TOP 10 TRACKS OF THE YEAR!!!
Alright, let's get the bullshit out of the way. Astrxl Awards will be all over the place, with genres ranging from sludge metal to psychedelic folk music. Additionally, this list is COSMOS.PRESS's opinion, so when you sick degenerates say our music taste is trash, you might be right (but you might be wrong).
Lastly, our picks (like our publication) are based on more than just streaming numbers + critic popularity. Our selections will be based on what music resonated with us.
Our favorites are our favorites.
With that being said, enjoy our top 10 songs of 2022.
[LIMIT ONE TRACK PER ARTIST]
10) JEAN DAWSON - PORN ACTING*
GENRE: ALT ROCK
Jean Dawson is one of the most exciting figures in music right now. With his most recent full-length release, 'Chaos Now,' Jean continues to establish his ability to produce unique and quality tracks. Our standout for Jean this year came in the form of his February single, 'PORN ACTING.*'
The track almost gives an insight into Dawson's insecurities about fame. With lines like, 'I'm full of shit just like you,' or 'nobody is worse than me,' he acknowledges his perception of his flawed nature and struggles with stardom + trust in other individuals.
The album art is also fantastic, with a literal dumpster fire behind Jean Dawson.
9) KAIZO SLUMBER - GENGAR ECSTASY
GENRE: UPTEMPO HARDCORE - DIGITAL HARDCORE
Kaizo Slumber was an artist this year that stuck out in the underground with excellent art direction and unique electronic tracks. Our favorite release from Kaizo this year was his single Gengar Ecstasy, a 206 BPM banger pushing hardcore to its abrasive limits.
Faster doesn't always mean better, especially with hardcore, but this track stood out as an outstanding balance between speed and quality.
8) 070 SHAKE - SKIN AND BONES
GENRE: ALT-R&B - ALT-POP
Skin and Bones was on repeat for us this year. The song is a beautiful ballad describing reminiscing with a past partner, only wishing they could still be hers. 070 Shake's vocals are beautiful, along with outstanding production from Synth Goat Mike Dean.
Overall, an excellent and heartfelt track.
7) JARRAD WRIGHT - STORM
GENRE: PYSCHEDELIC FOLK
Jarrad Wright is the creator of the online show, 'The Big Lez Show,' which has a cult following among Australians and in totality is animated in Microsoft Paint. Among the show's conclusion, it was uncertain what Jarrad would be pursuing next. After some time, that uncertainty culminated in the release of 'Sassy The Sasquatch,' a 6 part series focusing on one of the show's main characters.
Many people don't know that Jarrad produces the show's soundtrack in addition to all of his other roles. A full soundtrack release accompanied the show, with a standout being the track, 'storm.' Like most of his releases, it has psychedelic folk influences culminating in a trippy / introspective track.
We would highly recommend watching the show along with viewing his music releases!
6) CHAT PILE - WHY?
GENRE: SLUDGE METAL - NOISE ROCK
"WHY DO PEOPLE HAVE TO LIVE OUTSIDE?!?!?"
Homelessness is increasingly becoming a problem in The United States due to opioid addiction and several socio-economic factors. This track is angry, personifying the mounting frustration of people living outside, especially when homelessness shouldn't exist in a nation with a surplus of resources.
With lyrics like,
"I'VE NEVER HAD TO PUSH ALL OF MY SHIT AROUND IN A SHOPPING CART, HAVE YOU?" OR "WHY DO PEOPLE HAVE TO LIVE OUTSIDE? IN TENTS, UNDЕR BRIDGES. LIVING WITH NOTHING AND HORRIBLY SUFFERING. WHY?"
It is almost a call to action of questioning WHY? WHY? WHY DO PEOPLE HAVE TO LIVE OUTSIDE? These lyrics, mixed with the intense noise of rock/sludge metal aesthetics, culminating in a track that is such a harsh audio embodiment of homelessness. This track paints a capitalist hellscape.
Homelessness is a problem that should not exist in any country of abundance.
5) ADA ROOK - GRAVITY WEAPON
GENRE: ELECTRO-INDUSTRIAL - AGGROTECH - CYBER METAL
We caught up with Ada Rook earlier this year, and she stated, "I hate narratives, messages, and themes, so this album is completely hollow. There is absolutely nothing inside of it."
It's the perfect way to describe this raw and aggressive track.
4) BLACK THOUGHT & DANGER MOUSE - AQUAMARINE
GENRE: EAST COAST - CONSCIOUS HIP HOP
This track is beautiful and tragic. The song outlines Black Thought's reality, and by extension, the human experience. The bars throughout the track are existential, discussing religion and philosophy. The Michael Kiwanuka chorus fits the track perfectly.
This track exemplifies how Black Thought is in a league of his own compared to his contemporaries. A thought-provoking track, to say the least.
3) KENDRICK LAMAR - THE HEART PART 5
GENRE: CONSCIOUS / WEST COAST HIP-HOP
If this list were based solely on nuance and depth, this song would be number one, hands down. Kendrick continues to show how he is in a league of his own compared to other rappers with this track. We'll reframe from talking about the music video until our top music videos of 2022 list (spoilers).
This track dives into several topics and likely could take us hours to describe in depth. One of our favourite passages is the following, 'Where the energy is magnified and persevered consciousness is synchronized and crystal-clear.' Notions of a collective consciousness being the underlying source of the culture seem present across the track, especially with Kendrick physically embodying those lost figures (i.e. Nipsey Hustle, Kobe). Even though many of the figures Kendrick morphs into have been tragically lost, the essence of their message lives on in spirit. With this acceptance of an underlying consciousness, Kendrick can acknowledge the true nature of humanity, forgiving anyone for physical actions. Kendrick knows his soul is pure. The universal energies figures like Nipsey and Kobe embody the foundation for positive change in people's lives while directly citing and forgiving those who set pain onto the world.
'And though my physical won't reap the benefits the energy that carry on emits still.'
2) GLIMPSE OF US - JOJI
GENRE: ALT R&B - SINGER-SONGWRITER
Joji's evolution as an artist has been rather unorthodox, hailing from YouTube as shit-posting Filthy Frank to developing into an alt-R&B artist producing melancholic love songs. His music up until this point has been respectable, being one of the few YouTube personalities to establish an actual music career (we're looking at you, Paul brothers). Further, he has achieved substantial commercial success with several tracks, including 'slow dancing in the dark,' and 'yeah right.'
However, the track 'Glimpse of Us' is in a league of its own, perfectly encapsulating what Joji seeks to do as an artist. The track has so much emotion, exploring relationships such in an honest and vulnerable way. Some of Joji's best songwriting and production are also exhibited on this track. The first time we viewed this track, we watched it back 3 or 4 times; it just hit so different.
Upon release, the track was instantly viral, accompanied by an abrasive music video depicting a lot of undesirable behaviour. The track accompanied by this video is the essence of what Joji is as an artist. The video is almost reminiscent of his shitposting days on YouTube, shown as 'candid' VHS footage with drug use, vomit, blood, screaming, etc. Joji is one of a handful of artists who would accompany such an emotional and reflective track with a music video of this sort and not be out of place. This stark contrast of visuals + subject matter almost signifies his internal battle of self-identity (at least that's our interpretation).
RIP KEVIN - 1800 PAIN
GENRE: INDUSTRIAL HIP HOP - POWER NOISE
THIS TRACK GOES SO FUCKING HARD!!!!
This is not a song that is going to give you some profound existential insight or nuanced interpretation of a complex geopolitical issue. This song is simply an auditory attack from start to finish, and the lyrics are violent, abrasive, and sexual. While playing this in a car, blaring this track with the windows rolled down, the looks we got were hysterical. We can only imagine what is happening inside the minds of people who hear this when their daily playlists include Ed Sheeran and Maroon 5.
We have to talk about the end of this track. After the first 2 minutes of this track, the audio cuts from a blood-curdling scream to a voice saying preview, preview, preview, and almost cuts to silence. Then (what we assume) is a weedwhacker begins to rev up, layered over with an ungodly amount of distortion and a voice saying RIP, KEVIN. The voice fades into another scream over a weedwhacker, finally culminating in SpongeBob SquarePants saying, 'Hi Kevin.’
This sound exists with 1800PAIN; no other band is producing anything like this. Give this track a chance - the energy is simply unmatched. We still need to find out who Kevin is.
CONGRATS to 1 800 PAIN for being crowned COSMOS's first Track of the Year Winner
HERE IS UR AWARD :)