Take a look back on 2022 while enjoying this year’s hottest tracks from Kendrick Lamar, Gorillaz, Omar Apollo, Paramore, Taylor Swift and more!
Before you close the book on 2022, grab your earbuds and join us on a musical trip down memory lane!
2022 was a huge year for musicians and fans alike. The recording industry returned to full strength, and many of our favorite bands and artists returned to the studio and released incredible albums.
From gritty alt-rockers and iconic rap stars to the most beloved pop supernovas in the world, our 2022 End of the Year playlist is packed with amazing songs.
The Beths — “When You Know You Know”
Jangly, upbeat ‘90s indie rock always hits us with nostalgia. “When You Know You Know” by The Beths is a catchy, tender song from their newly released album, Expert in a Dying Field. It won’t be the only track on the record that “climbs in your cranium.”
Danger Mouse, Black Thought, Raekwon — “The Darkest Part”
The Grammy-winning producer with the golden touch did it again.
Danger Mouse works with a ton of musicians—The Black Keys, Adele, Beck, Norah Jones, U2, Broken Bells and many more. He also collaborated with MF DOOM on the Adult Swim concept album, DANGERDOOM.
This year, he earned a Grammy nomination for his full-length album, Cheat Codes. The record features several heavy-hitters including Black Thought, Raekwon, A$AP Rocky, Run the Jewels and Joey Bada$$.
“The Darkest Part” is our favorite track on the album. It sounds like Raekwon and Black Thought are spitting rhymes on the same mic—and that’s what we call a dream come true.
Kendrick Lamar — “Die Hard”
Kendrick Lamar had a big year. He stole the spotlight at Super Bowl XVI, cut ties with Top Dawg Entertainment, and brought a security guard to tears at a concert. Most importantly, he released Mr. Morale and The Big Steppers, his first full length album in 5 years.
If you need something to pull at your heartstrings until his next album drops, “Die Hard” will do the trick. The track goes down smooth ‘til the last drop (no chaser).
Gorillaz, Tame Impala — “New Gold”
When Gorillaz and Tame Impala released “New Gold,” everyone knew it was gonna be hot.
Gorillaz is the virtual band that made “Feel Good Inc” a pop hit in the early 2000s. Led by Blur frontman Damon Albarn, the band is known for their comical cast of members—Murdoc, 2D, Noodle and Russel. The cartoon band is known for working with MF DOOM, Mos Def, Little Dragon, Del the Funky Homosapien and many more.
It was only a matter of time before Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) joined the ranks of iconic Gorillaz collaborators.
“New Gold” combines the best of both worlds. You get Kevin Parker’s airy vocals layered over the brain-dead voice of 2D (voiced by Damon Albarn). This is easily the most exciting collab of the year.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs — “Fleez”
Yeah Yeah Yeahs released their first album in nine years—Cool it Down. It’s also one of several albums featured in the musical backdrop of Meet Me in the Bathroom, an immersive documentary that walks you through the explosive New York rock scene in the early 2000s.
“Fleez” is a spunky alt-rock jam that’ll spice up your daily routine.
Kate Bush — “Running Up That Hill”
Thanks to TikTok and Stranger Things, Kate Bush’s 1985 single “Running Up That Hill” became the flashback from the past that nobody saw coming.
Kate Bush wrote a blog post about her song’s new lease on life. She said, “I’m overwhelmed by the scale of affection and support the song is receiving and it’s all happening really fast, as if it’s being driven along by a kind of elemental force. I have to admit I feel really moved by it all.”
Taylor Swift — “Anti-Hero”
Taylor Swift broke Ticketmaster. There was only a 2% chance of actually landing tickets for her upcoming tour—consider yourself lucky if you did.
Days before that fiasco popped off, Swift became the first artist in history to claim all top 10 spots on the Billboard Hot 100. Per Spotify, Midnights became the most streamed album in a single day, and Taylor broke the record for the most-streamed artist in a single day.
It’s hard to pick a favorite song from Midnights. A few sleepless nights later, we finally decided on “Anti-Hero.”
Paramore — “This is Why”
They’re back! Paramore headlined When We Were Young Fest in October, and now they’re about to release their new album in February, 2023.
The band started dropping hints that something was coming. The title track, “This is Why,” has everyone gasping for more of that guitar-driven sound that caught our attention back in 2005.
In the wake of their new single, Paramore also announced a UK tour with Bloc Party, who
inspired the new album (according to Haley Williams). The tour kicks off in April with concert dates in Dublin, Glasgow, Manchester, London and Birmingham.
Steve Lacy — “Bad Habit”
Steve Lacy’s “Bad Habit” is pure ear candy, and the single reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 after going viral on TikTok.
This dreamy pop tune isn’t Lacy’s first time in the spotlight. He gained attention as the guitarist for the alternative R&B group The Internet before releasing The Steve Lacy EP in 2017. Lacy has also collaborated with other artists including Kendrick Lamar, Tyler the Creator, Vampire Weekend and Calvin Harris.
Dreamy and playful, “Bad Habit” showcases how much Steve Lacy can do with a few guitar chords. Check out his debut album Gemini Rights to get the full picture.
Rihanna — “Lift Me Up”
Here’s another comeback we’ve all been waiting for. After a multi-year hiatus, Rihanna found her way back onto our playlists in 2022. “Lift Me Up” is the lead single of the upcoming film, Black Panther Wakanda Forever.
“Lift Me Up” features lush synths, soaring vocals and an uplifting message. If this is a snapshot of what’s to come, we can’t wait to hear what the future holds.
Raveena — “Secret”
Raveena recruited Vince Staples to record “Secret.” The single teased the release of her sophomore R&B album Asha’s Awakening, released in February on Warner Music.
“Secret” has a tasteful, exotic flair. Raveena’s hypnotizing voice floats over beats that are strung together with South Asian instruments and clubby undertones.
Omar Apollo — “Evergreen (You Didn’t Deserve Me At All)”
In a Pitchfork interview, Omar Apollo said his parents offered one piece of advice before he started his music career: “You better work your ass off.”
Omar didn’t care about college, he just wanted to make music. That came as a shock to his parents, who fled to the US to escape Mexican gang violence. After settling in Indiana, his family opened their own restaurant, worked hard and never looked back.
At age 17, Omar taught himself to sing. He moved out of his parents house into his friend’s attic—that’s where the majority of his best songs came to life. Omar’s friends (who were also living in the attic-turned-studio) encouraged him to release tracks on Spotify. His single “Ugotme” got 50,000 streams in one day.
The world stood still when he dropped his debut album, Ivory. Every song is its own masterpiece, but we really dig the soulful “Evergreen.” With a Grammy nomination on his shoulders, Omar must be doing something right.
DOMi and JD Beck — “TAKE A CHANCE”
DOMi and JD Beck went from Instagram stars to worldwide sensations. Backed by artists like Anderson .Paak, Thundercat and Mac DeMarco, this interstellar jazz duo is on a ride to the top.
Long before their stunning performance on The Tonight Show, they posted jazzy MF DOOM and Madlib covers on Instagram, along with other mind-blowing instrumental performances.
Harry Styles — “As It Was”
We couldn’t put together a “Best of 2022” playlist without including Harry Styles. His catchy hit single, “As It Was” is featured on his third studio album, Harry’s House. The song topped the charts in 35 countries and spent 15 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.
The hook couldn’t be truer in 2022: “You know it’s not the same as it was.”
Lizzo — “About Damn Time”
Lizzo’s “About Damn Time” knocked “As It Was” off the Billboard Hot 100 Chart in July and became an instant hit, earning over 400 million streams on Spotify alone.
Tik-Tok aficionados already know what time it is—thic-thirty.
Putting this playlist together was no easy task—there were dozens more artists we could have picked from an amazing year of music. We hope our playlist helps you cherish your favorite moments from the past year, and we’re excited to see what musical surprises are in store for us as we approach 2023!