Music

OLC! Top 20 Songs Of 2020

20. Chainsmokers – “Push My Luck” : This track was first heard in mid-June 2019 in an Instagram story of The Chainsmokers. On September 25, they played it for the first time live on their World War Joy tour in Cincinnati, Ohio. On the following day, they mentioned the song to Billboard, unveiling its title. Andrew Taggart, a member of the duo said, “This one is not out yet”, unveiling that it will be named “Push My Luck”. They later said to the same publication, in October, that the song “wasn’t able to be released in time for the tour”. Andrew Taggart revealed he was nervous, and he confidently sang lyrics like, “I think I might push my luck with you/’Cause you say that you’ve got nothing else to do.” On November 4, 2019, the duo announced the release of the song on Twitter, posting a short teaser animated by the cover of the song. Their announcement was made at the same time they announced that they will play at 3Arena in 2020. The song peaked as high as number 11 on the Swedish charts and number 15 on the New Zealand charts. The song was also featured on the Sony feature film ‘Words On Bathroom Walls’.

19.Julia Michaels – “Give It To You”: As the fan base for NBC’s Songland continues to grow, so does the talent of the aspiring songwriters eager to get their work in front of writer/producers Ester Dean, Shane McAnally and Ryan Tedder, along with the week’s celebrity guest. But just because these contestants are  still developing their careers doesn’t mean that they aren’t incredibly talented. And that talent surely wasn’t unnoticed by Julia Michaels, who was the celebrity guest on May 11. “I love the idea of basically being a part of a writing session with some of the best songwriters ever,” Julia said. “I’m hoping to hear something that feels like me. Raw and emotional, but still kind of quirky and fun.” She also said, “I love the idea of giving someone the opportunity to be seen and be heard because I’ve been there.”

Julia Michael chose Keegan Boosts song to produce and perform. This show generates so many incredible songs, be sure to look out for them.

18.Olivia Lunny – “Bedsheets”: Canada-based pop artist Olivia Lunny has had an incredible year. Her infectious single “Think Of Me” made an international splash on April 17th, premiering on Billboard and nabbing playlists across streaming platforms including Spotify’s ‘Fresh Finds’, TIDAL’s ‘Rising Pop’and the cover of Amazon Music’s ‘Artists To Watch 2020’ playlist. She was then offered the incredible opportunity to join Justin Bieber, Avril Lavigne, Michael Bublé, Sarah Mclauchlan, Tyler Shaw and other top Canadian talent on a charity cover of Lean On Me” to raise funds for the Canadian Red Cross towards COVID19 relief efforts and initiatives.

With an incredible start to the year, Olivia delivered even more from up her sleeve and for her growing audience. She released, “Bedsheets,” a delicate ballad of yearning while moving on. Teaming up again with her producer AJ Healey, the pair crafted the vulnerable, stripped-back tune while spending some time hibernating in the studio this past December. Her soft, velvety vocals cascade effortlessly over the acoustic guitar and minimalist percussion.

Olivia commented, “…Once that idea was locked in, the song came to life quickly. Within a few hours the lyrics were finished and I was in the booth singing a scratch vocal. We ended up keeping that original take and paired it with minimal production which makes this song feel almost like a diary entry.”

17.The 1975 – “If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know)”: This song is the sixth single from the band’s fourth studio album, Notes on a Conditional Form. The single was released on 23 April 2020, and features a backing appearance from FKA Twigs. The song reached number 14 on the UK Singles Chart in May 2020, and is the band’s highest charting single to date in the United Kingdom.

16.SAINt JHN – “I Can Fvcking Tell”: SAINt JHN has revisited his 2019 album Ghetto Lenny’s Love Songs with a video for “I Can Fvcking Tell.” The clip was filmed in St Petersburg, Russia “before the world ended in 2020,” the Brooklyn rapper noted in the YouTube’s description. It’s a straightforward visual featuring SAINt JHN in a stylish floral top as he performs the song in front of a row of vintage cars.

15.Lauv – “Invisible Things”: California-born singer-songwriter Lauv – aka Ari Leff – has always set expectations high with his music and his 21-track debut album, ~how i’m feeling~ with its big-name collaborations and varied soundscapes has been highly awaited, touted to be the turn of the singer’s career into a new chapter. Lauv played with themes of loneliness, eroding identities on several tracks including previous hits ‘Fuck I’m Lonely’ ft Anne Marie, ‘I’m so tired’ ft Troye Sivan. The standout track of 2020 for me was his hit song ‘Invisible Things’.

14.H.E.R. – “Damage”: Easily has to be R&B song of the year, H.E.R. smashed it out of the park this year with the song, “Damage,” and a video to go with it. With her alluring voice and lyrics, the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter warns us about the damage that can happen when your significant other takes you for granted.

“Damage” samples the classic 1980s record “Making Love in the Rain” by Herb Alpert, Lisa Keith and Janet Jackson. H.E.R. is supported by her live band on a beautifully adorned stage in the song’s music video, which was shot at the Roxie Theatre in Los Angeles. “Damage” follows H.E.R.’s riveting protest anthem “I Can’t Breathe” and her reggae-inspired track, “Do To Me,” and could very likely be the lead single from her highly-anticipated, forthcoming album. Most recently, H.E.R. was seen in the studio with the legendary Brandy and platinum songwriter and producer Tone Stith.

13.The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights”: “Blinding Lights” serves as the second single off of his fourth studio album, After Hours (2020). It was released on November 29, 2019, two days after the release of “Heartless”. The Weeknd wrote and produced the song with producers Max Martin and Oscar Holter, with Belly and Jason Quenneville receiving additional writing credits. A Chromatics remix of the song was released alongside the deluxe edition of its parent album on March 23, 2020.

“Blinding Lights” peaked at number one in thirty-four countries, including the United States and Canada, where it became the Weeknd’s fifth number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Canadian Hot 100 for four and seven weeks, respectively. It also became his first number one single in Germany for ten weeks, the United Kingdom for eight weeks, and Australia for eleven weeks, thus making it his most successful single worldwide to date.

12.Kygo and Dreamlab – “Could You Love Me”: Kygo teamed up with a lot of artists in 2020 for his new album “Golden Hour”. The most notable one to stand out for me was his collaboration with writing and production duo Dreamlab. They’ve written and produced songs for a catalog or artists, and one plus is that Perth, Australia’s own Leah Haywood is part of the crew. Worth checking out.

11.Joyner Lucas – “Will”:Will” is a song by American rapper Joyner Lucas, and the ninth single from his debut studio album ADHD (2020). It was released on March 25, 2020 with an accompanying music video. The song is a tribute to actor and rapper Will Smith, one of Lucas’s biggest influences. On May 15, 2020, a remix of the song with a guest appearance from Smith was released. In the song, Lucas raps about his great admiration for and influence from Will Smith’s success throughout his career. Lucas references ten of Smith’s most renowned works in his filmography, most notably The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Furthermore, he states that he hopes his son will one day become successful as Smith’s children Willow and Jaden are, and also raps about the importance of paying homage to icons while they are still alive.

10.BTS – “Dynamite”: This is the band’s first song fully recorded in English. The song was written by David Stewart and Jessica Agombar and produced by Stewart. “Dynamite” is an upbeat disco-pop song with elements of funk, soul and bubblegum pop. The track features snapping handclaps, echoing synths, and celebratory horns, taking influence from 1970s music. Intended to soothe listeners during the COVID-19 pandemic, the song talks about joy and appreciation for the little things that make life valuable. Upon release, “Dynamite” received positive reviews from music critics, with praise towards its catchiness and broadly appealing retro sound. At the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, “Dynamite” received a nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, which was the band’s first nomination, also making them the first Korean pop act to receive a Grammy nod.

“Dynamite” debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming the band’s first number-one single in the United States and making BTS the first all-South Korean act to top the Hot 100. The song sold 265,000 downloads in its first week, marking the biggest pure sales week since Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” (2017). “Dynamite” stayed atop the Hot 100 for three total weeks. On Spotify, “Dynamite” debuted with 7.778 million streams, marking the biggest opening-day for a song in 2020. Additionally, “Dynamite” peaked at number one on both the Billboard Global 200 and Billboard Global Excl. U.S. charts, topping the latter for three consecutive weeks.

09.Tate McRae – “You Broke Me First (Luca Schreiner Remix)”: “You Broke Me First” is a song by Canadian singer Tate McRae. It was released on April 17, 2020, through RCA Records as the lead single from her forthcoming second extended play. The song gained popularity on the video-sharing platform TikTok, where it has featured in over a million videos. Propelled by its TikTok popularity, the song has been successful on streaming platforms. It currently has over 525 million combined streams on Pandora and over 380 million streams on Spotify. The song impacted mainstream US radio on August 4, 2020.

“You Broke Me First” peaked at number eight on the Canadian Hot 100. Outside Canada, the song peaked within the top ten of the charts in Australia, Belgium (Flanders), Finland, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Norway, the Republic of Ireland, Singapore, Sweden, and the United Kingdom

08.Ruel – “Say It Over” (feat. Cautious Clay): Ruel first teased the song’s release on social media, sharing the single artwork, shot by Michelle Grace Hunder. Ruel also revealed that the track would feature Cautious Clay. ‘Say It Over’ is the second single from Ruel’s forthcoming EP ‘Bright Lights, Red Eyes’, which came out Friday, October 23. He announced details of the EP last month along with the release of its lead single, ‘As Long As You Care‘.

“I want to get across that this project is another step forward in maturity for me,” Ruel said of his forthcoming EP in a press release. “This project was a stream of consciousness when I was writing it at the time, and I feel like that’s the way all projects and songs are for me. They are moments in time. “This project isn’t who I am right now as I wrote these songs last year, but it’s the most mature you’ve ever heard me and it was me, in that moment in time.”

07.Niall Horan – “Heartbreak Weather”: Probably album of the year in my books, “Heartbreak Weather”, both album and single dominated the charts. The song ‘Heartbreak Weather’ opens the record with a departure from Horan’s previously established airy guitar-led ballads, instead offering a more sluggish pop pacing. It’s sweet writing, with fears and regrets in pathetic fallacies.

06.Loote – “Who You Are”: Pop Duo Loote are no strangers to success, and this song was a standout for me in 2020. Emma’s soft subtle but sweet vocals topped off by the amazing production talents of Jackson, Loote are probably the strongest artists in the pop category right now.

05.Dermot Kennedy – “Giants”: “Giants” is a song by Irish singer-songwriter and musician Dermot Kennedy. It was released as a digital download on 24 June 2020 by Riggins, Interscope and Island. The song peaked at number one on the Irish Singles Chart. The song was written by Stephen Kozmeniuk, Scott Harris and Dermot Kennedy.

In an interview with George Godfrey on Radio X, Kennedy said, “This is a song that I’ve had on me for a little while, but just the way things currently are things that have taken place in the world, it feels like there’s a massive shift taking place everywhere in the world so its meaning kind of grew and are and grew for me. And certainly now it feels like it’s a delicate time to release music right? You don’t want to bring out something insipid and seem kind of tone deaf. You don’t want people to think you’re not thinking about things and so the meaning of the song […] It’s ultimately just about being comfortable with letting go of the past and moving on and being comfortable with change and moving forward in that sense…”

If you haven’t heard his album “Without Fear”, do yourself a favor and check it out!

04.Niall Horan – “No Judgement”: “No Judgement” is a song by Irish singer Niall Horan. It was released through Capitol Records as the third single from his second studio album Heartbreak Weather on 7 February 2020. The song debuted at number 97 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Horan’s fifth entry on the chart. The song was more successful in Europe where in Ireland it charted at number 6 becoming the fifth top 10 hit from the album in Horan’s home country and at number 39 in Scotland becoming the sixth top 40 hit in the country. Additionally the song also entered at number 47 in Belgium and number 32 in the UK becoming his fifth top 40 charting single in the country.

03.Harry Styles – “Adore You”: “Adore You” is a song by English singer and songwriter Harry Styles from his second studio album, Fine Line (2019). It was released through Erskine and Columbia Records as the album’s second single on 6 December 2019. The song was written by Styles, Amy Allen, Kid Harpoon and Tyler Johnson, with Harpoon handling the production and Johnson serving as a co-producer. A love song, its lyrics find Styles talking about the initial stages of a relationship.

Upon its release, “Adore You” received generally favourable reviews from music critics, who praised its production and Styles’ vocals. It was also compared to the works of The 1975, Mark Ronson and Justin Timberlake. “Adore You” was a commercial success. The song peaked at number six on the US Billboard Hot 100 and at number seven on the UK Singles Chart, in addition to reaching the top ten in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, and Wallonia region of Belgium. It has been certified in multiple territories, most notably a platinum award from the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), a triple platinum and double platinum certification from the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), respectively.

02.Katy Perry – “Daisies”: Sometimes the darkest times inspire the brightest blooms. That’s definitely the case with Katy Perry’s latest ray of sunshine through the black clouds single, “Daisies.” The song, which dropped on May 15th, is an anthem about surviving the slings and arrows and rising up triumphantly, even after haters try to bury you.

“I wrote this song just like it’s another anthem for myself. I came out of a pretty dark time on [2017’s] Witness and I’ve been writing a record for two years,” Katy said.

01.Freya Ridings – “Unconditional”: Freya Ridings’ breakthrough hit “Lost Without You” rightfully saw an avalanche of attention suddenly directed towards her. With her self-titled debut album, proved she was more than worthy of that sudden influx of acclaim and adoration. Throughout her debut, Ridings’ hauntingly beautiful vocal inflection remains ever-present, while every individual song’s production perfectly elevates the emotional sentiment that originates from Ridings’ timeless lyricism and jaw-dropping, astounding voice.

“Unconditional” has to be the most perfectly crafted song of 2020. From the lyrics and production, it’s impossible to flaw.

neillfrazer@hotmail.com

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