TOP 40 SONGS OF 2020

2020 has been a year full of the unexpected. With the whole world in isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the only way we’ve been able to stay sane and get through this period in our lives is through music.

Luckily artists have been rolling out some of the best pop releases that we’ve heard in the last couple of years. There is a real shift in accepting vulnerability and finding an empowerment through being one with your emotions, which is honestly so exciting. So here are the Top 40 songs of 2020 as curated by

40. Ellie Goulding – How Deep Is Too Deep

Ellie Goulding returned to her roots in 2020 with her fourth studio album ‘Brightest Blue’. Soaked in intimate storytelling, soaring notes, and dark brooding production, this record felt like a bold return to her ‘Halcyon’ era. And one song that really stood out was the hypnotising ‘How Deep Is Too Deep’. Bubbling with a dark pop beat, it builds into this cinematic release that sonically feels like the sequel to ‘Figure 8’. 

You hold me so tight, say it’s getting too deep for you, but how deep is too deep?” she poignantly declares as she reflects on the suffering she endured in a toxic relationship. And that is a giant mood for 2020. 

39. Paige – Yellow

“Did my soul arrive safely? Cause the packaging’s fine but the inside’s breaking” might just be the best opening line of a song in 2020. New Zealand singer-songwriter, Paige, delivered us this honest reflection of her mental health that explored her masking her pain by wearing a bright colour like yellow to deter people from thinking anything is wrong and continuing to suppress her own feelings. It’s something that a lot of us do, even if we know it or not. 

Allowing this vulnerable storyline be the full focus, the production is beautifully stripped back to just an acoustic guitar riff that is later accompanied by a simple beat that adds a little contrast and represents the masking of emotions. 

38. Mothica – VICES

2020 was a rough year for mental health across the board, and a song that addresses how we cope is the addictive ‘VICES’ from rising-star Mothica. Soaked in dark brooding production, there is a light synth layer trickled on top that helps make the hook so infectious and smooth. 

“Is it okay I’m not okay? I don’t sleep too much these days, and I hate being awake when the sun’s out” she questions before admitting “If it’s not drugs, it’s drinks. If it’s not drinks, it’s things. If it’s not things, it’s people, places, I don’t wanna be, these vices”. I questioned this a lot this year while trying to deal with a break up and my own mental health stability, so this song hit very deep. 

37. FLETCHER – If I Hated You

FLETCHER innovatively dropped the best EP of 2020, ‘The S(EX) Tapes’, and one of the stars of the seven track collection was the moody, seductive and relatable as fuck ‘If I Hated You’. This is a track for anyone that has experienced heartbreak. From laying in bed feeling completely lost and losing yourself into a crippling heartbreak depression, we’ve all just wish we could hate the person so we could move on easier. But at the end of the day, love isn’t simple, and it never really makes sense as to why we can struggle so hard to let go. 

She delivers a lot of honest truths throughout the song with lyrics like “If I hated you, I know that I could do this on my own” and “I hope that you don’t find someone that touches you the way that I do”. But on top of all of the standout lyrical strengths, this production is also just pure fire. Beginning with a brooding and moody beat that intertwines with her seductive vocal delivery, she switches it up for a groovy guitar riff baseline during the chorus which will have you thrusting away. 

36. Miley Cyrus – Midnight Sky

Miley Cyrus really found herself in 2020, and ‘Midnight Sky’ was a flawless song to start this new chapter for her. Reflecting on her public divorce with Liam Hemsworth, and the world’s eager eye on what she was going to do next, she found the confidence within herself to live in the moment and embrace the empowerment her music has always embodied. 

Soaked in a disco-pop synths, the song oozes this pulsating rhythm during the chorus that takes you back to her Mark Ronson collaboration ‘Nothing Breaks Like A Heart’. But then when the chorus comes in she transforms it into this retro rock song that channels Blondie, Pat Benatar and Fleetwood Mac. The melody in the hook is reminiscent to Stevie Nicks’ ‘Edge Of Seventeen’ and it’s very touching and fitting aesthetically. 

35. Mallrat – Rockstar

Mallrat’s debut album is slated for a 2021 release, and the lead single ‘Rockstar’ highlighted the exciting trajectory with where she’s sonically going. Continuing the sonical exploration that occurred on ‘Driving Music’, this song falls into the minimalistic and soothing pop territory. With her vocals taking on this slow and poised delivery, she draws some sonical similarities to Lana Del Rey, but lets be real, Lana wishes she had this song under her belt. With just a guitar and atmospheric pop production smoothing out the sound, she completely changes the direction and surprises everyone with a distorted electric guitar and drum breakdown in the outro. This gives the song a DIY edge, and also gives listeners something that they absolutely didn’t see coming.  

34. Cate – Pity Party

London based Canadian singer-songwriter Cate has quickly become one of my favourite songwriter’s of 2020. Her debut EP ‘Love, The Madness’ is a confessional collection of exploration of your coming of age moments between your teen years and adulthood. And the anthemic ‘Pity Party’ perfectly summarised that sentiment in a big singalong manner. 

The lyric “And I know I seem like a lot right now. Both my socks and my pride are nowhere to be found. I guess this is just 20. I always feel like a joke, and it gets worse or that’s what I’m told” in the second verse immediately hits close to home. But she makes you feel understood and not alone as she declares “I’m scared of being lonely. My clothes are always dirty. I can’t get enough coffee. What can you do?” during the infectious pulsating rhythm of the chorus. And this song feels like a giant hug of mutual understanding. 

33. Sasha Sloan – Lie

Break-up’s suck. There’s no denying that. But the ONE good thing about going through a break-up is all the break-up songs you will immediately relate to. And one song that was a huge anthem for me in 2020 was Sasha Sloan’s ‘Lie’. Not wanting to face the reality of the end of a relationship, she pleads for the other half to lie to her face and delay the division of their relationship. 

Accompanying the aesthetic that the vulnerable lyrics create, the first verse begins with a circulating moody beat and a soft guitar riff while her vocals glide over the top. Then the chorus drops a rhythmically charged and pulsating beat that shifts the song into this groovy and hopeful territory. Similar to the pulsating energy behind ‘Faking It’ and ‘Version Of Me’, she will have you dancing with tears in your eyes. 

32. Cosmo’s Midnight feat. Ruel – Down For You

Cosmo’s Midnight teamed up with teen prodigy Ruel for what may just become one of their biggest singles yet. ‘Down For You’ is quintessential Cosmo’s Midnight with its vibey indie-EDM production that compliments Ruel’s aesthetic so perfectly. It doesn’t push his direction too far unlike his SG Lewis collaboration, ‘Flames’, which was quite drastically different to anything he’s done before. Instead of pushing the boundaries, the two acts have just joined forces to really hone the sound and create the best possible song they could. And it’s quite the banger. 

31. Isaac Dunbar – comme des garçons

Isaac Dunbar is an artist that NEEDS to be on your radar. In a bid to be more transparent and authentic with who he is as a person, he took a stand against masculine stereotypes through the disco influenced and synth layered pop banger, ‘comme des garcons (like the boys).

Using the french translation of “like the boys”, he effortlessly weaves the phrase “comme de garcons” into the song with a strong pop sensibility. “I don’t wanna be the same. I don’t wanna be like you. I don’t wanna be comme des garçons” he confidently sings during the pulsating hook. The immaculate pop production hears him intertwining 80’s pop references with a modern day polish. It’s fresh, infectious and super engaging from start to finish. The instant groove that is pushed through the pulsating hook explodes with pure heart and personality. 

30. Genes – Better

Genes is a bonafide popstar of the future, and there’s no denying it! ‘Better’ was THE moment we were all waiting from her, and I haven’t stopped dancing to it since it came out in July. Soaked in a Robyn meets Carly Rae Jepsen sonic, this song finds a home in the euphoric and emotional soundscape. Starting with the atmospheric low buzzing of keys, it adds a pulsating beat that then drives it into a explosion of synths for a HUGE chorus. 

It’s truly a song of celebration and hope, as Genes finds herself on the other side of a toxic relationship feeling better off without that past significant other in her life anymore. It’s such a freeing moment when you finally get there and can see them for the person they truly are. But it’s also a mix of relief and empowerment, because you realise that you got to the other side after feeling so hurt, alone, lost and confused in the past. 

29. Tkay Maidza – Shook

‘Shook’ may just be Tkay Maidza’s best release yet. It’s a song that immediately grabs your attention from the moment the big band intro slides into her classic hip-hop hook. 

The hype track hears her getting a little cheeky and feeling empowered while finding a confidence that she proclaims has got everyone “shook”. 

Produced by frequent collaborator Dan Farber, they’ve honed a sound that feels so authentic to her artistry. The beat has a nostalgic feel to it which enhances the euphoric vibe it creates.

28. Sarah Saint James – DBE

2020 has been an exciting and breakthrough year for Sarah Saint James, and it really centred around the ridiculously infectious anthem, DBE’ that closed out her year of releases. Co-written with Canadian favourite Cate, this track is an ode to the dumb bitch energy that is inside of all of us. From running back to an ex and allowing toxicity to seep back into our lives so easily, to the embarrassing shit she does on a daily, she embraces these qualities and turns it into a huge anthem. “I can’t help myself, I gotta have my fix. I pick the broken ones, try to mend them piece by piece” she confesses,

Following in the footsteps of ‘BIG BOY’, the production further explores the hyper-pop genre with big industrial DIY elements intertwined with the glitchy synths, polished hooks, and auto-tuned vocals. It’s really creates a celebratory moment in its own right, and you’ll be hooked after the very first listen. 

27. E^ST – I Wanna Be Here

‘I Wanna Be Here’ is a very special pop track that encourages you to embrace a sentiment of hope in your darkest moments. It’s something that isn’t easy to do while stuck inside your thoughts but it is something that is very important to do because life is worth living and is worth fighting for.

Contrasting the heavy emotions and the hopeful sentiment with an upbeat and euphoric production, she channels an energy that is reminiscent of Lorde’s ‘Green Light’. With a similar key progression during the chorus, she tackles an unconventional pop structure which is very DIY and exciting to listen to. Then exploding with a big synth breakdown, there is a pure euphoria that exudes every bit of hope you need to keep fighting in your own personal battles. 

26. Troye Sivan – Easy

Troye Sivan delivered a dreamy body of work in 2020 and a song that stole our hearts was the confessional ‘Easy’. Lyrically opening up about the rocky side of a long-term relationship, he confessed a case of  infidelity from his behalf. Begging for his lover back, he declares that it didn’t mean anything and that his love still resides within his arms. “You ran away to find something to say. I went astray to make it okay. And he made it easy, darlin” he truthfully sings. 

Soaked in a 80’s infatuated sound, Sivan contrasts the heaviness of infidelity though it’s honest lyrics and a pulsating sonic that has you naturally grooving along. Beginning with it’s immediate 808 beat that takes you back to the DIY elements of garage-pop, he naturally keeps it in that realm for the full duration. Unlike it’s predecessor, the song doesn’t shift sonically with only a bit of distortion added towards the end. And don’t even get me started on the glittery Mark Ronson and Kacey Musgraves remix… my god!!

25. Hope D – Common Denominator

‘Common Denominator’ is an angsty pop-rock track that  takes you back to the early 2000’s with a slight grungey layering around a very strong pop hook that will immediately get stuck in your head. The song then builds throughout it’s 3 minute duration up until the final hook where it climaxes into this super angsty delivery which has already become an highlight in her live show. With a big singalong chorus, it just feels like an anthem, and to be honest, it actually is. It’s an coming of age anthem for the misunderstood and the people who are sick and tired of their sexuality defining them. 

Reflecting on the naivety behind her first relationship where the two didn’t have anything in common other than both being gay, she questions why they were paired up by their friends in the first place. As someone else who is queer, I have continually questioned the motives behind people trying to set me up with someone, so this song is immediately relatable. 

24. LPX – New Mood

The aptly titled ‘New Mood’ captures the raw essence of who LPX is as an artist, and will have you wanting to run around in circles in a mosh pit while screaming every word as passionately as she does. 

The New York singer-songwriter continues to open up her soul through candid lyrics that detail her inner-monologue, and through ‘New Mood’ she details the process of learning to let go and the emotional release it can have. And in particular it’s the line; “I wish that I could just move forward, instead of being an emotional hoarder” that instantly resonates with the hyper emotional person I am. And if you also have an habit of holding onto your emotions and allow them to bank up, then your heart will also feel a heavy connection and want to break free from your mind. 

The song has this raw energy that is lifted by the crunching guitars and smashing drums that builds up the electricity that runs through from start to finish. It’s a captivating listen and a great anthem for this strange year. 

23. Alexander 23 – IDK You Yet

Alexander 23 has had an extra wild 2020, and that is thanks to the viral success of ‘IDK You Yet’ through TikTok. This romantic song will have you feeling all the emotions upon the very first listen thanks to the opening lyric; “How can you miss someone you’ve never met? Cause I need you now but I don’t know you yet”. Setting the foundation for this song, he explores the idea of the lives we live before meeting our soulmate, and how sometimes we really need them but we don’t know them yet, and don’t know when they will come into the picture. 

Set to a very minimalist production, it takes a very cinematic approach as the storytelling and emotions are at the very forefront. 

22. Julia Michaels – Lie Like This

With her debut album slated for a 2021 release, Julia Michaels kicked off the era with a dance BANGER. The disco influenced pop anthem, is layered in pulsating synths and embraces a sonical confidence that we haven’t heard in her music before. Her previous EP’s have been more minimalist inclined and this song completely departs that structure and captures a bold strength.

It’s ultimately a love song that hears her explaining the reassuring conversations she has with her partner that stops her from spiralling, and even if she does feel like she’s overthinking things, whenever she falls back into his arms everything is okay again. AWWWW. 

21. Doja Cat – Boss Bitch

‘Boss Bitch’ is the only new solo song to have come from Doja Cat in 2020, and it’s all thanks to the Birds Of Prey Soundtrack. 

The sassy anthem immediately grabs your attention and will have you obsessing over her infectious chorus that hears her proclaiming; “I’m a bitch, I’m a boss. I’m a bitch and boss and I shine like gloss”. An absolute anthem!

20. Chloe x Halle – Do It

Chloe x Halle honestly served one of the most impressive RNB records of the year with ‘Ungodly Hour’. This album was an addictive listen filled with ear-worm hooks, smooth transitions, and honest truths. And at the heart of it was their smash hit single ‘Do It’ that captivated you immediately with it’s trap inspired beat. 

This fun and sensual track is all about just having a good time friends, letting your hair down, and having a dance. Which let’s be real, is the only mood we need as we move away from 2020. 

19. Jeremy Zucker – Supercuts

Earlier in the year Jeremy Zucker released his debut album ‘love is not dying’, but that’s not where the new music stopped for him, because soon after its release he dropped the infectious ‘Supercuts’. Feeling like a radiant sunny summer’s afternoon, this song just naturally feels warm and reflective. Beginning with a simple guitar riff and pop beat that continually grows throughout the song’s duration, he then interpolates some atmospheric synths and vocal effects that keeps you entranced and simultaneously swaying along. 

There is a distinct contrast of emotions from the upbeat production to the emotional hold of the lyrics. Reflecting on knowing that a relationship is going to inevitably fail, he questions why he’s putting himself and the other person through this to only end up heartbroken and strangers again. 

18. Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyonce – Savage

Megan Thee Stallion is another music industry success story that TikTok has elevated. ‘Savage’ is already the social media song of the year and she gave it a refreshed outlook with one of the most surprising collaborations of the year. 

With Beyonce stepping on the track and giving one of her most iconic verses ever, the song is a playful, sassy and confident anthem that you want to hear all day to pump you up when you’re feeling down. 

17. Ella Eyre – New Me

From the opening quirks of “Ella ain’t here, it’s a new me”, you will be immediately drawn into the sassy and empowering soundscape that this powerful return for Ella Eyre embraces. 

Reflecting on the end of a relationship, she puts a spotlight on that feeling of discovering your inner-confidence and inner-self again which is so euphoric. She’s unapologetically herself and embraces the empowering stance that she is surrounding this song with. 

Sonically taking inspiration from Dua Lipa’s ‘New Rules’ and ‘Mabel’s ‘Don’t Call Me Up’, she turns the sass all the way up and delivers bold rhythmic synths and percussion. Continually adding layers, this song is one hell of A MOMENT.

16. Navvy – Pieces

Stepping into a Robyn inspired sonic, ‘Pieces’ hears Navvy getting even more experimental with her sound and giving you a moment of euphoric emotional release. 

Reflecting on the liberating strength of finding yourself after a breakup, this song embraces that reflective confidence that happens post heartbreak, while still combining raw vulnerability and addressing the heavy emotions that she did feel beforehand. Opening the song with a brief look at the past she sings about the future she saw with them and as she reaches the chorus she unveils that they broke her heart and left her feeling out of breath, but now she’s got her pieces together again and ready to celebrate.

15.5 Seconds Of Summer – Wildflower

From a first listen of 5 Seconds Of Summer’s fourth studio album ‘CALM’, it was the song ‘Wildflower’ that had me feeling immediately excited from the potential hit status it could reach. 

Opening with a transcendent vocal harmony, they dive into this minimalistic guitar riff with steady hand claps before exploding into a hook full with 80’s nostalgia. The slick guitar and fresh synthesiser will have you living for the lighter and uplifting side they have to their artistry. And don’t even get me started on the playful layering of vocals with Luke Hemmings’ seductive roll of the words  “Tell you what I like”. It’s a song that doesn’t get old and still feels fresh and exciting with every listen. 

14. Tate McRae – you broke me first

Tate McRae is a HUGE success story for 2020, and it’s all thanks to the distinct honesty behind ‘you broke me first’. This moody RNB-pop ballad is layered with brooding beats that immediately transports you into a place of reflection and has you sitting next to her as she unravels her candid feelings. 

Reflecting on an ex that tries to crawl back in her life after 6 months of being MIA, she puts her foot down and doesn’t allow the toxicity to continue. So really this is the ultimate fuck you, clap back song that should be played to every ex that tries to walk back in your life, because you deserve better. 

13.Cub Sport – Confessions

Cub Sport began their LIKE NIRVANA era with the deeply vulnerable ‘Confessions’ which was a track full of pure emotions that unravelled some guarded truths. The distorted track heard the band delivering a sound that was a lot grittier than the material on their self-titled record. 

Opening with buzzing synthesiser and distorted vocoder, lead singer Tim Nelson began a steady flow of confessions like; “The truth is I look unbelievable, but I hate my body. The truth is I’m looking for myself, and I can’t see it in anybody.”

The production is very different to recent singles ‘Heart In Halves’ and ‘I Never Cried So Much In My Whole Life’, and takes a far left turn. Beginning very moody and gritty with atmospheric synths, guitar and drums begins to be layered within the very garage rock aesthetic. And the climatic “1,2,3,4” is a MOMENT. 

12. Eves Karydas – Complicated

‘Complicated’ welcomed Eves Karydas back with a whole newfound confidence. The playful track explores a self diagnosed inferiority complex which hears her citing a feeling of general inadequacy and seeking validation from people, which is something that we can all relate to falling into the trap of. 

Following the lead with the DIY alt-pop palette that her debut album was soaked in, she layers all of these innovative and polished sounds to create something that feels fresh and euphorically engaging. From the rhythmic beat, to the festival ready hook, and the bell ding that catches you off guard, she smoothly intertwines these ideas and gives you a song that you won’t be able to get out of your head for days.

11. Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion – WAP

‘WAP’ is unashamedly the most ridiculous song of 2020, and she doesn’t try to hide it with being super playful from the get-go, and getting even more raucous and sexually charged the deeper you get into the song. With lyrics like “Bring a bucket and a mop for this wet-ass pussy” and “When I ride the dick, I’ma spell my name, ah” sprinkled throughout the track, you will be left with so many memorable moments. But the one that takes the cake, literally, is; “I don’t wanna spit, I wanna gulp. I wanna gag, I wanna choke. I want you to touch that lil’ dangly thing that swing in the back of my throat”. BAM! 2020 made.

10. FLETCHER – Forever

‘Forever’ by FLETCHER may just be the most underrated pop song of 2020. This track had written hit all over it, and how it wasn’t a radio monster still genuinely confuses me. 

Exploring the concept of self-love and making sure she loves herself before she tries to love someone else, she uses the playful concept of what happens when you meet “the one” when you’ve still got a self-love discovery to go through personally. Taking a stand and putting herself first, she puts the love interest to the side for the moment, with full intention of going back and loving them forever.

Taking this playful concept and elevating it to the next level, the production is rhythmically in-touch with all the current pop trends but also simultaneously feels fresh. The tropical pop approach begins with a slick guitar loop, atmospheric synths and vocal harmonies before the chorus introduces a pulsating synth that drives this fresh energy into the song. The hard hitting pulsating nature of the chorus helps makes this song so memorable as it just takes such a big directional shift and will leave you gagged upon the first listen like I was.

9. G Flip – Hyperfine

Inspired by the communication break downs in her own relationship, ‘Hyperfine’ normalises those feelings and complications and just pleads for a better understanding of what the other person is thinking to help strengthen their foundations. 

Opening with a high pitched “hyperfine” sample, she dives into a moody and brooding synth gradient that feels reminiscent of Banks’ catalogue. But as she heads into the chorus she unveils a groovy layering of guitars, bass and drums to give listeners the ultimate festival singalong. The hook is immediately catchy and something that you just want to passionately scream along to as an emotional release. Highlighting the light and shade of the raw vulnerability in the subject matter, she fittingly strips it all back to the piano demo before the final chorus. This gives listeners a fresh reminder of the emotions before giving them one final euphoric release.

8. Taylor Swift feat. Bon Iver – exile

Taylor Swift sent the world into a state of shook with the surprise release of her eighth studio album ‘folklore’. the folk-pop record was one that NO ONE saw coming, and something that also no one saw coming was the Bon Iver collaboration ‘exile’. 

The match made in heaven saw their two vocals beautifully contrast together and give the song a  unique light and shade which enhances the emotional heartstrings of the song. The break-up anthem is all about learning to let go and it’s one that STINGS. “I think I’ve seen this film before, and I didn’t like the ending. You’re not my homeland anymore. So what am I defending now?” they sing during the chorus.

Lush. Stunning. Tragic. 

7. The Pussycat Dolls – React

At its core ‘React’ is a quintessential Pussycat Dolls song. It’s seductively fresh, infectiously catchy and has a retrospective dance element that will immediately have you ready to break the choreography out on the dance floor. 

For the production of the song, they haven’t stepped too far away from the material they were delivering at the height of their career. It builds in that nostalgia factor into the heart of the song without being too gimmicky or obvious. Instead they just focus on doing what they’ve always done and that is create a brilliant pop moment.

6. Sasha Sloan – House With No Mirrors

‘House With No Mirrors’ is a very special song. It’s Sasha Sloan’s most personal track yet, and it exhales a real heaviness which is then turned into a unravelling of lightness through the sharing of her pain. 

Opening up about an eating disorder that she developed in high school, and is still living with now, she reflects on the impact her constant obsession with her appearance has had on her life. Questioning who she would be if she lived in a house with no mirrors, she ponders whether she would be happier and could stop second guessing every though she has. “If I lived in a house with no mirrors, where the walls didn’t talk back at me, maybe I’d dream a bit bigger, If there was nothing to see” she honestly sings during the chorus. 

Allowing the personal lyrics to take centre stage, the production is very minimalistic and stays in a state of dreamy reflection. With just an acoustic guitar layered with atmospheric synths and a simple pop percussion beat, it doesn’t feel over-cooked and seamlessly continues that intimate feel that the lyrics immediately create. 

5. Jax Jones feat. Au/Ra – i miss u

‘i miss u’ featuring Au/Ra is everything you could want or need from Jax Jones. This anthemic, infectious and hugely memorable track will immediately captivate you and have you ready to simultaneously cry and dance the night away. Reflecting on the heavy grief that follows a heartbreak, the German singer-songwriter spins the whole “I miss you” to an extreme “I only miss you when I’m doing everything” sort of reflection. She really draws you in and has you feeling all of the emotions while stomping your feet along to the beat without a second thought. 

Jax Jones builds an EDM-pop production that returns to his experimental roots, and doesn’t rely on the stock standard pop gimmicks you’d expect from someone trying to have another hit. Instead he’s just made a huge EDM-pop crossover that feels fresh, and will be permanently stuck in your head.

4. Lady Gaga feat. Ariana Grande – Rain On Me

With the word coming out that Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande were working together, ’Rain On Me’ quickly became one of the most hyped collaborations of the year. Ageing like fine wine, this song impresses every time you hear it.

Embracing an empowering stance, the song looks at opening up the backlog of tears that have been weighing Gaga down, and finding confidence in not being afraid to let it all out.The production is bold and other worldly. With it’s floor filler drop, its so large and anthemic and has so many different layers to it.

3. Rina Sawayama – XS

2020 was ultimately Rina Sawayama’s year. She released the best album of the year, and really proved that pop didn’t need to be so predictable as it had become over the past couple of years. ‘XS’ was a huge moment for the British singer-songwriter as she combined a nostalgic 2000’s pop production (think Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera) with heavy metal influenced drums and guitars. 

This song really speaks for itself. And one listen will never be enough as you will want to click replay over and over again and hear the different layers to this epic pop song. 

2. Jack Garratt – Better

‘Better’ is an anthem about the end of times, that kind of felt super relatable in an apocalyptic year. With so much negativity in the world, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and claustrophobic with all the information and hard truths being laid on you that you just want to escape. And that escapism is what this song explores. 

Beginning the song with a glitchy EDM sample of someone saying “hey, I think you’re really cool. I like you a lot” on repeat, he erratically changes the pace by implementing a prominent indie-rock guitar riff in the first verse. He then changes the sonic again for the chorus with a pop-dance beat that explodes with pure euphoria. 

  1. Dua Lipa – Levitating 

‘Levitating’ (the original version) is a flawless pop song that is pure 80’s realness layered with a fresh perspective. The hopeless romantic track is about the moment you meet someone and feel like your constantly levitating around them. 

The song’s structure is classic pop, and has this smooth and funky feel to it which makes it a whole lot of fun. Breaking the song down to have this nostalgic 80’s acapella moment towards the end of the song, she just captures every moment so perfectly.

From the very first moment I heard this song I was hooked, obsessed and my feelings haven’t changed throughout the whole year. 

Check out the full playlist of songs HERE