McLean’s Favorite Music of 2022

A look back at the songs and artists that Highlanders loved in 2022

Throughout 2022, Highlanders spent hundreds of thousands of minutes listening to music. From pop to acoustic to hip hop and rap, a wide variety of music helped make the year memorable.

Spotify Wrapped, a popular feature which allows users to view a compilation of their music listening data on the platform throughout the previous year, often brings excitement, flooding Instagram stories with students sharing their top songs and artists of the year.

Through Spotify Wrapped, students and teachers are able to connect through shared favorite songs and artists.

“[My top five artists] were The Weeknd, Drake, Kanye, Frank Ocean and Pusha T,” junior Bennett Brunner said.

The Weeknd placed in the top five most streamed artists globally on Spotify for 2022, making him a popular artist among many student’s Wrappeds. Despite being his top artist, Brunner only discovered The Weeknd midway through the year.

“[A friend] told me to listen to him in August and ever since then I’ve listened to all his albums and become a big fan of his,” Brunner said.

The Weeknd’s versatility and distinct style helped him climb to the top of Brunner’s list.

“He has a very unique sound that really shows off his crazy vocal range,” Brunner said. “I mostly like all of his older stuff, such as House of Balloons, but I think he’s grown a lot as an artist. The themes on his newer albums like After Hours are very developed.”

Students were not the only ones listening to a-list artists like The Weeknd. The excitement of Spotfy Wrapped also applied to staff members like history teacher Dylan Wedan, whose most streamed song was Betty by Taylor Swift.

“I didn’t expect it to be at the top of my list. I was actually very surprised,” Wedan said. “[I listened to it so much] because the chorus is really good, it tells a story, so it’s interesting lyrically, and it’s got a really good hook.”

Others listened to lesser-known and independent artists, like junior Ella Newton, whose most-streamed artist was the Strokes.

“I like how the Stokes capture all of my feelings in every album. Just listening to them feels cleansing and their songs appeal to my psyche,” Newton said.

Latin teacher Ava Minutello’s most listened artist was a cover group called Stories.

“I made a whole playlist of these chill covers of songs because they were great big vibes for the morning commute,” Minutello said. “It was the depths of the winter time of 2022 and I was in grad school. I was in the car all the time: I would go from my home to student teaching to grad school class at night and then back home.”

Handling student-teaching and graduate school, music offered Minutello much-needed relaxation in a sometimes stressful world.

“[It] was a stressful time, so I just needed something to be chill. Spotify recommended Stories to me and then I made a very large playlist of all of their songs and I felt good vibes for the whole winter.”