So… here’s the thing. This mid-year singles list is usually reserved for songs that are all-but certain to end up in my top ten at the end of the year.
If judging by the quality of past years, the songs below would most likely fall in the teens or twenties, meaning we’re either going to have an extremely weak year-end list or we’ve got a series of incredible tracks coming our way in the second half of 2022. I’d like to believe the latter, but nothing about the past few months is leading me to be overly optimistic.
Because I’ve lowered the bar for admission, nine tracks qualified this year. That’s still short of the fourteen songs featured in 2021 – eight of which ended up claiming spots in my year-end top ten. Reading last year’s post is like beautiful nostalgia. I was so optimistic last July.
Coming up next: top albums and risers/fallers of the year!
What were your favorite singles during the first half of 2022?
Astro – Candy Sugar Pop
I love bright, bubbly Astro, and Candy Sugar Pop is their most convincing confection in years. It’s funky, fun and oh-so-catchy. (full review)
Brave Girls – Thank You
It’s not quite up there with their fantastic 2021 work, but Thank You‘s single-minded groove enjoyed great longevity on my playlist. (full review)
DRIPPIN – Zero
Despite adopting many of this year’s worrying trends, Zero melds a strong performance to a robust rock arrangement that cuts no corners. (full review)
iKON – But You
I’m still shocked that iKON tried their hand at synthwave, but the genre shift proved a perfect match. Melody reigns supreme here, resulting in an anthemic 2022 highlight. (full review)
ONF – Goosebumps
Yep, I’m going back to December with this one. ONF have left an immeasurable void in the boy group landscape, but Goosebumps sent them off in style. Can we just end their military enlistment early? (full review)
OnlyOneOf – Skinz
RoaD-B – Nonstop
Sweetune! Sweetune have descended from their godly mountain to save K-pop with… a nugu group no one’s ever heard of. Beggars can’t be choosers, and Nonstop is undoubtedly one of 2022’s best-produced tracks. (full review)
Rocket Punch – Chiquita
Chiquita embraces the more anthemic side of 80’s music, bringing larger-than-life synth riffs and effusive melodies. It ain’t perfect, but its heart is in the right place. (full review)
Wonho – Crazy
Wonho wisely adds guitar to his repertoire, giving Crazy extra grit that helps ground its rapid-fire hooks. He’s very much in his element, here. (full review)