As we now proceed to the next year, we are more than ready to leave behind what some would mildly describe as an uneventful year. This was especially the case in the world of music. Cancelled gigs, scrapped festivals, closed nightclubs and even a limit to social gatherings deprived us of our need to enjoy and explore new music. Understandably, this also caused artists to postpone not only concerts, but also highly anticipated album releases [https://www.vulture.com/2020/10/events-cancelled-coronavirus.html].
Nevertheless, a few generous voices took the liberty to write, produce and record some cracking tracks for us in these dull times. This allowed us to spare a moment for a good groove in our bedroom, as an alternative to going wild in clubs. But what about discovering exciting new tunes in the bar? What about the listening parties?
Because of all this malarkey, I adjure us to head to a spacious floor in your apartment and get down to the BEST 20 BANGERS that went over our heads in 2020.
Apple Music / ITunes Playlist: https://beta.music.apple.com/library/playlist/p.9oDKQbaurMbQEN
Image sourced from: Pilerats
1. HOT 44 – Baauer
Electronic music producer and banger expert, Harlem Shake dude is back at it again. With HOT 44, Baauer hits us with thick synth leads backed by a heavy bass that eccentrically switches up with every drop. A thrilling blockbuster of a track that has a unique cinematic atmosphere, setting Baauer apart from more conventional contemporary producers the likes of DJ Snake, Calvin Harris and especially the Chainsmokers.
Image sourced from: ABC
2. My High – Disclosure (feat. Slowthai & Aminé)
2020 was a year some would describe as weird. This is also the case with the unlikely cross-over between UK house / garage duo Disclosure and rappers Amine and Slowthai. Driving house drums kick this tune into action, with Aminé immediately hopping onto the beat with bars one could describe as: punchy, sassy or just downright cool. This is starkly contrasted against a manic, mazy and expressive Slowthai performance, which altogether results in an exceptional banger. Unfortunately, we cannot hear it in the club.
Image sourced from: Pilerats
3. BALD! REMIX – JPEGMAFIA (feat. Denzel Curry)
Peggy was, as expected, out and about in 2020 and gifts us an infectious and catchy flow on his single “BALD! REMIX” The cute and glittery instrumental is complemented with a charismatic lyrical sentiment about… baldness. Florida man Denzel Curry also makes an appearance and nearly steals the show entirely.
Image sourced from: Fiji Online News
4. 24K // Shook - Tkay Maidza
Zimbabwean-Australian rapper Tkay Maidza earns the privilege of landing 2 tracks in this list, as “24K” and “Shook” from her 2020 Mixtape were equally enthralling. Whether it’s for the witty Tetris references, the bouncy house-flavoured instrumentals or Tkay’s technical rapping prowess, we are unwaveringly stimulated by these bangers.
Image sourced from: Highsnobiety
5. Captain Hook – Megan Thee Stallion
Upon landing features with the legendary Beyoncé and megastar Cardi B, people knew Megan is here to stay. Despite it being less popular than her other singles, “Captain Hook” stands out as a hilariously raunchy banger that solidifies Megan’s position as the one in charge.
Image sourced from: Rolling Stone
6. Yankee and the brave (ep. 4) – Run The Jewels
Run the Jewels returned in 2020 with a bang. This is also the case in their opening track “Yankee and the brave (ep. 4)” where blazing machine-gun snares fire off as we are thrown into a whirlwind of head-spinning lyrical flows. The braggadocious and exaggerated lyrics almost aid as a re-introduction to El-P and Killer Mike, in case we needed a reminder over how creative, confrontational and extravagant they are.
Image sourced from: Consequence of Sound
7. OHFR? – Rico Nasty
Rico Nasty hits us with one of the nastiest and most eccentric bangers of the year. Badass vocals and confrontational bars putting haters in their place calls back to Rico’s hyper-aggressive style that burst her into the then so-called “Soundcloud rap” scene.
Only this time, Rico comes through with a more refined sound reminding us why she has been able to transcend the viral trendy internet movement to become one of the most creative and boundary-pushing rappers working today.
Image sourced from: Paper Magazine
8. KLK – ARCA (feat. Rosalía)
Arca teams up with Rosalia with the most crazy, futuristic piece of reggaeton ever to be brought public attention? This is absolutely strange, yet the pulsating banger is leaving us wanting more. Whatever ARCA is doing in the future, more of this, please.
Image sourced from: Melómanos Magazine
9. Nada – Lido Pimienta (feat. Li Saumet)
Mystical, enchanting, wonderous – these are the words that come to mind when I play Lido Piminenta’s “Nada”. Despite it being one of the smoother cuts in this list, Lido delivers an intensity and composure like no other that deserves the description “it slaps”.
Image sourced from: Laura Arrieta
10. Kindred Spirit – Faux Real
Australian synth pop duo put out a mystically catchy bop. Funky baselines, cheeky guitar riffs and smooth vocals make tune a whole lot of fun. The yelping YEEEAAH! in every chorus just demands us to sing along. How has no one picked up on these boys yet??
Image sourced from: Rolling Stone
11. Love Again – Dua Lipa
As we are discussing the “missed tracks'' of the year, chart-topping pop starlet Dua Lipa might not have been the obvious pick for this list. Dua Lipa’s disco-y album “Future Nostalgia'' featured multiple successful radio-friendly singles that made it difficult to simply dodge her in the Spotify playlists. However, lying deeper in the track list at number 8, “Love Again” samples an early 20th century jazz tune that ingeniously syncs perfectly into the funky and danceable beat.
Image sourced from: The Fader
12. Comme Des Garçons (Like The Boys) – Rina Sawayama
English-Japanese pop singer Rina Sawayama comes through in “Commes Des Garçons (Like The Boys) with a smooth slice of electropop and a groovy baseline. Paying attention to the overall production of this gem with little textured details hidden everywhere in its instrumental really makes us wonder how much fun they had making this track.
Image sourced from: Gay Times
13. My Agenda – Dorian Electra (feat. Village People & Pussy Riot)
Dorian Electra: the musical genius, the artistic extraordinaire, the flamboyant edge-lord also made quite the statement in 2020. After the ground-breaking 2019 debut album “Flamboyant”, which featured fusions of bubblegum bass, hyperpop and electropop, Dorian could have played it cool and taken some time off to meditate on their success. Instead, the musical genius strikes while the iron is hot and doubles down on the strange fusions and makes way for metal, dubstep and trap...? (What on earth?!) Teaming up with legendary pop icons Village People and radical punk outfit Pussy Riot, things are only expected to go wild on “My Agenda”.
Image sourced from: ROCKNBOLD
14. Ringtone (Remix) – 100 Gecs (feat. Charli XCX, Rico Nasty & Kero Kero Bonito)
Could 2020 go down in history as the year in which “hyperpop” was conceived as an official genre? That would make 100 Gecs the founding fathers of this new vibrant sound, with “Ringtone (Remix)” perfectly embodying the eclecticism and edge they are known for. The list of guests on this track only underlines the bizarreness and ingenuity of this whole new thing.
Image sourced from: Lyricsbuzz
15. Teardrops – Bring Me The Horizon
Who would have thought of Bring Me the Horizon as the chosen ones to bring back nu-metal? This tracks reeks of Linkin Park from start to end, yet with BMTH putting their own twist on what turns to become a heavy, epic, angst-fuelled banger.
Image sourced from: Joe Boothby
16. Bite Your Teeth – Poppy
Imagine if Barbie was possessed by the devil and fronted your 2000s-era metal band: that and a lot more is to expect in Poppy’s eclectic banger “Bite Your Teeth”. Heavy guitars and chunky bass riffs backed by outlandish screaming vocals somehow transition perfectly into sugary melodic passages only for it to break down again. Unorthodox? Yes. Great? Absolutely.
Image sourced from: UPROXX
17. Devilish – Jean Dawson
Jean Dawson is perhaps one of the lesser known names in this, but boasts great potential in his sophomore album from just a few months ago. Track 1 features the peppy melodic banger “Devilish” with blissful grooves and edgy vocals. Skilfully written, smartly structured with a pre-chorus nearly as catchy as the chorus, this one takes us on for a ride. PEOPLE! GIVE THIS ONE A LISTEN!
Image sourced from: Dansende Beren
18. Kyoto – Phoebe Bridgers
Granted, “Kyoto” is not as hard as the other bangers and ragers mentioned in this list. However, indie singer/songwriter Phoebe Bridgers really comes into her own in this heart-wrenching but catchy rock track. The pacey drums and driving guitar riffs make for the kind of rhythm we would have loved to dance to in the indie clubs.
Image sourced from: NME
19. To the Door – HMLTD
Raging vocals, snappy post-punk guitar riffs, rumbling drums, EXPLOSIVE TRAP BEATS? These kids from London do not hold back and are responsible for setting one of the most unlikely genre-fusing tracks of 2020 into this world. But somehow it all works and makes for one of the most exciting bangers of the year.
Image sourced from: The VLM
20. Model Village – IDLES
Ever had enough of the conservative-minded small-town sheltered dwellers? British punk outfit IDLES’ 2020 album features “Model Village”, a relentless tune that offers some harsh critique to the homophobes and flag-saluting idiots in this groovy, driving, post-punk banger.