Music Lists

WYEP’s Top 91 Songs of 2021

December 31, 2021

It was (hopefully) the only year enveloped start-to-finish by the covid-19 pandemic, so it was utterly unique in the annals of modern popular music history. Live concerts were occasional, haphazard, and prone to postponements and cancellations. However, there was still amazing music being recorded and released. This is our list of the cream of the crop in songs we encountered in 2021.

#91 – Fruit Bats, “The Balcony”
#90 – Sting, “Rushing Water”
#89 – Snail Mail, “Valentine”
#88 – Jose Gonzalez, “Head On”
#87 – Angelique Kidjo, “Take It Or Leave It”
#86 – Sierra Sellers, “Accidents”
#85 – Courtney Barnett, “Write A List Of Things To Look Forward To”
#84 – Geese, “Low Era”
#83 – Valerie June, “Call Me A Fool”
#82 – Cold War Kids, “What You Say”
#81 – LUMP, “We Cannot Resist”
#80 – Jackson Browne, “My Cleveland Heart”
#79 – Shungudzo, “It’s A Good Day (To Fight The System)”
#78 – Paul Luc, “Just Sing”
#77 – Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine, “Back To Oz”
#76 – Andy Frasco & THE U.N., “Dancin’ Around My Grave”
#75 – Twin Shadow, “Johnny & Jonnie”
#74 – The Black Keys, “Crawling Kingsnake”
#73 – Israel Nash, “Down In The Country”
#72 – Michigander, “Better”
#71 – Manchester Orchestra, “Bed Head”
#70 – Tears For Fears, “The Tipping Point”
#69 – Alt-J, “U&ME”
#68 – Gabriels, “Love and Hate In A Different Time”
#67 – The Living Street, “Jealous Ghosts”
#66 – Beach House, “Once Twice Melody”
#65 – Indigo De Souza, “Hold U”
#64 – Lorde, “Solar Power”
#63 – Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, “Perennial Bloom (Back To You)”
#62 – Kings of Convenience, “Rocky Trail”
#61 – The Allergies, “Working On Me”
#60 – Mitski, “The Only Heartbreaker”
#59 – Spoon, “The Hardest Cut”
#58 – Eddie Vedder, “Long Way”
#57 – Adia Victoria, “Magnolia Blues”
#56 – Tycho & Benjamin Gibbard, “Only Love”
#55 – Childish Gambino, “Stay High”
#54 – Neal Francis, “Can’t Stop The Rain”
#53 – Wolf Alice, “Smile”
#52 – Son Volt, “Reverie”
#51 – Gang Of Youths, “Angel of 8th Ave”
#50 – Liz Phair, “Spanish Doors”
#49 – Joshua Henry, “Hold Me”
#48 – Billie Eilish, “Your Power”
#47 – Hiss Golden Messenger, “Sanctuary”
#46 – Jungle, “Keep Moving”
#45 – Anderson East, “Madelyn”
#44 – Cha Wa, “My People”
#43 – The Record Company, “How High”
#42 – Big Red Machine, “Phoenix”
#41 – Heartless Bastards, “How Low”
#40 – Bleachers, “Stop Making This Hurt”
#39 – Allison Ponthier, “Harshest Critic”
#38 – John Mayer, “Last Train Home”
#37 – Bachelor, “Stay In The Car”
#36 – Kings Of Leon, “Echoing”
#35 – Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen, “Like I Used To”
#34 – Modest Mouse, “We Are Between”
#33 – Silk Sonic, “Leave The Door Open”
#32 – Weezer, “All My Favorite Songs”
#31 – The Bamboos, “Hard Up”
#30 – Foo Fighters, “Waiting On A War”
#29 – Cautious Clay, “Roots”
#28 – tUnE-yArDs, “Hold Yourself”
#27 – Allison Russell, “Nightflyer”
#26 – Chet Faker, “Low”
#25 – Chvrches, “How Not To Drown”
#24 – Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram, “662′”
#23 – Strand Of Oaks, “Galacticana”
#22 – Lake Street Dive, “Hypotheticals”
#21 – Benji., “Elevate”
#20 – Billy Strings, “Fire Line”
#19 – Japanese Breakfast, “Be Sweet”
#18 – Durand Jones & The Indications, “Witchoo”
#17 – Lucy Dacus, “Hot and Heavy”
#16 – Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats, “Survivor”
#15 – Yola, “Diamond Studded Shoes”
#14 – Middle Kids, “Questions”
#13 – My Morning Jacket, “Love Love Love”
#12 – Jade Bird, “Open Up The Heavens”
#11 – Lord Huron, “Not Dead Yet”
#10 – The Hold Steady, “Family Farm”
#9 – Arlo Parks, “Hurt”
#8 – Amythyst Kiah, “Black Myself”
#7 – Leon Bridges, “Motorbike”
#6 – St. Vincent, “Pay Your Way In Pain”
#5 – Adele, “Easy On Me”
#4 – Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, “Can’t Let Go”
#3 – The War On Drugs, “I Don’t Live Here Anymore”
#2 – Brandi Carlile, “Right On Time”
#1 – Jon Batiste, “I Need You”
#91 – Fruit Bats, “The Balcony”
#90 – Sting, “Rushing Water”
#89 – Snail Mail, “Valentine”
#88 – Jose Gonzalez, “Head On”
#87 – Angelique Kidjo, “Take It Or Leave It”
#86 – Sierra Sellers, “Accidents”
#85 – Courtney Barnett, “Write A List Of Things To Look Forward To”
#84 – Geese, “Low Era”
#83 – Valerie June, “Call Me A Fool”
#82 – Cold War Kids, “What You Say”
#81 – LUMP, “We Cannot Resist”
#80 – Jackson Browne, “My Cleveland Heart”
#79 – Shungudzo, “It’s A Good Day (To Fight The System)”
#78 – Paul Luc, “Just Sing”
#77 – Sufjan Stevens & Angelo De Augustine, “Back To Oz”
#76 – Andy Frasco & THE U.N., “Dancin’ Around My Grave”
#75 – Twin Shadow, “Johnny & Jonnie”
#74 – The Black Keys, “Crawling Kingsnake”
#73 – Israel Nash, “Down In The Country”
#72 – Michigander, “Better”
#71 – Manchester Orchestra, “Bed Head”
#70 – Tears For Fears, “The Tipping Point”
#69 – Alt-J, “U&ME”
#68 – Gabriels, “Love and Hate In A Different Time”
#67 – The Living Street, “Jealous Ghosts”
#66 – Beach House, “Once Twice Melody”
#65 – Indigo De Souza, “Hold U”
#64 – Lorde, “Solar Power”
#63 – Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, “Perennial Bloom (Back To You)”
#62 – Kings of Convenience, “Rocky Trail”
#61 – The Allergies, “Working On Me”
#60 – Mitski, “The Only Heartbreaker”
#59 – Spoon, “The Hardest Cut”
#58 – Eddie Vedder, “Long Way”
#57 – Adia Victoria, “Magnolia Blues”
#56 – Tycho & Benjamin Gibbard, “Only Love”
#55 – Childish Gambino, “Stay High”
#54 – Neal Francis, “Can’t Stop The Rain”
#53 – Wolf Alice, “Smile”
#52 – Son Volt, “Reverie”
#51 – Gang Of Youths, “Angel of 8th Ave”
#50 – Liz Phair, “Spanish Doors”
#49 – Joshua Henry, “Hold Me”
#48 – Billie Eilish, “Your Power”
#47 – Hiss Golden Messenger, “Sanctuary”
#46 – Jungle, “Keep Moving”
#45 – Anderson East, “Madelyn”
#44 – Cha Wa, “My People”
#43 – The Record Company, “How High”
#42 – Big Red Machine, “Phoenix”
#41 – Heartless Bastards, “How Low”
#40 – Bleachers, “Stop Making This Hurt”
#39 – Allison Ponthier, “Harshest Critic”
#38 – John Mayer, “Last Train Home”
#37 – Bachelor, “Stay In The Car”
#36 – Kings Of Leon, “Echoing”
#35 – Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen, “Like I Used To”
#34 – Modest Mouse, “We Are Between”
#33 – Silk Sonic, “Leave The Door Open”
#32 – Weezer, “All My Favorite Songs”
#31 – The Bamboos, “Hard Up”
#30 – Foo Fighters, “Waiting On A War”
#29 – Cautious Clay, “Roots”
#28 – tUnE-yArDs, “Hold Yourself”
#27 – Allison Russell, “Nightflyer”
#26 – Chet Faker, “Low”
#25 – Chvrches, “How Not To Drown”
#24 – Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram, “662′”
#23 – Strand Of Oaks, “Galacticana”
#22 – Lake Street Dive, “Hypotheticals”
#21 – Benji., “Elevate”
#20 – Billy Strings, “Fire Line”
#19 – Japanese Breakfast, “Be Sweet”
#18 – Durand Jones & The Indications, “Witchoo”
#17 – Lucy Dacus, “Hot and Heavy”
#16 – Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats, “Survivor”
#15 – Yola, “Diamond Studded Shoes”
#14 – Middle Kids, “Questions”
#13 – My Morning Jacket, “Love Love Love”
#12 – Jade Bird, “Open Up The Heavens”
#11 – Lord Huron, “Not Dead Yet”
#10 – The Hold Steady, “Family Farm”
#9 – Arlo Parks, “Hurt”
#8 – Amythyst Kiah, “Black Myself”
#7 – Leon Bridges, “Motorbike”
#6 – St. Vincent, “Pay Your Way In Pain”
#5 – Adele, “Easy On Me”
#4 – Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, “Can’t Let Go”
#3 – The War On Drugs, “I Don’t Live Here Anymore”
#2 – Brandi Carlile, “Right On Time”
#1 – Jon Batiste, “I Need You”