to sell on cd from all good supermarkets.
69. ill peach – UP UP AND AWAY (EXCUSE US WHILE WE FIND OUR MINDS – EP)
Pop music but done dirty, this has an alternative edge and a fuzzy, distorted chorus that gives it that something different and makes for an addictive listen.
68. Hayley Kiyoko – Found My Friends (Found My Friends – Single)
Dreamy, synth powered pop and definitely one of the catchiest entries on the list. It’s the synth/keyboard riff that makes this a winner, giving it a wide scope on which to add all the pretty melodies.
67. AJR – Way Less Sad (OK ORCHESTRA – Album)
Staying on the right side of jaunty, well produced pop (and avoiding slipping over into the Maroon 5 sickly pit of hell), the addition of brass, early Vampire Weekend electronics and hip hop style beats all adds up to a massive pop earworm that will stay in your head for days (or all year in my case!!).
66. dvsn – Use Somebody (Amusing Her Feelings – Album)
I’m a sucker for cover versions and this take on the Kings Of Leon hit is a great one. The bass on this track is awesome and when it builds to deliver the chorus from ‘Sex On Fire’ in the final third it ascends to a glorious high.
65. Jaykae – 1000 Nights (feat. Jorja Smith) (1000 Nights – Single)
This has a UK garage feel to it that alongside the real life lyrics reminded me of The Streets (early 2000’s material of course). Jorja Smith is excellent on here, her voice pure and melodious throughout and the perfect companion to Jaykae’s lived-through-it raps.
64. serpentwithfeet – Heart Storm (feat. NAO) (DEACON – Album)
The DEACON album is a really strong listen and this is it’s best track. The production on this is what makes it such a standout, plus brilliant vocal performances from the main man himself and featured guest NAO, it’s a song that works best through headphones so that you can catch all the little moments that add together to make it sound so huge.
63. Dijon – Many Times (Absolutely – Album)
This is a song that just keeps on giving, every time I hear it a different part stands out and becomes my favourite. It doesn’t fit comfortably into any pigeon hole and that gives it an unpredictability that is refreshing to hear.
62. Gojira – The Chant (Fortitude – Album)
Taken from one of my absolute favourite albums of the year, this is it’s centrepiece and it sounds so huge!! Maintaining the heaviness of their usual material but adding an accessibility that really suits them, it creates a piece that lifts them to the top of the metal table.
61. Sam Fender – Seventeen Going Under (Seventeen Going Under – Album)
Like Bruce Springsteen fronting the Gaslight Anthem but growing up in Newcastle, this is another excellent piece of business from this young man. The new album is great and builds on what was already a strong debut in all the best ways.
60. Alice Merton – Vertigo (Vertigo – Single)
This is a big favourite in the Manley household, with one of my sons even adding it to his Spotify playlist (which previously only consisted of wrestling entrance music – so big praise indeed!!).
59. London Grammar – How Does It Feel (Californian Soil – Album)
Another album that I really enjoyed this year and could have chosen a number of tracks from for this list but ultimately this has the right balance between ethereal pop and electronics that this band balance perfectly.
58. Friend Within – Ghetto Rock (Hope – Album)
A fantastic blast of summery funk that is guaranteed to get you dancing, this is another track that has been high on rotation for me throughout the year and I never tire of hearing.
57. Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – My Town (feat. Joe Talbot) (Sticky – Album)
Best track from a really strong album, this features Joe Talbot from IDLES and he makes a perfect duet partner for Frank Carter on this uptempo slice of rock’n’roll goodness.
56. GRiZ – Vibe Check (Rainbow Brain – Album)
Definitely a track that has become a firm favourite of mine as the year has progressed, it’s just full of good vibes and bounces you all over the place in the best way possible.
55. Lana Del Rey – Chemtrails Over The Country Club (Chemtrails Over The Country Club – Album)
Still hauntingly beautiful ten months on from it’s initial release, it was a toss up between ‘White Dress’ and this to make the list but this is the track I have returned to more often throughout the year.
54. Griff – Black Hole (One Foot In Front Of The Other – EP)
I loved this when I first heard it – still do. Just a great pop song, it could have been released at any time in the past forty years and worked just as well as it does now. She’s a definite one to watch in 2022.
53. Friction – I Need To Feel (feat. Poppy Baskcomb) (I Need To Feel – Single)
Friction always delivers and this could be his best single yet. It has the correct dose of poppiness (no pun intended) on top of the kind of beats to whip any dancefloor into a frenzy. Superb stuff.
52. Culture Shock – Deconstruct (Deconstruct – Single)
One of the finest drum’n’bass singles of the year, this is an absolute banger and when it kicks back in after the build in the tracks middle, it’s as powerful as any rock song.
51. BERWYN – MIA (MIA – Single)
I think this guy has what it takes to be something truly special and this is his finest offering so far. The mix of hip-hop and sad, wounded vocal melodies work incredibly well and hit you right in the heart.
50. DIVINE – Jungle Mantra (feat. Vince Staples & Pusha T) (Jungle Mantra – Single)
I still haven’t gotten round to watching The White Tiger, the Netflix film from which this is taken but the song itself is an absolute beauty, especially the verse by DIVINE which totally rips.
49. Camelphat – Easier (feat. Lowes) (Sub Focus Remix) (Easier – Single)
More drum’n’bass goodness, this time from the remixing hands of Sub Focus, creating at atmospheric but danceable track that improves on the already strong original.
48. Tech N9ne – Face Off (feat. Joey Cool, King Iso & Dwayne Johnson) (ASIN9NE – Album)
Big fan of Tech N9ne, one of the best rappers doing it today but I was a bit sceptical about him doing a track featuring none other than The Rock himself!! Thankfully, it’s a total banger and Mr. Johnson handles the mic well, surrounded by some of the fastest spitters in the game.
47. RXKNephew – American tterroristt (Crack Therapy 3 – Album)
This is a long track, especially for hip-hop, but RXKNephew makes the most of every second, some of the lines on here being laugh out loud funny and some of the material sure to offend somebody!! In other words – genius.
46. Cautious Clay – Wildfire (Deadpan Love – Album)
This is a song that’s majestic beauty crept up on me over the year until I was completely mesmerised by it. It’s simple, unshowy but so emotional and has a melody that sticks with you.
45. Kanye West – Hurricane (feat. The Weeknd & Lil Baby) (Donda – Album)
I liked Donda, it was too long and needed an executive producer who was willing to prune but it has some excellent tracks like this one. Featuring three artists doing their thing to the best of their abilities, it wouldn’t feel out of place on a Kanye album as good as My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010).
44. Benny The Butcher – Flood The Block (Pyrex Picasso – Album)
Is Benny the new Jay? If he keeps going at the rate that he is then he’s got every chance to surpass him. I’m yet to hear a bad track so far and this might just be his best yet. He’s just been signed to Def Jam so expect even bigger things in the next 12 months.
43. Beach House – Superstar (Once Twice Melody – Album)
Wonderful piece of dream pop, it’s all gorgeous shimmering keyboards, delicate guitar lines and super tight harmonies but with a driving beat keeping it moving along for it’s full duration.
42. Halsey – I am not a woman, I’m a god (If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power – Album)
I’ve never been much of a fan of her previous material but the new album is great and the choice to have Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross come on board as producers gives the whole thing a Nine Inch Nails-circa Pretty Hate Machine (1989) vibe that fits so well.
41. Mdou Moctar – Afrique Victime (Afrique Victime – Album)
The title track of one of the years best albums, this infuses traditional African vocals to a funk rhythm and rock’n’roll grit with some incredible guitar solos spitting out of the track like fire.
40. Gang Of Youths – the angel of 8th ave. (the angel of 8th ave. – Single)
Sometimes all you need is an impassioned indie rock anthem that builds and soars and gets you singing along full voiced – and this delivers that in spades.
39. Cadence Weapon – SENNA (feat. Jacques Greene) (Parallel World – Album)
Fantastic futuristic hip-hop, the production on this track is it’s real standout. This has the feel of someone like Cannibal Ox, which means it’s all good in my books.
38. RUFUS DU SOL – On My Knees (Surrender – Album)
This is a track that has undoubtedly grown on me so much over the past few months and has become a firm favourite. It’s dark Depeche Mode meets 80s electro pop feel is just brilliant and deserved to be a massive hit.
37. James Vincent McMorrow – Paradise (High Contrast Remix) (Paradise – Single)
Often feeling like a bit of a guilty pleasure, I need to make a stand and say actually James Vincent McMorrow is releasing some really good material!! Especially when adding in the remixing skills of High Contrast making this a drum’n’bass/pop banger.
36. Bruise – Joy (Joy – Single)
Euphoric dance banger from these up and comers, coming on like Bicep being remixed by Orbital for an early 90s club night, this is one of the most uplifting sounds you’ll hear all year.
35. Japanese Breakfast – Be Sweet (Jubilee – Album)
This young lady had a great year, the Jubilee album is awesome and this is it’s highlight, a perfect slice of 80s sounding pop that attaches itself to your brain after only a single listen.
34. Jensen McRae – Wolves (Who Hurt You? – EP)
Quietly powerful and moving song that showcases just how great a songwriter this talented artist is. Best known for her track ‘Immune’, this is even better and the highlight of her 2021.
33. GRIP – Gutter! (feat. Wara) (I Died For This!? – Album)
If Cadence Weapon was futuristic sounding then this is otherworldly!! The best thing to come out on Shady Records in forever, this rips and has a chorus that is unforgettable once it enters your ears.
32. Sfven – forest ave (forest ave – Single)
Absolutely beautiful track with sumptuous vocals and superb production, this melts into your mind and makes you feel happy and sad all at the same time. Check out his other 2021 single releases too, they’ve all been of the highest quality.
31. The Antlers – Solstice (Green To Gold – Album)
Gorgeous song taken from a gorgeous album, this track worked even better as the year went on, it’s autumnal beauty wrapping you up close as the weather turned colder outside.
30. slowthai – CANCELLED (feat. Skepta) (TYRON – Album)
Menacing sounding collab between two of the best on the UK hip-hop scene, this rips and also had a cool bassline that drops halfway through the track giving it a different dynamic.
29. Makoto – Spread Love (feat. Pete Simpson) (Spread Love – Single)
Fantastic soulful drum’n’bass track, it has the feel of something 70s Stevie Wonder might produce but with the added pace of 90s d&b, a perfect recipe for getting you moving.
28. The Streets – Who’s Got The Bag (21st June) (Patrick Topping Remix) (Who’s Got The Bag – Single)
Taking the best single by The Streets in some time, Patrick Topping turns this into a disco house banger and makes it even more of a must listen.
27. Holly Humberstone – Scarlett (The Walls Are Way Too Thin – EP)
Everything she’s released this year has been so good and this is one of her finest moments to date. Perfect pop with an absolutely infectious chorus, what’s not to love?
26. Obongjayar – Gone Girl (feat. Sarz) (Sweetness – EP)
Excellent slice of slick Afropop, it’s one of those tracks that sounds just as good late at night through headphones as it does turned up loud so you can have a bit of a groove to it. Be sure to check out the full EP, it’s a winner.
25. J Balvin – In Da Getto (feat. Skrillex) (JOSE – Album)
An absolute unadulterated pure dance banger, this is guaranteed to put a smile on your face and a skip in your step. Skrillex has been on fire in what has amounted to his comeback year, releasing a handful of great tracks.
24. Rag’n’Bone Man – Crossfire (Life By Misadventure – Album)
I was impressed with his sophomore album, it welded an already great voice to great songs, none better than this, an anthemic blast that is ready made for huge crowds to be singing back at him.
23. Wesley Joseph – Thrilla (ULTRAMARINE – Album)
Adventurous UK hip-hop, full of production twists and turns and tight raps, especially in the track’s second half where the flow is switched to a double time pace. He’s a name to keep an eye on, I think 2022 will be a big year for this talented artist.
22. Deb Never – Someone Else (Where Have All The Flowers Gone? – Album)
Another track that has stuck with me for most of the year, I still can’t help but smile every time I hear the drumbeat switch to double time in the songs final third, giving it that something different that makes it really stand out.
21. Fred V – Icarus (Radiate – Album)
A skyscraping epic of a drum’n’bass track from one of my favourite artists of that genre, this is a widescreen delight with some of the finest sounding production of the year.
20. Holly Humberstone – The Walls Are Way Too Thin (The Walls Are Way Too Thin – EP)
Not just her finest record of 2021, it’s one of the finest pop songs of the whole year. The chorus on here is sublime and just goes to show what an incredible talent she possesses.
19. Danny Byrd – Selecta (feat. D Double E) (Selecta – Single)
Absolute belter of a track, it gets you jumping and bouncing and dancing and every time you think it’s reached it’s peak, it just keeps topping it. Gotta mention the rap from D Double E as well – it’s coolness personified.
18. Biffy Clyro – Unknown Male 01 (The Myth Of Happily Ever After – Album)
LOVE Biffy, LOVE the new album, LOVE this song – nuff said!!
17. High Contrast – Met Her At A Dance In Leicester (feat. UK Apache & Ady Suleiman) (Notes From The Underground – Album)
This has not left my listening list for the past 12 months – the reason being is that it is an absolute dancefloor filling beauty. High Contrast is so good and always delivers and this is yet another dance classic to add to his collection.
16. Little Simz – Introvert (Sometimes I Might Be Introvert – Album)
Her new album puts her at Lauryn Hill levels in my opinion – someone who can write, rap, sing and who is musically adventurous, this lady can do it all. The production on this track is incredible, it’s like the ghost of 70s Isaac Hayes is at the mixing board.
15. Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever (Happier Than Ever – Album)
I wasn’t really a big fan of the album (shock horror!!) but this title track is amazing. Going from soft pretty beginnings to an outlet of rage and anger in the tracks powerful second half, it’s her best and most adventurous song to date.
14. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble – Soon It Will Be Fire (feat. Moses Sumney) (This Is A Mindfulness Drill – Album)
Absolutely gorgeous, hairs on the back of your neck raising epic, containing the greatest vocal performance of the year from Moses Sumney. I know it’s easy to describe a piece of music as beautiful (which I often do) but this is truly the perfect description for this incredible record.
13. Pola & Bryson – Under (feat. Lauren Archer) (Beneath The Surface – Album)
Fantastic drum’n’bass track from this rising UK duo, when the drums kick in it creates one of the finest moments of the year. Their album is well worth checking out, it’s so much more than just a collection of singles and makes for a really rewarding listen.
12. Abra Cadabra – How We Living (feat. Kush) (Product Of My Environment – Album)
One of the first songs I heard at the start of my 12 month journey to listen to as much music as I could and still one of my favourites. His mixtape was great and this year his debut album proper should drop and could make him the new king of the UK rap scene.
11. James Gillespie – Amen (Duet) (feat. Stereo Jane) (Amen (Duet) – Single)
Glorious, almost hymn-like track that is delicate and fragile but uplifting and powerful all at the same time. The chorus is truly magnificent and is spine tingling in it’s execution, making you feel it’s pure emotional impact.
10. Ethel Cain – God’s Country (feat. Wicca Phase Springs Eternal) (Inbred – Album)
Another song that really grips your emotions, this starts brilliantly and then just keeps building to become something truly special, unveiling it’s magic across nearly 8 minutes of excellence.
9. Skrillex – Supersonic (My Existence) (feat. Noisia, josh pan & Dylan Brady) (Supersonic – Single)
The undoubted highlight from Skrillex’s return this year, it’s key is it’s subtlety compared to the bludgeoning dubstep of year’s gone by. It’s a really cool sound that suits him well and coupled with the other singles/production work he’s done in 2021, showcases an artist in top form.
8. Bleachers – How Dare You Want More (Take The Sadness Out Of Saturday Night – Album)
Coming on like a long lost 70s collaboration between Springsteen and Elvis (Costello, not Presley), it’s a rousing track that gets you shaking and dancing and shouting and singing as the song builds to it’s climax – it’s a sound I was not expecting from Jack Antonoff but one that fits like a glove.
7. Turnstile – HOLIDAY (GLOW ON – Album)
Awesome song from an awesome album by an awesome band, their brand of hardcore is accessible even to non-fans of the genre and they have the potential to crossover like a Beastie Boys for this generation (sans raps so far!!).
6. Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine – Back To Oz (A Beginner’s Mind – Album)
From one of the year’s best full length releases comes this alternative pop nugget, an instant favourite as soon as I heard it. The chorus is sublime and I’ve been humming it almost every day since it came out. It reminds me a lot of Elliott Smith and that can only be a great thing.
5. Andy C – Boom (feat. Tonn Piper) (Boom – Single)
The best drum’n’bass track of the year comes from an absolute old skool legend, showing he’s not missed a step when it comes to creating a huge floorfiller. Gotta mention the bassline on this one – it’s insane!!
4. Kanye West – Jesus Lord (feat. Jay Electronica & Larry Hoover Jr.) (Donda – Album)
This showcases the genius of Kanye, it shone out of the latter half of the album like a beacon of light and is so full of emotion. Kanye’s verse is from the heart, Jay’s verse is just incredible and the most moving part of the song is the spoken word section by Larry Hoover Jr. – you can hear and feel the love, the pain, the loss and the hope in everything he says.
3. girl in red – Serotonin (if I could make it go quiet – Album)
Amazing alternative pop song, everything from the melodies to the production, from the vocal harmonies to the awesome bass make this one of the finest records of the year and at times it was in the number one spot on this year end list. It’s been beaten but that takes nothing away from just how good this song truly is.
2. Taylor Swift – champagne problems (evermore – Album)
I thought she was going to do it two years in a row. The artist that provided my favourite track of 2020 (‘exile’) comes so close in 2021. This is a stunningly heartbreaking but darkly humorous track that shows what an incredible artist she’s become and has stuck with me for the full 12 months of listening and has never slipped from a top three placing.
1. Dave – Heart Attack (We’re All Alone In This Together – Album)
The number one. The numero uno. The track that beats out thousands of others I heard this year. And is fully deserving of it’s place. Dave is an incredible artist, capable of releasing records that can be chart botherers but more importantly making tracks like this one – something that will hit you in the heart, get you using your brain, make you stop and listen. This is no background music, the moment Dave starts to spit and keeps going for seven minutes you are in his command. Lyrically incredible, emotionally draining, it’s a fantastic piece of music that captures exactly what it is that makes him the best hip-hop artist in the UK, maybe even worldwide currently, maybe even just best artist full stop but that’s a debate for another post down the line.
There you have it, my full 100 for 2021. Have no fear there will be no let up in 2022, I will continue to absorb as much music as I possibly can and keep supplying the top 30 tracks for each month looking to find as many incredible songs as possible. Thanks for reading.
Here’s the full Spotify list –