Dork’s Tracks of the Year 2022

Ten musical moments that made our year.

2022 has been quite the year for music. Gigantic megastars returning after a pandemic break, new talent taking flight. It’s had it all. So much so that when it came to compiling a tracks of the year run down, we sort of had a bit of a meltdown. There have been so many amazing bops, bangers and ‘other’ gems, we decided it was far, far more useful to just pick out ten of the very best to highlight. A selection box of awesome moments, if you will. So, here they are – ten of the tracks that define 2022.


RINA SAWAYAMA – THIS HELL

Photo credit: Frances Beach

Few could evoke Shania Twain as gloriously as Rina Sawayama. Revelling in a sugar rush of country-pop, yet with guitar riffs that practically simmer, ‘This Hell’ takes you on a trip to the underworld so euphoric you definitely won’t want to leave. It’s pure pop excellence, a masterclass in how to create a scorching hot banger that entirely engulfs you. A celebration of love and community in dark times, a track equal parts incisive and glam, ‘This Hell’ is Rina Sawayama at her absolute best. NEIVE MCCARTHY


MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE – THE FOUNDATIONS OF DECAY

Photo credit: Sarah Louise Bennett

If you hadn’t heard, emo is back in a big way in 2022. Two years later than planned, so are My Chemical Romance. ‘The Foundations Of Decay’ is the first (and so far only) new song from the band since they announced their hiatus in 2013 and it sees vocalist Gerard Way wrestling with legacy over brooding stadium rock. A tightly wound anthem that somehow balances flamboyance with intensity, as the band ignores expectations. It feels like the start of something bigger. ALI SHUTLER


FLETCHER – BECKY’S SO HOT

Chaos seems to follow Fletcher around. She thrives on doing and saying the unexpected. Anything goes. What could have been an embarrassing encounter online, Fletcher turned into a career defining pop banger in ‘Becky’s So Hot’. There’s complex emotions at work though as well as she deals with it all and that’s what makes her such a resonant pop star. It’s a single that perfectly encapsulates the kind of online angst that everyone can relate to and does it through the prism of a turbocharged anthem powered by raw emotion and unshakeable confidence. Who doesn’t love a bit of drama in their life? MARTYN YOUNG


FLO – CARDBOARD BOX

Rarely do debut singles go massive these days. FLO are a deserved exception. A sublime introduction to the next biggest girl group, ‘Cardboard Box’ is deliberately reminiscent of the trios of yesteryear – see TLC, Destiny’s Child, and the original Sugababes – built on heavenly harmonies, tongue-in-cheek lyrics that recall ‘Irreplaceable’, and an R&B beat pulled right into this century by pop mastermind MNEK, there’s no wonder this hit went viral. ABIGAIL FIRTH


PARAMORE – THIS IS WHY

Paramore’s 2017 album ‘After Laughter’ saw Hayley Williams trade angst for vulnerability, while two solo albums allowed her to explore rage, anguish, regret and power. Reuniting with Zac Farro, Taylor York and the legacy of one of the most emo-rock bands to ever do, Hayley once again takes Paramore to new places on angular comeback track ‘This Is Why’. With nods to the electro disco stomp of Foals, Bloc Party and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, but with its sights firmly set on a news cycle determined to tear communities down, ‘This Is Why’ is a call for community and change. ALI SHUTLER


BABY QUEEN – COLOURS OF YOU

Baby Queen has always written Gen-Z underdog anthems, full of heart with the occasional sarcastic snarl. ‘Colours Of You’ has that same rebellious spirit, but rather than trying to take on the world, it sees Baby Queen with a community behind her. The track started off as a romantic  love song but, thanks to its use in the beautiful, poignant and real Netflix coming-of-age drama Heartstopper, it quickly grew into an LGBTQ+ anthem. Full of pride and championing togetherness, it’s a quiet moment of strength that’s resonated with millions.  ALI SHUTLER


CRAWLERS – COME OVER (AGAIN)

Photo credit: Patrick Gunning

Crawlers’ ‘Come Over (Again)’ changed everything for the emo rockers. It was the first song that saw vocalist Holly Minto write about her own experiences, and gave the band the self-confidence to get vulnerable. Yes, it was originally released last October and quickly went viral on TikTok but you know what the rest of the world is like. A string of high profile festival appearances and their own buzzy headline tours have seen Crawlers own 2022, with that all-important introductory anthem that sums up everything that’s brilliant about them. ALI SHUTLER


MUNA – ANYTHING BUT ME

Photo credit: Em Marcovecchio

The second single from MUNA’s glorious self-titled third record is a giddy anthem of escape fuelled by love, not regrets. “You’re going to say that I’m on a high horse, I think that my horse is regular-sized,” sings Katie Gavin at the start of ‘Anything By Me’. As pre-emptive strikes go, it’s a devastating one, with the follow-up blow (Did you ever think, maybe, you’re on a pony going in circles on a carousel ride?”) landing with equal precision, even if there’s not a drop of venom in sight. Fighting fire with joy is just how MUNA do things. ALI SHUTLER


BEYONCÉ – BREAK MY SOUL

The first time you listened to ‘Break My Soul’ you maybe thought ‘ok, this is nice but a bit underwhelming’. Then you listen again, and you’re feeling it more. And then again. And again and again. Eventually you’re like ‘OMG this is the best thing ever’. Beyoncé has that effect on people. A house inflected ecstatic explosion, it blossomed into the defining track in the context of ‘Renaissance’ and proved Beyoncé remains untouchable, at the peak of her powers. ‘I’m buildin’ my own foundation,” she sings. Nobody can build it better. MARTYN YOUNG


HARRY STYLES – AS IT WAS

One thing about Harry Styles is that the man knows how to do a comeback single. ‘As It Was’ had a typically feverish arrival, marking a change of direction for the megastar, and quickly becoming a momentous pop moment. From that first call of “come on Harry, we want to say goodnight to you!”, it was clear that whatever came next would be a breath of fresh air for Harry– 80s synth, bedroom pop, a melody that never did leave anyone’s head for the remainder of the year, ‘As It Was’ has it all. NEIVE MCCARTHY

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