Updated: Jan 3
We’ve reached the end of 2022, and I don’t know about you, but for me, it zipped by. Whatever the reason, 2022 came and went, but this year, the music industry continued to recuperate from the prior shutdowns. With live music being able to do a full-year run, many artists were able to share and tour with the new music made during the two years of hibernation. From Taylor Swift to Anti-Flag, we’ve been blessed with new sounds from all genres. What was your favorite 2022 release? Could you narrow it down to 4-5 favorite songs? I asked our Savage Content team to do just that.
We have such a diverse group of people behind Savage Content with our musical interests spanning all across the board. From metal, to folk, to punk, to hip-hop, our collective tastes are a beautiful melting pot, and for that, I’m grateful. It gives our team a broader view of the music scene with each person having expertise in a different area. So, to highlight the range of our team, I asked them to list their favorite songs of the year with some explanation for what makes them the best of the best. Because a favorite song of the year isn’t necessarily a new release, but rather new-to-you, I allowed our people to choose songs that meet those criteria too. This made the range of picks larger, and I think that makes this list even better! Do any of our picks match your own? Take a look and see!
“The Collapse” – Secrets | Metalcore
Secrets is one of my all-time favorite bands, and I was thrilled to be getting a new album from them this year. I got to see them live for the 10th time back in November, and in preparation, I played this album over and over. It was hard to choose just one song from the 12 incredible tracks off The Collapse, but in the end, I had to go with the opening track, with the same title as the album, “The Collapse.” Secrets have never been afraid to be vulnerable with their songs. In their title track, they discuss the ongoing battle of addiction and how debilitating it can feel. Sometimes, people turn to substances to fill an emptiness in themselves or escape reality, and “The Collapse” captures that struggle with beautiful sincerity. I almost picked, “Fade Away” as my favorite because the grief-stricken, heartbreaking end to the album punches you in the gut, especially knowing that their former vocalist passed away last year. But in the end, I had to pick “The Collapse” because, on top of being lyrically great, it has a great breakdown. Fans of metalcore who haven’t checked out Secrets yet should give this track a spin right now. Seriously.
“Oddtaxi” - Skirt&PUNPEE | Japanese Jazzy Hip-Hop
This is the opening song for the anime ODDTAXI. I discovered the show this year, and I instantly fell in love with the story and this opening song. I loved the anime so much that I watched it for a second time with my partner later in the year. I’ve found myself listening to a lot of openings and closing tracks from anime this year, and I think it’s because they bring me comfort. This song especially is super catchy and great to drive to late at night. The song is a perfect fit for the show and one of my favorite “chill” tracks of the year. You don’t need to know Japanese to vibe to this track.
“Werewolf” – Motionless in White | Metalcore
Despite getting released in the summer from Motionless in White’s new album Scoring the End of the World, “Werewolf” is a perfect song for fall. The moment I heard it, I knew it had to go on my spooky season playlist. With werewolf howls and woodsy noises sampled, it’s a fun, mystical time. The entire 2022 album is great, but this is my favorite from it. The music video is also full of cool werewolf imagery. Fans of work where metalcore and spooky things combine will love this track.
“Bibitto Love” – ChiCO with Honeyworks | Japanese Pop
I wonder what it says about me that half of my listed favorite songs of the year come from anime. I can’t help it. Sometimes it’s easier for me to listen to fun songs like this than check out new releases. This closing song from the show Science Fell in Love, So I Tried to Prove It is SO good. And so is the anime if you’re into romance with a fun scientific twist. It’s so upbeat and fun, and it’s impossible for me to hear this song without doing a little dance. If I have a bad day, this song is guaranteed to cheer me up.
“Halos” - The Copyrights | Punk
So right out of the gate, I’m lying to you because while I said “no particular order” this is my favorite song of the year, and it also came out it in 2021. The Copyrights are an Illinois punk band that have been around since the early 2000s. I’ve really liked them for a long time, and they are becoming one of my favorites but somehow it slipped through my radar that they had a new album come out last year. But that just meant I got a pleasant surprise this year. I love the blend of pop punk and aggression, this is a fighting song, as the lyrics say, “there’s no place out there for pacifists”. My hallmarks of a great song are: A) how much it sticks with you, B) if you find it in your head when nothing else is playing, and C) if you find snatches of it randomly coming to mind. This is a song that I have found myself singing as I woke up because it was in my dreams. I’ve played it dozens of times since June and still can’t get enough!
“This is Why” – Paramore | Alternative
This song surprised me with how much I love it. I’ve been a fan of Paramore since Riot and while I’ve really liked a lot of their stuff and their 2017 song “Hard Times” is one I listen to constantly, my reaction to hearing they had new music coming out was a subdued “that’s cool.” But then I heard it, and I cannot get this song out of my head! Same as “Halos” above I find parts of it going through my head until I just have to listen to again. Especially after the past two years the line “This why I don’t leave the house” is super relatable. The changes in tempo are resounding body blows and the whole thing just rocks!
“LAUGH.CRY.SMILE.DIE” - Anti-Flag | Punk Rock
So Anti-Flag has been one of my favorite bands since I first heard them when I was in high school (I still have a t-shirt of theirs I got on my 17th birthday). They haven’t released a new album this year, but they have released 5 tracks thus far (as of 11/17/22) from their album coming in January of 2023. And that makes this one of the hardest entries on this list for me because now I have to choose just one of those tracks to include here. This is the lead single and if you’ve listened to Anti-Flag over the past 15 years since they moved from their more hardcore early sound and started incorporating more pop elements while keeping their hard-left lyrics, they aren’t exactly re-inventing the wheel. The only new thing, and this is true of every track released thus far, is the use of featured guests. I ended up choosing this one as it is the most archetypal of the Anti-Flag sound that I really like and it’s probably the most aggressive (you may notice I tend to like aggressive music, lol). I still love the band and am never disappointed with a new album.
“Shoulders” - Coheed and Cambria | Progressive Rock
This is another one of my all-time favorite bands and the question was just, what track do I include? Funnily enough, this song and album are the reverse of the situation with Anti-Flag above. This song came out last year ahead of the album’s release in June of 2022. So, whereas last time I counted it because the song technically came out in 2022 even if the full album isn’t out yet, this time I’m counting it because the album came out this year even though the song came out last year :). This song is another archetypal song of the Coheed sound even as it evolves and morphs a bit on every album. It has the amazing vocals by lead singer Claudio Sanchez, soaring guitars, fantastic changes in tempo, and overall, just a great song.
“Low Tide” - The Wonder Years | Pop Punk/Emo
I started listening to The Wonder Years about 6 years ago or so and have seen them morphing from more of a pop-punk-emo hybrid into more of a serious emo band examining the world of middle-age millennial angst. For example, compare this song to earlier songs “Melrose Diner” which still had some of their bouncy fun. While that bouncy fun isn’t anywhere in any of the tracks off their latest album, they still make great music that always finds a place in me emotionally. This was another one that was hard to select just one track and I can’t really say why this exact song because there are riffs and lyrics throughout the album that stick with me, but there is something about the lines, “I’m growing my hair out because who gives a shit” (this is almost the exact logic that first led me to growing the beard I have had nearly 10 years now) and “I know I’m gonna be the one, who ruins everything” that I’ve been able to relate to so often in my life.
"Running Up That Hill" - Kate Bush | Pop
An excellent example of powerful catalog music meeting relevant placement in pop culture and becoming its own phenomenon with new audiences.
"Mother I Sober" - Kendrick Lamar feat. Beth Gibbons of PortisHead | Hip Hop
A song that closes an album and recaps the creative excellence that was the best album of the year.
"Essence" - Wizkid (Feat Tems) | Afro-Pop
Although released in 2020, it impacted me late 2021 and strong into 2022. This Nigerian Artist exemplifies Afro-Pop success and globalization of music.
"Eazy" - The Game | Rap/Hip Hop
A strong hip-hop track from an unexpected West Coast artist.
"Johnny P's Caddy" - Benny the Butcher feat. J Cole | Rap/Hip Hop
Solid street rap with great use of a sample.
“This is Why” - Paramore | Alternative
Long time Paramore fan, first time reviewer haha. As a fan from their early days with songs like "Pressure" and then evolving into "Misery Business," "Crush Crush Crush," and my personal favorite, "Decode." Their early “heavier sound” definitely spoke to my young angsty self, but as we change so has their sound. I find their light-hearted, more-funky guitar and drums along with Haley’s amazing vocal talent and song-writing ability continues to produce catchy hits that uplift the mood. This has continued with their latest song “This is Why” a direct anthem to my introverted, stay-at-home self but funky riffs that make you want to dance and sing along. As long as nobody is watching of course.
“Everyone’s Dying” - Roe Kapara | Alternative/Indie
This song was a TikTok find. I was hooked in just the 30-second clip highlighting just the first verse. It’s creepy, poetic, and darn right catchy. The lyrics and melody remind me subtly of Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box” with the vocals of Shawn Mendes. The perfect song for that spooky fall vibe. If you haven’t listened to it check it out!
“Strangest Faces” – Bayside | Alternative/Emo
Bayside is back with their latest EP and it slaps! Dark, moody, heavy guitar riffs and crafty lyrics. Great song to blast in the car!
“No Name #7” - Pure Trash | Pop Punk
OK, this is biased, but this song is amazing. Pure Trash is one of the bands I was into before moving to Florida. These people are amazing. Led by Henry Diem (who not only recorded all of the music himself but also filmed the music video) and Dean Crist, this song is beautifully written and should be on everyone’s playlist.
“If It All Goes South” - Sammy Rae & the Friends | Soulful Jazz Rock
This single was released in August of this year and has yet to be left off any new playlist that I’ve created since. It’s a song about accepting the journey of a new relationship, with the cornerstone lyric being, “If it all goes south/ it was a lot of fun.” Sammy shared in a social media post that, in the music video, she plays a “strange little omnipresent, Pee-Wee Herman adjacent angel that follows [the featured couple] around and tries to get them to notice each other.” I’m not sure if that comes across perfectly, but the concept is so fun, and the song is so feel-good that I don’t really mind any quirks the video has. 10/10.
“Gloom” - DJO | Psych Rock
Joe Keery is the brain behind DJO. After a 2-year hiatus (i.e., working as Steve Harrington on the set of Stranger Things), he released “Gloom” as a single in July of 2022. I mean, Joe just doesn’t disappoint with the 80’s synth vibes. I don’t know another artist who can incorporate the lyric, “Your girlfriend scares me/ she’s got bad breath” and it still be a song that I love and take seriously. He’s such a great composer. It’s such a great song. Listen if you can.
“Silk Chiffon” - MUNA feat. Phoebe Bridgers | Indie Rock
“Silk Chiffon” is such an airy, girly song that consumed my summer after its release in June 2022. It’s a queer love song that is executed so breathlessly. I don’t sense any sad undertones (maybe because this was written by MUNA, not Phoebe), and honestly, it’s a refreshing change of pace to hear Phoebe being happy for once in her life (LOL JK).
If you are a Swiftie, then you already know that both Bridgers and MUNA are opening for Taylor Swift in her upcoming Eras tour. I love both queer acts and I am looking forward to listening to live sessions of “Nothing New” (a Swift/Bridgers collab).
“Habits Held” - Odie Leigh | Indie Folk
Odie Leigh gained traction on Tik Tok during the chaos of 2020 and had droves of followers beg her for more music. She released her “How Did It Seem to You” EP in October of 2022, and “Habits Held” is my favorite from it. It’s a sad, folky, post-breakup song that makes me wish I was going through the same thing (LOL). What better way to ring in the fall chill than with lyrics like, “Now loneliness finds me/ In some better health/ But habits are habits/And my bad habits held”? Beautiful.
“All That’s Left of Me Is You” - Vulfpeck | Funk
The newest Vulfy music since 2020 is so fun, funky, but so diverse. I love the backdrop of the sauna, the matching robes and little hats, and the album art to follow. Of the singles that have been dropped, I had to choose the one with Theo Katzman on vocals because I am a fangirl. Unashamedly.
There you have it— Savage Content’s favorite songs of 2022! You can listen to all of these songs on our Spotify playlist. Check it out here. We can’t wait to see what new music comes out of 2023. I hope you enjoyed hearing from our team and have found some new songs to check out! As a passive fan of Paramore for years, I hadn’t checked out their latest work, but since “This is Why” showed up twice in this list, I looked it up, and it’s now playing on a constant loop in my head (Thanks, Calvin and Adam 😅). Are there any songs on this list you’d include in your top 5? What songs did we miss? Let us know in the comments!
We hope everyone has a wonderful end to 2022 and an even better start to 2023. We’ll see you in the new year!