EDM.com's Best of 2021: Songs (2022)

Table of Contents
House Qrion - Your Love ACRAZE - Do It To It Dom Dolla - Pump the Brakes Enamour & Hydrah - Hypertrophy of Heart LP Giobbi & hermixalot - Move Your Body Dubstep Virtual Riot - Redline Leotrix - Tins GRiZ & Subtronics - Griztronics II (Another Level) Kayzo, Sullivan King & Papa Roach - Domination Vampa & ZÍA - New Levels Trap RL Grime & ISOxo - Stinger Moore Kismet & WYN - Rumor TroyBoi - Bellz MEMBA & vōx - Trenches CloZee & Jead - Please Come Home Drum & Bass Fox Stevenson - Ether Rusko - Mac 19 Etherwood & Zara Kershaw - Lighthouse Delta Heavy & Koven - Feel Keys N Krates feat. Ambré Perkins - Glitter (Netsky Remix) Future Bass ILLENIUM, Nurko & Valerie Broussard - Sideways Dabin & Mokita - Drown Tisoki & Charity Vance - SENSITIVE William Black & Annie Schindel - Remedy Recommended Articles MiTiS & RØRY - Try Synthwave Dynatron - Close Encounter Slvmber - Liminal Spaces Waveshaper - Friends Again Droid Bishop - Through The Fire (Magic Sword Remix) Power Glove - Brain Jack Techno Avoure - Aura (Grigoré Remix) Eli Brown - Escape HI-LO & Reinier Zonneveld - Balearic Mornings Charlotte de Witte - Formula lupa - For The Ride Midtempo HD-4884 & HVDES - Portals AWAY & Koda - Help Me Blanke & Deathpact - Mitosis 1788-L - Automaton REZZ & deadmau5 - Hypnocurrency Dance Pop Vindata, Maurice Moore & JoiStaRR - Already Home Pauline Herr - Dodgeball Porter Robinson - Look at the Sky SG Lewis - Time ATB, Topic & A7S - Your Love (9PM) Trance Aly & Fila, JES - Sunrise Au5 & HALIENE - Was It You Ilan Bluestone & Ellen Smith - Stranger To Your Love Armin van Buuren - Turn The World Into A Dancefloor ALPHA 9 - The Purpose Is You

EDM.com proudly publishes four installments of annual year-end coverage: Industry Leaders, Performances, Music Producers, and Songs.

With so much new music offered by EDM's artist community, it would be unfair to its diverse range of creators to publish a nebulous blanket list of the year's top songs. So to highlight the best songs of the year, we've chosen 10 popular sub-genres of dance music and recognized five tracks, each chosen by members of EDM.com's staff.

Check out a playlist below, followed by a breakdown of each individual song from each genre.

House

Qrion - Your Love

Nostalgic and wistful, Qrion’s "Your Love" leaves listeners yearning for nights in the big city. Delicate but moving, the track's soundscapes leave listeners with an optimistic warmth. - Nick Yopko

ACRAZE - Do It To It

ACRAZE’s imminent rise to superstardom began here.Arguably dance music’s record of the year, “Do It To It,“ a tech house anthem sampling vocals from Cherish's 2006 single of the same name,has helped propel the producer to international stardom while solidifying his transition from bass music to house."It feels good to put out more house music because I feel more alive," ACRAZE toldEDM.comin anexclusive interview. "As a musician, it's all a feeling."- Carlie Belbin &Konstantinos Karakolis

Dom Dolla - Pump the Brakes

The ingenious Dom Dolla managed to craft a club banger revolving around the adoration of his old Toyota Camry. The apparent successor to his runaway hit, “Take It," "Pump the Brakes" is a whimsical concoction of catchy hooks, car alarms and engine revs that erupts on the dancefloor. The accompanying music video is also a sight to behold with the aforementioned Camry making a glorious cameo. - Ulises Vargas

Enamour & Hydrah - Hypertrophy of Heart

The ebb and flow of "Hypertrophy of Heart" is magnetic. Floaty, mesmeric vocals, deep bass and melodic stabs come together to smash the dancefloor. - Saad Masood

LP Giobbi & hermixalot - Move Your Body

LP Giobbi has had her biggest year yet and “Move Your Body” is one of the most notable highlights from it. The "Piano House Queen" tapped longtime collaborator hermixalot to help cook up a funky, four-on-the-floor beat, and a surefire dancefloor filler. - Niko Sani

Dubstep

Virtual Riot - Redline

Virtual Riot’s Simulation album is the most progressive dubstep album of the year. “Redline” stands tall amongst the other tracks on the record with sinister production and virtuosic bass syncopation. - Lennon Cihak

Leotrix - Tins

2021 was a banner year for Leotrix, who burst onto the radar in the bass music scene with a sound all his known. "Tins" is an immaculate example, and an inventive dubstep anthem oozing with the ferocity of a young gun with big plans in the electronic music scene—a scary thought considering he's only 22.- Jason Heffler

GRiZ & Subtronics - Griztronics II (Another Level)

GRiZ and Subtronics minted one of the biggest standout singles of 2019 with the wonky and unearthly “Griztronics.” Taking another stab at greatness, the two landed a momentous sequel in “Griztronics II (Another Level),” which stands up to the hype of its predecessor. The track consists of three “acts” with each bass beatdown more mind-blowing than the last. The collaboration feels as though the two top-notch producers are pushing each other to their limits, making for an entertaining and unpredictable listen throughout. - Cameron Sunkel

Kayzo, Sullivan King & Papa Roach - Domination

Kayzo, Sullivan King and Papa Roach’s “DOMINATION” perfectly combines their respective styles into a ruthless dubstep-metal hybrid. Kayzo and King have each been bridging the worlds of rock and bass music for years, while Papa Roach have been actively incorporating electronic music elements in their music throughout their storied history. So it’s safe to say that “DOMINATION” is a true gem within its genre, and makes for one of the hardest-hitting dubstep cuts of the year.-Konstantinos Karakolis

Vampa & ZÍA - New Levels

There’s a new class of bass music producers on the rise, and for the first time, a wave of women is leading the pack. GRVDNCR labelmates Vampa & ZÍA released their face-melting collaboration, “New Levels,” earlier this year. The track is a killer combination of ominous chord progressions and breakneck dubstep synths, while bone-rattling trap production and a sinister vocal sample round out its darkly cinematic listening experience. Yes, the spooky aural aesthetic of “New Levels” is definitely trendy. But with their song's carefully crafted drops and wobbly sound design, Vampa & ZÍA have managed to bring the style to—excuse the pun—a new level.- Rachel Kupfer

Trap

RL Grime & ISOxo - Stinger

RL Grime’s releases were few and far between in 2021, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t manage to shake up the scene in true trap don fashion. Produced alongside his Sable Valley protégée ISOxo, "Stinger" is as blistering as its title would suggest. With a harrowing chord progression and dark brass, the track sets a distinctly ominous tone. Helped along by the rallying, war-like cry of the track’s vocals, “Stinger” builds up to a cathartic apex before taking the firepower up a notch with a descending flurry of bass-heavy synths. It represents a groundbreaking release for ISOxo, and so far he’s parlayed the momentum into a series of equally refreshing trap bangers in its wake. - Cameron Sunkel

Moore Kismet & WYN - Rumor

“Rumor” perfectly summarizes the signature sound we’ve come to associate with Moore Kismet, one of the electronic music scene's brightest artists. WYN’s immaculate vocals perfectly synchronize with Kismet's haunting production, cultivating a beautifully eerie arrangement and one of their most impressive tracks to date. - Niko Sani

TroyBoi - Bellz

Sampling Anita Ward and Frederick Knight’s 1979 disco classic “Ring My Bell,” TroyBoi transformed the timeless track into a hard-hitting and danceable trap anthem. Not that fans needed one, but “Bellz” was an appropriate reminder that TroyBoi is one of the genre’s greats. - Nick Yopko

MEMBA & vōx - Trenches

MEMBA and vōx’s “Trenches” is a beautiful amalgamation of trap and future bass, showcasing the former's refined music production chops and the latter's empowering voice. The track’s impeccable tonality highlights both artists as forces to be reckoned with in electronic music. - Lennon Cihak

CloZee & Jead - Please Come Home

CloZee's hypnotic bass music took another leap forward in 2021 and her melodic trap jam, "Please Come Home," is nothing short of a stroke of genius. Here she flexes a spine-chilling arrangement, which bursts at its seams with the organic percussion and nuanced sound design that only the "world bass" pioneer can produce.- Jason Heffler

Drum & Bass

Fox Stevenson - Ether

Fox Stevenson has always been a go-to name in the drum & bass genre. His aching 2021 single “Ether” highlights his versatility in the studio and easily takes the cake as one of the genre's best of the year. - Lennon Cihak

Rusko - Mac 19

If you’ve ever seen Rusko perform, you know there’s never a lack of energy when he’s onstage. In "Mac 19," classic Rusko wobbles fashioned into a high-speed drum & bass arrangement made for one of the most exciting tracks of the year from the iconic producer.- Nick Yopko

Etherwood & Zara Kershaw - Lighthouse

Etherwood and Zara Kershaw's lit up the hearts of the drum & bass community with their liquid ballad, “Lighthouse.” The de facto follow-up to their powerhouse 2015 collab “Souvenirs,” the track oozes with euphoria and soul. Smooth breaks and Kershaw's enchanting vocals come together to create an uplifting drum & bass masterwork. - Carlie Belbin

Delta Heavy & Koven - Feel

For fans of melodic drum & bass, “Feel” has been a dream collaboration years in the making. With two of the genre's most impactful artists of the moment joining forces—for a release on the legendary UKF label, no less—one could immediately tell this was going to be something special. With a commanding vocal presence from Koven combined with frenetic drums and stentorian leads courtesy of Delta Heavy, “Feel” sees both artists leading with their strengths. - Cameron Sunkel

Keys N Krates feat. Ambré Perkins - Glitter (Netsky Remix)

Taking on Keys N Krates and Ambré’s R&B-influenced single "Glitter," which was released back in 2017 and featured on the trio's debut album Cura, Netsky managed to craft a sublime drum & bass remix. Infusing the original with brisk drums and ethereal sound design, the Belgian producer once again proved why he is regarded one of the most influential drum & bass artists of the past decade. - Konstantinos Karakolis

Future Bass

ILLENIUM, Nurko & Valerie Broussard - Sideways

While Fallen Embers showcases the evolution of ILLENIUM’s sound, “Sideways” is his signature sound in its purest form. Nurko and Valerie Broussard’s contributions to the single only bolster its flawless quality, as the former's soaring synths match the energy of the latter'scaptivatingvocals. - Niko Sani

Dabin & Mokita - Drown

We all know that when emotions come to play in an electronic music producer’s studio, there are bound to be a bevy of festival-ready tearjerkers in the release pipeline. Dabin’s third studio album, Between Broken, is our most notable use case this year, particularly its future bass standout, “Drown” (with Mokita). This track goes straight into its feels with tender, stripped back vocals and a bright and beautiful guitar riff. “When the waves start crashing down and the world just gets too loud; When you're reaching out, I'll never let you drown,” Mokita belts over a drop of power chords and rallying rave claps. Find your festival family, because this one will have you giving out all the hugs. - Rachel Kupfer

Tisoki & Charity Vance - SENSITIVE

The growth of Tisoki has been a treat to watch unfurl. The British electronic music virtuoso, long revered as one of the most gifted producers in the dubstep world, released his debut album 01953 back in July. Largely eschewing the screeching sound design of yesteryear in favor of a more nuanced approach, Tisoki dropped a magnum opus comprising tracks that slither with haunting, melodic sound design. One of the album's most impressive songs is "SENSITIVE," an eerie future bass cut that brilliantly goes against the grain of the genre's typical euphoric style.- Jason Heffler

William Black & Annie Schindel - Remedy

Future bass superstar and EDM.com Class of 2021 artist William Black unveiled his sophomore album, Pieces, in November. The record is a tour de force, replete with aching production and the storytelling prowess of one of the genre's most promising artists. "Remedy" is an unquestioned highlight, featuring a killer topline from Annie Schindel that moonlights as a captivating cry for help. - Jason Heffler

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MiTiS & RØRY - Try

Known for creating nostalgic, high-energy music that can move an entire crowd, MiTiS dropped one of the most emotive and inspiring albums of 2021, Lost. Released on Seven Lions' Ophelia Records, one of the album's surefire standouts, “Try,” features singer-songwriter RØRY. Conveying an uplifting message within a latticework of soaring production, it represents some of the most inspired work of MiTiS' career . - Brian Rapoport

Synthwave

Dynatron - Close Encounter

Dynatron, one of synthwave’s finest production minds, took fans to deep space in one of the genre's most exhilarating releases of the year. Retro synths and heavy metal guitar riffs make listening to “Close Encounter” feel like you’re preparing to take on a horde of aliens in an 80s sci-fi movie.- Nick Yopko

Slvmber - Liminal Spaces

It's easy to get lost in the music of Slvmber, whose spellbinding sound is designed to plummet listeners into rabbit holes of nostalgia. Such is the case with "Liminal Spaces," a track from his latest album, Mmxx, that employs drum machines and fluttering arpeggios to hypnotic effect.- Jason Heffler

Waveshaper - Friends Again

From Waveshaper's fantastic album, Mainframe, came “Friends Again,” yet another instant classic from one of synthwave's most notable artists. A flurry of robotic vocals blitz a frenetic beat, guiding listeners on an exhilarating journey into a vast digital world. The final product feels like it belongs on a lost soundtrack to Tron.- Nick Yopko

Droid Bishop - Through The Fire (Magic Sword Remix)

The mystical charm of Magic Sword is as forceful as ever in the mysterious trio's remix of Droid Bishop's "Through The Fire." In a dream collision of two pathfinders of the synthwave genre, the remix is as transfixing as it is full-blooded.- Jason Heffler

Power Glove - Brain Jack

One of the most exciting duos in synthwave music, Power Glove have captivated fans with their creative, high concept work. Dark and ominous, “Brain Jack” makes you feel like you’re running from robotic corporate entities in a dystopian world while working to dismantle the system with a team of cybernetic outlaws. Expertly produced with fang-dripping ferocity, the track is a stroke of genius. - Nick Yopko

Techno

Avoure - Aura (Grigoré Remix)

Grigoré took Avoure’s tranquil single “Aura” and flipped it into a melodic techno monster. As all great remixes do, it kept just enough of the original with the overarching melody and rhythm. But it brought something completely unexpected and fresh into the fold with an ominous lead and emphatic drum programming. - Saad Masood

Eli Brown - Escape

In February, Eli Brown released a three-track EP called Escape, which established the launch of Insomniac’s Factory 93 record label venture. Dedicated to showcasing underground music—specifically house and techno—Brown represented the quintessential producer to launch the new imprint. The titular "Escape" is a bona fide dancefloor weapon borne of unbridled creative freedom. "...It was nice not being confined by any boundaries, so I really enjoyed having the freedom to experiment and push myself," he told EDM.com of the single back in April. - Carlie Belbin

HI-LO & Reinier Zonneveld - Balearic Mornings

Oliver Heldens' techno alias HI-LO matured this year with the release of the brilliant HYPNOS EP. Although tracks like “Hera” and “Athena” deserve praise, it’s HI-LO's collaboration with Reinier Zonneveld, “Balearic Mornings,” that takes the cake. Although not as deep and techno-focused as the others in the EP, “Balearic Mornings” is sultry and passionate while still managing to carry a pulsing techno beat. - Ulises Vargas

Charlotte de Witte - Formula

This year, humankind reconnected with its need for speed with the return of Formula 1 racing events across the world. A longtime fan of the sport herself, Charlotte de Witte effectively sent fans into overdrive with a particularly invigorating EP called Formula, inspired in part by sounds from the racetrack. The EP’s titular track blends de Witte’s trunk-thumping brand of techno with the high-octane sounds of drivers revving their engines and primal, psychedelic basslines, making for an adrenaline-fueled song from start to finish. - Cameron Sunkel

lupa - For The Ride

lupa’s mau5trap debut was nothing short of spectacular. “For The Ride” is a hypnotic techno trip led by intoxicating melodies, pulsing percussion, and a haunting vocal sample. Although this is the first taste of lupa's promise, she’s certainly set herself up for a bright career in electronic music. - Niko Sani

Midtempo

HD-4884 & HVDES - Portals

In something that sounds like it was plucked out of a "Blade" film, HD-4884 and HVDES' "Portals" is midtempo mayhem. Overflowing with grit, the relentless single rumbles along in a forward-thinking arrangement, which fluidly transitions from half- to double-time in its ferocious drops. It's a downright nasty midtempo banger that sounds like it was created in some sort of dystopian dungeon. - Jason Heffler

AWAY & Koda - Help Me

As an EDM.com Class of 2021 inductee, AWAY continued to prove why he’s a cut above on the bass music front. The virtuosic producer released a select few tracks in 2021, though each felt uniquely immersive given his penchant for hair-raising sound design. AWAY’s “Help Me” (with Koda) is a prime example. Lyrically, the song evokes powerfully haunting emotions, and even a distinct feeling of claustrophobia. AWAY amplifies those vivid emotions with heavy-handed distortion and vocaloid synth patches, leaving listeners with goosebumps long after the song's eerie coda. - Cameron Sunkel

Blanke & Deathpact - Mitosis

Blanke and Deathpact’s sounds are instantly recognizable in midtempo, a genre that they've dominated in recent years. "Mitosis" served to reinforce that notion in a blistering blend of their unique styles, effectively blurring the lines of dubstep and midtempo.- Lennon Cihak

1788-L - Automaton

Climbing through the ranks over the past few years, 1788-L has established himself thanks to a dynamic arsenal of unique sounds, distinguishing himself in a crowded bass music scene. With his futuristic and merciless sound design on display, the enigmatic producer dropped a stunning two-track EP back in April called Parallel: S, which featured the riveting "Automaton."- Brian Rapoport

REZZ & deadmau5 - Hypnocurrency

REZZ has been a mau5trap mainstay since the very start of her career, and fans had been eagerly waiting for a collab between her and label head deadmau5 for several years. This anticipated clash of titans was finally revealed in 2021 with “Hypnocurrency,” a midtempo gem that perfectly combines both of their respective styles. “I feel like my Collab with deadmau5 is an exact split of his sounds and mine, which is a high standard I set before ever sending him an idea," REZZ tweeted in April. - Konstantinos Karakolis

Dance Pop

Vindata, Maurice Moore & JoiStaRR - Already Home

Vindatarecently announced their split, but the duo released a masterstroke of an album in June called With Opened Eyes. “Already Home” is one of the album's most inspiring electronic cuts, alluring listeners with intoxicating verses from Maurice Moore and Joistarr along with an expertly crafted beat that incorporates hip-hop and R&B influences. - Niko Sani

Pauline Herr - Dodgeball

A triple threat who sings, writes, and produces spellbinding dance music, Pauline Herr dropped her Contradictions EP back in August. "Dodgeball" is a masterclass in vulnerability, wherein Herr delivers a breathtaking topline exploring the difficulties of letting go, which glides through a dreamy dance pop arrangement.- Jason Heffler

Porter Robinson - Look at the Sky

One of the most anticipated releases of the year marked a new style for Porter Robinson. The optimistic and effervescent "Look at the Sky" offered fans a bright, organic song from an electronic music luminary whose creativity seems boundless.- Nick Yopko

SG Lewis - Time

Written for the club and released during the pandemic, the irony of SG Lewis’ debut album, times, couldn't have been more pertinent. Still, with its swirling disco synths and colorful soundscapes of tracks like its opener, “Time,” the record proved to be blissfully transportive, as well as a welcome excuse to turn up our speakers and dance. “Don’t waste this time,” implores the song’s vocalist, Rhye, in its chorus. As we now enter our third calendar year of COVID-19’s wrath, this humble reminder rings truer than ever. - Rachel Kupfer

ATB, Topic & A7S - Your Love (9PM)

Since it was released via Kontor Records more than 20 years ago, ATB’s "9 PM (Till I Come)" has undoubtedly been cemented as one of the most iconic dance records of all-time. Back in January, ATB teamed up with Topic and A7S to remake the song. Their undeniable chemistry—supported by ATB’s timeless composition—breathed new life into the track, dubbed “Your Love (9PM),” and it went on to become a global hit. - Konstantinos Karakolis

Trance

Aly & Fila, JES - Sunrise

After the success of their collaboration, “I Won’t Let You Fall," powerhouse vocalist JES teamed up with Aly & Fila this past summer for “Sunrise." Every ingredient needed to make a classic trance track can be found on this record, including JES’s sultry cadence, blissful lyricism, and driving synths. The cut even made it into Armin van Buuren’s revered A State of Trance 2021 compilation album. - Ulises Vargas

Au5 & HALIENE - Was It You

Flexing their innate ability to cross genres, Au5 and HALIENE treated fans to a stunning trance song after largely releasing music in the melodic dubstep and future bass alleys. Through the former's impressive production and the latter's stentorian vocals, “Was It You” has the feel of a classic and is sure to remain in festival sets long after 2021. - Nick Yopko

Ilan Bluestone & Ellen Smith - Stranger To Your Love

Electronic music veteran Ilan Bluestone is no stranger to producing game-changing trance songs. In 2021, the iconic London-born artist dropped “Stranger To Your Love" as part of a massive four-track EP on Anjunabeats, delivering a stunning progressive ballad and one of the finest trance releases of the year.- Brian Rapoport

Armin van Buuren - Turn The World Into A Dancefloor

Armin van Buuren’s “A State of Trance” radio show surpassed its monumental 1000th episode this year, further cementing its status among the most successful radio programs in dance music history. While in-person celebrations unfortunately had to wait, van Buuren didn’t hesitate to commemorate the occasion with new music, including “Turn The World Into A Dancefloor,” a track he considered worthy of being the official anthem of ASOT’s 1000th episode. True to its name, the track features energizing arpeggiated synths, pumping drums, and voluminous soundscapes, capable of uniting trance music fans across the world. - Cameron Sunkel

ALPHA 9 - The Purpose Is You

While his work as Arty remains ever so popular, ALPHA 9 can’t seem to miss. “The Purpose Is You” is a beautifully constructed tune that captures the warm feeling that envelops you when you see a loved one. The track's intricate melody and arresting vocals—two cornerstones of the veteran artist's approach to dance music production—are executed perfectly. - Niko Sani

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