The Best of the Best: Top 22 Songs of 2022

Here are the top 22 songs of 2022, as chosen by the Courier’s Managing Editor.


Graphic by Misbah Kaludi

Sarah Kueking, Managing Editor

Every year brings different challenges, but with them comes new music to help us get through tough times. 2022 was full of an entirely new genre for me as I listened to more country music than ever before (hence the reason why country songs dominate this list). Without further ado, here is the list of the top 22 songs, released in 2022, that kept me motivated to push through 2022. If you’d like, you can listen as you read with the YouTube playlist of all the songs here.

  1. “Can I Call” by Alannah McCready ft. Will Gittens

As the title suggests, “Can I Call” has a simple premise: Two lovers are physically separated and are wondering if they can call each other. I love this song for the relatable message and the singers’ melancholic yet hopeful vocals.

  1. “Sneakers” by Knox

“Sneakers” is unique as the fastest in tempo and the only alternative song on the list, but also the most explicit. Despite the content, I love it for its honesty. Knox wants a romantic partner who is up front with him, but instead he gets a girl who doesn’t like him and only pretends to because she wants him for his money. Through this song, Knox imparts a valuable piece of wisdom on his audience that anyone could find useful.

  1. “Bury Me in Georgia” by Kane Brown

This is by far the most eccentric country song I have heard this year. In “Bury Me in Georgia,” Kane Brown plans his own funeral. Despite the grave (pun intended) subject matter of the song, the upbeat melody completely contradicts the meaning of the song, making the piece sound more lighthearted than expected. 

  1. “Going, Going, Gone” by Luke Combs

“Going, Going, Gone” is a song I gravitate toward when I am thinking about someone I need to move on from. It’s about letting go of other people, whom you cannot control. In the original (not the acoustic) version of the song, I love how all the instruments combine with Combs’s powerful vocals to give the songs hopefulness and a sense of finality.

  1. “Anti-Hero” by Taylor Swift

In “Anti-Hero,” Swift vulnerably reveals her low self-esteem to a degree never before seen in any of her previously released songs. In the chorus, she sings, “It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me,” blaming herself for all the negative events happening around her. I have loved Swift’s vocals for over a decade, but her voice has a newfound maturity in her more recent songs that draws me in even more.

  1. “Before You” by David J

In “Before You,” David J marvels over how the person he is dating has changed him for the better. His voice bleeds with emotion, and it takes me back to when I used to be young and inexperienced in love.

  1. “Thank God” by Kane Brown and Katelyn Brown

The addition of Katelyn Brown’s angelic vocals complements Kane Brown’s deep voice with perfect harmony. I love how both of them are singers and are actually a married couple rather than artists filling in for their romantic partners. It makes “Thank God” feel more genuine.

  1. “Never Til Now” by Ashley Cooke ft. Brett Young

In “Never Til Now,” Cooke admits to never imagining herself settling into a relationship until she met her special someone, while Young is thankful that his mystery girl helped him through hard times. Cooke’s and Young’s voices jive so well that I would love to hear another of their duets in the future. 

  1. “HEARTFIRST” by Kelsea Ballerini

Between the excited tone in every note Ballerini sings and the upbeat instrumentation, “HEARTFIRST” is definitely the bubbliest song on this list. The song is the manifestation of the spark you feel when you are first attracted to someone. Ballerini sings, “My head is yelling that I could get hurt/But I’m gonna jump right in/Baby, with my heart first.” I love how, in “HEARTFIRST,” Ballerini reminds listeners that love is supposed to be fun and lighthearted rather than always so serious.

  1. “Growing Old with You” by Restless Road

“Growing Old with You” benefits from being the only song on this list with a group of three singers–specifically, three singers who harmonize so well that it’s sometimes impossible to differentiate between them. The idea of “growing old” with someone is kept fresh with romantic imagery such as a house on a hill and putting down roots. Additionally, the smooth instrumentation and sweet, calm vocals of this song make me want to grow old with Restless Road over and over again.

  1. “Mastermind” by Taylor Swift

Swift’s triumphant vocals in “Mastermind” tell the story of how she manipulates the man she admires into falling for her. In classic Swift fashion, the singer sneaks in other themes as well, such as self-reflection and feminism, which make this song even better. I also love the cascading instrumentation, which gives the song a sense of urgency. 

  1. “Tennessee Orange” by Megan Moroney

In Moroney’s “Tennessee Orange,” she sings about doing things she has never done before to make her new romantic partner happy, such as wearing orange for the University of Tennessee football team even though she used to support Georgia. I love this song because it reminds me of the honeymoon stage of a relationship. Also, the sleepy melody of the song always gets stuck in my head. 

  1. “Skip This Part” by Alexandra Kay

Kay’s “Skip This Part” is about a woman not wanting the man she is in love with to break up with her. In this song, the singer almost teases listeners as she never misses a beat to keep you tuned in until the end, when she holds the most meaningful high notes and never disappoints.

  1. “Angels” by Thomas Rhett

In “Angels,” Rhett’s lyrics reveal that he thinks he isn’t good enough to deserve his romantic partner. The real diamond of the song is when Rhett sings, “Maybe angels don’t always have wings.” This line hits home for me because it wasn’t always obvious that the “angels” in my own life were going to be there for me when I needed them, and I feel like that’s something not everyone understands. 

  1. “Somewhere in a Small Town” by Conner Smith

As the title suggests, “Somewhere in a Small Town” tells the story of a boy and a girl going on a date somewhere in a small town. Smith works hard to make the song applicable to anyone and everyone in his audience, such as when he sings in the chorus: “She looks so perfect/Just like you right now.” Additionally, Smith’s smooth vocals make me want to hear his song over and over.

  1. “Rock and a Hard Place” by Bailey Zimmerman (acoustic)

“Rock and a Hard Place” tells the tale of a man trying to salvage the relationship he is struggling to maintain. Zimmerman’s dominant, powerful voice and the emphasis on the guitar make both the original and acoustic versions of the song worth listening to, but I would choose the acoustic for amplifying the track’s existing musical strengths.

  1. “My Biggest Fear” by Adrian Mitchell

“My Biggest Fear” is about the internal instinct that the one you love is going to leave you for someone better. Mitchell sings about being afraid of his significant other falling out of love with him and hating who he truly is as they get to know him better. The song is unique because Mitchell’s smooth vocals and the mellow instrumentation make the song sound like a conversation, which fits the message perfectly.

  1. “Both” by Adrian Mitchell

In “Both,” Mitchell spends most of the song listing what he likes most in a girl. It’s not high-stakes; it’s not typical, but it’s fun, and it’s complemented by catchy music to keep you singing along before putting the song on repeat. 

  1. “The Kind of Love We Make” by Luke Combs

“The Kind of Love We Make” focuses on a couple that has been putting other responsibilities before their relationship and needs to put some time aside to focus on their bond. The combination of instruments and Combs’s lively vocals make me want to dance every time this song plays.

  1. “Flower Shops” by ERNEST ft. Morgan Wallen (acoustic)

The harmony of ERNEST’s and Wallen’s voices in this song enticed me into falling in love with country music in general. “Flower Shops” is about someone being willing to buy as many flowers as they need to win back their romantic partner. The message saying no relationship is perfect and everyone should own up to their mistakes is one that can resonate with everybody.

The acoustic version earned the spot on this list because the vocals seem drowned out by the other instruments in the original song. 

  1. “That’s What Love Is” by Alexandra Kay

“That’s What Love Is” is designed to be a first dance song for weddings, but it’s unique because it’s about overcoming the challenges of a relationship rather than simply celebrating its joys. I love Kay for being bold enough to point that out at a wedding. Between Kay’s gentle vocals and the tranquil piano, I could see myself swaying to this song with my special someone for hours.

  1. “you’d never know” by BLÜ EYES (acoustic)

Despite the title “you’d never know” implying otherwise, BLÜ EYES is singing about her battle with an invisible enemy that many people can relate to post-pandemic: depression. Her brutally honest lyrics tell how the doctor found nothing wrong, so she blamed herself, not knowing if she would ever recover. Musically speaking, BLÜ EYES has an enchanting, hypnotic voice that makes you want to hear more. I prefer the acoustic version of “you’d never know” because it puts more emphasis on the importance of the lyrics and matches the heavy mood of the song by toning down the complexity of the instruments.