It’s been an unforgettable year and whilst things have been up in the air, the positives that came from 2020 was of course music. Singing at home, singing in the car, our favourite musicians kept the happiness flowing. So naturally in what’s been quite a year for us too, our origins year, we’ve put together a list of our top 20 songs albums of the year. Be sure to take a gander through our website and see how many artists released new music via our interviews, news and reviews. Naturally we can’t wait for 2021 as the tunes continue! Without further adieu here are the top 20 of 2020…
20. BACK TO ME - LINDSAY LOHAN
Weirder things have happened in 2020 then LINDSAY LOHAN releasing one of the best dance tracks of the year! Back To Me marks the actress and singers first release since her standalone single Bossy dropped in 2008. The upbeat dance track was written by Finnish singer-songwriter Alma, Chiara Hunter and Mark Ralph, with Ralph taking on production duties for the tune. Lyrically, the song takes on an empowering tone, exploring themes of renewal and resilience and stepping away from the past and going back to basics. Lohan’s smokey shine on the song, which deserved to be a massive comeback for the singer.
19. LONG WAY UP - THE SHANG
Western Sydney alt-rock four piece The Shang made their return this year with their sophomore EP, Tales of the Wild South West. Featuring the stellar single Long Way Up, the rock tune showcases each band members damn good musicianship, with frontman Zac Gomes gritty and string vocals taking centre stage. Long Way Up served as the first taster of their latest EP, which showed a more vulnerable side of the band, bringing their own personal battles and emotions to the forefront.
18. MY FUTURE - BILLIE EILISH
Music superstar Billie Eilish teased fans with some new music this year, starting with my future. The track continues Eilish’s collaborative process with her brother, and producer, FINNEAS. Written and recorded in Los Angeles during the COVID-19 pandemic, my future is a contemplation of what’s ahead for the singer, signalling in a new era of her career. The song includes smooth guitar riffs over a jazzy R&B beat paired with Eilish’s mesmerising vocals, reminiscent of the legendary Amy Winehouse. The beautiful track was accompanied by an equally breathtaking animated music video, created by Australian Artist Andrew Onorato.
17. VIDEO GAMES - THE TERRYS
What a year 2020 has been for The Terrys! Forming in the first half of the year, the band released their debut single Video Games, which serves as a documentation of how the current state of the world feels like a video game. Written within one day, Video Games was born during a jam session, where they filmed the song with rough lyrics before going through the track together and refining it. Once posting the song to social media, the band were contacted by Ben Fryer, lead guitarist of Pacific Avenue, who offered to record the track for them. And the rest is history.
16. EVERYBODY RISE - AMY SHARK
Amy Shark teamed up once again with producer extraordinaire on Everybody Rise, the first taste of her sophomore record. On the track, Shark sings of unrequited love, and the yearning desperation that accompanies it. The song also comments on the toxicity of worship culture and the idols we create whilst losing sight of what is really important.
15. LIGHT OF LOVE - FLORENCE + THE MACHINE
Florence + The Machine shared an unreleased song from their last studio record, High As Hope, in an effort to raise funds for the Intensive Care Society who carry out important work and help provide mental health support to those affected by COVID-19. The restrained track builds to a crescendo, featuring the musicians iconic choral call-and-response that can be found traced throughout their releases whilst reflecting on the barriers we put up to keep people out.
14. METEORITE - KESMAR
The musical project of Nathan Hawes, KESMAR dropped one of the grooviest tracks of the year, co-written with I Know Leopard frontman, Luke O’Loughlin. Meteorite is a harmonious blend of disco and bedroom pop, bringing nostalgic sounds into a contemporary landscape. Complete with a groovy bass line, slinky piano and swirling synths, Hawes creates an effortless soundscape that when paired with his vocals, creates a vibrant track full of smooth verses and melodic choruses.
13. CRIMINALS - DMA’S
Feeling like a late 90’s, early 2000's track, the slowed down ballad that is Criminals features an anthem chorus is sure to be a great moment when the band tours in the future. The Sydney based trio have incorporated more thrashing beats and synthesised sounds into the track, something that could prove disastrous when not perfectly balanced. Yet, DMA’S have perfected their craft and produced timeless track, yet again proving why they are one of Australia’s greatest bands.
12. BREAK MY HEART - DUA LIPA
British musician Dua Lipa continued dropping hits from her tremendous studio record, Future Nostalgia. Early on in the year, we were blessed with Break My Heart, a dance track drenched in the nostalgic 80’s sounds the singer has been exploring throughout this album cycle. Lipa even gave Aussie legends Andrew Farriss and the late Michael Hutchence a writers credit due to the likenesses between the melody of Break My Heart and INXS’ Need You Tonight.
11. REAL GROOVE - KYLIE MINOGUE
Kylie Minogue brings disco into a contemporary soundscape on Real Groove. With the re-emergence of disco and 80’s sounds over the past few years, the track belongs at the top of the charts. Minogue is sounding better than ever, sounding as strong and defiant as she is sweet and noble. Her vocal performance is on point, perfectly encapsulating the characteristics of 80’s disco music, but still feeling modern. The bass slapping track is crying out for a remix featuring Dua Lipa.
10. IF YOU’RE TOO SHY (LET ME KNOW) - THE 1975
FKA Twigs lends her vocals to the track which is an ode to cybersex and navigating webcam intimacy. The up-tempo track is one of the catchiest songs on the record. It includes a triumphant saxophone solo that will leave you grooving no matter where you’re listening to the track, elevating the song to another level. It’s pop perfection infused with jazz.
9. OVER YET - HAYLEY WILLIAMS
One of the standout tracks from Hayley Williams’ debut solo record Petals for Armour is Over Yet. Starting off with a punk sound, the track takes a marvellous turn - delivering an 80’s inspired chorus to rival Madonna and Janet Jackson. Lyrically, the song is motivational, encouraging those who are in dark places to not give up on themselves. In a time where the world feels stuck and we are unable to go about our day to day lives, the release of Over Yet could not have been more perfectly timed. Williams even filmed her own ‘workout video’ to accompany the track and to keep you motivated during self isolation.
8. SCARED TO LIVE - THE WEEKND
2020 saw The Weeknd drop his incredible fourth studio album, After Hours. One of the records standout tracks has to be Scared To Live, which navigates the emotional rollercoaster ride of an on-and-off relationship, whilst also not being afraid to embrace new love and connections. The track is complete with the singers soaring vocal performance, perfectly encapsulating the raw and tender emotions conceptually explored through the track.
7. RAIN ON ME - LADY GAGA AND ARIANA GRANDE
Gaga collaborates with pop-superstar Ariana Grande on her single, Rain On Me. A French-House inspired pop track, the song is about perseverance during hard times and getting through the pain. The cyberpunk-anime clip shows Gaga and Grande dancing in a futuristic setting, most likely the planet Chromatica, a planet Gaga has created for the upcoming album release. Gaga, Grande and their individual troupe of dancers juxtapose each other, one group in pink and one in blue, with rain fall in each scene.
6. YOU SHOULD BE SAD - HALSEY
Halsey said “yee” and we said “haw”! The prolific artist went full country revenge break up song with you should be sad, which features love, heartbreak and giving your ex a big ‘F U’. The release even came complete with a throw down music video, which sees the singer in an underground country western club, with visual references to other iconic female artists including Shania Twain, Lady Gaga and Christina Aguilera. Halsey gave us the best country song of 2020 and it was her first foray into the genre.
5. POST HUMOROUS - GUS DAPPERTON
On Post Humorous, Gus Dapperton’s playful and blazing vocal performance juxtaposes the tracks storyline of a person who treats life as a joke and death as a triumph. Dapperton is a master of creating happy and upbeat soundscapes, paired with darker and vulnerable lyricism. Euphoric and introspective, Dapperton produced the track himself, which also highlights his skill as a vocalist and songwriter.
4. DEATH BY ROCK AND ROLL - THE PRETTY RECKLESS
The Pretty Reckless made a roaring come back with their new single, Death By Rock and Roll. The title track from their upcoming fourth record, the song shot up the charts and became the bands fifth number-one single Bilboard’s Mainstream Rock Chart, becoming the first female-fronted rock band to do so. The badass track is a tribute to the bands late collaborator and producer Kato Khandwala and lists a number of ways to go out in true rock and roll style.
3. MT. PLEASANT - STUMPS
Taking its name from the street bassist Merrick Powell grew up on, Mt. Pleasant is lyrically open to interpretation, something Fisher feels allowed him to be more open during the songwriting process. Mt. Pleasant came at a time in the worlds history where we can’t physically connect with each other, creating a moment of serendipity and reflection. The song originated from a drunken stream of subconsciousness Fisher had one night, telling MILKY “I had tried to not make the lyrics too self-deprecating or, at least, too specific to myself, and through that I think I found something that was more universal than initially intended.”
2. THE LAKES - TAYLOR SWIFT
2020 has been one of the biggest years for global superstar Taylor Swift. She dropped a Netflix documentary, was nominated for a Golden Globe and a handful of Grammy’s, she directed and starred in the music video for her song The Man, and had created her own music festival, Lover Fest. But before she could hit the road, the COVID-19 pandemic threw out all her plans. Instead, Swift found herself writing new material with a new collaborator, The National’s Aaron Dessner, and surprise dropping not one, but two outstanding and highly acclaimed albums, folklore and evermore. Whilst every track across the two records deserves a place in the top 20 of 2020, folkore’s hidden jewel, the lakes, is undeniably some of Swift’s best work yet. Appearing as a bonus track exclusively on the albums physical edition, the poetic track is an affirmation of love and feelings of isolation living within a society that places her under a miscroscope. But all that floats away when compared to the solace found with her beloved.
1. MIDNIGHT SKY - MILEY CYRUS
Miley Cyrus owned 2020. From the release of her incredible album Plastic Hearts to her viral covers of classic rock songs to her badass mullet, Cyrus delivered all year long. Her foray into more rock based sounds began with her sensational single, Midnight Sky. It’s pop-meets rock with a disco twang. It’s glam disco rock. Touching on the singers personal life over the past year, Miley gives a phenomenal vocal performance, drawing comparisons with Joan Jett, Debbie Harry and Stevie Nicks. Co-written with Ryan Tedder and produced by Andrew Watt and Louis Bell, Cyrus enlisted rock icon Stevie Nicks on the official remix of her #1 song, Midnight Sky. Dubbed Edge Of Midnight, the track fuses together Miley’s chart topping track with Nicks' iconic song, Edge of Seventeen. Plastic Hearts charts highly on our Top 20 Albums of 2020, and it was pretty hard deciding if we should give our top slot to Midnight Sky or the singers collaboration with Billy Idol, Night Crawling.