Top 25 Songs of 2018

CW Photo 2018-12-31 Top 25 Post.png

Every year since 2007, I've taken a little bit of time out of my New Year's Eve to figure out which songs I listened to the most during the preceding 365 days. As with books, movies, and TV shows, the songs that I get into usually end up being songs that I obsess over, songs that become a de-facto soundtrack to specific parts of my year. That always makes putting this list together a fun chore.

But it's still a chore.

I start with a Smart Playlist in iTunes that's limited to the 50 songs with the highest play count. iTunes on my Mac and the Music app on iOS—they tend to do a decent job of keeping track of when songs are played. But there are times when I feel pretty confident that they've missed stuff, when the numbers alone don't quite capture which songs resonated the most with me in the year that's coming to a close.

And so, I fucked around with the order of the list more than I ever have. There are songs not here that were played more than some of the songs on the bottom of the list, but some of the songs at the bottom of the list feel way more "2018" to me than the cuts that I cut. The result is a list that feels way more honest to me than it would have if I'd just trusted the algorithm.

Here it is in Apple Music, Spotify, and as a list in glorious text for those of you who just want to imagine what each song sounds like:

  1. "I Want It That Way" (feat. Casey Abrams) by Scary Pockets
  2. "Ben Franklin's Song" by The Decemberists
  3. "This Is Me (from The Greatest Showman)" by Kesha
  4. "Rocket Girl (feat. Betty Who)" by Lemaitre
  5. "Strangers Again" by Against the Current
  6. "Shoot This Arrow" by Kate Voegele
  7. "Ghost" by Awkwafina
  8. "Ring Ring (feat. Rich the Kid)" by Jax Jones & Mabel
  9. "Can't Do Better" by Kim Petras
  10. "Drink About" by Seeb & Dagny
  11. "Good Boys" by Josie Dunne
  12. "The Power of Love" by Pomplamoose
  13. "Back to You" by Selena Gomez
  14. "Bitches" by Tove Lo, Charli XCX, Icona Pop, Elliphant & ALMA
  15. "The Middle" by Zedd, Maren Moris & Grey
  16. "When the Summer Ends" by Savoir Adore
  17. "Helpless" by The Regrettes
  18. "Cinematic Goodbye (Acoustic)" by Eden xo
  19. "Friends" by Anne-Marie & Marshmello
  20. "Let You Be Right" by Meghan Trainor
  21. "Tokyo" by Joan
  22. "Translucent" by Morgxn
  23. "Tokyo Nights" by Digital Farm Animals, Shaun Frank & Dragonette
  24. "Thriller (Pylot Remix)" by Scandroid
  25. "Boys" by Lizzo

It's a pop- and dance-heavy list, but in a year that saw me working on my mental health and embracing truths about myself that I tend to shy away from… a poppy dance-heavy list feels accurate. Did I listen to a helluva lot of alternative and weird shit, too? Of course! But these end-of-the-year lists, I've decided, are more about reminding myself of the high points than the low points.

To look back on the Top 25 lists from previous years, give these links a clickety-click: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.