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Welcome to our sixth annual collection of should-be hit singles gathered from the artists, albums and tunes featured on Poprock Record in the previous year. You’d think after five tries I would have come up with some kind of rock solid science to make these choices. But, no. Still winging it, going with whatever takes my fancy. I mean, I think you’ll see a pattern: catchy guitar hooks, soaring melodies, earwormy compositions, all accomplished in three minutes or less usually. Putting this list together was particularly challenging this year – positively spoilt for choices! My initial list of possible songs had over 200 selections. The hyperlinks below will take you to the original post about each artist as they first appeared on the blog.

So let’s get to it, Poprock Record’s top 50 should-be hit singles for 2021:

1. The Boys With The Perpetual Nervousness “I Don’t Mind”
2. White Fang “Never Give Up”
3. The Vapour Trails “That’ll Do It”
4. James Holt “Mystery Girl”
5. Brent Seavers “More Than A Friend”
6. Timmy Sean “The College Year”
7. Aaron Lee Tasjan “Another Lonely Day”
8. Ruen Brothers “Cookies and Cream”
9. The Martial Arts “Bethany”
10. Daisy House “Last Wave Home”
11. The Coral “Vacancy”
12. Robert Ellis Orrall “Sunshine”
13. Deadlights “Breaking Down”
14. Love, Burns “Wired Eyes”
15. The Blendours “Tell Me The Truth”
16. Daryl Bean “Keeping Me Alive”
17. Stoeckel & Pena “Why”
18. Richard X. Heyman “Ransom”
19. Automatics “Black Velvet Elvis”
20. John Myrtle “How Can You Tell If You Love Her”
21. The Red Locusts “Another Bad Day For Cupid”
22. James Henry “So Many Times Before”
23. Lane Steinberg “The Invisible Monster”
24. Geoff Palmer “The Apartment Song”
25. Mike Browning “The Little Black Egg”
26. The Eisenhowers “Suffer”
27. The Jack Cades “What Am I Going To Do?”
28. Friends of Cesar Romero “Thinkin’ About Leavin’”
29. The Kickstand Band “Hey Julianne”
30. Pseudonym “Before the Monsters Came”
31. David Brookings “Mania At The Talent Show”
32. Lolas “Pain In My Heart”
33. Tommy Scifres “Thought You Knew”
34. Vanilla “I Shall Be Re-Released”
35. Hyness “Cruelty”
36. Tim Jackson “How Do You Mend A Broken Heart”
37. Caddy “Cost of Love”
38. Chris Church “Know”
39. Tim Izzard “Breaking Me Down”
40. BPM Collective “Catastrophe Girl”
41. Benny Hayes “Don’t Make Me Go”
42. Steve Robinson “Mr Empty Head”
43. The Poppermost “Laziest Fella In The Realm”
44. Liz Phair “Hey Lou”
45. Juliana Hatfield “Gorgon”
46. Robert Sherwood “Blue All Over”
47. Kurt Hagardorn “You Are My Girl”
48. Richard Turgeon “Goodbye to Summer”
49. Ed Woltil “Paper Boat”
50. The Amplifier Heads “The House of Young Dolls”

This year’s list privileges strong, strong hooks. I’m talking the jangleliscious guitar work from the ever reliable Boys With The Perpetual Nervousness on “I Don’t Mind,” the relentless driving guitar riffs animating White Fang’s “Never Give Up,” or the delicious 1960s roll out kicking off The Vapour Trails’ “That’ll Do It.” Or the pumping, plinky piano and organ cocktail that undergirds James Holt’s killer single “Mystery Girl.” Then there’s the more traditional poprock Brent Seavers, springing the earworm in the chorus of “More Than a Friend.” Still, there’s room for variety on this list, from the tender acoustic Aaron Lee Tasjan ballad “Another Lonely Day,” to the Beach Boys homage in Daisy House’s “Last Wave Home,” to a folk rock duet from Steve Stoeckel and Irene Pena on “Why,” to the striking sonic heartbreak embodied in Richard X. Heyman’s touching “Ransom.”

Truly, this list is just a bit a fun, one more chance for me to shine a light on the artists whose work had me hitting replay in 2021. But I’m sure you might make different choices. Feel free to tell me all about them! Either way, don’t forget to find some way – buying music, attending live shows (when it’s safe!), or taking up those opportunities to interact with them online – to support their bottom line. They may not only be in it for the money, but money does allow them to stay in it.