80. Beabadoobee – Worth It (Fake It Flowers – Album)
Really great pop rock song, evokes the sound of early 90s alternative perfectly. It has a strong balance between sweet vocal melodies and distorted guitar and has a Veruca Salt/The Breeders feel to it. The whole album is well worth a listen.
79. Tame Impala – Borderline (The Slow Rush – Album)
This is the catchiest, poppiest song yet from the mighty Tame Impala and that is a very good thing. The production is super slick and has a wonderful mixture of synths, keyboards and processed beats that meld into a rhythm that transports you to another place. The album is great and these guys have yet to put a foot wrong when it comes to the quality of their output.
78. Yizzy – Grime (Grime – Single)
Featuring JME this is a grime banger, deep production with the bass growling in your ear canals, epic sounding keyboard lines and some quick fire raps that really showcase just how versatile these two can be when let loose over the right beat.
77. Sub Focus & Wilkinson – Air I Breathe (Portals – Album)
Big fan of both these two, it’s a great team up as both their styles compliment each other perfectly. It has a nice sense of atmosphere to the track, knowing when to slow down and let the keyboards wash over you and then pick up the pace to get you moving.
76. Adapter – Skate Dancer (Skate Dancer – Single)
I first heard this driving home from work and instantly had to search out what it was. It’s a heavenly combo of 70s disco chants and late 90s electro-funk and would sound massive played in a club. Really nice acid house feel to the synths as well, which sit atop an ever pulsating rhythm.
75. D Double E – Tell Me A Ting (Remix) (Tell Me A Ting – Single)
This is a beast!! The production is massive on this one, the bass rattles your windows and it keeps up a good pace throughout. Each MC brings their own style and keep each verse fresh, definitely one of the best tracks to emerge from UK rap this year.
74. MORGAN – Hostess (Alien – EP)
This has such a fresh sound, from the sparse piano riff that runs throughout, the scratches and martial arts samples, this has a Mobb Deep/Wu-Tang Clan feel but not as dark lyrically. Sumptuous sounding bass as the track progresses rounds out a really cool production.
73. Biig Piig – Switch (Switch – Single)
As indicated by the title, this has an awesome switch up about a minute in, when after a coolly funky intro with a great bassline and a really nice vocal melody, the drums hit double time and you can hear a dance music influence crossing over into this alternative sound.
72. Dua Lipa – Hallucinate (Future Nostalgia – Album)
Here she is again!! There was no denying Dua Lipa in 2020 and this was the best and most insanely catchy track she released all year. It has a pre-chorus and chorus that will stick in your head for days and most importantly wants to make you dance around with a huge smile on your face.
71. Lil Baby – The Bigger Picture (The Bigger Picture – Single)
Released in the wake of the devastating tragedy of the death of George Floyd, this is a lyrically powerful and amazingly rapped track, set to busy and interesting production. To make something that is this important, with some incredible messages, this catchy and of such a high quality just shows the talent of everyone involved.
70. You Me At Six – Beautiful Way (Beautiful Way – Single)
Don’t call it a comeback!! They never went away but this year felt like You Me At Six were returning with a point to prove. This song captures both their melodic side and then lets rip with an anthemic chorus piling on the guitars and drums. The production on this track incorporates elements of electronics giving it a polished but no less powerful feel.
69. Bad Boy Chiller Crew – 450 (Full Wack No Brakes – Album)
Garage-esque floor filler from this Bradford collective, the music could have come straight out of the early 2000s but what sets it apart are the raps flowing over the top in their Northern accents. It keeps a great pace all the way through and each member has a unique enough style to keep it fresh.
68. King Von – How It Go (Welcome To O’Block – Album)
Late Rapper King Von knocks it out of the park here. Over a lush sounding production with great bass, Von spits bars that just go to showcase what a talent has been lost so young. It seems to be a bit of a growing trend in hip-hop at the moment with lives ending too early and hopefully it’ll come to an end this year.
67. DRS – Dance The Night Away (Space Cadet II – EP)
Atmospheric jungle track with a good vocal keeping the melody intact and making it more accessible than some of this style can be. The music has almost a jazz vibe to it but adds pace with those skittering drums and high-hats complimenting the bassline.
66. Internet Money – Lemonade (Remix) (B4 The Storm – Album)
This track has some of the catchiest melodies of any hip-hop song this year. It’s got a laidback feel, booming bass and a strong verse from Roddy Ricch, this deserved to be the huge hit that it was.
65. Drake – Laugh Now Cry Later (Laugh Now Cry Later – Single)
As much as he may have his haters (of which I am not one), I think it’s hard to deny that the man has the knack for releasing at least one top drawer track every year. This has all the elements of the typical Drake song but that works so well. It’s not going to change anyone’s opinion if they’re not already a fan but then he’s doing pretty good without them.
64. Saweetie – Tap In (Tap In – Single)
Banger!! The bass in this track is the bomb and coupled with a Saweet flow over the top this is absolutely dancefloor ready. Finished in a smidge over 2 minutes this gets in and gets out leaving you wanting more.
63. Cardi B – WAP (WAP – Single)
One of the biggest hits of the year, this track just cannot be denied. The bass is incredible and Megan Thee Stallion showcases just what makes her so special when she gets on the mic. Definitely not one for listening to with the kids.
62. Flohio – Unveiled (No Panic No Pain – Album)
The women in rap really showed up this year and showed everyone that they are equal to (and in some cases better) than anything the men have to offer. This is an atmospheric track, it has a dark edge to it that gives it a UK flavour that differentiates it from its US cousins.
61. Waxahatchee – Fire (Saint Cloud – Album)
The vocal melody on this track is so good, really stretching out the lower register of her voice. It has an almost alternative country feel about it with just the right dash of pop to worm it’s way into your brain. The Saint Cloud album showcases just how great a songwriter she has become.