Top 50 Songs of 2020 (20-11)

Anything music related. Latest songs, good new bands, and blasts from the past.

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Re: Top 50 Songs of 2020 (20-11)

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SONG #14


BANKS

Mothica, Vices

Yes, more Mothica, more kinda-sad pop music. I love it.





JOHNERLE

Steve Earle & The Dukes, Devil Put the Coal In The Ground

The low-fi aesthetic of this album gives much of it the feeling long lost folk songs, but in this case it adds an extra Tom Waits vibe.





LEESTU

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, The Hungry Wolf Of Fate

This is the last King Gizz song for 2020, I promise. I always love when they get heavy, and even though on its own this song feels like it might be just a little bit out of place on the album, the way the album cleverly flows throughout, makes this closing track fit nicely as the sludgy finale after the relaxing breather that was Honey.



ETA: The above link didn't work for me, so here's another one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YCVoVFLMJU



RON B

Shockone, Follow Me





SCREEN

Dua Lipa, Break My Heart





SHRYKE

Within Temptation, The Purge

Got no scars cut on my skin, only my truth is wearing thin
And it hollows me, it hollows me
I hate the darkness of my past, the cold rebelling, it drives me mad
And it follows me, it's carving the heart out of me
I've got to bleed it out, all my thoughts intoxicated
'Cause the weight on me, it buries me alive

I’ve listen to my share of goth/symphonic metal in the last year, including many bands with female lead singers. Few, if any, have mesmerized me like Within Temptation. Sharon den Adel is, IMHO, one of the best and most underrated vocalists in the world. Twenty-five years she’s been doing this, and it shows. She is a goth GODDESS, and I was drawn into “The Purge” from the first note. Sharon’s voice is layered wonderfully over the crashing drums and pulse-pounding guitar riffs. Read the above lyrical excerpt for a taste of the evocative emotions involved. Then press Play.

Album: TBA





SIX

Fiona Apple, Newspaper

I’ve always dismissed Fiona Apple as one of those typical folksy singer-songwriters, just from the look of her. But it was impossible not to be curious about her album Fetch the Bolt Cutters (a reference taken from the Northern Irish TV crime drama The Fall, apparently), since every critic gushed over it. And, despite not being that interested it gradually won me over. It sounds urgent, like Apple has too much to express, and on this track rather than rely on traditional melodies she focuses on rhythm, tapping out a beat whose anger matches the lyrics about trying to empathise with the lovers of her abusive ex who turned them against her.





SURFER

Public Practice, My Head

Since the demise of NYC bands Wall and Beverley, and the formation of its parts into Public Practice, it has taken a couple of years for the collective to finally release something, but it was worth the wait. Fusing so many different genres from post-punk, new wave, ska, funk and beyond, they are a vibrant act filled with funky beats to keep you interested throughout. My Head fizzes along with the verve and intensity intensity of Tom Tom Club, The Au Pairs and Blondie even and makes for a thrilling ride as Samantha York provokes with themes of how to live a better life. Listening to this song is a good start on that journey.





TRANSFORMERS

Deftones, Urantia

A return to churning out multi-layered tracks that blend dreamy atmospherics with some metal crunch allowed Deftones to properly atone for the sins they committed on their underwhelming previous record "Gore".





UNDEADMONKEY

Shakira, Antologia

Yes a tour album was my most listened to album of 2020, but since there no new music from Shakira, i had to make do.

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Re: Top 50 Songs of 2020 (20-11)

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BanksIsDaFuture wrote:
February 21st, 2021, 5:45 pm
JohnErle wrote:
February 20th, 2021, 9:42 pm
the reference to Strange Fruit only reinforces how this is no Strange Fruit. The movie trailer at the end didn't do much for me either.
A reference isn't equal to a comparison...saying the song is no Strange Fruit isn't valid because it was never trying to be?

It's valid because they're standing on the shoulders of giants, and mentioning Strange Fruit is a reminder of what true greatness sounds like, so you'd better bring your A game if you're going to do that. I'm at a point in my life where I'd rather watch, read, or listen to things that have stood the test of time than invest energy in the flavour of the month simply because it's new. The other tracks from this album appealed to me more than this one, so I still might check out the full album, but whether it sticks with me for more than a few weeks remains to be seen, and if RTJ are still revered 80 years after the fact, like Billie Holiday, then my ghost will be more inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt than I am right now. Or maybe I'm just choked that when I went looking for Strange Fruit on Spotify last night I typed in Billie and got Eilish before Holiday. I wonder which one future algorithms will favour in the year 2100?

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Re: Top 50 Songs of 2020 (20-11)

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Catching up for Screen:

16. Dua Lipa, Don't Start Now





15. Tinashe, Sunburn

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Re: Top 50 Songs of 2020 (20-11)

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#16

Screen - Dua Lipa - This was pretty decent.


#15

Banks/Leestu - Run the Jewels - Despite the double shot o' RTJ love, I'm just not feeling it.

JohnErle - Steve Earle - A good song despite the complete absence of synths. :D

Ron B - Drake - Nope.

Screen - Tinashe - Kinda liked the smoky vocals and sultry vibe.

Six - IDLES - Surprisingly cool.

Surfer - Bdrmm - If you held out hope that I would love this song... well, I did. Those jangly guitars are my catnip. This is easily one of my favorite finds in this countdown. I want to hear more!

Tranny - Kali Uchis - It was a'ight.

UDM - DVBBS - How many acts are replacing letters in their names with Vs? (PVRIS, CHVRCHES, DVBBS) Anyway, liked the groovy vibe.
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Re: Top 50 Songs of 2020 (20-11)

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#14

Banks - Mothica - It was okay.

JohnErle - Steve Earle - At the risk of offending you or your idol, I hope I never hear this again.

Leestu - King Gizzard & the Silly Rhymes - Didn't care for it.

Ron B - Shockone - This was pretty freaking cool.

Six - Fiona Apple - Wow, has it really been 25 years since "Criminal"? Honestly, I haven't followed her career at all since that breakout hit. Good for her for still being relevant long after I'd written her off as an Alanis wannabe (which may be inherently unfair, but... well). This was interesting, but it won't make me rethink my position on her.

Surfer - Public Practice - (adopts Austin Powers voice) YEAH, BABY! GROOVY!!

Tranny - Urantia - Haven't listened to Deftones in earnest much since White Pony, but Ohms was a decent record. This is one of the better tracks from it.

UDM - Shakira - Sorry, dude. Unless she's playing a cartoon gazelle, I'm just not into Shakira.
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Re: Top 50 Songs of 2020 (20-11)

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Banks: This didn't do much for me. She should stick to her day job of fighting Godzilla

John: Very much enjoyed this. There's so much gravel in his vocal he could pave a highway.

Leetsu: This is top-tier King G for me. Nice and fuzzy and heavy.

Ron B: Probably something for the night-club. In the cold light of a Monday morning it's pretty painful.

Screen: I've been missing some of your catch-up songs, but gave them a whirl. Not my kind of music, although the Tinashe song was cool.

Shryke: I've been listening to some early goth lately - Siouxsie, Cocteau Twins, Bauhaus. It's pretty clear that it peaked very early and then, with a few exceptions, grew into self-parody, and this song's melodramatics didn't help.

Surf: Finally, a song I know. Was beginning to think that your superpowers led you to an alternate world full of completely new indie and post-punk acts! This song is great and you're spot on with the Au Pairs reference when it comes to vocals.

Tranny: An act I've been meaning to give a listen to, and I will do it properly. Right now, 2020 Deftones sounds a lot like late 90s Smashing Pumpkins.

UDM: I can only really enduring upbeat, poppy, high-energy Shakira.

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Re: Top 50 Songs of 2020 (20-11)

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Shryke: How are we going about the #1's? Are we employing the traditional 1 per day/post your own approach or should I just send it over with the rest of my top 10 picks?
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Re: Top 50 Songs of 2020 (20-11)

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transformers2 wrote:
February 22nd, 2021, 10:19 am
Shryke: How are we going about the #1's? Are we employing the traditional 1 per day/post your own approach or should I just send it over with the rest of my top 10 picks?

Good question - does everyone want to hold to the tradition of doing a list review for one person per day, along with that person's #1?



ALSO: added Screen's #14 above.
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Re: Top 50 Songs of 2020 (20-11)

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I'll go with keeping the 1 person a day tradition
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Re: Top 50 Songs of 2020 (20-11)

Post by JohnErle »

There's no reason to break with tradition now. We may as well have everyone post their #1s as in the past.

Round 14:

That Fapple tune is interesting enough to warrant further investigation, and it started to grow on me the second time around. ADDED

King Sabbath And The Flabby Tablets had its moments, but ultimately left me a bit cold and wanting to hear Duran Duran.

And Surfer brings us yet another band I've never heard of, from the ashes of two more bands I'd never heard of. There's a definite trend in many of your picks. This one was surprisingly easy to listen to, but it was missing that certain special something that would make me want to hear it again.

I felt a bit of nostalgia for the late 90s hearing that Deftones song, but not enough to make me stay in that time warp for long.

And I've got bugger all to say about the rest.

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Re: Top 50 Songs of 2020 (20-11)

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SONG #13


BANKS

Jack Harlow, Tyler Herro

Just a bunch of fun from 2020's biggest new rapper.





JOHNERLE

Steve Earle, Fastest Man Alive

This rip-roaring rockabilly ode to Chuck Yeager is the only song on the album that doesn't quite fit the overall theme, apart from Yeager being from West Virginia, but it's too much fun for me to hold that against it.





LEESTU

The Smith Street Band, I Still Dream About You

A family favourite song for 2020, from a family favourite band. We all have different music tastes (some similar, some very varied) so it’s always great to get a song, album, and band we all enjoy. There won’t be another one until my number one.





RON B

Travis Scott feat. Young Thug & MIA, FRANCHISE





SCREEN

Tinashe, Lucid Dreaming





SHRYKE

Gorillaz feat. Peter Hook & Georgia, Aries

I'm standing on a beach in the distance
And even though you're far away, can you see my red light?
It's waiting to turn green
'Cause I feel so isolated without you
I can't play a happy tune on my own, so stay by my side
High on the tide

There are a lot of Peter Hook references in my Top 20 (and another coming up tomorrow), and for good reason. How many people can strum a guitar in such a way that you almost instantly know who it is? That’s a testament to his genius, which in turn is a testament to his genius. When the lyric “I’m standing on a beach in the distance”, I’m instantly reminded of “I see a ship in a harbor… now I stand here waiting” from “Blue Monday”. This song is a great trip down memory lane… or just a trip.

Album: Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez
Other great tracks: The Valley of the Pagans, The Pink Phantom, Desole





SIX

Perfume Genius, Jason

While Michael Hadreas’s latest album, the brilliant titled Set My Heart on Fire Immediately, didn’t grab me the way his previous two did, it still showcased his ability to change and grow in each record. This song was superb, a little moment in time, where the narrator details a one-night stand with a man who presumably thinks he’s not gay but has a guilt-ridden fling. The music and lyrics perfectly capture a sense of nostalgia, awkwardness, regret yet that spark of erotic and tender passion, as two people cross paths, share something, and never meet again.





SURFER

Melkbelly, LCR

On their third record Melkbelly seem to have added a little depth to their now familiar raucous sound. Still maintaining their 90s inspired noise rock with hints of The Breeders, Sonic Youth and The Melvins, there is now a warmth to their new sound, and it benefits the record greatly. Packed with delicious hooks and entrancing vocals, the band are really finding there groove now, capturing the energy of their live shows and adding a little more to the mix.





TRANSFORMERS

Taylor Swift, Seven

This alternately beautiful and heartbreaking track from Swift's excellent downtempo, third person story-driven "Folklore" makes terrific use of the soft, delicate side of her vocal range and captures an authentic youthful innocence in a reflective narrative about an early love of the narrator that lived in an abusive home.





UNDEADMONKEY

Master KG feat. Nomcebo, Jeusalema

Complete confession - heard this song when it was going viral on Tiktok.

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Re: Top 50 Songs of 2020 (20-11)

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#12

Banks: On first listen it felt like it was over before it even started
Leetsu: Not bad. sounds like a happy medium between a lot of genres
Shryke: The whole song sounds like 1990s New Order
Tranny: Never quite got her, although this was a lot better than I expected

Not much to add about the others.

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Re: Top 50 Songs of 2020 (20-11)

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#13

Banks - Jack Harlow - Didn't care for the lyrics, but I like the Renaissance Fair music.

JohnErle - Steve Earle - Too honkytonk for me.

Leestu - The Smiths...Street Band - This band would seem to be an acquired taste. Not sure I want to acquire it.

Ron B - Travis Scott & Young Thug - No.

Six - Perfume Genius - Not bad. Had a lot of that 70s feel.

Surfer - Melkbelly - Definitely got a Breeders vibe. This was cool.

Tranny - Taylor S - I'm not a Swiftie, but this was very nice.

UDM - Master KG & Nomcebo - This was cool. Liked the African flair.
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Re: Top 50 Songs of 2020 (20-11)

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SONG #12


BANKS

Joji & Diplo, Daylight

Super chill and enjoyable.





JOHNERLE

Steve Earle & The Dukes, Black Lung

Earle's increasingly gravelly voice gives extra poignancy to this song about an aging miner slowly dying from lung disease.





LEESTU

Grandaddy, RIP Coyote Condo #5

I always love the sound of his voice and the emotion he brings to all his songs.





RON B

Lime Cordiale, Reality Check Please





SCREEN

Meg Myers, Take Me to the Disco





SHRYKE

#12. New Order, Be a Rebel

Take a look at yourself
You may not be the same as everyone else
You're just different, and that's okay
We all follow our own way
And if you find that they won't listen
Then they've got nothing to say
So don't get mad and don't feel sad
Be a rebel, not a devil

This song is the classic English alternative pioneering band’s first new music in five years. In a blisteringly long year like 2020, it was a welcome breath of fresh air. Four decades in, New Order’s intricate synth sequences and infectious backbeat remind us that they’re not quite done. Though Peter Hook left the band some years ago, and his bass is sorely missed, anything sung by Bernard Sumner is better than most stuff that comes out today.

Album: none (non-album single)






SIX

Bob Vylan, We Live Here

Not to be mistaken with Bob Dylan. Vylan is an angry man with plenty to say, and here it’s about being treated as an outsider in the country he was born in, just for how he looks. The music, a mix between punk and grime, is equally as furious.





SURFER

Shopping, Initiative

Back with another slice of post-punk disco beats, Shopping have delivered a song filled with delight as the trio enter their second decade together. The band seem to have discovered an electronic edge on their new work with touches of Kraftwerk providing an added tension to the mix, as synths elevate the songs into something fuller and more powerful as a result. It all makes for a very enjoyable listen, still catchy as hell and with an anti-consumerist bite that still packs a punch.





TRANSFORMERS

Run the Jewels feat. Gangsta Boo, Walking in the Snow

Lesson for any and all rappers: not every song with a message has to be somber or slow. Run the Jewels' exploration of the injustices of the US prison system is one of the most aggressive songs they've ever made and the anger in their words/delivery makes its commentary even more effective than it would've been if it were delivered in a more subdued manner.





UNDEADMONKEY

Missy Elliott, Cool Off

Always been a Missy fan. While this doesn't get close to any of her top hits, I still enjoyed it.

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Re: Top 50 Songs of 2020 (20-11)

Post by numbersix »

#12

Leetsu: Didn't know these guys were back, or did they ever leave? I found this song a little underwhelming and overlong, even if it did sound like classic Mercury Rev
Screen: Sounded like Bat for Lashes trying to cover Mad World. Not bad
Shryke: Never heard this. Did you listen to Transmissions, the Joy division/New Order podcast? Worth a listen. This was far from their best work, but it was comfortable and lovely
Surf: Love these guys, and this is certainly a highlight!
Tranny: One of the best songs from RtJ4. I suspect this won't be the last time we hear it

The others... not for me.

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