From pop comebacks to international acts finding crossover success to gorgeous ballads and irresistible dancefloor bait, was quite the year. Here are the songs we couldn't stop playing this year. Think the vulnerable voice of Nina Simone waxing poetic about the ills of millennial dating. Following in the footsteps of international kings like Burna Boy and WizKid, Rema's crisp, charming vocals float over a bouncy rhythm that blends Afropop and hip-hop to create three minutes and 15 seconds of sheer joy. Sex sells, but Rapsody has never been one to conform to hip-hop's misogynistic views of women. Angel Olsen's lush, throaty voice connects with an eerie, '80s-leaning production to create a musical masterpiece. One of the most ubiquitous songs of came from pop's newest power couple. Hate it or love it, Shawn and Camila make magic together.
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T he most compelling albums released this year include three Brits with vastly different sounds, a year-old Angeleno and an elder statesman of the New York underground rap world. Almost all of them deal, in one way or another, with the current moment of global anxiety—whether directly protesting authority figures or offering an escape valve. Cast your vote in the reader poll. While New York, Los Angeles and Chicago still predictably serve as homes to flourishing jazz scenes, a city across the pond has emerged as a hotbed for cutting-edge musicianship: London. Diverse, inspired appearances from the Los Angeles singer Georgia Anne Muldrow, the Nigerian-British Afrobeat star Obongjayar and the London rapper Jehst all serve as testaments to the flourishing breadth and intensity of the music of the modern black diaspora. Powerfully, Straus has openly embedded her sexuality in her music from the start, turning simple love songs into statements of queer identity and rallying cries for contemporary romance. Like many other enduring artists, Bon Iver has used each of his albums to explore a new sonic world. He started with modest acoustic strumming arrangements For Emma, Forever Ago , expanded into horn-driven stadium rock Bon Iver , then swerved into the digital world with autotuned maximalism 22, A Million.
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Thank god for that because didn't shape up to be any easier than , and we needed all the great music we could get. Throughout the year, we listened to and judged every new tune and collected the ones we love the most. The video? A work of art. Being able to peacefully create that art with your ex? Doing that thing listen to the end of the song for reference nine times in one day? Standards have officially risen. When Lady Antebellum started to think about their most successful songs throughout the years, singles like "Need You Now" and "I Run to You" came to mind, becoming the inspiration for the trio's track masterpiece, Ocean. That's all you need to know for now. The song that launched a thousand rumors
Summer is a season unlike any that have come before it, but even in uncertain times as the coronavirus pandemic continues on, some things haven't changed. Folks are still flocking to beaches or staying put in their backyard inflatable pools , road tripping , and trying to live some normal approximation of the warm weather months. While so much looks and feels different right now, this turbulent year has gifted us with some first-rate summer songs from artists around the world that will be a welcome addition to any playlist.