To the dismay of Apple Music users, the highly anticipated Spotify Wrapped is finally here with a data collection packaged in fun colors and quirky attempts at humor. To commemorate this annual event, the Daily Lobo editors decided to give readers a peek behind the curtain at their top songs.
Shelby’s No. 1 Song: “Future Days” by Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam’s “Future Days” had an immediate impact on my psyche. Their hit became an earworm last year when I first played my now-favorite video game, “The Last of Us Part II,” and was touched by how it was integrally woven into the game’s narrative.
Fast forward one year later and I still can’t get the song out of my head. The opening lyrics of “If I ever were to lose you / I'd surely lose myself” hold true more than ever nowadays, especially in a time when we’re forced to live face to face with mortality every day.
Emma’s No. 1 Song: “Breathless” by Caroline Polachek
Caroline Polachek’s “Breathless” is a new take on the eponymous 2000 hit by the Corrs. Polachek first performed the song on the Late Late Show with James Corden and from then on, I was hooked. The original by the Corrs is a classic, early aughts pop smash, but Polachek’s version adds bass and modulated vocals very much reminiscent of Imogen Heap’s signature sound.
Polachek’s style is theatrical and over the top in every sense, and it’s anything but boring. If you’re looking for a new favorite dance tune, I’d highly recommend checking out this absolute banger.
Zara’s No. 1 Song: “Rack of His” by Fiona Apple
Fiona Apple absolutely does not need my seal of approval. Her critically acclaimed discography, full of infectious tunes and lush lyricism, speaks for itself. Still, I go on record to say Apple is an unparalleled artist who is very near and dear to my heart.
Truthfully, “Rack of His” is not my favorite song off this absolute beast of an album (that honor goes to “Ladies”). Still, this confessional masterpiece is clever, honest and raw, and speaks to an unreciprocated yearning ready to boil over. It’s simultaneously brutal and playful, and joyous and tragic. It's every feeling all at once, wrapped neatly in sparse but effective instrumentals.
John’s No. 1 Song: “Veridis Quo” by Daft Punk
To say that Daft Punk’s 2001 album “Discovery” is a masterpiece would be an understatement. Following the news of the duo’s breaking up earlier this year, I found myself revisiting this groundbreaking long play and, more often than not, the song “Verdis Quo.”
From the first time you hear that infectiously dreamy synth lead until the song’s eventual fade-out, you are immediately put into a trance. The song is perfect for driving down Central Avenue late at night with your windows down, letting the drum machine and neon lights slowly flow over you. Just don’t be upset when you mistime the entrance of the drums near the beginning.
Joseph’s No. 1 Song: “Immaterial” by SOPHIE
Pop music has become my guilty pleasure in 2021, noted in my overindulgence of SOPHIE’s “Immaterial” 112 times this year. The power behind artists like the late SOPHIE, who produce genre-bending and boundary pushing music is immense, and is something I’ve come to deeply appreciate during the pandemic.
The distorted and twisted intensity of the song is addictive. SOPHIE’s stretched and pitched vocals repeat “I could be anything I want / Anyhow, anywhere, any place, anyone that I want.” SOPHIE’s maximalist and synthesized aesthetic are at their peak in this hyper-pop dance track. It’s a perfect pop-bending anthem that does not disappoint. Dare I call it a religious experience?
Liam’s No. 1 Song: “The Bad Party” by WYS
It’s 2021, and life is still as stressful as ever. When your go-to hype song no longer suffices in stressful times, adrenaline is depleted and the only thing you want is a cup of calming chamomile tea to relax with, what then? “The Bad Party” by WYS is a perfect laid-back lofi track to melt away the tension built up from finals and school projects. It’s ethereal melody pairs effortlessly with a slow, simple drum track behind it.
While some opponents of the lofi genre dismiss it as homogenous and others parallel its worth to that of a white-noise machine, WYS challenges these assumptions with their music. Their music is by far the most emotive of the genre, each track with its own unique flair.
Nobody should wrap up the year in silence. Instead, celebrate the end of another semester with our favorite tracks from 2021. Maybe our list will even bring you your top song of 2022.
Shelby Kleinhans is the multimedia editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @BirdsNotReal99
Emma Trevino is the culture editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @itsemmatr
Zara Roy is the news editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @zarazzledazzle
John Scott is the photo editor at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JScott050901
Joseph McKee is the design director at the Daily Lobo. They can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @j_mckee_
Liam DeBonis is the copy chief at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @LiamDebonis