staff picks songs 2020

Staff Picks: Best Songs 2020

Despite 2020 being a widespread disaster around the world, our favorite artists still came through to bring us some unforgettable music. The year brought amazing debuts from rising stars, as well as brand-new hits from perennial favorites. Because we were all stuck inside for most of the year, we had plenty of time to listen to everything — and we mean everything. We’d love to say that every song is a favorite, because we appreciate every time an artist shares their work with the world, but these are the go-tos the EUPHORIA. staff has been spinning and streaming this year. Check out our picks for best songs of 2020.


James Blake — Are You Even Real?

Blake’s standalone single asks a question of dumbfounded love only comparable to Michael Jackson’s “PYT” in the opening when Michael sings, “Where did you come from baby?” Blake’s accompanying layered and lustrous instrumental with blissful strings makes it one of the most complete, specific, and captivating songs of the year. — Miki Hellerbach

Jacob Collier — Running Outta Love (ft. Tori Kelly)

Going beyond the lyrics and vocals, the complexity of his work is insane. Tori Kelly, as always knocks it out of the park! This was a perfect combo! — Danielle Taylor

Spillage Village — End of Daze

The lead single from the collective’s 2020 album Spilligion contains multiple Black perspectives on the apocalyptic feeling of the world and the blatant examples of systemic racism that aligned with the pandemic. You get philosophical, historical, cerebral, heartfelt, sad, brave, and guttural passion all strewn throughout. But the overall feeling that elevates this song, is togetherness in the struggle from the harmonious yet eery hook to Mereba’s final line of her standout verse, “Fuck with any kinfolk, you gon’ have to get through we.” — Miki Hellerbach

Rina Sawayama — Commes des Garçons

Mixing her sultry tones with a drumming beat and later high-intensity pop style, there’s almost everything thrown in with this frankly pop-perfect banger from the UK’s rising star. “I’m so confident” she states so regularly. With the ability to write a song like this, she should be. — Will Connolly

24Kgoldn — City of Angels

This is an incredible rock song by the biggest rapper in the world. Those words don’t belong in the same sentence, but somehow he makes it look so easy. — Miguel Costa

The Pretty Reckless — Death by Rock and Roll

This is a song that Taylor Momsen worked for for such a long time and she put so much effort and heart into the creation of the track. — Amanda Lang

Lianne La Havas — Please Don’t Make Me Cry (Jordan Rakei Remix)

You’d think that a song couldn’t get any better, but suddenly — a remix exists. This song is so emotional and powerful, similar to the rest of the album. — Noella Williams

Miley Cyrus & Dua Lipa — Prisoner

I love this track because it is bringing back rock and roll! Miley’s new dirty rock brand paired with Dua Lipa’s pop essence creates the ultimate song. — Vogue Giambri

Bad Bunny — Yo Perreo Sola

Bad Bunny was definitely on everyone’s radar this year after releasing two new albums — February’s Grammy-nominated YHLQMDLG and November’s surprise release El Último Tour del Mundo — collaborations with J Balvin, Dua Lipa, Rosalía, and wildly successful tracks “Yo Perreo Sola,” “Safaera,” and “La Dificil.” “Yo Perreo Sola” caught everyone’s attention as it became an anthem for women to just dance for themselves. — Laura Ersoy

Ariana Grande — positions

Ari surprised us all with “Positions.” A song that not only features her new mature sound, but those utterly catchy beats that shot the song towards the No. 1 position in my book. — Iris Konstant

Ashton Irwin — Skinny Skinny

Ashton Irwin’s solo venture this year was a total surprise, and one that I was so damn happy to see. The 5SOS drummer is full of so many good ideas and incredible talent, and it’s immediately apparent upon listening to his debut single, “Skinny Skinny.” The song is raw and emotional and still gives me so many Beatles vibes. While I don’t want 5SOS to go anywhere any time soon, I’ve loved getting to witness Irwin blossom into his own. — Hedy Phillips

Lady Gaga — Rain on Me (ft. Ariana Grande)

Is there a day in 2020 that this banger hasn’t improved? “Rain on Me” is just one of those infectious tracks that will be added to the long list of songs we will be dancing to on busy dance floors, when lockdown is a thing of the past. Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande together are a powerhouse duo and this track brings infinite energy and grooving. — Tara Shiels

Rina Sawayama — XS

Who doesn’t love an avant-pop critique of consumerism and capitalism? It effortlessly meshes genres together, and Rina slays her performance of this song every single time. — Saskia Postema