GL.22.01: Ilana Bergstrom
GL.22.02: Isabel Vermaak
GL.22.03: Dionicio Solano
GL.22.04: Tony Schoenberg
GL.22.05: Curt Trnka
GL.22.06: Scott Lawson
GL.22.07: Remko Van Knippenberg
GL.22.08: Megan Swidler
GL.22.09: Jem Stirling
GL.22.10: Russell Abdo
GL.22.11: Erik Kristjanson
GL.22.12: Marisa Plaice
GL.22.13: Lukas Brooks
GL.22.14: Quan Nguyen
GL.22.15: Max Einstein
GL.22.16: Dillon North
GL.22.17: Desa Warner
GL.22.18: Ryan Joyce
GL.22.19: Shay Corbett
GL.22.20: Cecilia Tang
GL.22.21: Carl Anderson
GL.22.22: Tom Morgan
Every year is a blank page, and in this, the eleventh year of the Guest List Week project, we found more ways to fill that page than ever before. The open-ended prompt “Just Write Something About Music” has never led to better or more interesting results.
Given this level of variety and creativity, I’m not sure if it still makes sense to attempt an aggregated Song of the Year and Artist of the Year, but tradition is tradition, so let’s get into it.
SONG OF THE YEAR
Would you rather be liked by everyone or loved by a few? Should universal but muted appreciation be seen as an artistic triumph? Is consistency underappreciated? These are the somewhat surprising questions we have to answer in crowning 2022’s Song of the Year.
The rules are the same as last year: We judge this based solely on the number of lists on which a song appears. Since not everyone ranks their lists, and others rank only a part of their list, it would skew the importance of ranked lists if we tried to account for where on specific lists these songs appeared. So, one point per list. Simple. (Honorable Mentions count.) Also, we’re grouping all versions of a song together: this includes remixes, edits, alternate versions, and live versions.
Add it all up and your Song of the Year is Jessie Ware’s “Free Yourself,” included in six of our twenty-two Guest Lists. “Free Yourself” is not the best song of 2022. I don’t think there is one person in the world who would argue that it is. I don’t think Jessie Ware would argue that it is. If “Free Yourself” had been included on What’s Your Pleasure? it would not be among the five best songs on that record. (And maybe not among the top ten.)
And yet, I get why everyone likes it. I like it. It made my list. But, when we look back on 2022 ten, twenty, fifty years into the future, we will not be talking about “Free Yourself.” Some of the songs we probably will be talking about (“American Teenager,” “BREAK MY SOUL,” “Anti-Hero,” etc.) show up in the list soon after but, for now, they are all looking up at Jessie Ware.
Here’s a list of every song that appeared on three or more lists.
See here for a longlist of every song that appeared on two or more lists.
ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Artist of the Year tends to be a better representation of the year that was. We might disagree on our favorite songs, but, as in years past, certain artists were simply undeniable.
Again, same rules as last year: We’re ranking artists based on Total List Mentions. If you had three songs by a particular artist on your list, they get three points for that. Simple. We’re including all mentions, including features.
As it was last year, our Artist of the Year is a tie, this time between the two women who will one day rule over warring nation-states in our imminent post-apocalyptic wasteland: Beyonce and Taylor Swift. You should probably start thinking about pledging your allegiances now.
Even beyond those two institutions, our top artists list just looks like 2022. From the coronation of MUNA through the triumphant return of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, this is a fair summary of our probably-not-as-bad-as-last-year year.
Here is a list of every artist with five or more points.
See here for a longlist of every artist with three or more points.
And, with that, I’m happy to put 2022 to bed. Your first great song of 2023 is “I Want To Start A Religion With You” by Fireworks, and your first massive hit appears to be “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus. We’re off to a good start!