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The QSO Song of the Year Awards 2021

Hello, and welcome to the silliest song of the year awards you've ever seen!

2021 has given us some absolutely amazing songs, and I wanted to highlight them here. The only problem was, I wasn't sure how. And then it hit me - let's do an award ceremony!

As a disclaimer - this is a bit of fun. I love all the songs included and want to highlight them as they're all some of my favourite songs of the year, and the awards are designed to put that across in a fun way. I hope you have as much fun reading this as I did listening to the songs and making these trophies in 3D paint.

Now, on to the awards ceremony!

The Open Book Award

The Open Book Award is an award dedicated to the best album opener of the year; a song that, from when I first heard it, made me incredibly excited for the album that's to follow. In a year of great albums, there's been no shortage of phenomenal openers - honourable mentions go to Black Ops 2 by Namasenda and 737 by Foxing. It was SWEET75 by Sleigh Bells that blew me away more than any other opening track this year. Kicking off their best album since their phenomenal debut, the track has everything you could possibly want from a Sleigh Bells song: infectious melodies, anthemic chants, visceral drum fills, and crystalline synths. It's a song that calls for you to lose your shit every time you hear it, and I've heard nothing like it.

The Great Destroyer Award

The Great Destroyer Award is an award dedicated to the best song released this year that is about a cat. I'm completely cat mad, and living vicariously through songs about them is a joy. All Hail The Great Destroyer by Fortitude Valley is a tribute to singer and guitarist Laura Kovic's "absolute legend" of a kitten, Margie. It's a joyous bop of a track that pays tribute to getting through bad times, persevering, and loving your friends - whether feline or otherwise. I wish I could make physical trophies for each of these awards, if just so Margie could be given this as a new toy!

The Little Star Award

The Little Star Award is given to the best song of the year that comes in at under 2 minutes in length. There's been a lot of great short tracks this year - a special mention goes to ME REX who's Megabear album is full of bite-sized melodic gems - but the award can only belong to Cake by Pom Pom Squad. Their Death of a Cheerleader album is a masterpiece, one of the best albums of the year without a doubt. The award could have just as easily gone to Lux or This Couldn't Happen, but Cake takes the cake, a menacing banger that won me over on first listen. An incredible track from an incredible album by an incredible artist.

The Holy Shit Award

This award goes out to a song which had me audibly go "holy shit" the first time I heard it. Undertaker by Du Blonde is a standout track from his masterpiece album Homecoming. Everything about it is phenomenal, from the killer opening stanza ("I'm a heartbreaker, I'm an undertaker, and it's time for me to lay you low") to the brilliantly fuzzy tone. But it's the main riff that kicks in after each chorus that earns the song it's award here - what a fucking riff! What a fucking song! Holy shit indeed. Listen to this song and you'll see exactly what I mean.

The 5:00 Award

The 5:00 Award is a special trophy given to the best song that comes in at exactly 5 minutes in length. There were quite a few brilliant contenders here - Terror Pockets by Backxwash nearly stole the crown - but it's the haunting Witchfinder by Pure Mothman feat. Evan Diem that wins out. Pure Mothman is forever underrated, a phenomenal lyricist and arranger, and Witchfinder is my favourite song that she's released yet. Also, bonus points to Diem for having the best use of "fuck around and find out" in a song that I've ever heard too.

The Fish of Plenty Award

The Fish of Plenty Award is a trophy granted to the best song that has at least twelve words in the song title. I nearly went with the incredibly titled RGB, or, If You Don't Want The Private Military Forces Guarding Your Apocalypse Bunker To Murder You In Ten Years When Your Money Is Worthless, Pay For Their Daughters' Bat Mitzvahs Now by Pure Mothman - and I'm mentioning it here to tell y'all to listen to this song, for it is wonderful even aside from that phenomenal title - but there can only be one winner, and therefore the trophy goes to Arguing with the Ghost of Peter Laughner About His Coney Island Baby Review by the Mountain Goats. It's a beautiful track from a beautiful album - one of the band's best records in a career full of them.

The Hottie Ranch Award

Megan Thee Stallion deserved her own award this year. I had last year's Good News album on repeat well into 2021, so when she returned with Something For Thee Hotties on Halloween, I felt completely spoiled. The crown jewel of the album is the anthemic Megan's Piano that wins this award. The self-produced beat with a deceptively simple earworm of a piano line gives way to one of her all-time best rap performances.

The Vroom Vroom Award

While The Vroom Vroom Award wasn't made for Charli XCX in mind, every year she releases banger after banger, and that should be celebrated. This year's highlight is Good Ones, and it's one of the best songs of the year. It's pure energy and chaos distilled in just over two minutes making for the best pop song of the year. It's only fair that the award goes to the biggest banger of the year. Just try hearing that chorus and not thinking this song deserves an award. I dare you. Side note - Perfume Genius' remix is incredible too.

The Wormy Boy Award

The Wormy Boy Award doesn't have a theme, I've made it up to go to a song that deserves to be celebrated. Anyone's Ghost released their phenomenal debut album back in June, and Hypothetical End is the best song therein. I wrote at length about what a beautiful record it is, and I stand by everything I said. It's one of the most stunning albums of the year, a showstopping record of loss made by one of the best songwriters active today. If you've not heard it yet, give it a listen and get blown away like I was.

The Closed Door Award

The Closed Door Award is here to close a door on the article, and it goes to the best album closer of the year. There's been some phenomenal album closers this year, but only one could win the trophy, and it's my personal favourite song of the year, Triple Dog Dare by Lucy Dacus. Nothing I or anyone else could write could compare to hearing the song and letting it wash over you. It's a perfect song. What else is there to say?

Listen to the QSO Song of the Year Award winners in a playlist below:

AC is the Head of Written Content at QSO Media. Follow them on Twitter.

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