Shout out to the LOML, journalism legend Stephanie Clary, who submitted a conventions-defying Top 10 songs of 2021 list that changed the way I thought about the year. Her list is a) 11 songs and b) contains one that came out in 2020. I wouldn't have it any other way, though. Because what I really want from these lists is to get into the "headspace" (Succession word) of our contributors, whose taste we love and trust.
Steph's top 10 has a stronger connection to the mainstream than our other lists, which in 2021 I was pretty down on. But she made me reconsider that stance with these sounds, and put me onto people I'd never heard of like Montell Fish, whose song here is very pretty (reminds me of the artist Contour). Also, I'll just say by omitting "Leave the Door Open" from our other lists, we have been fronting like we are cooler than we are. So thanks Steph for the realness, and letting us know where your head's at!