Written By: Bethany Hildebrandt, Owner & Founder
We caught you up on our top five artists of the year and now we’re inviting you on a journey through our top fifteen songs of 2022. Everything from Greta Van Fleet to Ultra Q, these are our top songs of 2022.
#15 Pupkin - Ultra Q: Although Bay Area rockers Ultra Q is one of my top favorite bands, I wasn’t engaged with their song “Pupkin” from 2021’s EP ‘Get Yourself A Friend’ during the first six to seven months of the EP being out. It wasn’t until Ultra Q’s headlining tour at The Duck Room in St. Louis did I become engaged with the track. Something about its nostalgic vibe with screeching guitar wails from Enzo Malaspina matching Jakob Armstrong’s illuminating vocals.
#14 Mexico - James Taylor: What seems like such a random track not only on this list but also in my life in general, came to be known as a “comfort” song for me throughout 2022. At the very end of 2021, I was listening to probably some Greta Van Fleet or Fleetwood Mac at a job, desperately thriving to get through the last bit of the holidays. When the playlist or artist discography was finished, random music started playing - it was James Taylor’s “Mexico” from 1975’s Gorilla. Between the bongo drums, soft acoustic strums, and soothing vocals from sweet baby James, the song is enough to grasp you into a vacation-mode journey.
#13 You’re The One - Greta Van Fleet: This one being in my top fifteen tracks actually does surprise me, in the most exciting way possible. What was once my top song of all time on Spotify has moved down the list, due to embracing newer GVF tracks over the last year and a half. Although the track from 2018’s Anthem Of The Peaceful Army will always serve as number one in my heart, I was elated to know it’s still this high on the list as it served its purpose as being my top favorite song from 2018 - 2021.
#12 Reasons For Waiting - Jethro Tull: If you know, YOU KNOW!!! If you’re a Greta Van Fleet fan and you have been to a show of theirs in 2021 or 2022, you have heard this song. Some don’t notice this song at all, as it just floats past their ears. Others embrace this song and cling to it. Soon enough, it becomes one of your favorite songs, exciting and thrilling you. In what seems like such a simple track by Jethro Tull, over the last two years it’s become a form of motivation, meditation, comfort, love, and excitement. When you hear its chorus, you shed all the negative energy you’ve clung onto… And when the song ends, you know the rest.
#11 Get Yourself A Friend - Ultra Q: The title track from the band’s 2021 EP was one kept on repeat after their show in St. Louis as it was the perfect cure for post-concert depression.
#10 Carolina In My Mind - James Taylor: Another one from James, this song was perfect for me to listen to throughout every season of 2022. It was especially perfect for my train ride to Kalamazoo, Michigan and driving through Michigan. It’s no surprise it’s in my top ten and I’ll continue to carry it with me.
#9 Trip The Light Fantastic - Greta Van Fleet: After Dreams In Gold’s tour kickoff in Kalamazoo in March 2022, I was infatuated with “Trip The Light Fantastic” for honestly some unknown reason. It could have been because that song was performed, or because Sam Kiszka completely owns that song between his bass and keys. It’s a little surprise because I only remember listening to it on repeat intentionally throughout Spring, but it probably played throughout the rest of the year without me noticing.
#8 Annie’s Song - John Denver: I believe “Annie’s Song” has been in my top songs for the last three years, as it always deserves to be. I’m pretty much to the point where I can’t live without this song… It’s always on every season playlist I create, I always listen to it while in nature, I listen to it when I need emotional support. My newest favorite discovery with this song is that I bought an original copy of 1974’s Back Home Again from a record store by my house… For six dollars. Of course, it may not be the greatest quality, but it’s so special to me. The record was so loved in its past life that “Annie’s Song” pretty much skips throughout the entire track. I can’t say I blame them though. If streaming platforms didn’t exist, I would absolutely do the same thing.
#7 Laid - James: To say I’m shocked is the least I can say for this one… The meaning behind why this song is so high on my list will make you chuckle. Josh Kiszka (lead singer of Greta Van Fleet) stated during a Q&A that his guilty pleasure song was “Laid”. Apparently, this track is played throughout the American Pie movies which make total sense since I’ve listened to this song a thousand times now. What’s even funnier is I work at a concert venue now and one of the first shows I worked was Better Than Ezra. The band was performing all kinds of covers steaming everything from Rush to Oasis. But in the middle of their covers set, they performed “Laid” and as I looked around, everyone in the venue was singing and dancing to the song. Although everyone was most likely drunk while singing it, it made me feel less weird.
#6 Heat Waves - Glass Animals: This song blew up on Tik Tok in the peak of the pandemic in 2020 and also was a popular song on the Target playlist while I was working there during that year. I constantly heard it, but never cared for it. I believe it randomly came on my Spotify and I actually tuned into the song. I ended up falling in love with it, added it to a ton of my playlists and it was even one of my favorite songs to listen to while I had covid this summer (hehe).
#5 Age Of Man - Greta Van Fleet: I don’t believe I remember listening to this track as much in 2022 as I did in 2021. Last year, it apparently placed at #37 in my top songs which is a huge surprise. It may be as high as it is this year simply because I saw it performed live at Strange Horizons last year and also in Kalamazoo this year. When this song was released in 2018, I was certain I’d never hear it live. Closing out 2022 and I have heard it live three times over the years, it’s one of the most special songs of my life.
#4 The Barbarians - Greta Van Fleet: There’s no surprise when it comes to The Barbarians being in the top five… It’s constantly playing in the background on my TV as well as in my head. For some reason or another, it’s been one of the most motivating songs during 2022 for me. I remember consistently listening to it while working out, cleaning, working, cooking, and trying to get myself to my next GVF show. Sam Kiszka also creates a mesmerizing sound on his mellotron while Josh Kiszka provides perfectly exhilarating vocals throughout the track.
#3 Stardust Chords - Greta Van Fleet: I’m not sure what “stardust chords nation” means but I claimed myself to live in it as soon as The Battle At Garden’s Gate was released to my ears. In hindsight, I have no idea what most Greta Van Fleet songs are about… I’ve just sang my heart out to them for almost five years. “Stardust Chords” is another one of those motivational songs with no explanation. But I do believe this one was slightly more motivating for me claiming the number three spot on my list and it’s constantly playing on repeat. Hearing it live for the first time this year in Peoria thrilled me so much. I’m pretty sure I screamed so loud I lost my voice for a split second when I heard the first chord because I knew exactly what it was.
#2 Light My Love - Greta Van Fleet: I’m thrilled to announce I am in utter shock this song is number two and not number one for me… I was certain this one would be number one because I felt it in my heart and body that this song deserves the top spot for 2022. Although I fell in love with “Light My Love” the first time I heard it, hearing it live twice this year captivated me with its positive vibes and romanticized lyrics. As my mind and heart heard the lyrics in a new way this year, it instantly became my favorite song I listened to this year. Swaying side to side with Josh and the crowd, we all felt as one. The magic touch was the rainbow lights they added in the middle of the tour. I believe it represents equality and expresses love in every way, shape and form.
#1 Heat Above - Greta Van Fleet: I love this song… I really do. I have it tattooed on me. It’s still one of the most motivational songs for me. I love the music video and the white aesthetic surrounding it. I love that there’s bootleg versions from 2016 and 2017 still out there. Allegedly, I listened to this song 359 times in 2022 with the most listens on January 20. Although I know this song is always on my mind and playing in the background of my life, I don’t agree with it being the top spot this year. However… I am glad my top song (and all top five LOL) is Greta Van Fleet. If it was any other way, I’d be desperately confused.
I laughed, cried, sang my heart out and danced to all of these songs throughout 2022. An honorable mention I forgot in our top artists article was I spent nearly fifteen thousand minutes with Greta Van Fleet and I would never have it any other way. Although I am thinking about writing some all-time Spotify stats articles for the beginning of 2023, a hint is that I believe the first fifteen songs are Greta Van Fleet. 🙂
Thank you so much for your endless support throughout 2022 and always. We made it and although 2022 was one of our absolute favorite years for music, concerts and everything in between, we’re excited to see what 2023 has to offer us. Be on the lookout for our 2023 motivation playlist in a few weeks and to follow us on Instagram!