PAPER's Top 100 Songs of 2018

PAPER's Top 100 Songs of 2018

Whoever said nothing is certain but death and taxes clearly didn't have access to streaming music. This has arguably been one of our lowest years in recent memory, but artists around the world continued to do what they do best: create in the face of confusion and chaos. We may not be leaving 2018 with our dignity (at least as a country) in tact, but the following 100 songs at least served to remind us of our shared humanity, deeper purpose and plain desire to have fun.

100. "Psycho" by Post Malone and Ty Dolla $ign

99. "1985 (Intro to 'The Fall Off')" - J.Cole

98. "New Patek" by Lil Uzi Vert

97. "Valley of the Dolls" by Santigold

96. "The Middle" by Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey

95. "Might Not Make It Home" by LPX

94. "Flaming Hot Cheetos" by Clairo

93. "Sticky" by Ravyn Lenae

92. "High Five" by Sigrid

91. "Apeshit" by The Carters

90. "Into It" by Camila Cabello 

89. "We Appreciate Power" by Grimes and HANA

88. "D'Evils" by SiR

87. "Larry Clark" by Shamir 

86. "Portrait of a Female" by Cruel Youth

85. "Smoke Remix" by Blood Orange, Ian Isiah and Yves Tumor 

84. "Bed Rest" by Cakes da Killa and LSDXOXO

83. "Moment to Myself" by Diana Gordon

82. "Papercuts" by Uffie

81. "Simon Says" by NCT 127

80. "I Don't Want to Find the One" by Natti Vogel

79. "Voices In My Head"  by Ashley Tisdale

78. "new breed" by Dawn Richard

77. deep end - Lykke Li

76. "Nice for What" by Drake 

75. "Level Up" by Ciara

74. "focus" by Leo Kaylan

73. "Fallingwater" by Maggie Rogers 

72. "No Angel" by Charli XCX

71. "Girlfriend" by Christine and the Queens

70. "State of the Union" by Junglepussy

69. "OKRA" by Tyler the Creator

68. "December 24" by Earl Sweatshirt

67. "Life Is Beautiful" by Lil Peep

66. "Please Won't Please" by Helado Negro

65. "Stay Down"  by boygenius

64. "Karaoke" by Big Freedia feat. Lizzo

63. "100 Bad" by Tommy Genesis

62. "Sway" by Tove Styrke

61. "Duck Duck Goose" by cupcakKe

60. "Slow Burn" by Kacey Musgraves

59. "The Distance" by Mariah Carey feat. Ty Dolla $ign

58. "1980-99" by SSION feat. Patty Schemel and Sky Ferreira

57. "bless ur heart" by serpentwithfeet

56. "Apps" by Sakima

55. "Over My Skin" by Tiffany Young

54. "Love Lies" by Normani and Khalid

53. "Tongue" by MNEK

52. "Heartbeats" by Ah-Mer-Ah-Su

51. "Country" by Porches

50. "Treasure Island" by Azealia Banks

49. "Accelerate" by Christina Aguilera feat. Ty Dolla $ign and 2 Chainz

48. "Mine" by VINCINT

47. "Fake It" by Jesse Saint John

46. "Be Your USA" by EASYFUN feat. Iiris 

45. "Make It Out Alive" by NAO feat. SiR

44. "Focus" by Allie X

43. "Me vs. Us" by Tayla Parx

42. "Border Girl" by Young Fathers

41. "King's Dead" by Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Future and James Blake 

40. "Uproar" by Lil Wayne feat. Swizz Beats

39. "Reborn" by Kids See Ghosts (Kanye West & Kid Cudi)

38. "Fakeshit" by Kidd Kenn

37. "Mona Lisa" by Tommy Cash

36. "Pussy Is God" by King Princess

35. "Yes Indeed" by Lil Baby feat. Drake

34. "Blur" by MØ

33. "Party For One" by Carly Rae Jepsen

32. "Nobody" by Mitski

31. "O" by Shygirl

30. "Vlone" by Valee

29. "U.A.F.W.M." by Quay Dash and Sega Bodega 

28. "Stock Image" by Miya Folick

27. "I Might Need Security" by Chance the Rapper

26. "Career Boy" by Dorian Electra

25. "My My My!" by Troye Sivan

Troye Sivan strutting alongside Taylor Swift during her Reputation tour is one of the biggest 2018 moods — the way he pumped down that stage and swayed those little hips during "My My My!" sent me into a panicsdfjlamiofdsjaiisih. It also secured his Bloom single as one of the year's greatest music moments. The gay Aussie co-wrote the track in pop's capital Sweden with longtime collaborator Leland, and tapped Max Martin to ensure its chorus was as giant and addictive as possible — and it is. Their song perfectly captures the magical honeymoon period of love, but makes that high somehow sound like forever; it taps into the urgency of sexual desire ("don't make me wait another day"), as well as the anxiety of falling for someone new "(let's stop running from love"); and it notably thrusts queer romance into the mainstream music space without watering down Sivan's experiences, all while furthering the plight of showing how LGBTQ stories are universal stories. (Read Troye Sivan's PAPER cover story, here) — Justin Moran

24. "Lucid Dreams" by Juice WRLD

Though it made the rounds on the Internet last summer, Juice WRLD's melancholy "Lucid Dreams" fully took off when it was released by his label earlier this year. Since then, the "Shape of Heart" sampling track has dominated airwaves and the bedrooms and headphones of any teen experiencing heartbreak for the first time. "Lucid Dreams" is the logical conclusion of the question posed by rappers like the late Lil Peep and XXXTentacion: can rap be emo and still radio friendly? The answer is a clear yes. — Claire Valentine

23. "I Do" by Cardi B feat. SZA

While the arrival of Invasion of Privacy was an event in and of itself — the culmination of Cardi's Binderella story to the top of the charts with hits like "Bodak Yellow" and "Bartier Cardi" — "I Do" is the track from the album that still stands out. If a smirk could be a song, this would be it. The sexy track sees two of the baddest women in music — Cardi and SZA — at their most confident. Womxn can never have enough pure cockiness in their lives. — Claire Valentine

22. "Chun Li" by Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj has had a weird year, as usual. Some rappers manage to skillfully turn their tabloid appearances into streams, but Nicki's complicated public persona has gotten in the way of her music lately, which is unfortunate. So here's what you should do: listen to Queen and block out all other noise. "Chun-Li" is the track that explains it all: "They need rappers like me," Minaj observes. "So they can get on their keyboards and make me the bad guy Chun-Li." — Katherine Gillespie

21. "Hot Pink" by Let's Eat Grandma

The chorus and verses of Let's Eat Grandma's "Hot Pink" operate as a dom-sub relationship. British teens Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth start things off gentle, with their vulnerable vocals and smooth synths that suggest an easy, slow ride. But eventually the SOPHIE-produced I'm All Ears single hits hard, with a metallic machine-like explosion that clashes in an unruly War of the Worlds. "Hot pink," the girls repeat menacingly, as SOPHIE's production grinds like a monster truck revving its engine. Like all healthy power dynamics, the track is balanced, dancing between tender lulls and confrontational climaxes. — Justin Moran

20. "Bitch I'm Nasty" by Rico Nasty

The one minute and thirty one seconds of Rico Nasty's "Bitch I'm Nasty" were the punkest rock thing to happen in 2018. When Rico screams "Bitch I'm charged up" (flipping off herself, who just previously suggesting "Rico, calm down"), it slices through your headphones like a chainsaw, it's hardcore, more reminiscent of the Misfits than any young rap peers. The sugary trap beat is electric and her sandpaper flow is vicious, bristling with rage and refusal. It's an anti-establishment punk war cry for Black women, shots taken at the world, the government and the music industry: "I'm screamin', "Fuck Trump! Black girls, stand up!/ Bitch I'm nasty, and I don't give a fuck like, what is classy?/ Smokin' on cat pee and my voice is raspy/ I know these hoes can't stand me." It's a declaration of truly status-quo-shaking nastiness that puts pussy hats and "nasty woman" t-shirts to shame. — Jael Goldfine

19. "Sicko Mode" by Travis Scott 

"Sicko Mode" has something for everyone. Sneak disses, Stormi/Kylie references, inclusion of the words "booch" and "Papoose," Big Hawk and Uncle Luke samples, an earworm Swae Lee hook, a memeable Drake feature, and of course, that delectable beat change. It can hype up any crowd and unites two of the best pop-rap curators of the year, meaning there's more where that came from. — Claire Valentine

18. "Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper

No one was more convinced than I that A Star Is Born would be a hot mess, but here we are: the movie is good, and so is the soundtrack. Even the songs from when Ally goes pop, honestly. Take that Bradley Cooper! But I digress. "Shallow" is the film's centerpiece — it's the moment you realize the guy from The Hangover is going to make it as a Best Director contender, and Ally is going to make it as a pop star, and Lady Gaga was onto something with her Joanne cowboy hat, even if she didn't, if we're honest, totally pull it off. — Katherine Gillespie

17. "This Is America" by Childish Gambino

It is rare that a sensation viral video has an equally sensational soundtrack to match. But what's really special about Childish Gambino's exceedingly dark and graphic video to "This Is America," is how the song's deceptively sunny rhythms make for a compelling case study of duality. "This is America, don't catch you slippin' up," the rapper also known as Donald Glover warns, which is a pretty direct message for the disenfranchised minorities navigating racist white American society, daring to achieve their dreams. It is also most definitely, a shoutout to the Black Lives Matter movement, which the video graphically illustrates through potent re-enactments of gun violence. The song feels effervescent incorporating upbeat gospel harmonies, even as it menaces. Stormy trap beats rumble just beneath the fray, and before you dance too hard, listen closely to understand that "This Is America" is more on-the-nose indictment of a country gone haywire than a Top 40 joyride. But, you know, whatever reels you in! — Michael Love Michael

16. "W.T.P." by Teyana Taylor feat. Mykki Blanco

Wherever and whenever your life requires some motivation, press play on "WTP," AKA "Work This Pussy." It's as suited to your morning workout as it is a night of vigorous sex — Teyana and Blanco are here to help get you through it. Because you're not some average showgirl! You're a mother fucking international sensation! — Katherine Gillespie

15. "Get Well Soon" by Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande did something she didn't have to, and transformed her pain into something digestible, like sweetener molecules settling into a bitter cup of coffee; like Beyoncé who made Lemonade from her own life's lemons just two years ago. Sweetener's legacy will be its resoundingly positive message about true love's grace and its ability to help us cope with loss. But while Ariana is kind to do this service for her audience through music, how is she faring? We get clues throughout Sweetener, that, post-Manchester, she waded through deep seas of anxiety, but those songs ("Breathin'" and the refrain of "The Light Is Coming") don't dive into it quite like the waltzing, lyrically superb "Get Well Soon" does. Ariana acts as life coach and therapist to self, knowing she must go on, even in the face of unspeakable disaster. She knows she's all over the place in her grief ("My body's here on earth, but I'm floatin'") but desperately wants to get better ("Maybe I should ground myself where the mud is"), getting clues from the track's various bells. She wakes up, as if from a dream, as depression and anxiety often feels like, to discover solace in herself ("Here's one thing you can trust: it takes you and me to make us"). Ariana's acknowledgment of self-care is one we must all take to heart. The song's final 40 seconds of silence after the final bell goes off runs until the track hits 5 minutes and 22 seconds, honoring the date of the Manchester tragedy. A perfect and beautiful ending to an album all about finding the sweetness in life's sourest moments. — Michael Love Michael

14. "FUN!" by Vince Staples

FUN!, the lead single off Vince Staples' third studio album, FM!, the Long Beach rapper is straight hyphy, replete with "Tell Me When To Go" referencing jingle bells and a feature from E-40 himself, in the service of delivering a sharp message. FUN!, in this case, stands for fuck up nothing, which the lyrics decry is exactly what Staples and his friends don't want to do. The accompanying video highlights the occupational hazards of gang life to comedic effect, further blurring the lines between social commentary and the surreal, dry humor Staples is known for. — Claire Valentine

13. "Self Care" by Mac Miller

Mac Miller's nearly six minute long ode to self care came in response to his highly publicized breakup with Ariana Grande and continued substance abuse issues — like wrecking his car and getting a DUI. The "Self Care" video opened with Mac in a coffin, calmly cutting a hole to his escape and smoking a cigarette after carving the phrase "memento mori," or remember you must die, into the wood. It was a prescient statement for someone doing his best to address the issues plaguing him, that would ultimately lead to his tragic and untimely death. — Claire Valentine

12. "When I'm With Him"  by Empress Of 

The title suggests a song indexing all the wonderful ways a lover makes Honduran-American pop singer-songwriter Lorely Rodriguez feel. But in reality, "When I'm With Him," the debut single off her 2018 breakout album Us, is an underwater scream to a lover who can't see or hear her. But for a lover's death rattle, it's one of the prettiest songs of the year: soft expressive synth pads, a slow-ticking drum machine, and electric guitar accents build a dancing-on-your-own dreamscape for Rodriguez's instantly intimate voice to explore. "Dime dónde voy/ dime dónde fui" she sings in falsetto Spanish (Us was one of the many examples of the Spanish language pop that dominated this year), "Tell me where I'm going/ Tell me where I went/ I'm driving myself crazy sitting silently" The story is simple, but the feeling are atomic and intoxicating, a brief explanation of why Empress Of, already a go-to collaborator of Dev Hynes and Khalid, is headed for pop stardom. — Jael Goldfine

11. "Fitness" by Lizzo

When we talk about Lizzo, I'm not sure we fully grasp the radical stakes of her self-desire, which is spelled out in 3D glow-in-the-dark, diary-doodled all-caps on her single "Fitness," an ecstatic banger of the caliber that possibly only Lizzo is capable. Nominally about working out, "Fitness" is really a nasty, delicious, flexing ode to Lizzo's own desirability: "Think about how I'm gonna feel when I step up on the catwalk/ Think about how I'm gonna feel when I got that ass that don't stop.../ And think about how I'm gonna feel when I take it all off." With her tongue-in-cheek rallying cry, "Independent/ ath-a-letic," she gently satirizes the cliché of the work-out song (think Fergie, up in the gym), flipping it on its head in order to invite every woman to fall as in love with her own body and sexuality as she is with hers: concepts, that as a fat Black woman, our society is still terrified of. As the phrase "body positivity" loses more power to corporate branding and cultural ubiquity each year, Lizzo is out here teaching us what it really means to confront the status quo, twerking on it playing the flute while she's at it. — Jael Goldfine

10. "BFF" by Slayyyter

Every year, the tiniest corners of the Internet give birth to new artists, and 2018 somehow gave us Slayyyter — a peroxide blonde, sex pop positive pop star that looks and sounds exactly like Britney Spears' Blackout era. Of all the tracks Slayyyter dropped this year (and every single one is a bop), "BFF" is the highlight, with its sizzling synths and cherry popping lyrics that drip with the angst of a bratty teen sending nudes on her hot pink Razor. "Roll up to the basement party/ Drinking all your dad's Bacardi," she sings, using a slurred, nasally tone modeled after Spears. "Smoking up inside my white jeep with the pink seats (yeah)." Featuring fellow cult artist Ayesha Erotica, "BFF" is shiny electro-pop at its dirtiest, with the grit of DIY bedroom production and the nostalgia of Paris Hilton running from TMZ in 2008. — Justin Moran

9. "Flea Market" by Tierra Whack

Tierra Whack's 15-minute album Whack World was the record our increasingly insane planet needed this year, and "Flea Market" epitomizes its quickness of wit and rhyme even in Whack's chill admission that "she ain't tryna rush things." Do songs actually need to be longer than 60 seconds, ever? "Flea Market" makes a convincing argument against it. — Katherine Gillespie

8. "Self" by Noname

"Maybe this the album you listen to in your car/ When you driving home late at night/ Really questioning every god, religion, Kanye, bitches," Chicago rapper Noname suggests of her sophomore album Room 25 on its epic opener. "Maybe this is your answer for that" she winks. In one fell swoop, she taunts the rap arrogance she's worthy of but would never rest on; a music industry that asks every female rapper to be a poster child; and her white liberal listeners who want young Black artists and intellectuals to save them. But she grinningly calls us out, drop-kicking our projections and expectations: "Nah, actually, this is for me."

In 1:35 minutes, Noname delivers a lilting spoken word statement of self that's both vulnerable and peacocking, personal and political, over twinkling neo-soul-infused jazz. She apologizes for fuck-ups ("This one a small apology for all the calls that I screened"), spurns the men who might try to mute her ("Mr. Money Man, Mr. Every Day He Got Me, Mr. Wifing Me Down, Mr. Me-Love, Mr. Miyagi), styles herself as a millennial Erykah Badu ("Fucked your rapper homie, now his ass is making better music"), and delivers the best flex of the year ("My pussy teachin' ninth-grade English/ My pussy wrote a thesis on colonialism"). Her assertion is clear: she might have flaws but Noname knows she has more vision, intellect and knowledge in her cerebral, woke pussy than these lame dudes have in one finger. And y'all still thought a bitch couldn't rap, huh? — Jael Goldfine

7. "Malamente - Cap.1: Augurio" by Rosalía

We were eating out of Rosalía's hand from the first ten seconds of that sultry, hand-clapped beat that opens "Malamente:" the crown jewel of her neo-flamenco album El Mal Querer, which, against the odds (her Spanish lyrics, the experimental sonics) has found a transfixed American audience (soaring up top albums lists, including ours). For non-Spanish speakers (much of her new audience), we have no idea if she's threatening us, chiding an ex-lover, or simply flexing on "Malamente." All we know is that we desperately don't want her to stop singing those gorgeous words, "Malamente/ Mal, muy mal, muy mal, muy mal, muy mal," in that voice like oozing raw honey flecked with sugar crystals. "Malamente" takes cues from hip-hop, R&B and reggaeton, from Rosalía's bad-girl flexes (murmurs of the Spanish Rihanna abound) to the sensual "ooh!"s and interrupting background hollers. But the song's singularity comes from how she effortlessly melds Top 40 fodder, with the red-lipped, bull-fighting romance of Flamenco and cosmic folklore of Andalusian Spain. — Jael Goldfine

6. "Missing U" by Robyn

It was a tough pick between this one and "Honey," of the high spiritual vibrations pulsing throughout Robyn's totally transcendentHoney. But "Missing U" was the song that hailed The Official Solo Return of Robyn — and it did so in a big way. Just listen to that dizzying arpeggio opening before the hazy synthesizer crashes and Robyn takes the mic, breathlessly listing all the things she, I, you miss once a relationship has run its course in the physical realm. What's left to grieve of a past lover's ghostly omnipresence is memory: the retracing of steps taken; places frequented; clues in turned-out pockets. It all congeals into something tangible for as long as your mind can hold onto it: "I've turned all my sorrow into glass/It don't leave no shadow," Robyn sings, so mournfully familiar, we find ourselves bereft. But at least Robyn is here, not an apparition, having processed her grief into something euphoric. Honestly, how generous of her. — Michael Love Michael

5. "LMK Remix," by Kelela, Princess Nokia, CupcakKe, Junglepussy and Ms. Boogie 

If there's one thing we've learned in 2018, it's that community is everything. Which is why Kelela'sTake Me Apart remix album is so remarkable, inviting in DJs, producers and fellow musicians to transform her 2017 LP into an entirely new project. To rework her single, "LMK," Kelela called upon an all-star cast of women of color: Princess Nokia, Junglepussy, CupcakKe, and Ms. Boogie — and the result is a testament to the unmatched power of collaboration. "My network's made of strong Black women," Boogie purrs on her verse. "Excuse me, so called men wanna play with me/ But I make the rules so they obey me." Absolute strength. (Read Kelela's PAPER Transformation cover story, here). — Justin Moran

4. "Heart to Break" by Kim Petras

2018 was the year of Kim Petras' breakout (which PAPER predicted), as she successfully managed to infiltrate mainstream pop music with her first Top 40 hit "Heart to Break." A self-declared student of great pop artists before her, from Gwen Stefani to Britney Spears, Petras delivered a flawless bop that's by the books (and cleverly released the week of Valentine's Day). The lyrics are wildly masochistic ("Even if I'll end up in shatters, baby it doesn't matter/ Gonna give you my heart to break"), but the chorus shines like a euphoric ray of light, paired with a music video that positions Petras as a modern-day princess trapped in a delicate crystal tower. And while "Heart to Break" may not sound radical on the surface, the fact that a pop star, who's transgender and from Germany, is playing in everything from a midwestern Panera Bread to a Brooklyn Blink is really fucking cool. (Read Kim Petras' PAPER Pride cover story, with an interview by Paris Hilton, here). — Justin Moran

3. "Venice Bitch" by Lana Del Rey

"Fear fun, fear love, fresh out of fucks forever." That's the wistful lyric opening Lana Del Rey's sprawling opus, "Venice Bitch" off her upcoming album, the meta-titled Norman Fucking Rockwell. Some cultural critics have called "Venice Bitch," "the most Lana Del Rey song ever." This is true, and it's also her best song. What follows after that opening line is eight-plus minutes of wonderfully weird melodies and blissed-out psychedelia, as Lana muses on familiar American folklore and love born under a SoCal sunset. For an artist with such a solid audiovisual blueprint, by this point, Lana makes it clear in "Venice Bitch" that this is truly her world, and we're lucky to be in it. — Michael Love Michael

2. "Mooo!" by Doja Cat

We, like all of you, were fully gagged when this song stormed the Internet over an otherwise peaceful, God-fearing weekend. First of all: what was it? We knew 21-year-old Doja Cat had recently released her debut full-length Amala, but it sounded nothing like this, which is to say that "bitch I'm a cow" failed to make it into the final edits on that album's lyrics, unfortunately. And even though we knew that part of Doja Cat's image was literally feline inspired — her first EP was called Purrr!, so she ain't exactly new to this — and featured no shortage of colorful wigs, it was certainly shocking to find the rising star wearing a full-on cow suit, udders and all, parading around an 8-bit green screen rendering of still greener pastures. So, what was the tea? Was Doja Cat trolling us all, or was "Mooo!" a satirist's winking attempt at art-making for art's sake, because after all: what is art?

The answer to all of the above feels like a resounding yes. And that's a big part of why "Mooo!" is in our top songs of the year. Get past the unabashedly silly lyrics and you'll discover a pop gem that's honestly as good as some of the more sillier, albeit more "serious" offerings from our top pop stars. Like, Kesha had to be joking when she emerged seemingly from a dumpster behind Paris Hilton's house, fifth of Jack Daniels in hand to rap-sing "TiK ToK." Joe Jonas' DNCE made a pop-fuck dance song unironically called "Cake by the Ocean," which feels somehow destined to play in every animated kids' feature and at every bar mitzvah from now until the world ends. And The Lonely Island and LMFAO definitely were joking (and climbing the charts) when they released any of their songs and videos.

So what's so different about "Mooo!"? In 2018's Internet climate of instant reaction and gratification, of course it went viral, and spawned divisive and robust comments threads throughout social media. But, as it turns out, the joke is literally on us. What makes "Mooo!" so necessarily appealing is that, in the same year that saw migrant children being separated from their families and sent to detention centers, or the swearing in of a Supreme Court Justice despite being publicly accused of sexual assault by multiple women, we got a dose of something needed and very much missing from the national landscape: humor. — Michael Love Michael

1. "Immaterial" by SOPHIE

The cult surrounding SOPHIE has been building now for half a decade, which is why the anticipation this year for her debut album, Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides, was so extreme. Her emotionally intelligent single "It's Okay To Cry," bone-crushing BDSM anthem "Ponyboy," and wonky game of Twister "Faceshopping" individually appeased SOPHIE's fans — but it's "Immaterial" that they all were most excited (and impatient) for, uploading live, fuzzy recordings on Soundcloud from DJ sets, sharing pieced together demos on forums, and demanding it be released ASAP in comments. The fandemonium was ferocious and incessant, but entirely justified.

This is because "Immaterial" perfectly captures everything we've grown to love about SOPHIE, and the way she creates euphoric pop music that immediately triggers a dopamine release. The track opens with a sprawling vocal that grows like a morning sunrise, brimming with joyful build until an outrageously bouncy instrumental sets off with rubberized synths. (If you've seen this performed live, the audience goes fucking crazy). Whereas other SOPHIE tracks are a bit more challenging, "Immaterial" is designed to deliver on the direct demands of her fans. Speaking with PAPER, the London producer referred to the track as "cheap" and "mainstream," which is not a critique for an artist who thrives on capturing commercial appeal and amplifying it to new extremes — almost to the point of it being outsider again.

In 2018, the underground community that SOPHIE's been fostering over the years broke into everyday ears more than ever, with musicians like Charli XCX carrying the torch and helping actively spotlight marginalized pop artists like Dorian Electra, Kim Petras and Caroline Polachek. They've all been creating the most glossy, pristine, immaculate hyper-pop on the market that's formulaic in the way they intend for it to be rapidly consumed and instantly enjoyed. And "Immaterial" embodies the furthest end of that trend, as a track with absolutely no edges and a message that's aspirational for the next generation: "I can be anything I want." (Read SOPHIE's PAPER Pride cover story, here). — Justin Moran

2018 Top 100 Songs

As chosen by Justin Moran, Claire Valentine, Michael Love Michael, and Jael Goldfine
Featured photos courtesy of Getty Images (Graphic by Saul Areizaga)