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The Best Songs of 2020 - #1 - Kyoto - Phoebe Bridgers


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#79 - Quitting You - Arkells

From their "campfire chords" acoustic album this year, this one passes the campfire test, or the wedding first dance test. Straightforward, sappy love song from a band that is both instantly recognizable and put their own unique sound on everything they do but somehow a lot of their songs sound like they've always existed. If that makes sense. 

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  • Northern Voice changed the title to The 110 Best Songs of 2020 - #79 - Quitting You - Arkells

#78 - Model Village - IDLES

I had this quite high up the list early in the year but I moved it down throughout the year it seems. It's a great IDLES song in their classic model - in your face, woke lyrics, big screamy, stompy chorus, fair bit of repetition, catchy as hell. 

Danny Nedelko was my #1 song of 2018, so they are held to a very high standard.

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  • Northern Voice changed the title to The 110 Best Songs of 2020 - #78 - Model Village - IDLES
1 hour ago, Northern Voice said:

#78 - Model Village - IDLES

I had this quite high up the list early in the year but I moved it down throughout the year it seems. It's a great IDLES song in their classic model - in your face, woke lyrics, big screamy, stompy chorus, fair bit of repetition, catchy as hell. 

Danny Nedelko was my #1 song of 2018, so they are held to a very high standard.

:coffee:

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  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #77 - how will I rest in piece if i'm buried by a highway - KennyHoopla

76 - The Beaches - Lame
77 - KennyHoopla - how will i rest in peace if i’m buried by a highway?//
78 - IDLES - Model Village
79 - Arkells - Quitting You
80 - Best Coast - Everything Has Changed
81 - Andy Shauf - Try Again
82 - Bombay Bicycle Club - Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You)
83 - Peach Pit - Shampoo Bottles
84 - Dua Lipa - Physical
85 - Sorry - Perfect
86 - The OBGMs - All My Friends
87 - Bruce Springsteen - Ghosts
88 - Fleet Foxes - Sunblind
89 - Pinegrove - The Alarmist
90 - Kiwi jr. - Murder in the Cathedral
91 - Perfume Genius - On the Floor
92 - Alanis Morissette - Ablaze
93 - THICK - Bumming Me Out
94 - Trace Mountains - Lost in the Country
95 - Hum - Step into You
96 - Lady Gaga - Rain On Me (with Ariana Grande)
97 - Everything Everything - Violent Sun
98 - Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - She’s There
99 - Anyway Gang - Big Night
100 - Amanda Shires - The Problem (feat. Jason Isbell)
101 - Bon Iver - AUATC
102 - A Certain Ratio - Berlin
103 - Cloud Nothings - Am I Something
104 - Plants and Animals - Love That Boy
105 - Grimes - Delete Forever
106 - Wye Oak - AEIOU
107 - Sunflower Bean - Moment In The Sun
108 - Pale Waves - Change
109 - Gord Downie - About Blank
110 - Dizzy - Sunflower

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  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #76 - Lame - The Beaches
  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #75 - Blunt Force Concussion - The Dirty Nil
  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #74 - Party With The Kids Who Want to Party With You - Bad Moves
  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #73 - Anaphylaxis - PUP

#72 - Modern Hart - Billy Nomates

No idea where I came across this one but it's great. This one is short, bare and really effective. Self-recorded using garage band, simple lyrics over a galloping baseline, it seems there's some tangential relationship to Sleaford Mods in terms of sound and the fact that their vocalist appears on the album (though not this track). 

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  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #72 - Modern Hart - Billy Nomates
  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #71 - Dear Stranger - STRFKR
11 hours ago, Northern Voice said:

#75 - Blunt Force Concussion - The Dirty Nil

Power pop/alt-rock straight out of the late 90s (Pinkerton era Weezer, Jimmy Eat World, etc.) with huge singalong chorus, huger guitars and hugest drums.

So there are now bands who grew up being influenced by Jimmy Eat World. God, I'm old. 

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#68 - Julia Take Your Man Home - Wolf Parade

Julia, take your man home
He's just sitting at the bar
Carving shapes that look like ##### into the wood
Julia, take your man home
He keeps running in and out of the street
With a weed between his teeth he calls a rose
Julia, take your man home
He keeps talking about New Jersey and cocaine
And some person he keeps saying is made of glass

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  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #68 - Julia Take Your Man Home - Wolf Parade

#66 - Care - beabadoobee

I should say that at this point I could probably convince myself any of the rest of these songs actually belongs in the top 20. I :wub: them all. beabadoobee blew up in the most 2020 way - by a sample of a song from her 2017 debut ("Coffee") going viral on TikTok. That song won't be featured on this list and this one - "Care" is completely different - all late 90s alt-rock guitars and powerful vocals.

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  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #66 - Care - beabadoobee
10 hours ago, Northern Voice said:

#69 - Trouble's Coming - Royal Blood

Strutting modern rock song by this two noisy two piece band, this is one of only a couple songs on the list that can be considered a fairly big mainstream rock crossover hit this year.

One of my friends is really obsessed with these guys. 

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  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #65 - Family Farm - The Hold Steady
On 1/26/2021 at 12:04 PM, Northern Voice said:

#74 - Party With The Kids Who Want to Party With You - Bad Moves

Some Hold Steady vibes with this band, songs about partying and drinking, bordering on the verge of speaking/singing through the lyrics, big swells at the end, one of my favourite new discovery bands of 2020.

this one would prob be in my top-10 if I followed your only 2 per artist rule (NO DREAM would be 1-12 ;) )

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  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #64 - Sweet - Porridge Radio
On 1/25/2021 at 11:00 PM, Northern Voice said:


86 - The OBGMs - All My Friends
 

They just had the most insane Outash YYZ-NYC Remix hit my release radar. It threw me for a loop...

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  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #63 - Unsaid - Maxband
6 hours ago, Northern Voice said:

#63 - Unsaid - Maxband

Maxband is a side project of Max from Parquet Courts and this is essentially a Parquet Courts song, it's a pretty damn good one. I assume this is an @El Floppo favourite of the year.

Spotify has been feeding me russian hip hop instead of...stuff I actually want to hear, like this.

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#55 - Midnight Sky - Miley Cyrus

Miley channels and references Fleetwood Mac on this massive original single released among a series of excellent rock and roll covers. 2020 was a huge year for Miley and I'm here for it. (I used to karaoke "See You Again" all the time in my younger days).

Edited by Northern Voice
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  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #55 - Midnight Sky - Miley Cyrus

#53 - Fire - Waxahatchee

Katie from Waxahatchee is one of the best out there right now in being able to tell a story and convey and make you feel emotion just through the manipulation of her voice. The vocal takes front and centre stage on this fairly sparely produced song.

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#51 - Lemon - Local Natives featuring Sharon Van Etten

In hindsight, Local Natives' When Am I Gonna Lose You was probably my favourite song of 2019. This one is slower and a quieter, more restrained, beautiful variety of brilliance. Sharon Van Etten jumps in halfway through providing incredible harmonies. I've moved this up on the list a few times and it probably still isn't nearly high enough.

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  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #51 - Lemon - Local Natives f/Sharon Van Etten
On 1/25/2021 at 11:00 PM, Northern Voice said:

76 - The Beaches - Lame
77 - KennyHoopla - how will i rest in peace if i’m buried by a highway?//
78 - IDLES - Model Village
79 - Arkells - Quitting You
80 - Best Coast - Everything Has Changed
81 - Andy Shauf - Try Again
82 - Bombay Bicycle Club - Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You)
83 - Peach Pit - Shampoo Bottles
84 - Dua Lipa - Physical
85 - Sorry - Perfect
86 - The OBGMs - All My Friends
87 - Bruce Springsteen - Ghosts
88 - Fleet Foxes - Sunblind
89 - Pinegrove - The Alarmist
90 - Kiwi jr. - Murder in the Cathedral
91 - Perfume Genius - On the Floor
92 - Alanis Morissette - Ablaze
93 - THICK - Bumming Me Out
94 - Trace Mountains - Lost in the Country
95 - Hum - Step into You
96 - Lady Gaga - Rain On Me (with Ariana Grande)
97 - Everything Everything - Violent Sun
98 - Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - She’s There
99 - Anyway Gang - Big Night
100 - Amanda Shires - The Problem (feat. Jason Isbell)
101 - Bon Iver - AUATC
102 - A Certain Ratio - Berlin
103 - Cloud Nothings - Am I Something
104 - Plants and Animals - Love That Boy
105 - Grimes - Delete Forever
106 - Wye Oak - AEIOU
107 - Sunflower Bean - Moment In The Sun
108 - Pale Waves - Change
109 - Gord Downie - About Blank
110 - Dizzy - Sunflower

 

 

51 - Local Natives - Lemon (Feat. Sharon Van Etten)
52 - The Backseat Lovers - Kilby Girl
53 - Waxahatchee - Fire
54 - Christine and the Queens - People, I’ve been sad
55 - Miley Cyrus - Midnight Sky
56 - Diet Cig - Night Terrors
57 - Westerman - Confirmation - SSBD
58 - The Darcys - Look Me in the Eyes
59 - Dogleg - Kawasaki Backflip
60 - Fiona Apple - Shameika
61 - Ghostpoet - Nowhere To Hide Now
62 - Middle Kids - R U 4 Me?
63 - Maxband - Unsaid
64 - Porridge Radio - Sweet
65 - The Hold Steady - Family Farm
66 - beabadoobee - Care
67 - Destroyer - Cue Synthesizer
68 - Wolf Parade - Julia Take Your Man Home
69 - Royal Blood - Trouble’s Coming
70 - Wallows - Are You Bored Yet? (feat. Clairo)
71 - STRFKR - Dear Stranger
72 - Billy Nomates - Modern Hart
73 - PUP - Anaphylaxis
74 - Bad Moves - Party With the Kids Who Wanna Party With You
75 - The Dirty Nil - Blunt Force Concussion
 

 

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  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #50 - Circle The Drain - Soccer Mommy

#49 - After Hours - The Weeknd

Superbowl halftime show represent! Okay, he probably won't play this song, he has bigger hits but this is one of his best IMO. It calls back to the chilled out synth sounds of his first mixtapes early on and slowly burns for the first half before transitioning into a dance club banger and back to introspection over the duration of its 6+ minutes

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  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #49 - After Hours - The Weeknd

#48 - Rot - PUP

My favourite punk band releases a big single that calls back to a lot of their other best songs in both sound ('Reservoir') and lyrics ('Dark Days'). Extremely my thing but if I'm being honest, the EP to some extent sounds like a recorded in isolation EP and doesn't quite hit the peaks of their full albums. 

 

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  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #48 - Rot - PUP

#47 - Julianna Calm Down - The Chicks

25 years later we finally get the answer to what would happen if the (Dixie) Chicks went straight pop. This song actually fits seamlessly with the rest of the album that's more traditional country in both tone and sound. But with it's synths (and violin!) and production by pop hit maker Jack Antonoff (Lorde, Taylor Swift) and it sounds like a great (hit) pop song. 

It's also touching, the names sung are the Chicks' daughters and it's a moving on anthem ("put on your best shoes and strut the #### around") that resonates. 

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  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #47 - Julianna Calm Down - The Chicks
  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #46 - Walking In The Snow - Run The Jewels

#45 - Impossible Weight - Deep Sea Diver f/Sharon Van Etten

Yep, this is the second song on the list "featuring" Sharon Van Etten, she just has a great voice and this is a fantastic song, kind of jerky at times going soft and building back up. Big fuzzy guitars and harmonies all over. Kind of heavy folk rock if that makes sense, RIYL: Of Monsters and Men, The Pretenders.

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  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #45 - Impossible Weight - Deep Sea Diver f/Sharon Van Etten
  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #44 - Shame Shame - Foo Fighters
  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #43 - Me & You Together Song - The 1975

#41 - Wildfires - SAULT

I'm not going to lie, until recently I didn't even realize the political context of this song (it's a pro BLM, anti-police brutality protest song) and I had no idea that SAULT are apparently an intriguing unknown  "mystery collective". I just knew that it sounded really damn good when I blasted it out my car windows.

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  • Northern Voice changed the title to The Best Songs of 2020 - #1 - Kyoto - Phoebe Bridgers

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