• Michael Laxer

10 Best Songs of 2021...so far!



After a one year hiatus our popular feature is back.


2020 is over halfway done...and the time is at hand for a roundup of the best songs of the year...so far!


Here are my picks for the Top Ten. I am also including what I think were the two best songs of 2020.


This has been a strong year for powerful songs. There were a lot of close runner-ups...but lists are arbitrary, so here are my choices:


This is a simply great throwback pop song from a terrific band. A happy, upbeat, fun and feel-good song...not a bad thing these days.


#10: Japanese Breakfast - Be Sweet



Lights IMO makes great leap forward with absolutely terrific track...hits all the right notes...and terribly bittersweet. This should have been a hit...maybe it still will be, great song.


#9 Lights - Beside Myself



Powerful and truly compelling. A musical statement.


#8: FKA twigs - Don't Judge Me



When two terrific artists team up it is no surprise when you get a fabulous song...


#7 Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen - Like I Used To



Mesmerizing blend of spoken word, stream of consciousness and music...just let it wash over you...


#6: Cassandra Jenkins - Hard Drive



Haviah Mighty is just amazing...


#5 Haviah Mighty ft. Yizzy - Protest



And now a pause to feature what I think were the best two songs of 2020...


This The Strokes masterpiece is one of them...



To me this Phoebe Bridgers song is one of the great tracks in recent memory...moving, compelling, unnerving, a perfect embodiment of the times...it builds to a truly powerful crescendo of music and primal angst.


Absolutely stunning...IMO clearly the best song of 2020 and one of the very best in many years.


It is like a brick through a plate glass window:



Lana Del Ray never ceases to hypnotize. Few songwriters can create the kind of oddly dark edged feeling of nostalgia she can and few can build such an evocative sense of time and place.


#4: Lana Del Rey - White Dress



Simply fantastic song from Lucy Dacus. It is a standout among a terrific set of tracks from her new album. Infused with bittersweet sadness of that kind you just want hear over and over again.


#3 Lucy Dacus - "Hot & Heavy"



Between the last two was very hard for me...both exceptional songs, but ultimately you have to pick...


Anyway, at number two one of the great hard rock songs I have heard in a long time...amazing vocals, marvelous musical homages, a simply kickass tune...turn it up so loud the neighbours' windows buckle...turn it to 11 and beyond!


#2: Greta Van Fleet - Heat Above



Topping my list of the Ten Best Songs of 2021 So Far...


Tremendous, joyous, infectious and life-affirming...yet also layered with deeper meaning...it makes you want to sing, dance and to see freedom reign.


Just a wonderful song.


#1 Jon Batiste - FREEDOM



See you in December for our countdown of the year's Top 20!

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