Five Songs from 2022

As the curtain falls on 2022, tradition holds that I offer up a few of the songs released during the span of the calendar coming off the wall. Steering away from the artists who were represented in yesterday’s tally of favorite albums, these five tracks rattled around my head and playlists from the moment I first heard them. I’m not saying this is a list of the best songs of the year; they’re simply terrific songs, no ranking required. Accordingly, they’re presented here in no particular order.

Suunflower Bean, “In Flight”

This lithe, lovely pop song is the kind of summer song I can get behind. Let others rollick to the bangers. I’ll take the tune that moves like a tender breeze, a little bittersweet and tangy. Sunlights scalds, too.

Rat Tally, “Longshot”

Moving between tingly, spare sounds and fuzzy guitars that trundle forward like flares of emotion, Rat Tally conveys the aching stasis that’s all too common in relationships, especially at a certain stage of life, when the safety of stasis becomes a numbing balm on troubles: “But I’m okay if you’re okay/ I’m too lazy to say I’m not/ Even if I wanted to explain/ It would probably take too long.”

Porridge Radio, “Back to the Radio”

The welling intensity of this track is almost overwhelming, and that’s a very good thing. Everything about this Porridge Radio song is powerful, but it’s Dana Margolin’s fraught, headstrong lead vocals that push it to whole other level.

Pinkshift, “Nothing (In My Head)”

This is spectacularly pummeling punk rock from a Baltimore trio where every last element if like a fist thrust in the air. When Ashrita Kumar sings, “I feel so goddamn numb,” I feel it all the way down to my marrow.

Linqua Franqa, “Oh Fxck”

I’m biased because I personally know the powerhouse who performs under the name Linqua Franqa. She’s one of the countless students who brimmed with brilliance during my time working at Warren Wilson College. Even so, I’m pretty confident this fiery, impossibly catchy track would be among my favorites regardless. To my ears, it’s undeniably great.

Bonus track:

Quintets selected in previous years can be seen by clicking the “Five Songs” tag.

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