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Sometimes a song just hits differently. You may have heard that same song a thousand times and still, each and every time you hear it you’re transported. Transported to a feeling, a time, a place, a memory…. it’s all there, each and every time.
Songs like that are powerful, and oftentimes they’re the reason we fell in love with this crazy industry n the first place. Because if something can make you feel that way, you’re going to chase that feeling, perhaps even want to create it yourself so that maybe one day someone can feel that way about your songs.
Isn’t that what good music is all about?
For most of us, we have one or two tracks that are highly personal to us that instantly give us that feeling. Sometimes they’re from a time in our life that held a lot of meaning, sometimes they’re just really beautiful or catchy songs.
Most of the time, they’re pretty specific to us and our journey. But every now and again there are songs that we, collectively, feel this way about. Songs somehow manage to touch the lives of millions of fans who collectively get, what I like to call “the feels.”
These are some of the most popular songs of the year — apologies in advance for the prevalence of Harry Styles — but I think that says something about where we’re at right now in culture. Most importantly, though, do these tracks give you the feels?
Harry Styles – “Keep Driving”
You could easily select just about any song from Harry Styles’ Harry’s House album and it would be a winner. The whole album is chock full of soundtrack-worthy songs. But, there’s something about “Keep Driving” that just hits differently. Maybe it’s the build up, maybe it’s the fast-paced lyrics that make you feel like it’s as much of a crazy blur as 2022 was, or maybe it’s how the song kind of just feels like you’re driving around LA with your friends at dusk, that but this song just has “it.”
+ Read more on Flypaper: “The New Faces of R&B: 6 Artists Tugging Us Back Into Harmony.”
iann dior, Travis Barker, & Machine Gun Kelly – “thought it was”
iaan dior is really just saying what we’ve all felt at one point or another in our lives. Featuring Travis Barker and Machine Gun Kelly for a weird but surprisingly tight and successful trio, the song touches on loneliness and the feeling of struggle, no matter how successful you appear to be. It’s one of those songs you want to listen to when you’re going through your darkest moments or questioning your next steps. It makes you feel less alone, which is what we all long for. And it kind of reminds me of a trap version of a Red Hot Chili Peppers song, which is… awesome!
KYLE – “Perfect”
Listen, I’m not someone who naturally sways to music. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that I don’t have any natural rhythm; so i don’t even try to dance when a song I like comes on. But when I put this one by KYLE on, I just can’t help but start doing a silent dance in my chair. It’s just one of those rhythms. Fun, exciting, and totally the kind of track you want to blast when you’re getting ready for a night out or about to give yourself a pep talk. It just feels good. Like a perfect summer day — or a perfectly sweaty late night…
+ Move beyond cliché chord patterns and learn to apply complex harmonic concepts to your music in Soundfly’s The Creative Power of Advanced Harmony.
Kate Bush – “Running Up That Hill”
If you know, you know.
Obviously, this ain’t no new song, but if you were alive in 2022, you were probably dancing around your bedroom to Kate Bush’s 1985 single (off her record, Hounds of Love). So we had to include it anyways because unless you’ve been living under a rock, this song was impossible to avoid last year, after Stranger Things relentlessly played it throughout the fourth season. Even for those of us that were not previously fans of Kate Bush or this song, I have to admit this song has a hold on me. When it would pop up on a new playlist, I found myself skipping through the list just to get straight to it, because somehow, someway, it just got into my bones. Whether it was the new association with the show, or Kate Bush’s haunting voice, it deserves a place on this list.
The Sometimes Island – “Acapulco”
Released on their 2022 EP, Beverly and Barbara, The Sometimes Island’s “Acapulco” is a major turning point in the band’s rise to success over the years. With tropical, synth-pop vibes “Acapulco” is a seriously feel-good song. It’s rich with themes of escapism and adventure and is one of those songs you just want to blast all summer long with the windows down, as you dream of faraway places and all the wonderful adventures ahead of you.
+ Read more on Flypaper: “3 Things Son Lux Does to Make Their Songs So Unique.”
Shawn Mendes – “When You’re Gone”
I love a song that’s multi-purpose. Shawn Mendes’ ”When You’re Gone” is just as good when you’re feeling up as when you’re feeling down. While the lyrical themes are full of regret and what-could-have-been, they hide behind Mendes’ poppy exterior, making it the perfect song for after a breakup or before a party. Feels, man, feels.
Harry Styles – “As It Was”
Sorrynotsorry. Yes, you get two Harry Styles songs on this list because it was that great a year for Mr. Styles — and for us because we got this incredible album, and on it, this song that literally everyone agrees was the best song of 2022 and by far one of the biggest feels songs out there. Enjoy, it’s perfect.
Stephen Sanchez – “Until I Found You”
I remember the first time I heard this song, I stopped in my tracks. I’d never heard anything quite like it, and when I found out it was a brand new song — and not a 1950s remake — I was shocked. It’s one of those songs that hits you wherever you are. Kudos to Stephen Sanchez.
If you’re in love, it feels like the most beautiful love song you’ve ever heard. If you’re going through a breakup or tough time, it feels like he’s singing right to you. It gave me the actual chills and that makes it one of the best feels songs of 2022.
Don’t stop here!
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