Like many of y’all, I was excited to see what my Spotify Wrapped had to tell me about my music habits from this year, but I was especially excited for the 100 song playlist that Spotify curates every year. It’s so gratifying and entertaining to see how my music taste has evolved over time. I want to share my favorites from that playlist with you guys and some memories I have associated with each song. Without further ado, let’s get started.
“Beautiful Faces” by Declan McKenna
This single off of McKenna’s sophomore album “Zeros” is a guitar heavy indie-rock song and in my opinion, an unforgettable bop. Like most of McKenna’s songs, this one is a thematically heavy but sonically upbeat song. It reminds me of walking around campus and studying in NC State’s library, D.H. Hill, pre-pandemic.
Favorite Lyric: “Going to the stores, pullin’ socks out of the drawers / Of the people who you don’t love anymore.”
“Bittersweet” by Greer
This was one of my favorite songs in the beginning of this year. “Bittersweet” by Greer is an indie-rock anthem about a toxic relationship, and is by far my favorite song by the group. The verses detail the good parts of a relationship while the chorus touches on the bad moments. It’s a catchy tune about love, and definitely falls under the same thematically-sad-sonically-upbeat category I mentioned with “Beautiful Faces.”
Favorite Lyric: “The solitude is now mine / We made it ‘cross the finish line / And left the whole world behind.”
“Friends” by The Lone Bellow
This mellow folk-rock song about the beauties of a strong friendship is another song that I loved pre-pandemic. The instrumentals in this song tug on my heart; the prominent percussion and strong horns make this song feel like home. Even though I only discovered it this year, it feels like one of those songs I’ve known forever, and I love taking solace in that.
Favorite Lyric: “Might punch the clock feel the void / Calling out like it did before.”
“Ceiling Won’t Break” by Finish Ticket
Okay so, this song made it into my Spotify Wrapped last year too, but it’s just such a classic I never stop listening to it. This is yet another indie-rock song (can you tell what my favorite genre is?) that reminds me of good times and got me through bad times. There’s never a time where “Ceiling Won’t Break” doesn’t fit my mood. Finish Ticket also sings “Lying Through Our Teeth,” which didn’t make it onto my Spotify Wrapped but is still one of my favorites nonetheless.
Favorite Lyric: I close my eyes, takes me away / And I go to better times, but reality draws that line.”
“Wrecking Ball” by Mother Mother
This song might have single handedly gotten me through the entire month of July. After hearing a snippet of this song on TikTok, it got stuck in my head for weeks but I kept forgetting to look it up. Funnily enough, a dear friend of mine put this song on a playlist she made me for my birthday and the rest was history. This indie-rock song, like “Beautiful Faces” and “Bittersweet,” has a rather dark theme, but a rather cheery sound.
Favorite Lyric: “You gotta see the artistry / In tearing the place apart with me baby.”
“So Much Better” by Evan Olson
This funky rock tune is very reminiscent of Barenaked Ladies. It has a very interesting story behind it, as it was lost in time for a few decades, and was rediscovered through the investigative journalism of PJ Vogt in episode #158 of the podcast “Reply All” which you can listen to here. This song, as well as the podcast “Reply All” got me through the beginning months of quarantine this year. The icing on the cake is that Olson is based out of Greensboro, North Carolina.
Favorite Lyric: “Long before I looked into your eyes / I saw a million stars start flashin’.”
“Nickel” by Flipturn
Discovering Flipturn this year drastically changed my life for the better. Their “Citrona” EP was essentially the soundtrack to my February and March. This rock anthem reminds me of better times but similarly to “Friends” by The Lone Bellow, it feels like one of those songs I’ve known forever.
Favorite Lyric: “But wait, what about yesterday? / I was only five / And had so much to say.”
I hope you enjoyed hearing about my top picks from the year. Be sure to check out these songs here.