Supajam’s Best Songs of 2020 plus Label, Album and More
December 10, 2020
Below we have our favourite album, label and game of 2020, but for now strap into twenty (what other number could we use) awesome songs.
20 Holy Mother by Starbenders
Forbidden sexual encounters and sly wordplay form the core of Holy Mother, in which someone really doesn’t want to be saved. A song which would have fitted in perfectly in all of the past few decades.
19 Nothing Can Save You, Accept Darkness by Klangos
Hellraiser: the EDM track. Good Hellraiser, yunno, the first movie or the short story.
18 Torture by Liz Longley
The travails of love, inspiring achingly beautiful songs since prehistoric humanity learned to beat ever so gently on a skin. Liz feels like she’s pulled so tight she’s going to fracture, and the strings add a lushness and cinematic flair which merits inclusion in a movie. A really good movie.
17 Murderer by City and Colour
With death tolls rising everywhere, City and Colour covered a Low song that has a cutting character, a message to God and a cause for hope in the oddest places all in this song which sees a deceased person making an offer to the almighty seem entirely reasonable: maybe you need a murderer. They did it brilliantly, hauntingly.
16 Time Traveller by Priest
We have good news to report: Priest survived the exit of two thirds of their number, including their vocalist, and still produce synth led songs full of evocative moments. The kinky sex is downplayed here and the mysticism increased.
15 Die In The Disco by Night Club
Sometimes, someone helps you escape your crippling depression and lets you party with it. Critics say Night Club trivialize difficult and dangerous issues, but lets be honest, we’re there and we absolutely threw our hips to this and the rest of their latest LP at 3am during endless nights.
14 Black and Blue by Danny Schmidt
Danny Schmidt has written the accompaniment to some of our troubling times, and we were pleased to see him step forward with a meditation on 2020’s social unrest which contained his clever imagery and genuine broken heartedness about the whole situation.
13 Napalm Girls by Creeper
Creeper’s first break up came too soon, and their return with a sophomore album proved it. Aside from a few spoken word inserts it’s a marvellous pop gothic experience, and to be honest our favourite track changed daily until we settled on this.
12 Beaches by Black Honey
Black Honey should be huge, and this cheeky but unabashed hymn to abandon should have been on radios all summer. 2020: it didn’t go to plan. Mind you, we’ll be pulling this one out when we’ve been jabbed and are hitting the sand as soon as possible in the comeback year of all years, 2021.
11 Wavvy by Lav
This is meant to be a lo-fi pop song about wondering if you put out to a guy too early, but can also be heard as a victim in the love stakes wondering if they gave up on life too soon, and that’s only twisted in new ways by the spooky video. Take your pick. Lav’s other songs got the glory, but this is the best.
10 What’ve I Done To Help by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
A song where the responsibilities and troubles of life are viewed through the prism of our own failings, a story of addiction and betrayal but in the end hope and redemption. Country has always produced epic songs of broken people coming back, and Jason and company added one more to the canon.
9 Power Is Taken by Moby and D.H. Peligro
Moby, who we believe is a pacifist, making a song all about the need to take power because the holders will never give it to you? Yeah, not only did it happen, but it occured at a moment when it felt like social justice movements might finally make a dent. Did anything change? A few good inches that could be built on. A song honest about the realities of the world.
8 Angel Wings by Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, pHeral DJ Remix
The original Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes song is merged with one of the all time best poetry performances, and when some big beats are thrown in this becomes one of the most powerful ‘keep going and fuck that mental illness’ songs we have in our armoury. At times terribly dark, but also uplifting. It was out in late 2019 but the Rattlesnakes remix EP came out in 2020 and 2019’s best ofs had already been written.
7 The Guardian (Ellie’s Song) by Shawn James
The game of the year inspired one of the best songs of the year. Shawn James has a string of powerful and touching modern country songs, but this meditation on the events of The Last Of Us stands up as brilliant even if you’ve never even heard of the game.
6 The One That You Love by LP
It’s almost criminal that LP isn’t a huge star because she’s released some brilliant songs, and The One That You Love is – by our reckoning – her second best ever. She also made riding about the desert on horses cool again after Old Town Road.
5 Phobia by Nothing But Thieves
The internet is brilliant, but it can also be incredibly corrosive to people’s health, and Nothing But Thieves sang about that creeping harm with this builder that’s dripping with paranoia and explosive anger.
4 Exile by Taylor Swift and Bon Iver
There’s something wonderful about the fact all those music snobs who felt they were too good for Taylor Swift’s pop dominance had to deal with the fact she released a brilliantly realised album of everything they professed to like, and in this cut actually gets Bon Iver himself to turn up and crown her.
3 Virus by Kloud
The release of Cyberpunk 2020 and the ensuing race to rebrand anything and everything sci-fi to cash in highlighted the fact story is still important and can’t be glossed over by neons and klaxons. Kloud knows this, and gives Virus one of the most pleading choruses and swiftest but richest story cues of recent times.
2 Texas Sun by Khruangbin and Leon Bridges
In the summer this laid back slice of Americana was the soundtrack to chilling in your garden, perhaps with something on the grill. In the winter, it’s a source of the serotonin your brain desperately needs. This is the California road trip turned into a digital song.
1 Am I Missing Something? by Jarv Is…
Jarvis Cocker’s triumphant return to awesome music coincided with a global pandemic which forced us all inside, turning his ode to wondering if the kids were having more fun into a reflection of all the fun you’d probably missed in 2020. The fact it’s a multi part, funny and bold song is the icing on the cake. It wasn’t prime Pulp, but it was something just as good.
Album of the Year: Beyond the Pale by Jarv Is…
It takes a special artist to inspire the best British band of the nineties, and then twenty years later produce a belting reflection on where those fans are now. It wasn’t an essential listen if you’re seventeen until Covid made songs like House Music All Night Long universally relevant, but as a piece of art a generation in the making, it filled all the promise and possibilities that YouTubers moan the Star Wars sequels didn’t.
Label of the Year: Night Mode
Created by a streamer to release brilliant EDM music of every genre, while also being DMCA free so people can absolutely use it in those streams, Night Mode didn’t put a foot wrong in 2020. Every song a banger, the team operating out of pure love for the music. They also organised some blistering live sets via Insomnia which can be found on YouTube.
Game of the Year: The Last of Us Part 2
A substantial part of the gaming community didn’t posses the emotional maturity to deal with a game that reveals the brutal truths of the corrosive effects of violence and the fact that pursuing revenge will, ultimately, cost you more. The Last of Us Part 2 did, and it’s a game of generational power.
TV Show of the Year: Tiger King
The TV show of the first lockdown, Tiger King started weird and then genuinely managed to keep getting weirder every single episode. I watched it all in one go and I’m not much of a binger, it was that essential and odd.
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