These are my top fifty songs of 2020! Let’s go!
Hi, music lovers!!! It’s that time of the year again! I pick my top fifty songs of 2020. Yes, the one where every publication big or small does the yearly best-of roundup. While It has undoubtedly been a challenging year in and out of the music industry. Most of us having to switch gears finding new jobs, and new lives.
For some of us, the impact of COVID-19 has hit home even more with the insidious virus infecting our loved ones. So for many of us, music has always been that anchor even more so this year. Yet, for me despite the many albums that stood out this year. It has been a mega year for singles, live streams, and artists overall connecting with fans. As I say my lists (speaking of I have two new ones this year) always comes down to what struck my ears and soul the most. Without further ado here’s my top fifty songs of 2020 and in order. I have also included a Spotify playlist.
1. BASTILLE // survivin’
“What can I say? I’m survivin’
And I’m gonna be fine, I’m gonna be fine
I think I’ll be fine”
Why it’s #1 – In addition to it being one of the catchiest songs of the year. Moreover, it pithily encapsulates this year, although written before 2020. They truly have a knack for writing what many of us feel whether acknowledged or not. I also love how the band feels much freer as they explore and experiment with their sound and production. Bastille winds up creating the ultimate lo-fi pop groove taking us all by surprise. While managing to stay true to what is the essence of Bastille in the process.
2. Hayley Williams // Simmer
Why it’s #2 – Hayley Williams is utterly captivating on her debut solo single ‘Simmer’. It’s a song that’s powerful, tragic and ultimately beautiful. As she battles through myriad of emotions, including anger, anxiety, and even depression. It’s that we hear and feel in ‘Simmer’. It visceral and raw, it’s art. She even delves into her struggle with her feminity. It is all intertwined into a catchy albeit dark electro track. This was my most played track of the year. Hayley gave us light in the darkness.
3. Dua Lipa // Break My Heart
Why it’s #3 – While ‘survivin’ perfectly described the anxieties of 2020. Dua Lipa on Future Nostalgia brought forth a plethora of glossy disco-pop escapism anthems. The crowning achievement ‘Break My Heart’ has long been a standout song on Future Nostalgia and constant repeat. The music video is the cherry on top of the cake. It’s ripe with pop art colors lead by fantastic art direction that serves the storyline so well. And yes she did interpolate an INXS hit in the chorus. All I know is that I want to go to Dua’s intergalactic dance party.
4. Chloe x Halle // Do It
Why it’s #4 – The sister duo honestly came out of nowhere for many this year with this stellar R&B meets pop gem. Yet the duo who signed to Beyonce’s record label Parklane Entertainment has been around a bit. ‘Do It’ is an absolute banger of a track. One that showcases major growth and progression in sound and style from Chloe x Halle. The pair pivot in a fresh direction where they introduced new collaborators & themes. They also amp up the sex appeal something that’s highlighted in the futuristic music video. But it is that massive 808 that kick starts and drives ‘Do It’.
5. The Weeknd // In Your Eyes
Why it’s #5 – Abel perfectly captures his vulnerability amongst this synth-heavy neon bop. One I kept on repeat. It’s also one of the few tracks where we find Abel leaning into that feeling. Through all the super tight and glossy production. There underlies emotion that’s raw, quite beautiful, and strong. Those vibes allow ‘In Your Eyes’ to stand out, on an album where most songs err hedonistic, cynical, and cold in style. Los Angeles seems a bad influence on Abel unless he’s in the arms of his lover. This song also features the most gorgeous saxophone for the outro courtesy of Tomas Jannson. The transition from the mostly synth-heavy song to saxophone outro is flawless. Truly such a great homage to so many wonderful 80s jams.
6. The Marias // Hold It Together
Why it’s #6 – Even though ‘Hold It Together’ vocally melts into one’s ears like a gorgeous fever dream. ‘Hold It Together’ itself comes from a place of anxiety, fear, and loneliness. Lead vocalist Maria Real co-wrote the song with fellow member/partner Josh Conway. It’s a track stemming from dealing with a long arduous tour and the anxieties of being the only female in the band. Maria felt the need to decompress and to spend time with Josh something that wasn’t possible. Besides it being an incredibly relatable relationship song about the highs & lows. The Marias capture a vintage sound amongst all the layers of velvety guitars and luscious sauntering basslines. Everything put together is pure magic.
7. Niall Horan // Dear Patience
Why it’s #7 – One of the singers’ more emotionally inviting songs on Heartbreak Weather. It sees the singer looking inward. Evoking the right imagery with melancholic guitars, keyboards, and the fiddle. Originally written to be a track about being patient when falling in love. All those nervous jitters one gets. It somehow manages to fit lockdown feelings and fears. The patience we all must have in this trying unprecedented time. I must say that this was a song that certainly helped me.
8. Arlo Parks // Eugene
Why it’s #8 – Arlo Parks was one of the biggest breakout acts this year. At only 19 her candid, rueful, and beautiful storytelling stood out. The track ‘Eugene’ is what put her on the map. It’s a painfully honest tale of love and heartbreak. Parks use of clever yet mournful wordplay easily puts us the listener in her mindset. Her golden almost butter like vocals are the icing on the cake.
9. Allie x & Mitski // Susie Save Your Love
Why it’s #9 – Allie X and Mitski comes through with the ultimate girl power duet of the year. In a year of powerful female collabs this one stands out the most despite being super underrated. Two of pop’s most unique and intrepid voices trade verses atop the most arresting slinky synth beat. It’s Their voices blend and match so well they almost fold into one. On the surface the song is a peculiar song but dive deeper it’s a tale of love and heartbreak similar to ‘Eugene’. ‘Susie Save Your Love’ is one of the many tracks off ‘Cape God’ that’s not to be missed.
10. Roddy Ricch // The Box
Why it’s #10 – Rapper Roddy Ricch legit ruled this entire year with numerous hit songs and features. Although it was the out of nowhere monster banger ‘The Box’ set him up on the world stage. Ricch on the song uses ‘The Box’ as a metaphor anything that boxes someone in… particularly black people. In some of the rap verses Roddy makes direct mentions to guns and jail which hold the black community back. The song spent eleven weeks at number one on the Billboard charts. Then subsequently became a Tik Tok mega hit due to a last minute addition of a distinctly peculiar sound of “EE ER”. All the mixings of a hit but a viral hit. Roddy tapped into an intoxicating mix with this song. It’s engaging storytelling and viral sound creating one of the most surprising hits of the year.
…And the rest of the best!
11. Harry Styles // Adore You
12. Cyn // Drinks
13. James Blake // Are You Even Real?
14. Blackpink // How You Like That
15. Glass Animals // Heat Waves
16. Megan Thee Stallion & Beyonce // Savage [Remix]
17. Laura Marling // Held Down
18. Fletcher (feat. Kito + Trevor Daniel) // Bitter
19. EVERYTHING EVERYTHING //Violent Sun
20. The Japanese House (feat. Justin Vernon) // Dionne
21. ONR & Sarah Barthel of Phantogram // Must Stop
22. The Killers // Caution
23. Celeste // Stop This Flame
24. Bastille (feat. Kenny Beats) // Goosebumps
25. Anderson .Paak // Lockdown
26. Blake Rose // Gone
27. Rina Sawayama // XS
28. Betcha // July
29. Love Fame Tragedy // 5150
30. Skott // Kodak & Codeine
31. CHIKA // Industry Games
32. Conan Gray // Heather
33. Charlie Barnes // Last Night’s Glitter
34. Aluna // Body Pump
35. All Things Blue // Dicking Around
36. Victoria Monet (feat. Khalid & SG Lewis) // Experience
37. Miley Cyrus // Midnight Sky
38. Beabadoobee // Worth It
39. Beyonce // Black Parade
40. Saint Clair // goddess
41. Mickey Guyton // Black Like Me
42. Grandson // Identity
43. Billie Eilish // Therefore I Am
44. Doja Cat // Say So
45. Katy Perry // Smile
46. Noname // Song 33
47. Ayelle (feat. Rationale) // Choice
48. DaBaby (feat. Roddy Ricch) // Rockstar
49. SZA (feat. Ty Dolla $ign) // Hit Different
50. SAULT // Wildfires
Well, there you have it! In a year that has taken us all through the ringer. So I had to do a supersized list. As, yes, music has undoubtedly gotten me through the year. Let’s get vocal about this list. Please tweet or comment in the comment section on all your favorites. Either from this list or just 2020 in general. What did you agree or disagree with on my list? Don’t forget to hit that follow button on my blog and subscribe to my emails. I want to end this list on a positive note and thank everyone who continues to support and read. I hope everyone has a great holiday and new year. Many blessings for 2021 and hopefully we can all at least have one wish come true.
My favorite track of 2020 is…Tweet
Last, but not least I like to thank all the artists that released music this year. The ones that did shows online and connected with fans, and found ways to cope with what happened this year. I want to send a gigantic thank you to everyone I have continued to work and connect with. It hasn’t been the easiest year in 2020 and every single person has been incredibly kind.
You can listen to the top fifty songs of 2020 playlist here or below. To support my blog and independent music journalism go here. To check out my merch store which I launched this year go here. Any help is much appreciated. Keep an eye out for my top ten albums of 2020 list, out soon!
Much love and light, Brittney x