For forty years I’ve been tracking new music I like. For a while, I did mixed tapes of my favorite songs for each year. Since the iPod was introduced, I switched the playlists for each year. For two years now, those playlists are now on Amazon Prime. While my music tastes continue to change, I still seek out new music. Every year I think that the year prior was the best year yet. 2020 was a miserable year BUT some amazing music was produced during the year. Perhaps it’s because artists were forced to innovate like never before.
I’ve been meaning to post my favorite songs of 2020 since mid-January but as always I get distracted with something. Here are my top ten songs of 2020:
Young Buck by Braids
Control by Brooke Bentham
Let Me Down by Oliver Tree
Brooklyn Bridge to Chorus by The Strokes
The New Insane by Counterfeit
People, I’ve Been Sad by Christine and the Queens
Held Down by Laura Marling
Drop Dead by Hilly Humberstone
Nightmares by Alice Glass
Need Your Love by Tennis
In 2020, I revisited Springsteen’s music. While I don’t think I have ever have him on a list, he has continued to get better with age. I decided I wanted to have him on this list as an extra bonus.
New music discovery is still a problem for me, particularly since I refuse to listen to any kind of radio. Regardless, the amount of new music I sampled throughout 2019 was a bit overwhelming. I hear a lot of great innovative music coming from most genres.
I’m starting to listen to more and more R&B lately as this seems to be the most exciting genre at the moment. Having said that I still lean towards rock and pop. I give you my top twelve songs of 2019, in no particular order.
Bury a Friend – Billie Eilish
As of writing this, Billie just won 5 Grammys including the “big four” for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Album of the Year, and Best New Artist. It’s not every year that something I really like also shows up on the Grammys.
Living Proof – Des Rocs
I love the muddy sound of this song which goes well with the lyrics. The guitar is also on point. It’s modern blues for the uninitiated.
Sad Day – FKA twigs
When I travel for business, I sleep with music on. The first time I heard this was in the middle of the night. I had to wake up and see who it was.
Lo/Hi – The Black Keys
Sometimes listening to The Black Keys is like taking a time machine to sometime in the 70s. I think this is one of those times.
Tokyo – White Lies
Speaking of time travel, White Lies is channeling the 80s. It reminds me a bit of Wang Chung.
Ready To Let Go – Cage The Elephant
Matt Shultz is this generation’s American Mick Jagger. This is such a great record.
Don’t Believe The Things They Tell You (They Lie) – Tegan and Sara
Tegan and Sara consistently put out excellent music. The guitar in this song is fantastic.
Descending – Tool
The long-awaited new album from Tool is better than imagined. It’s the marriage of prog rock, metal, and whatever else people call Tool. It’s hard to pull a single song out, the album should be listened altogether.
She Plays Bass – beabadoobee
Anyone that knows me well, knows I’m a sucker for female rockers. This is a banger.
Error 404 – Suzi Wu
This song came out early in the year, which gave me an opportunity to play it a ton throughout the year. It’s an ear worm.
We’ve Got To Try – The Chemical Brothers
The Chemical Brothers never disappoint and they certainly delivered in 2019.
Arrow- Half Alive
From the band that made my favorite video and song of 2018, it’s another ear worm. Also, it looks like they like Wes Anderson.
Given how frequent I post blogs, see you in 2021 for the 2020 list.
I make lists. The lists I make are not useful in any way. They are not “to do” lists or other proper lists. Growing up I used to keep track of the songs I liked, a personal top 10 chart of sorts. I would keep the lists in a book, and at the end of the year I’d have my favorite songs of the year. One day I decided that I would make a mix tape of the previous year’s songs. That morphed into burning CDs, and now I make playlists on iTunes.
I’ve just completed my 2011list. Instead of sharing my top 100, which would be pretty ridiculous, here is my top 5.