2020 – Songs that Shaped a Year
This year’s soundtrack didn’t take me long at all. Out of the thousands of songs I listened to in 2020, these were the ones that I obsessed over, etched into my psyche and wrote alongside the most.
In a bid to combat what could have been a treacherous year, depression-wise, I did my best to avoid anything that would potentially kill me (Woodkid, Nick Cave, Anaïs Mitchell etc) (progress), so these songs are stories of my highs, lows, ruminations, triumphs, vindications, decisions. Stories about family, forgiveness, addiction; the songs that would play on repeat in my head at 3am.
My biggest (and potentially most precious) find of the year was Anita Lester. She slays me. What a voice. (Also she is fucking gorgeous. Dear god.) The first song slid into my head, in my thoughts, in my Insta bio. Also, watch the film clip. Fuck.
Forest Blakk fucking destroys me. Find Me was my gateway, but Easy to Lie was an anthem.
A few surprises – a bit of country/folk crept in (thanks Kevin Costner WHAT), a bit of Sofi Tukker (if you don’t have that on your lists after The New Pope, then shame on you). Trevor Hall’s Fire on your House was a 2020 mood.
Led Zeppelin was more of an analogue entry, but since I can’t produce vinyl analytics, I slipped it in.
Hearing Jeff Martin perform Going to California at The Triffid was one of the highlights of what was a very. shitty. July.
No Nathan Chen free-skate song this year (as much as I love Phillip Glass), but Ben Platt doesn’t disappoint, as always.
Honourable mentions to: Placebo – Protect Me From What I Want, Taylor Swift – Mad Woman and Didirri – Formaldehyde (live at the Corner Hotel thank you, Amen).
1. Anita Lester – Man
Can’t stop. Won’t stop.
2. Anita Lester – Again
Please martyr this for us / For I am weak, for I am running from the end.
3. FINNEAS – I Lost a Friend
How the hell do you lose a friend you never had.
4. Jenny Lewis – Red Bull and Hennessy
Out of my own mind again.
5. Forest Blakk – Easy to Lie
6. Michel van der Aa feat. Kate Miller-Heidke – What a Dream
Waiting for my father to die.
Again. Again. Again.
7. Alanis Morissette & Elizabeth Stanley – Smiling
Three Alanis songs fought for supremacy this year, but I stan Jagged Little Pill on Broadway. Special mention goes to Reasons I Drink and Flinch.
8. FM-84 feat. Clive Farrington – Goodbye
Too late for goodbyes.
9. DMA’s – Never Before
New drugs and a modicum of stability.
10. Sofi Tukker – Good Time Girl
11. Manchester Orchestra – The Silence (live at the Regency Ballroom)
Little girl you are cursed by my ancestry
There is nothing but darkness and agony
I can not only see, but you stopped me from blinking
12. Kevin Costner & Modern West – You Won’t See it Coming
You know what I didn’t see coming? Kevin Costner being this fucking good.
13. Kevin Costner & Modern West ft. Jaida Dreya – Killer
Dark places. Yellowstone.
14. Trevor Hall – Fire on Your House
I did not expect this from Trevor Hall and I DIG it. Also, yes.
15. Jonatha Brooke – Prodigal Daughter
16. Phil Collins – Long Long Way to Go
17. Katie Noonan – Dance Monkey
This cover though.
18. Washington – Catherine Wheel
That hesitation at 0:53. Slit my wrists already.
19. Led Zeppelin – Going to California.
20. Sam Brookes – Ekarma
21. Phoebe Bridgers – Savior Complex
Every word every word every word every word.
22. Ben Platt – So Will I