The Best Music of 2020

The Best Music of 2020

We don?t actually know the extent to which the world has changed this year. Like staring at a painting with our eyes just inches from the canvas, only with some distance will we truly understand what we?re looking at. The global pandemic has affected politics, economics, and human behavior in ways that will take years to fully realize. We are also all yet to realize the effect this paradigm shift has had on the world of music. It?s too early to predict the results of so many artists who would otherwise be touring as bands and DJs now having no excuse but to return to the studio and create something new, or how social isolation has affected their output with the prospect of playing to large crowds no longer a viable muse. We?re only beginning to discern how this change in the state in which music is now being consumed will affect how it is being produced.

It hadn?t initially occurred to me that this was a particularly great year in music, due in part to the fact that songs often become favorites after hearing them in the company of friends or in the middle of a packed dancefloor, where this year my listening experience was largely limited to being alone in my kitchen wearing headphones while wondering if a slow cooker is worth the investment. Having gathered the best music of this year in one place, I realize that this has surreptitiously been one of the better crops recent history. As someone who often struggles to fit seemingly incompatible genres into a cohesive mix, the music of this year seemed less bound by classification, as if suggesting that in a world where our institutions seem intent on dividing us, music as always is begging us to come together.
Bullion – Strike a Light
Yves Tumor – Strawberry Privilege
Fabiana Palladino – Waiting
Ela Minus – Close
Jaymie Silk – Pictures of Us
MHYSA – w/me
Kassa Overall feat. Vijay Iyer – Was She Happy
Headie One & Fred Again feat. Sampha – Soldiers
James Blake – Godspeed
Sufjan Stevens – Run Away With Me
Loma – Ocotillo
Men I Trust – Lucky Sue
King Krule – Alone, Omen 3
Dean Blunt – NITRO GIRLS 2
Cleo Sol – Her Light
SAULT – Little Boy
The Avalanches – Song From Babara Payton
Thundercat – How I Feel
Kamaal Williams feat. Lauren Faith – Hold On
Burial, Four Tet, Thom Yorke – Her Revolution
Charles Webster – The Spell (Burial Mix)
The Phantasy – Outro Pt. II
ANOHNI – I Will Survive
Oneohtrix Point Never – No Nightmares
Sega Bodega & Eartheater – Fade Into You
Perfume Genius – Moonbend
Chromatics – Burning Bridges
Oklou – I Didn?t Give Up On You
The Phantasy – Skip
Riz Ahmed – Where You From

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In this current state of play we are less likely to be blaring a dance mix while drinking a gin and tonic in the shower before a big night out than to be listening to a plaintive ballad while staring out the window and wondering if Clive Owen?s acting career has plateaued. But if dancing as a form of entertainment is a less viable option than it once was, the act of dancing while home alone for therapeutic purposes has never been more important. It?s basically like another form of masturbation, and is exactly as embarrassing to get caught doing. The following mix assembles what I consider to be some of the best dance music from the last year with an acknowledgment that while clubs and packed parties will be missed, there are certain dance moves best executed while wearing socks.

SAULT – I Just Want to Dance
De Dion – Sexy Cola (Glu Glu Version)
Desire – Liquid Dreams (Disco Mix)
Jessie Ware – Ooh La La
Khotin – Groove 32
Fit of Body – Sometimes
Galcher Lustwerk – I Had To Slow It Down
Steve Spacek – Waiting 4 You
Graham Van Pelt – Always Thinkin?
Jayda G – Are U Down
Gooch – Caught Up In You
Ouri – A Nun?s Vvet Dream
Four Tet – Baby
Pale Blue – Breathe
Ela Minus – they told it was hard, but they were wrong
Yaeji – THE TH1NG
Headie One & Fred – Told
MOTHERMARY – Catch Fire (Drumappella)
Logic1000 – Perfume (Edit)
Will Hofbauer – Whiplash
The Avalanches feat Perry Farrell – Oh The Sunn
HONNE – no song without you (Cosmo?s Midnight Mix)
Jessy Lanza – Lick In Heaven
Closet Yi – Circle Dance
Aphex Twin – prememory1000N part 2
Bella Boo – Rain On Me
Joe Morris – Celestial Plantation (Pacific Coliseum Remix)
Divine Interface – 1-800-411-Paranoia
Arca – Time
Brigitte Barbu – Dae-Boy Demoya (Roman Flugel ?Synth? Remix)
Atom ™ – Simplicity
Sega Bodega & Lafawanda – Teardrop

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