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Class of 2020 – The 100 Greatest Songs of the Year!

13 Dec, 2020

Well, what a year this was.

Thankfully, we had the music. Not in the way that we usually have it, but we had it. So the Class of 2020 list is here again, and almost 40 of the artists included share the full story behind their song exclusively for Songs for Whoever. The past couple of months have been a lot about calculating timezones and using modern technology.

We managed to meet a few artists in Stockholm before things went haywire, but when the artists had to stop coming here, we instead went to the artists. To Los Angeles, London, Toronto, Christchurch, San Francisco, Cornwall and wherever. Through Facetime, Zoom, Whatsapp, Skype, telephone and e-mail.

And here we are. With a list chock full of so many fantastic stories to read, and even more brilliant songs to hear.

I wish for 2021 to be as great as 2020. In terms of released music, that is.

The rest of it can fuck right off and never come back.

Now dig in!

Spotify playlist at the bottom of each page.

Class of 2020 – The 100 greatest songs of the year!:
#100-#81 | #80-#61 | #60-#41 | #40-#21 | #20-#11 | #10-#2 |#1


100. Shermanology “Sunshine”
(Single)

99. The Secret Sisters “Nowhere, Baby”
(from Saturn Return)

98. Wet “Come To You”
(Single)

97. White Denim “I Don’t Understand Rock And Roll”
(from World As A Waiting Room)

96. Fontaines D.C. “A Lucid Dream”
(from A Hero’s Death)

95. Rina Sawayama “Bad Friend”
(from SAWAYAMA)

94. Laura Marling “Only The Strong”
(from Song For Our Daughter)

93. Yves Tumor “Strawberry Privilege”
(from Heaven To A Tortured Mind)

92. Stevan “Rock N Roll”
(from Just Kids)

citattecken “…we talked about how we could write something together that felt like French electro but would still fit into my style…”

91. Nicole Atkins “Domino”
(from Italian Ice)

“One summer while touring, my band and I got really into listening to French electro music. It’s the perfect kind of music to drive to for long hours at night. Back at home in Nashville, I turned my friend Dex Green onto some of it while we were recording for my other project with Jim Sclavunos of the Bad Seeds. Dex caught the bug and got into it too and we talked about how we could write something together that felt like French electro but would still fit into my style. A few days later he sent over a drum and keys track and we finished the song from there fairly quickly.”

– Nicole Atkins

citattecken “…it satisfies the rhyme of job and kebob and advocates for ‘the secret’. I named it after myself to be cheeky but it is an accurate expression…”

90. Clem Snide “Ballad Of Eef Barzelay”
(from Forever Just Beyond)

“I think we always feel like we’re falling through life? Desperately grabbing at whatever little snappy branch we can but if there is no ground then there is no fear and then we’re flying or least floating… And in the end, a leap of faith is inevitable. Like the song says ‘to live is to fly’.

Also, it satisfies the rhyme of job and kebob and advocates for ‘the secret’. I named it after myself to be cheeky but it is an accurate expression of what I believe.”

– Eef Barzelay

89. Jessy Lanza “Lick In Heaven”
(from All The Time)

88. Matt Berninger “Serpentine Prison”
(from Serpentine Prison)

87. Moses Boyd “Shades Of You (feat. Poppy Ajudha)”
(from Dark Matter)

86. Local Natives “Lemon (feat. Sharon Van Etten)”
(from Sour Lemon EP)

85. beabadoobee “Care”
(from Fake It Flowers)

84. International Teachers Of Pop “Don’t Diss The Disco”
(from Pop Gossip)

83. Perfume Genius “Describe”
(from Set My Heart On Fire Immediately)

82. Empress Of “Bit Of Rain”
(from I’m Your Empress Of)

citattecken “…oddly our two closest neighbours were pro spoon-bender Uri Geller and coffee pod whore George Clooney, who looks really old in real life…”

81. Vienna Ditto “Dose Of The Salts”
(from Flat Earth)

“‘Dose of the Salts’ was written when I was still living in a very clapped-out narrowboat on the river Thames, about 40 miles West of London. I’d left town and been lured out to the countryside – which I hate – by my own lustfulness, haha! It was the middle of nowhere (oddly our two closest neighbours were pro spoon-bender Uri Geller and coffee pod whore George Clooney, who looks really old in real life), it was freezing cold that winter, the boats were only accessible via a very muddy track, and I was miserable.

I had insomnia and – I later realised – was suffering from low-level carbon monoxide poisoning, so I was very tired all the time. I also became obsessed with ghosts and the various meanings of the word ghost. I felt like a fucking ghost. I made it back to town and wrote pretty much the whole thing in the pub, just in the time it took for my mate to go to the toilet. Funnily enough, with my feet by the fire, I fell asleep straight after.”

– Nigel Firth

#100-#81 | #80-#61 | #60-#41 | #40-#21 | #20-#11 | #10-#2 |#1

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