I had fun writing about my favorite songs of 2020, so I wanted to do the same thing for this year.

Same rules as last time:

  • The ranking is determined by my personal Spotify Wrapped 2021 playlist
  • I will only count songs released in 2021
  • Only one song allowed per artist

One problem – as soon as I started going through my Wrapped playlist to check the release date of each song, I released how much I spent this year replaying songs from the last five or six years. Out of my 100 most-played tracks of the year, only six actually meet my rules.

But what are those six tracks?

6. Bring Me The Horizon, Jeris Johnson – Can You Feel My Heart – Remix

I’m not normally a big fan of the poppier phases that Bring Me the Horizon has gone through, but this remix successfully layered the admittedly catchy melody of “Can You Feel My Heart” over hard-hitting pseudo-trap beats. Turns out that’s all I needed to keep this one on repeat.

5. Shadow of Intent – Laid to Rest

Lamb of God’s Ashes of the Wake was a sufficiently brütal album for its day, but Shadow of Intent’s cover of “Laid to Rest” proves that everything sounds better as deathcore.

4. Lorna Shore – To the Hellfire

Lorna Shore’s symphonic, blackened deathcore track “To the Hellfire” became an instant classic of the genre upon release. It’s also now one of the go-to choices for YouTube “reaction” videos, for fairly obvious reasons as soon as the full band kicks in. Will Ramos’s vocals are simply on another level, as are the concatenated tempo changes at the end.

3. Drake – What’s Next

What’s Next for the 6ix God? Hopefully more bangers like this. I thought CLB was mid as hell (and its album art was somehow even worse than Donda), but “What’s Next” fortunately gets straight into the energy with a great synth chord progression over booming kicks. The music video, which prominently features Toronto locales, is honestly my favorite way to listen to this track.

2. Kodak Black – Righteous Reapers (feat. Sykobob, WizDaWizard & Wam SpinThaBin)

This track was addictive from the start. The instrumental is sublime and every contributor rides the flow perfectly. Also, the line “I got murder on my mind but I ain’t Melly” gets me every time.

1. Brand of Sacrifice – Vengeance (feat. Jamie Graham)

Everyone’s favorite Berserk-themed deathcore band put together one of the catchiest choruses this year. Well, at least to me. Your mileage may vary, but to me this is the perfect kind of track to have on loop at, like, 15% volume while at work.