If your Spotify Wrapped looks anything like mine—that is, 99% Beyoncé—it might be time to diversify your playlists.
You can’t go wrong with the best songs of 2022, as chosen by Glamour editors. Yes, Beyoncé, who released Renaissance in July, is featured plenty, as is Taylor Swift, whose 10th studio album, Midnights, debuted in October. Artists like Adele, Harry Styles, and Lizzo also had some popular songs this year, and don’t worry, they’re all here.
But we’ve included some less obvious picks, too, from girl power anthem “King” by Florence and the Machine, to the ’80s-inspired “Autonomy” by Boy Harsher, as well as JVKE’s ode to first loves, “This Is What Falling in Love Feels Like.”
Without further ado, here are the 50 best songs of 2022.
“Anti-Hero” by Taylor Swift
Whatever you think about Taylor Swift, I believe history will look on “Anti-Hero” as one of her best works. (Once all the “It’s me, hi. I’m the problem, it’s me” TikTok videos die out, that is.) “Anti-Hero” was a brilliant choice as the lead single from Midnights—in part because it’s catchy, sure, but also because it so clearly reveals her point of view as an artist. It’s distinctly personal and introspective, while still eliciting the kind of emotions that are universal. —Anna Moeslein, deputy editor
“This Is What Falling in Love Feels Like” by JVKE
JVKE’s rise to fame is a truly only-in-2022 story. After creating viral TikToks featuring his adorable mom listening to viral hits, JVKE thought, Why not just create my own music? Turns out he’s really good at it—and “This Is What Falling in Love Feels Like” might just be his best yet. Featuring swelling synths and raw vocals, the track from his debut album captures the breathless rush of new love. —Sam Reed, senior trending news & entertainment editor
“Casual” by Chappell Roan
Fresh off the viral success of “Pink Pony Club,” Chappell Roan’s new single explores the throes of casual sex. Any song that explicitly mentions getting eaten out in the chorus is extremely My Shit. Her Naked in North America tour just sold out in most cities, and I really wish I’d snagged a ticket in time. Please let this recommendation serve as my formal request for an invite. —Hanna Lustig, staff writer
“Autonomy” by Boy Harsher
“Autonomy” is nostalgia in a bottle, sunny synth pop that’s just waiting to soundtrack a teen movie. That ’80s-inflected texture is a hallmark of Boy Harsher’s sound—but usually to much darker ends. Optimism looks good on them. —Jake Smith, commerce writer
“Skin a Rat” by Sasami
The white-hot rage of living under late capitalism only grows more unbearable every year, but Sasami’s nu-metal album opener has a way out. “Hell-fucked economy” got you down? Pull on your big, big boots and start stomping some finance bros. —J.S.
“La Combi Versace” by Rosalia, Tokischa
Rosalía’s stripped-down dembow is an altar to retail therapy, name-checking favorite brands (Valentino, Margiela, Versace) and the stylish patron saints (Carla Bruni, Dapper Dan) lighting the way. We’re in different tax brackets, but the rush of the splurge is universal. —J.S.
“Problem With It” by Plains
If given the opportunity, I will wax poetic about Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield and her voice (move over, Emmylou Harris). She has created a new band, called Plains, with Jess Williamson; both women are excellent songwriters, and this song shows their merit. If you’ve ever been in a frustrating relationship, you will instantly relate. —Lauren Brown, senior visuals editor
“Billions” by Caroline Polachek
The spare, futuristic synths on “Billions” allow Caroline Polachek’s soaring voice to remain the focus. As it should be, because have you heard it? 10/10. —S.R.
“If Jesus Was a Rockstar” by Kim Petras
It has been deeply rewarding, as her number one fan, to watch Kim Petras get the mainstream attention this year that she’s always deserved. The lead single from her forthcoming album, “If Jesus Was A Rockstar,” is some of Petras’s finest work to date. Dress like Kid Rock and belt it from the window of your pickup truck—that’s how it was meant to be enjoyed. —H.L.
“Glimpse of Us” by Joji
There’s a reason this song was used for a viral TikTok trend about lost loves. If you’re looking for a soundtrack for a good cry session, add this song to your queue. —S.R.
“American Teenager” by Ethel Cain
“American Teenager” has all the trappings of the classic high school anthem: crying in the bleachers, underage drinking, football games. But Ethel Cain isn’t afraid to go darker, weaving in her wavering faith in the American Dream and religion. Even if you don’t follow her down the folk-freakout rabbit hole of Preacher’s Daughter, you get the vibe. Play it loud. —J.S.
“King” by Florence and the Machine
In another show of society’s nostalgia for my middle school years, late ’00s icons Florence & the Machine have made a triumphant return to my top Spotify artists with their new album Dance Fever. My favorite song off the album, “King” (which is up for a Grammy, btw), is a poetic meditation on fame, motherhood, and art itself. The Jack Antonoff–produced track really highlights Florence Welch’s dramatic voice, and the music video, directed by Autumn de Wilde of Emma fame, stays true to the witchy drama of it all. —Anastasia Sanger, social video producer/editor
“As It Was” by Harry Styles
Don’t just take our word for it. “As It Was,” off Harry’s House, was Spotify’s most-streamed song globally in 2022. There’s no better endorsement than billions of listens. —S.R.
“Say It” by Sasami
This song is a diamond in the rough. It manages to mix the industrial grit of Nine Inch Nails with melodic pop. To this former ’90s teen, it feels like all of my old faves mashed into one song. If you liked Rina Sawayama’s “XS” but wish it had more edge, this song could interest you. —L.B.
“Wet Dream” by Wet Leg
“Wet Dream” is the kind of song that makes me want to pick up a guitar and learn to play it. It’s fun and catchy without trying too hard, and it’s also about girls doing what they want and being hot. Win-win-win. —S.R.
“Big Time” by Angel Olsen
Angel Olsen’s “Big Time,” off her latest album of the same name, marks a dreamy pivot to a timeless, country-inspired sound. Not to fret—Olsen’s brand of country is more lazy steel guitar and lyrics about giving in to love, less “red Solo cup.” —S.R.
“On the Ground” by Graces Ives
Certain songs have end-credits energy, signaling that no matter what you’ve just been through, things are gonna be just fine. And this one, with its unstoppably optimistic momentum, is 2022’s best example. —J.S.
“Runner” by Alex G
Alex G’s “Runner” feels at first like any other indie rock track—it’s twangy and rhythmic, and Alex G’s Tom Petty-esque vocals lend an authentic grit. Then comes the primal scream, and it just makes you feel things. Like most of Alex G’s catalog, “Runner” is slightly unsettling, in the best way. —S.R.
“Fever” by Aldous Harding
There is meaning in Aldous Harding’s lyrics, but don’t look too hard for it; the New Zealand singer-songwriter only flirts with coherence. This wobbly number doles out details about an 11-day fling between two travelers, leaving plenty up to interpretation—and treating us to a gorgeous melody along the way. —J.S.
“House With a View” by Cyn
Katy Perry is mentoring pop music newcomer CYN, and in this song it really shows. Perry even appears in the music video. —H.L.
“Tears in the Club” feat. The Weeknd by FKA Twigs
In Twigs’ take on the breakup banger, she levitates over a slinky, metallic beat, rinsing herself of a relationship turned sour. It’s her most conventional song yet, complete with an appearance by The Weeknd, but it’s for the best—actually crying in the club to this could cure anything. —J.S.
“Cracker Island” by Gorillaz
Gorillaz have been serving us one hit after another the past few years, but “Cracker Island,” the first single off their upcoming album of the same name, is an absolute banger. The collab with Thundercat is a match made in heaven—the Grammy-winning bassist’s funky basslines and smooth vocals fit in perfectly with the spooky beats Gorillaz are known for. And it’s definitely worth checking out the trippy music video—the now 3D-animated band members look better than ever. —A.S.
“Hold Me Closer” by Britney Spears and Elton John
Britney Spears’s comeback is still in its early stages, but don’t worry—Elton John is on it. The legendary singer tapped Spears for “Hold Me Closer,” a dance-worthy jam featuring a sample of his own 1971 hit “Tiny Dancer.” The song marked Spears’s first trip to the recording studio in six years.
“She did it so well and so easily,” John said of Spears’s performance in an interview with Zane Lowe. “And I’m sure a lot of people thought, Well, can she still sing? Well, I knew for a start that she could sing because if you go back and look at the old footage, she was the biggest artist in the world and she could sing, she could dance, she could do everything. So I wasn’t worried about that. What I was worried about is if she would be so nervous because she hadn’t done it for a while, but she came through it with flying colors.” —S.R.
“Gimme All Ur Love” by Hemlocke Springs
I’m so thankful this song came up on my FYP last summer. With Clairo-like bedroom pop beats and an ethereal voice like Grimes and Kate Bush, “Gimme All Ur Luv” was the perfect start to Hemlocke Springs’s meteoric rise. —A.S.
“Bad Habit” by Steve Lacy
Steve Lacy is picking up where Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye left off. He’s writing, producing, and creating music that crosses over genres to reach any listener. “Bad Habit” is the single off his latest record, Gemini Rights, and it’s the kind of infectious tune that will stay with you after the first listen. —L.B.
“It’s Not Me, It’s Everybody” by Weyes Blood
Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering could sing about road kill and I’d still find it magical—that’s how beautiful her voice is. On “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody,” though, she cuts to the core of all of my post-pandemic insecurities: “Sitting at this party / Wondering if anyone knows me / Really sees who I am. / Oh, it’s been so long since I felt really known.” If you’re in the mood to fall down a rabbit hole of the existential, this one’s for you. —S.R.
“Vigilante Shit” by Taylor Swift
Even though I play Midnights on repeat most days, “Vigilante Shit” is my favorite. It’s one of the shortest tracks on the album, but it packs the biggest punch. Revenge Taylor is definitely my 2022–2023 aesthetic, and even though I’m very happy in my relationship, I think my wardrobe could get down with some enjoyable “Vigilante Shit”–inspired revenge dressing. —Natasha Pearlman, executive editor
“Midnight Rain” by Taylor Swift
The Summer I Turned Pretty author Jenny Han once told me she listens to Taylor Swift whenever she needs to quickly access certain feelings while writing, and I can’t help but think this must be at the top of her playlist. Swift has always been a master at storytelling, but “Midnight Rain” is her most cinematic to date. —A.M.
“Cuff It” by Beyoncé
What can I say about “Cuff It” that hasn’t been said? I’ve had this song on constant repeat since I first heard it. I’m still shocked it wasn’t released as the first single, because it’s perfect. The album is very much a suite of songs that’s best enjoyed together, but as a stand-alone, “Cuff It” will be making folks dance for decades to come. —L.B.
“Break My Soul” by Beyoncé
Released as the first single from Renaissance, “Break My Soul” set the tone for Beyoncé’s dance-anthem era. It also has a theme we can get behind: Work sucks. After the track was released in July, fans said they were inspired by lyrics like “Now, I just fell in love / And I just quit my job” to leave the hustle behind. Her impact. —S.R.
“Chaise Longue” by Wet Leg
Wet Leg’s entire self-titled debut album blew me away when it came out in spring 2022, but I think “Chaise Longue” best sums up why the British indie rock band is making waves right now. Their catchy post-punk sound is the perfect vehicle for the deadpan delivery of tongue-in-cheek lyrics like “Mommy, Daddy, look at me. / I went to school and I got a degree. / All my friends call it “the big D.’” If you like The Strokes or Haim, put Wet Leg in your queue. —A.M.
“Good Ones” by Charli XCX
Nobody does dance-pop better than Charli XCX. For proof, just listen to “Good Ones”—the lead single off her fifth studio album, Crash—a song so good that critics’ only complaint was that it’s too short. Seeing her perform it live in person was a highlight of my year. —A.M.
“Billie Toppy” by Men I Trust
The warm and fuzzy bass line coupled with Emmanuelle Proulx’s cool vocals gets me every time. —S.R.
“Coochie (A Bedtime Story)” by Shygirl
The year’s most heartfelt song, in my estimation, is this whisper-soft ode to coochie. Shygirl has never, well, shied away from her sexuality (choice cuts include “BDE” and “Shlut”), but she’s never been better than on this horny lullaby, which sees her literally speaking to a vagina over the phone. Genius. —J.S.
“Easy on Me” by Adele
The first single on Adele’s 30 delivered everything we’ve come to expect from the singer: gut-wrenching lyrics, powerhouse vocals, and the kind of chorus you can’t help but belt while driving alone in the car. —S.R.
“Me Porto Bonito” by Bad Bunny, Chencho Corleone
Harry Styles had the most-streamed song of 2022, but Bad Bunny was the most-streamed artist. He’s got plenty of bangers to choose from, but “Me Porto Bonito,” off his fifth studio album, Un Verano Sin Ti, has that irresistible pulse that defines his sound.— S.R.
“It’s About Damn Time” by Lizzo
I’ll never be able to hear the words in a minute again without autofilling the verse: “I’ma need a sentimental / Man or woman / To pump me up.” Lizzo’s lyrical talent truly shines in this song, with catchy verses that are empowering without being cheesy, and always unexpected. —S.R.
“Stereo Driver” by Q
“Stereo Driver” is one of those rare songs that borrows heavily from the sounds of another decade—in this case, the ’80s—without sounding gimmicky. If you’re into Blood Orange, you’ll be into this song. —S.R.
“This Hell” by Rina Sawayama
Sunday school dropouts, this one’s for you. On “This Hell,” Rina Sawayama, our edgy princess of pop, sings, “Saw a poster on the corner opposite the motel. / Turns out, I’m going to hell if I keep on being myself. / Don’t know what I did, but they seem pretty mad about it. / God hates us? Alright then, buckle up, at dawn we’re riding.” —S.R.
“Tití Me Preguntó” by Bad Bunny
You weren’t interested in dancing? Too bad. When “Tití Me Preguntó” plays, you have no choice. Sorry, not sorry! —S.R.
“Girlfriend” by Hemlocke Springs
“Girlfriend” was recommended to me by the Spotify algorithm, and it’s one of the few songs that made me stop and think, Wait, who is this? Hemlocke Springs’s energy on this track has a funky bounce to it—the vibe is shoulder shimmy, it’s sheer shirt, it’s peaking at the club. “Girlfriend” is part Prince, part Shamir, and unlike anything else on your playlist. —S.R.
“Vegas” by Doja Cat
The song from the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis that goes hardest is, ironically, not by Elvis. Doja Cat’s “Vegas,” which samples “Hound Dog” as performed by Big Mama Thornton actor Shonka Dukureh, has an outlaw swagger that we simply must respect. —S.R.
“Heat Waves” by Glass Animals
When I heard that the kids were listening to Glass Animals, I was confused. The band that did “Gooey”? What in the 2014 is going on? And then I realized that “Heat Waves,” a song I have heard thousands of times on TikTok, was by the English indie rock band. Suddenly the fact that “Heat Waves” was the second most streamed song on Spotify made sense. Turns out these guys have absolutely still got it! —S.R.
“Pictures of You” by Drug Dealer feat. Kate Bollinger
If someone asked me to define groove, I’d play them this song (along with a few others, but you get the…picture). There’s an effortless simplicity to the structure of the song, which is carried by a smooth, confident guitar, while Kate Bollinger’s lilting vocals keep “Pictures of You” distinctly modern. —S.R.
“Silk Chiffon” by Muna
Muna partnered with everyone’s favorite Sad Girl, Phoebe Bridgers, for this remarkably happy love song that I guarantee will be stuck in your head the rest of the day. But there are worse things than chanting “life’s so fun, life’s so fun” while you’re running errands at CVS. —A.M.
“Ceilings” by Lizzy McAlpine
I recently came across Lizzy McAlpine’s Tiny Desk concert on NPR, which featured the 23-year-old accompanied only by an acoustic guitar and the group Tiny Habits on backup vocals. The stark setup allowed McAlpine’s voice, which can sometimes come across as quiet, to shine. “Ceilings” is an exemplary showcase for her talent. —S.R.
“God Is a Circle” by Yves Tumor
I first saw Yves Tumor when he opened for some underground DJ in downtown LA in 2016. He didn’t sing. Instead, he stood on the stage and screamed into a microphone for 20 minutes as a fog machine enveloped him in a cloud and red lights flashed incessantly. Point being: Yves Tumor is maybe not for everyone, but he is an experimental king. “God Is a Circle” is a feat of seemingly clashing sounds that supplement rather than compete with one another. As always, Yves Tumor feels ahead of his time. —S.R.
“This Is Why” by Paramore
Paramore has consistently stayed relevant ever since the band first formed in 2004, but the lyrics “This is why I don’t leave the house” felt especially timely for 2022. At least for anyone who came out of their COVID bubble, assessed the chaotic world around them, and thought, Actually, never mind. (One exception: I did leave the house to see Paramore perform “This Is Why” live. Worth it.) —A.M.
“Unholy” by Sam Smith and Kim Petras
TikTok made me include this one. (Not literally. TikTok, the company, had no influence on this list.) There’s something so sweet about the way the moody minor melody perfectly encapsulates the taboo themes of the lyrics. —S.R.
“I Drink Wine” by Adele
You had me at “a breakup ballad about drowning your sorrows in wine.” Add Adele to the equation, and it’s no contest: This song wins. —S.R.