Shock! I don’t typically write about pop music outdoors of Korea and Japan, however I assumed I’d change issues up for a day and countdown my favourite non-Okay-pop/J-pop tracks of the yr. I’ve had a number of requests for this and it is perhaps fascinating to achieve some context for my music style outdoors of The Bias Record‘s slender focus (spoiler: it’s a lot of dance music).
With such give attention to Korea and Japan, I don’t sustain with Western pop as a lot as I used to. However, I made a concerted effort in 2021 to present it extra consideration. I’m certain I missed a ton of nice tracks, however for now right here’s the soundtrack to my yr (with some transient commentary included):
Harry Kinds – Golden
Justin Bieber – Peaches (ft. Daniel Caesar & Giveon))
Submit Malone x The Weeknd – One Proper Now
Calvin Harris – By Your Facet (ft. Tom Grennan)
Charli XCX – Good Ones
40. Darin – Can’t Keep Away
Darin goes disco! That’s actually all it’s good to know. That is such a loving homage — vibrant and buoyant.
39. Ed Sheeran – Shivers
An Ed Sheeran tune on my countdown? I’m not often a fan, however his foray into synth-kissed pop bore loads of musical fruit this yr. Shivers is the strongest of the three singles.
38. Gabry Ponte – Thunder (ft. Lum!x & Prezioso)
This manic dancefloor sea shanty is simply too bizarre to disregard. It’s such a mood-lifting sing-along.
37. Tiësto x Ava Max – The Motto
Constructed upon a gritty bass loop, The Motto‘s playful, seesawing hook by no means will get previous.
36. Coldplay x BTS – My Universe
This pairing actually shouldn’t work, nevertheless it’s unattainable to withstand that grand refrain and clobbering instrumental outro.
35. Ava Max – Each Time I Cry
Ava Max excels at delivering sturdy dance pop tracks. Nothing about this reinvents the wheel, nevertheless it’s so satisfying.
34. Conan Grey – Overdrive
It’s all about that wistful, craving refrain. Overdrive was considered one of many standouts inside 2021’s emotive synthpop development.
33. Joel Herttua – Syntinen
This Finnish band was described to me as “Queen meets ABBA.” I can consider few issues higher, and Syntinen‘s theatrical power doesn’t disappoint.
32. Elton John x Dua Lipa – Chilly Coronary heart (PNAU remix)
That is the way to do a remake/remix! This powerhouse trio transforms a basic into one thing wholly new and contemporary.
31. Lil Nas X – Solar Goes Down
Solar Goes Down is such a uncooked, heartbreaking monitor that establishes Lil Nas X as a multilayered artist with genre-bending prowess.
30. Little Combine – Love (Candy Love)
Love (Candy Love)‘s large, boisterous sound brings me again to the 90’s when highly effective woman teams like En Vogue dominated the airwaves.
29. The Weeknd – Moth To A Flame (with Swedish Home Mafia)
Swedish Home Mafia are an enormous touchstone for me, and so they make an ideal pair with The Weeknd’s expressive vocals. Moth To A Flame is all about its slow-burn pressure.
28. Foxes – Sister Ray
Surging synth arpeggios? Mammoth refrain? You realize I’m offered!
27. Lil Nas X – Trade Child (ft. Jack Harlow)
Trade Child‘s trumpeting brass makes an appropriately enormous backdrop for 2021’s most compelling voice. That is just about all the things I like about hip-hop.
26. Olivia Rodrigo – Good 4 U
I’m loving this resurgence of catchy punk-inspired pop. I wasn’t as offered on Rodrigo’s ballads as others appeared to be, however this burst of perspective is so fulfilling.
25. ABBA – I Nonetheless Have Religion In You
Nostalgia is a robust drug, and this tune nonetheless seems like some unattainable fever dream. It’s such an ideal capper for a legendary legacy.
24. Doja Cat x SZA – Kiss Me Extra
Bopping alongside my favourite chill groove of the yr, Kiss Me Extra‘s insidious hook proved irresistible, echoed by mild guitar and light-weight, ethereal vocals.
23. Charli XCX – New Shapes (ft. Christine and the Queens & Caroline Polachek)
New Shapes groups collectively a trio of charismatic performers who command each second of the prickly, snare-heavy instrumental.
22. Molly Sanden – Vi ska aldrig gå hem
Hinging on a collection of repeated loops (each instrumental and vocal), Vi ska aldrig gå hem is hypnotic synth-pop with chunk.
21. Trash – Love (After All, It’s As a result of Of Love)
This Taiwanese band merged emotional, gutsy rock melodies with a pummeling EDM-inspired drop to goosebump-inducing impact.