Music
The most Tumblrcore songs of 2022

The Most Tumblrcore Songs & Albums Of 2022, Ranked

Grab your fishnets and Dr. Martens.

Dave Hogan/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Back then it was Lolita, now it’s coquette. The revival of Tumblr era culture and fashion — otherwise known as “Tumblrcore” or “2014core” — has been on the rise for the past couple of years, but the trend definitely exploded in 2022, especially when it came to new music.

Tumblrcore is rooted in nostalgia from the 2014 online era, when a filtered photo of a record player could go viral, peak fashion was American Apparel, Alexa Chung was the blueprint, and it was cool to be sad. These days, you can find plenty of TikToks on how to dress in Tumblrcore soft grunge style, such as pairing some Dr. Martens with a mini tennis skirt and eye makeup that makes you look like you haven’t slept (think: Sky Ferreira then, Emma Chamberlain now).

Another hallmark of the Tumblr aesthetic: indie pop, and the angsty look that came along with it. As with fashion, music from the past year fits right into the Tumblrcore cultural slant, in particular the two weeks during October that saw the release of new records from a roster of 2014 Tumblr era heavy hitters in The 1975, Arctic Monkeys, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Taylor Swift. And they weren’t the only ones to contribute to the trend this year.

Below, the 10 most Tumblrcore albums and songs of 2022, ranked.

01
The 1975, Being Funny In A Foreign Language

The 1975, Being Funny In A Foreign Language

Dirty Hit

The 1975 are one of the musical acts most associated with 2014core. With their black-and-white aesthetic and frontman Matty Healy in an ever-present state of smoking cigarettes (and singing about drugs and feeling sad in the city), The 1975’s self-titled debut album remains an emblem of early-2010s culture, featuring anthemic tracks for Tumblr girls everywhere like “Chocolate,” “Girls,” and “Robbers.”

Being Funny In A Foreign Language, the band’s latest record, marks a major embrace of their old school legacy. Working with producer Jack Antonoff (more on him later), the album maintained The 1975’s wryly political, witty, and unserious (but somehow also very serious) lyrics. They also kept their iconic ‘80s-style guitar, synths, and drums but paired down the neon lights at their live shows. They’re exploring sobering contemporary political themes and restrained instrument-first production and doing it well.

It makes sense then that the band is having a viral moment with the album and ongoing tour on TikTok, introducing many Gen Zers to the group and reigniting older fans’ love for the boys out of Manchester, England.

Most Tumblrcore Song: "About You." According to Healy, this viral TikTok song is a direct response to "Robbers," one of the most quintessential angsty Tumblr songs off of The 1975's first album.

02
Taylor Swift, Midnights

Taylor Swift, Midnights

Republic

She had a bob, a pair of wayfarers, and a dream. In her 2014 era of crop tops, miniskirts, polaroids, and synthy heartbreak tracks, Taylor Swift’s fifth album, 1989, skyrocketed her into pop superstardom. It also signaled the arrival of Jack Antonoff, who went on to become one Swift’s most significant collaborators, as well as many other Tumblrcore artists (Lorde, Lana Del Rey, etc.)

At the time, it seemed as though Swift couldn’t get any bigger. Spoiler: she did. Flash forward eight years and Swift released her 10th studio album, Midnights, in 2022 after two album re-records and two brand-new albums in the span of just two years. She’s still breaking records and working with Antonoff. In fact, the Swift-Antonoff songwriting and production duo came in full force on Midnights, showcasing her return to synth-adorned pop music. Even the cover of the album leans into Tumblrcore. With her dark and glittery eyeshadow dimly lit and shimmering behind the flame of a lighter, Swift exhibits major 2014 American Apparel moodiness.

Most Tumblrcore Song: “Question…?” This song directly samples “Out of the Woods,” a track from 1989.

03
Arctic Monkeys, The Car

Arctic Monkeys, The Car

Domino Recording Co

Arctic Monkey’s 2013 album, AM, was basically the soundtrack of Tumblrcore. With songs such as “I Wanna Be Yours,” “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” and “Do I Wanna Know?,” the vinyl of this album was an essential in every Tumblr girl’s collection. Plus, the band’s singer, Alex Turner (then clad in rockabilly-style leather and greaser-esque hair), dated It Girl Alexa Chung, which probably did more for Tumblr culture than any other A-list celebrity pairing of the time.

All these years later, it seems Arctic Monkeys and The 1975 are once again unintentionally vying to be the reigning indie band with both acts sharing festival headline spots in the U.K. this summer and releasing albums a week apart. Musically, though, the Arctic Monkeys’ new album, The Car, is a more notable departure from their sound of yesteryear. Still punctuated with Turner’s debonair, deep voice that winds through melancholic lyrics, The Car is profound album filled with elements of orchestral instruments and slick jazz.

Most Tumblrcore Song: “Sculptures Of Anything Goes.” On an album that is very different from their Tumblr era, this track features instrumentation most similar to songs off AM with its moody deep bass à la “Do I Wanna Know?”

04
Lana Del Rey, “Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd”

Lana Del Rey, “Did you know that there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd”

Universal Music

If there’s artist whose influence defined Tumblecore, it’s Lana Del Rey. (Lorde is an extremely close second). Th queen of Venice Beach is undoubtedly the voice of melancholy girls who fall for bad boys everywhere.Her albums Born To Die (2012) and Ultraviolence (2014) conjured up a world of film noir SoCal sunsets fit for a viral Tumblr photo and IRL recreation.

Lana Del Rey arrived at the last minute this year to reclaim her queen title in the Tumblrcore era through the release of just one song. The title track for her forthcoming new album, Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd?, is the exact style of dreamy pop ballad you’d expect from the forlorn songstress.

Most Tumblrcore Song: “Snow On The Beach.” Surprise! Lana technicaly released two singles this year. Shefeatured on “Snow On The Beach” off Swift’s Midnights, and it took the Tumblrcore cake. Because what’s more 2014 than two Tumblr era powerhouses on one track?

05
Paramore, “This Is Why” and “The News”

Paramore, This Is Why

Atlantic Recording Group

Something about the Paramore discography fits so well with the soft grunge, Dr. Martens, and fishnet aesthetic even if plenty of the band’s earliest hits predated the Tumblr era. Still, the singles “Ain’t It Fun” off Paramore (2013) and “Hard Times” off After Laughter (2017) were on the moody gal’s playlist.

Paramore’s first new songs since After Laughter rekindled fan’s profound love for the angsty pop punk-rock band this year. Currently on tour and releasing a new album next year, the demand to see the band play live again with fiery-haired singer Hayley Williams commanding the stage is through the roof.

Most Tumblrcore Song: “The News.” The latest single just beats out its predecessor “This Is Why” for the way it dives right into the band’s iconic rock sound from the very first second. Rock on.

06
Sky Ferreira, “Don’t Forget”

Sky Ferreira, “Don’t Forget”

UMG Recordings

Sky Ferreira’s sullen dark eye makeup, blood red lips, sharp cheekbones, and silvery bleached hair made her a poster child for the mid-2010s dark fem aesthetic. With songs such as “Everything Is Embarrassing” and “Sad Dream,” her electro-pop tracks made the glossy grunge artist a Tumblrcore favorite.

Ferreira sparkles in a glittery dress with her new single, “Don’t Forget.” On top of synths, ‘80s-gated reverb drum hits, and jagged guitar sounds, the singer is armed with rage and bitterness. “I won’t forget / I don’t forgive / Oh no, I won’t forget,” she bites. It’s about as Tumblrcore as any song can get.

Most Tumblrcore Song: “Don’t Forget.” With the one song this year, Ferreira summons Tumblr nostalgia with just her presence alone. But don’t worry, she insists more music is on the way.

07
5 Seconds of Summer, 5SOS5

5 Seconds of Summer, 5SOS5

BMG Rights Management

Young Australian four-piece 5 Seconds of Summer had the pop-punk teens in the palm of their hand in the Tumblr era. Always in the discussion of are they or aren’t they a boy band? and flaunting uniforms of ripped skinny jeans, 5 Seconds of Summer’s first big single “She Looks So Perfect” has one of the most Tumblrcore hooks ever: “You look so perfect standing there / In my American Apparel underwear.”

5SOS haven’t been the teenage boys who opened for One Direction for quite a few years now, and their 2022 album, 5SOS5, is just further evidence. Fans who have loyally kept with the Aussies witnessed their evolution into a refined pop-rock band with slicker style, expanded musicality, and cool confidence. They still maintain their outcast-in-society persona with more self-responsibility than nihilism.

Most Tumblrcore Song: “Moodswings.” This song has angsty pop-punk lyrics that are just so vintage 5SOS. Plus, lead vocalist Luke Hemmings’ silky high notes call back to the band’s sad boy ballad, “Amnesia.”

08
Carly Rae Jepsen, The Loneliest Time

Carly Rae Jepsen, The Loneliest Time

Interscope Records

Following the massive global success of “Call Me Maybe,” many wrote off Carly Rae Jepsen as just another pop singer. Those who stuck around got to witness the pop perfection that is her ambitious third album, Emotion, which is now known as a critics’ underrated favorite. The commanding intro saxophone of “Run Away With Me” alone became an iconic, memeable motif that made the rounds on Tumblr back in the day.

With her loyal army of dancing fans and her 2022 album, The Loneliest Time, CRJ is fully embracing disco and synth pop maximalism lately. The singer is less big city starry-eyed and more Joshua Tree introspective than before. Fortunately, she’s kept her love of camp. Just listen to “Beach House.”

Most Tumblrcore Song: “Surrender My Heart.” As the opening track of the album, this song gives all the emotive, unashamed bubblegum pop production that CRJ does so well. Plus, there’s twinkling sounds layered on top of heavily reverbed synths.

09
Halsey, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power (Deluxe)

Halsey, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power (Deluxe)

Capitol Records

Halsey, who uses she/they pronouns, did what every Tumblr girl aspired to do when they went from writing poetry on their blog to penning pop hits played on the radio. Posing with electric blue hair on the cover of her freshman album, BADLANDS, Halsey screamed angsty, edgy indie-pop on hits like “New Americana” and “Colors.” The latter is rumored to be about her ex-boyfriend Matty Healy of The 1975.

Halsey has come a long way from their Tumblr days, including becoming an artist on a much larger scale. Sitting on a throne with their baby in their lap for their 2021 If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power album artwork, Halsey’s lyrical prowess shines through as they sing about self-destruction, power, and desire. Their innate edge and angst is still very much there, but with a more polished pen and sound.

Most Tumblrcore Song: “Whispers.” This song gives signature Halsey darkness propelled by a pulsing beat and poetic rhymes.

10
Two Door Cinema Club, Keep On Smiling

Two Door Cinema Club, Keep On Smiling

Glassnote Entertainment

Blurring the lines of twee and Tumblrcore, the guitar-driven Northern Irish band Two Door Cinema Club definitely deserves a spot in the 2014core roster of artists despite their mega Tumblr hits “What You Know” and “Undercover Martyn” being released in 2010 on Tourist History. The artwork of that album alone is enshrined in Tumblr culture iconography.

The band is still wearing suits, but they’ve paired them with much better hair. On their latest album, Keep On Smiling, Two Door Cinema Club leans into disco with electronic flair. However, they still maintain the upbeat, peppy dance vibes they are so well-known for.

Most Tumblrcore Song: “Wonderful Life.” The alt-pop guitar riffs on this track are reminiscent of the band’s dance-rock first albums.