The 25 best songs of 2020

Nothing better than a ranking, right? Although it’s been an unusual year, we’re about to unpack all the music 2020 had to offer and rank our top 25 songs. 

25. Jessie Ware – What’s Your Pleasure?

Jessie Ware via YouTube

What’s Your Pleasure, the fourth studio album from Jessie Ware is a club-primed, contemporary disco gem that demands to be played on a dancefloor. The title track articulates this pure escapism perfectly, with a seductive beat, sleek production and stimulating chorus.

24. Kylie Minogue – Dancefloor Darlin’

Kylie Minogue via YouTube

Kylie Minogue’s 15th studio album Disco transported us back to the 80’s and birthed some of the best music of her career. “Dancefloor Darlin” is one of her most feel good, groovy songs to date (and is in desperate need of becoming a single).

23. Little Mix – Sweet Melody

Little Mix via YouTube

Little Mix’s latest era (and their last with Jesy Nelson) was their best to date – spawning hit after hit and making Confettitheir most diverse body of work. “Sweet Melody” is pure pop excellence, and feels somewhat experimental for a Little Mix single – but works brilliantly. Also, do I even need to mention the music video?

22. Chloe x Halle – Do It

Chloe x Halle via YouTube

“Do It”, the first single from Chloe x Halle’s sophomore album, Ungodly Hour, is a catchy ear-worm that establishes a more mature sound for the sisters. The track is filled to the brim with heavenly harmonies and catchy lyrics, accompanied with a stylish, sassy music video that solidifies Chloe x Halle as artists to watch. 

21. Megan Thee Stallion – Savage Remix (feat. Beyoncé)

Megan Thee Stallion via YouTube

After the original track’s viral success, Megan Thee Stallion brings to the stage a remix that is actually worthy of the ‘remix’ title. Beyonce adds an exciting flavour to the song that completely switches up its sound to incorporate her styling, whilst staying true to the catchy chorus that Megan delivered so strongly on its initial release. 

20. Dua Lipa & Angèle – Fever

Dua Lipa via YouTube

“Fever” was a somewhat out-of-the-blue drop for Dua Lipa, but deserves the same acclaim and success of it’s prior Future Nostalgia singles. Teaming up with Belgian artist Angèle, Lipa delivers a sultry, dance-pop track that is upbeat, sexy and undeniably catchy.

19. Lady Gaga – 911

Lady Gaga via YouTube

A standout from Lady Gaga’s 2020 dance-pop dream Chromatica, “911” is fit with robotic synths, honest lyrics and the catchiest chorus of all, making us really sad we can’t go party to it in a club right now.

18. The Weeknd – After Hours

The Weeknd via YouTube

The title track from the Weeknd’s fifth studio album After Hours is a moody, melancholic 6-minute standout that is the perfect soundtrack to those downcast sessions we all experience. 

17. L Devine – Don’t Say It

L Devine via YouTube

Though yet to release an album, L Devine is making a weighty impact with her single releases. “Don’t Say It”, her second 2020 release is by far her best yet, unafraid to push boundaries sonically and experiment with her sound and aesthetic, leaving us eagerly anticipating what’s next from her.

16. SZA – Good Days

SZA via YouTube

SZA made her long-awaited comeback at the end of 2020, following up 2016’s critically-acclaimed CTRL. Although first single “Hit Different” is great, “Good Days” is phenomenal. The soft, stringy tune will have you feeling blissful and instantly, making it the perfect song to soundtrack your lazy days.

15. Doja Cat – Boss B*tch

Doja Cat via YouTube

“Boss Bitch”, taken from the Birds of Prey movie, sees Doja Cat at her most explosive as she sings, raps and talks over a hard-hitting beat. Although the track is criminally short, it’s the perfect 2-minute adrenaline rush we need to get us through the day – we can’t wait to hear this in a club.

14. Maggie Lindemann – Loner

Maggie Lindemann via YouTube

Gearing up for the release of mixtape Paranoia next month, Maggie Lindemann’s final single release “Loner” is an all-out rock sensation, with a head-banging chorus that we’re desperate to sing along to live. This is without doubt Lindemann’s greatest release to date, and leaves us craving more from the unique star.

13. Dua Lipa – Physical 

Dua Lipa via YouTube

Dua Lipa’s dancehall-ready “Physical” is an album highlight from Future Nostalgia, with it’s sleek verses and Olivia Newton-John inspired chorus, the song was a ready-made hit from the moment it released. The video is second to none too, with Lipa’s cinematography constantly improving to make her one of few artists with persistently astonishing visuals.

12. The Pussycat Dolls – React

The Pussycat Dolls via YouTube

After over a decade, The Pussycat Dolls made their eagerly anticipated comeback in 2020 with sultry track “React”. The song is everything we wanted from a Pussycat Dolls record, it’s catchy, different and sexy. Though the overall era rollout was stunted by the pandemic, we hope they continue to release bangers like this in 2021.

11. Charli XCX – Anthems

Charli XCX via YouTube

After announcing lockdown album how i’m feeling now, Charli XCX teased the project to fans on social media, going live every few days to play new songs and demos. When we heard “Anthems” for the first time on an Instagram livestream, we knew it was going to be great, but experiencing the studio version upon release was incredible. The upbeat, energetic track is a euphoric reminder that even a global pandemic can’t dim Charli XCX’s shine.

10. Taylor Swift – Cardigan

Taylor Swift via YouTube

Taylor Swift’s surprise Folklore era took the world by surprise, as did its musical direction. “Cardigan” is a warm, atmospheric introduction to this new indie-folk iteration of Swift. Along with it’s gorgeous accompanying music video, this track takes the cake for Swift’s best work in recent years.

9. Purity Ring – Peacefall

Purity Ring via YouTube

Purity Ring’s 2020 album WOMB was an angelic offering that is now our go-to album to stick on when we’re chilling out. “Peaceful” is a standout of the bunch, sticking in our heads since the first listen with its catchy, celestial chorus. This song really is beautiful, and you should most definitely bless your ears with it if you haven’t already.

8. Alina Baraz – Morocco (feat. 6lack)

Alina Baraz via YouTube

Taken from her sophomore album It Was Divine, “Morocco” is one of Alina Baraz’s most mesmerising records to date. It’s dreamy melodies and subtle vocals are heavenly, and even 6LACK’s inclusion works well and doesn’t make the song feel too commercial. Catch us lounging on a far-away beach with this blasting through our headphones sometime soon.

7. Victoria Monét – Experience (feat. Khalid & SG Lewis)

Victoria Monét via YouTube

Victoria Monét took a different approach to her sound with “Experience”, transporting us back to an 80’s rollerblade disco-hall for a summer anthem that deserved way more appreciation than it was given. Featuring Khalid and SG Lewis, who fit brilliantly into the record, we’re treated to gentle, exquisite vocal performances from Monét and Khalid, who’s musical chemistry is astonishing. Here’s to hoping for a follow up in 2021! 

6. Rina Sawayama – XS

Rina Sawayama via YouTube

“XS” is an all-round interesting sound for Rina, but suits her perfectly; incorporating a classic pop sound with rock influences to deliver a strong instrumental and an excellent vocal performance from Sawayama, which showcases her ability to innovate and push the boundaries of pop music.  

5. Miley Cyrus – Midnight Sky

Miley Cyrus via YouTube

The first single from Miley’s latest album, Plastic Hearts, is one of her greatest. Following recent trends of infusing 80’s and rock sounds into mainstream music, “Midnight Sky” is catchy, radio friendly and much less controversial than some of Miley’s previous releases – but showcases a new progression of her as an artist that suits perfectly. 

4. Bree Runway – Gucci (feat. Maliibu Miitch)

Bree Runway via YouTube

“Gucci” really put Bree Runway on the map and illustrated her ability to construct music that many have forced into R&B categories, but is actually overflowing with pop stylings. Malibu Miitch slides excellently into the track for a sleek rap verse whilst Bree’s vocal delivery throughout is flawless, making for a song that deserved mega mainstream success.

3. Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande – Rain On Me

Lady Gaga via YouTube

Without doubt most anticipated collaboration of the year, “Rain On Me” delivers pure pop perfection as Gaga and Ariana come together for what’s most certainly a moment for the pop-culture history books. The dance-pop anthem sees the two legendary artists team up to party their tears away, and I’ve no doubt we’ll be hearing this in clubs for decades to come.

2. Troye Sivan – Easy

Troye Sivan via YouTube

This years runner up is Troye Sivan with sublime synth-pop song “Easy”. The track is an instant ear-worm that will have you hitting repeat until you realise you’ve listened to it 174 times that day. Inarguably one of his best – if not the best song Troye has released to date, the track conceals heartbreaking lyrics within an upbeat pop exterior, as he examines where his relationship went wrong, singing “What the hell did we do? / Tell me we’ll make it through”. Still so early in his career, Troye Sivan knows how to craft a record that’s perfect in every aspect, making it exciting to imagine what he’ll do next .

1. Dua Lipa – Levitating 

Dua Lipa via YouTube

So, here we are, the top spot. Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia really stole the show this year, bagging three spots on our list including #1. Of course, it has to go to “Levitating” (it even made Barack Obama’s iconic year-end song list), arguably the best song from her sophomore album. The exuberant track combines fun, catchy verses with a lively, sparkling chorus that will stick in your head for weeks. If this song doesn’t make you wanna get up and dance, quite frankly, nothing will.

There we have it! What were your favourite songs of 2020? Do you agree with our choices? Let us know!

Featured Image Credit: Los Angeles Times / Getty Images

This article was published on HotShot, find it here.