Under the Radar’s Top 130 Songs of 2021

Tuesday, January 25th, 2022
 






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L to R: Silk Sonic, Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen, Japanese Breakfast, Nilüfer Yanya, Wet Leg, Hatchie, Arlo Parks

Under the Radar’s Top 130 Songs of 2021
Our Favorite 2021 Tracks That You Can Listen to All Day Long, All Day Long

Jan 25, 2022

By Mark Redfern


It is confounding that so many outlets insist on posting best songs of the year lists in early December (in 2021, December 6 seemed to be a popular date to post such lists, including ones by Pitchfork, Paste, and Rolling Stone, with NME’s list dropping the next day). Not only are there several more weeks left in the year, in which a number of potential great songs could be released, it also takes time to digest all the tracks released in November and earlier in the fall. We’ve obviously taken too much time.

As with our Top 100 Albums of 2021 list, we had other pressing priorities in the fall of 2021 (our 20th Anniversary Issue and Covers of Covers album) that delayed deciding on our favorite songs of 2021. As a base we started a nomination process with all of the songs that landed in the main rankings (usually a Top 10) of our Songs of the Week lists in 2021. We then asked our writers for additional nomination suggestions (they had to be original songs first released in 2021, no covers). Once we had the final nomination list, our writers voted. When everything was calculated it added up to 130 songs we particularly liked. While many of the songs are taken from records that landed on our Top 100 Albums of 2021 list, there are also some standalone singles, songs from 2021 full-lengths that didn’t make the albums list, and advance singles from some anticipated 2022 albums. We limited it to no more than three songs per artist, otherwise half of each album from Japanese Breakfast and Wolf Alice (our #1 and #2 albums of the year) would’ve shown up on this list.

The full list can be found in our list section, where it is split into two parts.

Check out part 1 (#1-95) here.

Check out part 2 (#96-130) here.

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