WMSC Music Picks: 2022 Favorites of the Year!

Written by on December 27, 2022

Welcome back to another Music Picks, a collaborative collection of WMSC’s music recommendations and reviews. This installment’s theme is favorites of 2022! Read more to see our station’s favorite songs as we reflect the year!


“FUNERAL GREY” — Waterparks*

Review by Deepak Sathish

Following their 2021 album, Greatest Hits, an expansive record that covered pretty much every genre imaginable, Waterparks decided to return to a less expansive sound for the followup record. Released as the lead single off of their upcoming album INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, “FUNERAL GREY” follows lead singer Awsten Knight through a party, and one unforgettable encounter. Musically, it is one of the catchiest tunes of the year, with a bridge that downright sounds angelic. Even at just 2 minutes and 44 seconds, it manages to do a lot within that runtime, making it one of my favorite songs of the year. 

This song was one of my most-played of the year. It ended up soundtracking a lot of my favorite moments from this summer just by virtue of that. So whenever I listen to this song, it makes me reminisce about the good times gone by. 


“Especially You” — Wallows

Review by Deepak Sathish

Relationship anxiety has never sounded more groovy! Released as the second single off their sophomore album, “Especially You” is an indie rock song made to dance to. Lyrically, it features lead singer Dylan Minnette grappling with the ups and downs of a long-distance relationship, and trying to cope with overthinking. Sometimes you just need to dance through the fear- And that’s largely what this track accomplishes. The funk-tinged grooves and emotive lyrics make this one of the best songs released this year. 


“i wish that i could wear hats” — Brian David Gilbert

Review by Deepak Sathish

From the title alone, you might think it’s a comedy song. A simple, relatable comedy song. But very soon in, sinister undertones swirl underneath what seems at first to be a song just about Brian David Gilbert’s desire to wear a hat. This song quickly turns into a commentary on the self-consciousness that runs under the surface of all of us, and the toxicity of comparing oneself to others. By the time the final dissonant swarming chorus of “I wish that I could wear hats” comes around, it becomes very clear that this song is far more than what it looks to be at its surface. Much like how humans are also often much different from what outward appearances may seem, appearances can be deceiving- And it is never more apparent than with this track. 


“Bliss” — Yung Lean ft. FKA Twigs*

Review by Katarina Nikolic

The collaboration of Yung Lean and FKA Twigs may seem out of the blue, but isn’t surprising. On “Bliss’,’ the resident Sad Boy and ethereal art-pop princess teamed up to make one of 2022’s best pop (punk?) tracks. Lean’s disaffected rapping pairs harmoniously with Twigs’ angelic vocals on the chorus, and the rock-leaning instrumentation (which is actually a sample of a Soviet post-punk song) seems out of character for both their discographies. For two artists more well-known for their slow, sad, electronic tracks, ”Bliss” is a surprise treat, a breath of fresh air, and a whole lot of fun. 


“10:36” – Beabadoobee

Review by Katarina Nikolic

On Beatopia, British-Filipino musician Beabadoobee continues to venture out of the “bedroom pop” signature that blew her up, closer than ever to being a true indie-rock luminary. Bea is at her best on “10:36,” mining her influences for inspiration and using them tastefully. She combines her own simple, honest lyrics and soft vocals with a punchy upbeat track and a The Strokes-y guitar riff that provides the song’s addictive quality. The LP the tune is featured on, Beatopia, has more of this year’s highlights, such as “See You Soon,” “the perfect pair” and “Ripples.” With “10:36,” Bea tells us that she’s here to stay; and is only getting better. 


“Then It All Goes Away” — Dayglow

Review by Jessica Lilly

“Then It All Goes Away” is from Dayglow’s third album, People in Motion. This song is a fun alternative indie pop track that feels reminiscent to classic indie hits in the early 2010s. According to an interview, Dayglow wrote this song with the idea of making it feel brand new, yet familiar to his longtime fans. In this regard the song was a success. “Then It All Goes Away” uses a mix of bass guitar and percussion as instrumentals. While this sounds different from Dayglow’s previous songs, it has the artist’s signature catchiness. It is about the singer’s frustrations that another party won’t tell them what’s wrong. It’s open for interpretation if this is about a relationship or just a communication issue, but I don’t think we’re supposed to think too much into the meaning of this catchy pop song. Overall it’s perfect for jamming or dancing to.


“Never Had a Chance” — Katherine Li

Review by Jessica Lilly

“Never Had a Chance” is probably the saddest indie song I’ve heard all year. Released as a single, this song is about a failed relationship that was never possible. It begins with a slow beat that is mixed with somber piano and electronic instrumentals, and ends with an electric guitar riff that is intermittent by soft, melancholy vocals. “Never Had a Chance” has a masterful combination of vocals and instruments. Overall it’s the perfect song for a rainy day or if you want to feel sad.


“All I Can Say” — Orville Peck

Review by Josh Maley

Orville Peck has been redefining the country genre for a few years now, and his newest album Bronco is a great example of his unique style. I’m not usually a country fan, but Peck’s lyricism and sound creates music that I find both relatable and comforting to listen to. “All I Can Say is a slow but beautiful duet that closes out the album, depicting the end of a relationship. This is my personal favorite song off the album not only because of Peck’s heartfelt vocals and lyrics, but the vocals by backup singer Bria Salmena as well. Both of their voices blend together so well and really make you feel the emotions the song portrays.


“Glitch” — Taylor Swift

Review by Josh Maley

It seems like all anyone talks about these days is Taylor Swift, and especially her new album Midnights. Swift has really grown on me this year, but my favorite song she released in 2022 has to be what I think is an underrated gem off of the 3am edition of the album; “Glitch.” The song doesn’t sound like anything else Swift has released before, with almost futuristic sounding instrumentals and dreamy backup vocals. However, her incredible lyric writing is still present, as she writes about a relationship that must be a mistake because it is simply too perfect. I think this is a great track that both people who are and aren’t always fans of her music should check out.


“Sleepwalking” — All Time Low

Review by Lara Ziccardi

Screw my Spotify wrapped and my top song! Let’s kick it to my top artist – All Time Low. All Time Low knows their sound, and they evolve with it with every song they release. Their latest release “Sleepwalking” is an energetic low-key power banger. With this release, they seem to stick with the sound of their 2020 album, Wake Up Sunshine. All Time Low has their sound down to a T even though their music has more of a mature sound. I’m excited and anticipating an announcement for an album release for 2023.


“Bad Habit” — Steve Lacy*

Review by Thomas Gaffney

The amount of times I have listened to this song this year… It’s definitely a bad habit. This song is honestly one of the few I can listen to on repeat. It flows so easy and with its limited lyrics, it’s fun to sit back and sing. The instrumental is beautiful. It’s definitely one of my top songs of 2022, if not my favorite. Steve Lacy is one of those artists that you can put on and relax.


“Out of Time” — The Weeknd

Review by Thomas Gaffney

When I first heard this song, I immediately thought this wasn’t The Weeknd. I love the direction he is going towards with his music, it sounds straight out of the 90s and has the same feel as a Michael Jackson song. “Out of Time” is a banger and is one of those songs that you can put on and vibe to. The instrumental has that sort of soft, lofi beat feel and it’s an amazing vibe. It also has easy to follow lyrics, so you can put the headphones on and chill.


“Daylight” — Harry Styles

Review by Leslie Gallagher

This bouncy, fun beat from Harry’s House called “Daylight” really stuck out to me on this album, although I adore every song. This is the first time I’ve fully listened to a Harry Styles album (I’ve always liked his hits, but decided to listen to more since everyone I knew was going crazy for this album- and with good reason.) 

The chorus of this song is addictive, similar to how Harry feels in this song, as he seems to be addicted to a person he’s in love with hence the lyric, “you’ve got me calling at all times.” When you take a deeper look into the words, you’ll understand how painful it is. It seems to be about being apart from someone, which is why Harry is “cursing the daylight,” meaning whoever he is with is gone by morning. The song is open to interpretation, which can help listeners shape their own story within it. Whether this is a relationship where Harry is more in love or committed than his partner, or if they are long distance, it’s about not looking forward to daylight since it means someone you love will be gone. It means the only way you get to talk is by calling, but even Harry admits “You ain’t got time for me right now.”

The heartbreaking meaning of the lyrics combined with the upbeat, danceable melody makes for a perfect combination. I have jammed out to this song in my car, along with the rest of this album, too many times to count. 


“People watching” — Conan Gray

Review by Leslie Gallagher

One word for this song: Ow. Listen to this and try not to feel pain, I dare you. 

Essentially, Conan Gray is expressing how he is always on the outside looking in, specifically with love. He cannot seem to find someone to love himself, but everyone else seems to be. He is “people watching” his friends’ relationships without having his own. 

The chorus follows: “I wanna feel all that love and emotion / Be that attached to the person I’m holdin’ / Someday I’ll be falling without caution / But for now, I’m only people-watchin’.” Like I said, ow. I think everyone can relate to this song a bit.

Not to mention, the music is awesome. Gray’s voice is perfect; you can hear the power and passion in it, but also the insecurity. There’s a lot of complex feelings in this song that he articulates well. I genuinely recommend this song, it’s one of my new favorites that everyone should give a listen to, but you’ve been warned. 


“Boyfriend” — Dove Cameron*

Review by Leslie Gallagher

ICONIC. Dove Cameron’s musical career exploded with her single “Boyfriend.” Previously, she has sung for numerous songs for Disney movies she’s starred in, as she’s had a large acting career there for many years. She also released a single “Taste of You” in 2021, but I don’t think it ever took off quite like this one has. This seems to be the first song of her own creation that the public loved, and I am so impressed. 

Between the intriguing hook, Cameron’s heavenly voice and poetic lyrics, it’s fantastic. Something Cameron was insecure about was the LGBTQ+ representation we rarely see in hit songs. I felt seen, and I’m happy Cameron is being a voice for the community- especially since she was someone I grew up watching on Disney. It’s reassuring when artists can be open about who they are and write about it. 

Cameron also combines sweet with sexy extremely well. The song lures you in with a seductive beat, to replicate how she’s feeling, but it also has pure intentions. Yes, she’s attracted to this woman, but she genuinely thinks they would be a better fit together, hence why she wants to fulfill the “boyfriend” role for her. 

The bridge seals the deal for me: “I never would have left you alone / Here on your own, glued to your phone / Never would have left you alone / For someone else to take you home.”

It still keeps the same lustful beat and voice, but the lyrics clearly show how much Cameron cares for her, saying she would treat her better and not leave her alone, implying she would stick by her side through everything. I especially recommend this song for women who identify with a sexuality where they also love/prefer women, but this song is a banger for anybody. 


“Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve” — Taylor Swift

Review by Leslie Gallagher

Many fans are saying this is Taylor’s best song ever written. The themes of this song are heavy, the bridge will make you want to scream- and it’s not getting nearly as much attention as it deserves. 

It combines religious themes with the loss of innocence, and the absolute rage and self-loathing that comes with loving someone who is 10+ years older than you. 

The chorus feels like a stab to the heart: “I would’ve stayed on my knees / And I damn sure never would’ve danced with the devil / At nineteen / And the God’s honest truth is that the pain was heaven / And now that I’m grown, I’m scared of ghosts / Memories feel like weapons / And now that I know, I wish you’d left me wondering.”

Ooh. Gives me chills every time. 

Swift describes the pain as heaven, which may be confusing to some. I have a few interpretations: 1) She was numb to the experience, and is now working through the trauma so she can finally feel the pain to heal, and/or 2) She was so totally in love with this person and realizes how harmful they were for her, and so she can let go of those romantic feelings. Either way, it’s painful. 

The bridge elaborates more on the internal struggle she faces: “I can’t let this go / I fight with you in my sleep / The wound won’t close / I keep on waiting for a sign / I regret you all the time.” Most of this is straight-forward, except for “I keep waiting for a sign.” I think she means she’s waiting for a reason for all of this to have happened, as in Why did I go through this relationship? This trauma? What’s the lesson? Implying that there is no answer, Swift is showing there is no reason; there is nothing to learn or gain from hard experiences. Sometimes trauma leaves you more hurt than before. It doesn’t necessarily make you stronger, it might just make you feel lost, afraid and confused. 

In the third verse is possibly Swift’s most iconic lyrics, which speaks for itself: “Living for the thrill of hitting you where it hurts / Give me back my girlhood, it was mine first.” From her childlike tone and phrasing to the build-up to the next chorus, this part of the song has, without a doubt, made me cry.  If you can relate to this song, I recommend screaming it in your car, safely, of course.


“Take My Breath” — The Weeknd 

Review by Jared Tauber 

I streamed The Weeknd’s “Take My Breath” 37 times over the year before I got my Spotify Wrapped, and for good reason. Yeah, I liked it when the single was released — but I didn’t love it until I heard the Dawn FM version. There is a sublime transition before it coming off of track three “How Do I Make You Love Me?” which makes for a killer introduction. Then you have the infectious extended breakdown section that will get your toe tapping and head nodding before the second bar. It’s so clean — just masterfully produced pop. The Weeknd has perfected the modern ’80s pop revival sound so well that any attempt to best it would be futile. Dawn FM is my favorite 2022 album, and “Take My Breath” isn’t even my favorite track. Highly recommend.


“The Funeral” — YUNGBLUD*

Review by Emily “Emol” McCormack

This song has to be one of my favorite all time Yungblud songs… and I’ve been listening to him since his debut album 21st Century Liability back in 2018. This song debuted in March, just a little over a month after I saw his epic performance at Terminal 5 in NYC. I absolutely love the 80s dancey vibes of this song- this was the first track on his third and self-titled album which came out in September, and gave his audience a taste of what was to come. I particularly enjoyed the music video for this song- it features legends Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne! This is a favorite in my household, and while I play it on repeat in my dorm room I think about being home during the summer!


“Do Your Worst” — The Happy Fits

Review by Emily “Emol” McCormack

This song was among the first singles from The Happy Fits third album Under the Shade of Green which came out in August. The repeated cello solo is one that my family and I have sung around our house at the most random of times. Seriously, we could be sitting across the table from each other in silence and we randomly start singing this song… I was really into this song during the height of my Happy Fits obsession that began earlier this year, and around this time was when I found out that the band would be coming to the station for an episode of WMSC Unplugged. Our music director Jared Tauber called me while I was leaving work and I literally stopped in my tracks as my jaw dropped… and so this song is the one I most associate with that moment— Needless to say, this song always puts a smile on my face!


“Doin’ This” — Luke Combs

Review by Emmi Denovellis 

This has to easily be one of my favorite country songs ever released. I am a huge country and Luke Combs fan, so this song made me love everything about it even more. This song represents how one does what they are most passionate about and loves what they are pursuing. They try to make it a job. They’re “Doin’ This,” meaning they are doing it with love and somehow finding a way to get paid and make a living out of it. This song’s target audience is anyone working really hard to try to turn their passion into a paycheck.


“Fingers Crossed” — Lauren Spencer-Smith

Review by Emmi Denovellis 

This is my all time favorite sad song. Whenever I am upset about something happening in my life, this song has been my go-to in 2022. The meaning of this song in four words is hope for good luck. This song represents the meaning of a relationship with how things were compared to how things are now between the two. While reflecting on this, she sees all of her ex’s deepest flaws in their relationship too.


“Spin Bout U” — Drake*

Review by Luke Cirianni

“Spin Bout U” by Drake is one of my favorite songs. This song was released November 4th of this year, on Drake’s album Her Loss.  Ever since the song came out, I haven’t stopped listening to it, it’s my favorite song in this album by a long shot. My favorite place to listen to this song is in the gym during my workouts since it gets me fired up and helps me focus. I also enjoy listening to this song in the car, as it could also calm me down at times. This song gives me a late night autumn/winter vibe.


“Hayya Hayya” — Trinidad Cardona

Review by Luke Cirianni

This song is the 2022 World Cup theme song. The World Cup is my favorite sporting event. I seem to enjoy every World Cup song, but this one seems different because of the time of year. The tournament is usually hosted in the summer, and the holidays are around the corner. The song already feels nostalgic, and I know it will be more so as time goes on. Years from now I’ll hear this song, and remember the World Cup in the autumn/winter right around the time of the holidays.



*These songs contain explicit lyrics

Photos from Amazon.com


You can check out WMSC Autumn 2022 Music Picks article here!

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