If you were judging 2020 from the surface, it may appear like the quality of music took a nose-dive straight into the shallow end. After all, with day to day stimulation during a year of quarantining, Zoom meetings, and social distancing averaging out at vanilla at best, why would the quality of music be any different?

Rest assured that just because the world took a turn for the worse, that doesn’t mean there was any shortage of inspirational subject matter to provoke lyrical genius. Just because a huge percentage of music videos looked like lo-fi high elementary school film projects shot using a shaky smart phone in landscape mode doesn’t mean the songs behind those videos was lacking in excitement or imagination. Just because there were no live shows doesn’t mean there wasn’t any live content to offer fans in desperate need of songs that sounded like they were performed in front of a (gulp) large gathering of people.

Regardless of 2020’s arduousness, the age-old axiom that music is a cornerstone of societal happiness and expression rung louder than ever. Songs about isolation helped people cope with time spent separated, scared, and indoors. Protest songs brought words, sounds, and meaning to the world’s frustration around civil rights. The cancellation of live shows started a chain reaction where demos, cover songs, remixes, live albums, acoustic tracks, and unpublished content alike burst out of the woodwork at rate the world has never seen. All of these songs helped people feel and connect with the world around them in a year when those basic human emotions were sometimes difficult to come by.

Traditionally the main focus of my year-end playlist would be around the top 100 songs of the year. This year however, I felt that doubling the size of this playlist was necessary to reinforce the point that no quality was lost in a year when opportunities for excitement were few and far between. That being said, the following playlist contains all of my favorite songs released over the past year in order from 1 to 200. Play each song in order if you can, shuffle if you must, but most importantly, keep your mind open to the distinct value that each song has to offer. The spectrum of genres, moods, and energy levels can occasionally be vastly different from song to song – just realize that, no matter how fast or slow, each song has something special to offer. Additionally for 2020, it’s worth noting that some of these songs (i.e. live tracks) were technically recorded in the past. This list is based on songs that were published on modern streaming services (namely Spotify and Apple Music) for the first time in 2020, and it does not take into account whether songs were recorded prior to 2020.

Top 200 Songs of 2020

  1. And It’s Still Alright by Nathaniel Rateliff
  2. Jump Rope Gazers by The Beths
  3. Something to Rap About by Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist (feat. Tyler, The Creator)
  4. Cyclone (The Village Sessions) by Sticky Fingers
  5. The Blinding by Jay Electronica (feat. Travis Scott)
  6. Circles by Mac Miller
  7. My Hands Grow by Ratboys
  8. Impact by SG Lewis (feat. Robyn & Channel Tres)
  9. Lost One by Jazmine Sullivan
  10. 4 Thangs by Freddie Gibbs (feat. Big Sean & Hit-Boy)
  11. Out of Sight by The Beths
  12. Good Days by SZA
  13. PDLIF by Bon Iver
  14. Wreck Me by Charley Crockett
  15. Never Will by Ashley McBryde
  16. Me & You Together Song by The 1975
  17. Those Days by Dal & Leah Yeger
  18. Save A Kiss by Jessie Ware
  19. Jara by Fleet Foxes
  20. I Go Out at Night by Ratboys
  21. Summer Feelings by Lennon Stella (feat. Charlie Puth)
  22. Come Down In Time – Jazz Version by Elton John
  23. Easy to Love by Oscar Lang
  24. invisible string by Taylor Swift
  25. Lost In Yesterday by Tame Impala
  26. It Is What It Is by L.A. Salami
  27. Just Shy of Sure by The Beths
  28. Feel You by My Morning Jacket
  29. Breathe Deeper by Tame Impala
  30. Atheist by Christian Lee Hutson
  31. betty by Taylor Swift
  32. I Can See by Mac Miller
  33. Held Down by Laura Marling
  34. Sheesh by BENEE (feat. Grimes)
  35. START AND END by Yu Mamiya & Freddie Gibbs
  36. Starting Over by Chris Stapleton
  37. 34+35 by Ariana Grande
  38. Alexandra by Laura Marling
  39. hot tub DREAM Machine by tobi lou
  40. BALD! REMIX by JPEGMAFIA & Denzel Curry
  41. New Shoes by Overcoats
  42. Experience by Victoria Monét, Khalid & SG Lewis
  43. Guilty by Courtney Marie Andrews
  44. my hair by Ariana Grande
  45. Slow by Matt Costa
  46. Desire by Bob Moses & ZHU
  47. 1985 by Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist
  48. Cayendo (Side A – Acoustic) by Frank Ocean
  49. Mango Pops by Elle Músa
  50. Run It by My Morning Jacket
  51. Marina by Sleepy Sun
  52. Pretty Woman – Radio Edit by Bb. & Lo Noom
  53. Bright Morning Stars by Bonny Light Horseman
  54. AUATC by Bon Iver
  55. Kitchen Table by Milly Parden
  56. R.O.B.Y.N. by Luke De-Sciscio
  57. Enigma by Lady Gaga
  58. Big Wheel by Samia
  59. New Music by Another Michael
  60. Lovely by TOLEDO
  61. SULA (Paperback) by Jamila Woods
  62. Rich N**** Shit by 21 Savage & Metro Boomin (feat. Young Thug)
  63. Appeayl 2 U part 1 by Gayngs
  64. Somewhere by The Blaze (feat. Octavian)
  65. Streetlight Blues by Squirrel Flower
  66. Can I Believe You by Fleet Foxes
  67. Grow into Love by Half Moon Run
  68. April by Beach Bunny
  69. BEST INTEREST by Tyler, The Creator
  70. A Rat Without a Tale by Daniel Romano
  71. Time by Childish Gambino (feat. Ariana Grande)
  72. Do To Me by H.E.R.
  73. Gasoline by HAIM
  74. So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings by Squirrel Flower
  75. UN DIA (ONE DAY) by J Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny, & Tainy
  76. Pray For Real by Peter CottonTale, tobi lou & Chance the Rapper
  77. Waiting – Demo by Amber Mark
  78. Warm Animal – Acoustic by Sure Sure
  79. Easy by Troye Sivan
  80. Losing Battles – Acoustic by Josh Ritter & The Milk Carton Kids
  81. Kamikaze by Omar Apollo
  82. Ghost Of Soulja Slim by Jay Electronica
  83. Salut by NNAMDÏ
  84. Stupid Love by Lady Gaga
  85. Wading In Waist-High Water by Fleet Foxes
  86. Stuck In A Bubble – Alice Ivy Remix by George Alice
  87. For Props by Yves Jarvis
  88. Gajendra by WILLOW & Jahnavi Harrison
  89. Guilty Conscience by 070 Shake
  90. Say Something by Kylie Minogue
  91. Statues in the Garden (Arras) by Local Natives
  92. Need Your Love by Tennis
  93. Thin Line by Aubrey Haddard
  94. obvious by Ariana Grande
  95. People, I’ve been sad by Christine and the Queens
  96. Hey Child by Margo Price
  98. 7 Seconds by Porridge Radio
  99. I Know The End by Phoebe Bridgers
  100. Woodlawn by Aminé
  101. Hand Me Downs by Mac Miller
  102. Something To Feel Good About by Will Joseph Cook
  103. Tell Me by Greg Kramer & Otieno Terry
  104. We Might Even Be Falling In Love (Interlude) by Victoria Monét
  105. On Track by Tame Impala
  106. peace by Taylor Swift
  107. Shade by Phish
  108. Pretty Much by tobi lou
  109. No Caves by Why Bonnie
  110. Lotta Love by Helado Negro & Flock of Dimes
  111. Better Distractions by Faye Webster
  112. Waiting by Jonesing
  113. BET Uncut by MadeinTYO (feat. Chance the Rapper & Smino)
  114. Hammond Song by Whitney
  115. Good Things – R3HAB Remix by Wafia
  116. Chemicals by SG Lewis
  117. BEBÉ by Camila & El Alfa
  118. Too Much by HONEYMOAN
  119. In My Mind by Mura Mas
  120. Explain It To Me by Squirrel Flower
  121. Morning by Noble Oak
  122. Déjà Vu – Radio Edit by The Dead Tongues
  123. Wasteland by Ben Morey and the Eyes & Mikaela Davis
  124. Remind Me – Spotify Singles by Emily
  125. Baby It’s You by London Grammar
  126. 18 by Moscow Apartment
  127. I Know You’re Wrong by Another Michael
  128. Delete Forever by Grimes
  129. Hoes at Trader Joe’s by Chris Crack
  130. The Roving by Bonny Light Horseman
  131. Nothing Revealed / Everything Denied by The 1975
  132. Nobody’s Love by Maroon 5
  133. Too Late by Washed Out
  134. Woo! by Remi Wolf
  135. Rain On Me by Lady Gaga (feat. Ariana Grande)
  136. Hologram by Max Pope
  137. Song For Our Daughter by Laura Marling
  138. Famine Asylum by Nothing
  139. 42.26 by Childish Gambino
  140. Being Harsh by A. G. Cook
  141. Marbles by Snarls
  142. Life On Fire by Mapache
  143. Sunblind by Fleet Foxes
  144. Daily Routine by Disq
  145. When We Say Goodnight by Lo Noom
  146. nasty by Ariana Grande
  147. Hillbilly Blood by Chris Stapleton
  148. Baby $hit by Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist
  149. Carolina by Sarah Siskind & Justin Vernon
  150. Someone Called You While You Were Out by Haley Blais
  151. Bummer Days by Liza Anne
  152. Caroline by Arlo Parks
  153. In My Life by Madison Cunningham
  154. Moment by Dagny
  155. Remember Where You Are by Jessie Ware
  156. Roots by Aminé (feat. JID, Charlie Wilson)
  157. Friend by Daisy the Great & Sipper
  158. I Don’t Mind by Sturgill Simpson
  159. Crush by Day Wave
  160. Los Angeles by HAIM
  161. Fun Tonight by Lady Gaga
  162. Lose Each Other by Teyana Taylor
  163. Take a Bow (Madonna) by Lola Kirke
  164. Jaguar by Victoria Monét
  165. Ready for U by Amber Ais
  166. It’s Only Us – Acoustic by Monophonics
  167. Wishing Well by Mike Polizze
  168. Lie Like You Want Me Back – Alternate Version by Yumi Zouma
  169. Underwater by Le Youth
  170. A World So Full Of Love by Boy Scouts
  171. Bittersweet – Full Length by Lianne La Havas
  172. Keys, Wallet, Phone, God by Peter CottonTale & Jamila Woods
  173. Levitating by Dua Lipa (feat. DaBaby)
  174. Solid by Aminé
  175. Yonder by Salaam Remi, Nas & Jennifer Hudson
  176. mirrorball by Taylor Swift
  177. Chew On My Heart by James Bay
  178. Birdcage by Novo Amor
  179. Twinkle Twinkle by Margo Price
  180. Gimme Love by Joji
  181. Lemon by Local Natives (feat. Sharon Van Etten)
  182. Feels Right by Biig Piig
  183. Desire by Liza Anne
  184. Get The Old Band Back Together by Christian Lee Hutson
  185. You Are the Traffic by COIN
  186. NY by Emily Vu
  187. Deep In Love by Bonny Light Horseman
  188. Brownstone by Prima Queen
  189. Martha Divine by Ashley McBryde
  190. Corduroy by Molly Payton
  191. Hawái – Remix by Maluma & The Weeknd
  192. Circles by Megan Thee Stallion
  193. Care by beabadoobee
  194. Wonderful by Burna Boy
  195. Cady Road by Routine, Annie Truscott, & Jay Som
  196. In Too Deep – Acoustic by Jacob Collier (feat. Kiana Ledé)
  197. Getting Over Him by Lauren Alaina & Jon Pardi
  198. Bed In The River by Joan Shelley
  199. Manta Rays by chloe moriondo
  200. Chicago Bae by Ric Wilson, Terrace Martin & BJ The Chicago Kid

Remember when the word pandemic was something out a science fiction movie and the world was…you know…normal? I don’t, but the songs in this playlist may bring back some fun memories of what life was like before the world turned upside down: FeenyFaves – Top 100 Songs of 2019