Music is one of my greatest passions in life. I absolutely love everything about it. The glamourous lifestyles, the raw and emotional lyrics, and the expert melodies never cease to keep me entertained. I am always searching for the next greatest song, but I have been in a slump this year. None of my go-to-bands released any music, so I rediscovered some of my old favorite artists and discovered a few new that I liked. I decided to compile a list of my top ten favorite songs of this year as a celebration of me finding new artists and the hopes that someone might find themselves a new favorite song.
10. Sorority Noise- “No Halo”
Sorority Noise is a band I recently started listening to. By recently I mean three days ago when I was trying to find a new song I really enjoyed for this article. The band did not disappoint. Cameron Boucher’s slightly monotone style of singing paired nicely with the upbeat melody of the guitars to create this nostalgic sound that reminded me of being 13 and blaring music in my room. The song itself is about the loss of a loved one and coming to grips with the reality of it. Boucher sounded as if he was having a conversation with the deceased, and it sounded like a desperate plea to come back. If you enjoy Imagine Dragons, this song has a similar feel to it.
9. Lil Uzi Vert- “XO Tour Llif3”
This song for me is definitely not about how it sounds, but the way I feel when I hear or read the lyrics. Lil Uzi Vert captures the reality of fame and fortune in a very direct manner. In the beginning, he makes assertions about the greatness of money and fame, but his mindset quickly changes after he raps about drug addiction and suicidal thoughts. This song reminds me of when I’ve had friends betray me in the past and how crushing that was. I am not a fan of the way Lil Uzi Vert chose to rap the song or the beat itself, but I think the lyrics are powerful. If you don’t like rap, Fame On Fire did a rock cover of the song that, to me, is better than the original.
8. Niall Horan- “Slow Hands”
I used to be a closet One Direction fan. When the band was popular, I listened to punk music and wouldn’t be caught dead listening to 1D. However, I’ve since grown up and realized I can listen to whatever I want, and people are stupid if they judge. Horan has a very unique voice that is very delicate. It almost reminds me of the wind: soft, a little breathy, but powerful if need be. “Slow Hands” is a very sensual song that has a good beat behind it. I like the approach that Horan took with his album by giving it a folky-soft rock kind of sound. It suits his voice well. I enjoyed the entire album so any song from there is a win.
7. Harry Styles- “Two Ghosts”
I couldn’t do a top ten and not include Harry Styles. His carefree attitude and eccentric style has made him adored by most music lovers. The self-titled album has a very mature vibe to it and is perfect for any occasion in which people are just chilling out and having a good, but relaxed time. “Two Ghosts” is my favorite because of the reminiscing that goes on in the song. Two lovers who were once something great, but are not anymore, while basic, always strikes a nerve with me. Plus, his voice is smoother than butter and will put you to sleep in this song.
6. Miley Cyrus- “She’s not Him”
Since her resurgence back in 2013, Cyrus has often had a negative reputation in the public eye. While those opinions are warranted, I will fight anyone to the death over hating her music. I have always found her voice and music a unique blend of pop, rock, and country. Her new album, “Younger Now,” displays her talent for writing music that has meaning. Cyrus’s longing and regretful tone in the song will make your heart break as she tells her lover that no matter how much she tries she cannot compare to her ex. Cyrus wants to love her, but she can’t. I learned this year that I am a sap for love songs.
5. Kelly Clarkson- “Love so Soft”
I have been a fan of Kelly Clarkson as long as I can remember. Not many people from Fort Worth, Texas, become famous, so I heard her a lot on the radio growing up. I think she is one of the strongest female voices of our decade. The sassiness of this song is what drew me initially, but after closer analysis, the message about being confident in yourself and not changing yourself for society’s standards spoke to me. It is a soulful pop song that makes you feel good and empowered. Plus, I dance to it every single time I hear it.
4. Post Malone- “Rockstar”
Also from my neck of the woods, ignoring the fact he was born in New York, Post Malone is a chill Texas boy who became a sensation in what felt like overnight. I woke up one morning and everyone was talking about “White Inversion.” I am always skeptical of rappers because many just have one hit, and then you never hear from them again. However, Post Malone has risen to the occasion. “Rockstar” is the chillest and freshest song I have heard in a while. It has a nice beat to it, and the lyrics make you want to live the rock star life. Even though he raps in a laid-back manner, you can still understand what he is saying, which to me is a sign of talent in the rap world.
3. Logic- “1-800-273-8255”
This song could easily have its own article. I personally think this is one of the most important songs of our generation right now. It does not address anything new in the world. Suicide is not a new idea. However, people do not talk about mental health and suicide, which is becoming more common in our society. Logic broke a lot of barriers with this song by being frank and showing the consequences of our actions. The music video was shot beautifully, and the message was also good. I know that it was about a gay kid and his parents not being accepting, and that is a controversial issue. But the fact remains that the kid felt like no one loved him and that he was a freak, which led to those thoughts. I think it is important that everyone feels loved, even if we don’t necessarily agree with their life choices. Logic does a brilliant job of showing that people are human, not matter what they do.
2. Asking Alexandria- “Into the Fire”
It is no secret that Asking Alexandria is my favorite band. I tell everyone all the time about how much I love them and how excited I am to see them live in January. But this really is a great song, I promise. This was the band’s first single after vocalist Danny Worsnop rejoined the band last year. Worsnop has a gravely but smooth voice that haunts the song about his rough few years. The song centers around his life choices: seeing the monster he became, the friendships he ruined, and the people he hurt. Even though Worsnop made some bad choices, he says that he does not regret them and they ultimately made him a better person, which I think is a good life lesson. Worsnop’s voice always makes me feel like I’ve been hit by a train and ascended to heaven. It’s that good. They also released another song, “Where did it go?” which deserves to be mentioned. Listen to it when you get the chance.
1. Waterparks- “Blonde”
Waterparks is a pretty new pop-punk from Houston, Texas. Their sound is similar to old All Time Low and the band Set it Off. The song itself is an upbeat song you can either headbang to or dance to, whichever you prefer. The song itself focuses on the stereotype of “blondes have more fun.” The vocalist, Awsten Knight, has blonde hair and he contrasts that statement with his depression. It also has other themes in the song, but as a person who likes to color their hair, I thought it was fun and creative way to talk about it, but that sums up Waterparks. Fun and unique, while simultaneously leaving you wanting more.