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Teenage Wet Dream

Teenage Wet Dream's Top Songs of 2020

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With the year almost over, now's time to take a look back at the songs that made me dance, cry, love, and dance again in worst year of all of our lives. It was hard creating a list that wasn't 70% Chromatica, Future Nostalgia, and folklore but here we are. 

See below!

 

#50-#26

50. People, I’ve Been Sad – Christine and the Queens

 

49. Chemicals – SG Lewis

 

48. Dead Horse – Hayley Williams

 

47. I Know The End – Phoebe Bridgers

 

46. Dance – Toni Braxton

 

45. Experience – Victoria Monet, Khalid, & SG Lewis

 

44. Dragonball Durag - Thundercat

 

43. Boss Bitch – Doja Cat

 

42. Dying Breed – The Killers

 

41. circle the drain – Soccer Mommy

 

40. Savage Remix – Megan Thee Stallion & Beyonce

 

39. Chinatown – Bleachers & Bruce Springsteen

 

38. Impact – SG Lewis, Robyn, & Channel Tres

 

37. Delete Forever - Grimes

 

36. Prisoner – Miley Cyrus & Dua Lipa

 

35. Space Ghost Coast to Coast – Glass Animals

 

34. Summertime – Orville Peck

 

33. Positions – Ariana Grande

 

32. Lost In Yesterday – Tame Impala

 

31. exile – Taylor Swift & Bon Iver

 

30. WAP – Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion

 

29. Hallucinate – Dua Lipa

 

28. Watermelon Sugar – Harry Styles

 

27. willow – Taylor Swift

 

26. Guilty Conscience – 070 Shake

 

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#25-#11

 

25. Lifetime - Romy

 

I was quite excited to find indie darling and (one of) the xx’s lead vocalist Romy released a solo single. I was even more excited to find out it was a euphoric and uplifting slice of dance pop. Let’s get vaccinated so I can listen to this in the club while getting groped by my boyfriend.

24. Murphy’s Law – Roisin Murphy

 

The best cut from my #10 album of 2020. Sounds like it was ripped from a compilation of disco classics, this modern nu-disco song is exactly the type of sound that’s making waves in 2020. Easily the most accessible song on the weird yet hypnotic and addictive Roisin Machine, Murphy’s Law will light up dancefloors in my living room (for now).

23. Jaguar – Victoria Monet

 

One of Ariana Grande’s closest friends and go to songwriters, Victoria Monet has blessed the world with several bops this year (see #45 on my list) and Jaguar is by far the standout. Part 90’s R&B and part late 70’s funk and disco (see a trend in my list yet?) with a splash of modern pop magic, Jaguar shows the magic of Victoria Monet’s songwriting and is something Ariana wishes she could have recorded.

22. Guys – The 1975

 

Who would have thought one of 2020’s most beautiful melodies would come from a rock band’s song about friendship and their fellow bandmates. The musical mind of Matt Healy once again crafts a song so soft and delicate that makes you appreciate those closest to you, especially in a year like this.

21. Now I Don’t Hate California After All – Carly Rae Jepsen

 

While Dedicated Side B was no Emotion Side B (or Dedicated for that matter), it had it’s fair share of bops. For me, the standout track was easily this dreamy, summery song that’s reminiscent of Beach Boy’s Pet Sounds, one of the greatest pop albums EVER. This is Carly at her best and it’s a shame this song exists as a B-side because everyone deserves to lay back in their beach chair with sand on their feet and ocean in sight while this tune flows out of their headphones.

20. Blinding Lights – The Weeknd

 

I went back and forth about adding this song to my list since it’s TECHNICALLY a 2019 song and it was last year’s list (too low for my liking) but since this really was THE song of 2020, it deserved a spot on this year’s list especially near the top. Probably the best 80’s inspired pop song of the last 20 years (seriously this is Max Martin at his best), this infectious piece of synth gold will continue invading our airwaves from years to come.

19. Alice – Lady Gaga

 

It was 11pm on Thursday, May 28th where I stayed up to listen to Chromatica’s release in full. I remember listening to the familiar Chromatica I interlude (thank you Stupid Love MV) when the near perfect transition into “My name… isn’t Alice…” came in and my wig and soul immediately left my body. The most “Gaga” song since Artpop, Alice is Gaga at her best: weird, dark, and full of hooks. Seriously that demented and distorted bridge is EVERYTHING. I’m still hoping for an out of this world video that will put this album back on the top of the charts because 2020 robbed us of so much and this is no exception.

18. Bad Friend – Rina Sawayama

 

If Guys by The 1975 is a love song about friendship, then Bad Friend is the breakup song. We’ve all had our hearts broken by lovers and significant others but there’s something different about the hurt that comes from a failed friendship, especially if you’re the cause (unless you’re a sociopath). This song will always hold a special place in my heart and to quote Elton John, this is definitely a song Madonna would have killed to record.

17. mirrorball – Taylor Swift

 

The mental images Taylor Swift’s masterpiece folklore evoke in my head range from standing next to a river under a gray clear sky to wandering through the woods in the middle of the night, very different from the colorful, poppy vibes of her past works. Mirrorball manages to capture a big mix of that – taking me to a black & white scene with disco balls covering the ceiling in what I can only describe as a prom dancefloor in the middle of a deep North American forest. Only miss Swift can capture that level of magic and emotion in her songwriting and melodies and mirrorball is (once again) Taylor at her best.

16. What’s Your Pleasure? – Jessie Ware

 

While many pop acts looked toward the late 70’s for their disco inspirations, Jessie Ware looked toward the future (well the early 80’s) much like Donna Summer did with the pop standard and staple “I Feel Love”. Much like that song, What’s Your Pleasure takes you away from the busy dancefloor into the discoteque’s backroom lounge where you’re vision’s blurring after 2-3 hours of vodka soda’s and sniffing poppers but it’s okay because you’re getting felt up by a handsome stranger. Is there anything more disco than that?

15. If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know) – The 1975

 

 

The 1975 makes better 80’s power pop songs than many of the 80’s power pop groups that inspire them. This time they’ve traded guitar solos for beautiful saxophone riffs in the most intentional and ironic (or maybe unironic?) way. This song is pure and peak 1975 through and through and it’s a shame their sound isn’t embraced by Top 40 like they deserve.

14. Modern Loneliness - Lauv

 

Lauv exhibits the type of silly, sad boy energy that would have had me dickmatized and desperate when I was 20 and that’s probably why he’s one of my guilty pleasures. His album “~how I’m feeling~” is full of catchy little tunes but nothing stands out more than the album’s centerpiece “Modern Loneliness” – an anthem for young millennials and Gen Z who seem to be plagued by a search for happiness and fulfillment. A depressing topic for a depressed generation but Lauv manages to capture that sentiment in one of 2020’s catchiest offerings.

13. Magic – Kylie Minogue

 

Groundbreaking? No. Simple? Yes. Catchy AF? YES. Kylie managed to take the camp of “Light Years” and mash it up with popfection of “Aphrodite” to create a song that captures the purity and joy of the disco genre more than most artists were able to this year. Equal parts camp and groove, Kylie continues to remind the world why she’s still slaying the game 30 years and running.

12. Some Dream – Perfume Genius

 

Perfume Genius has managed to outdo himself and create one of his most beautiful and captivating bodies of work yet in his album “Set My Heart on Fire Immediately” (my #6 album of 2020). Between the mix of instruments and haunting melodies, no song capture this sound better than album gem Some Dream. This song was written about this dream world of creativity he locks himself in entirely too frequently and it’s something we can all find ourselves being lost in. The emotional heights this song makes me feel is only catapulted by the barnstorm arrangement of guitar that kicks off around the 1:23 minute mark that leaves you feeling raw and vulnerable but in the most comforting way.  

 

11. Stupid Love – Lady Gaga

 

For almost 7 years (3 if you want to count 2017’s “The Cure”), the world was deprived of the dance pop sound that introduced the world to Lady Gaga. All the way back in February (feels like it’s been 84 years…), Gaga finally fed us one of the campiest additions to her catalog with one simple message: “just dance!”. Stupid Love was divisive for several reasons: lyrics were considered “basic” by many, the production wasn’t groundbreaking enough, and was underwhelming overall. If I lied to myself and thought Gaga was this pop savant from another world, I’d probably feel the same but that’s probably because I view Stefani G. as an entertainer moreso than a groundbreaking artist. Anywho, Stupid Love was on repeat for probably 2-3 months and continues to make me want to get up and move my feet – which I think was her mission all along.

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#10-#1

 

10. Now I’m In It - HAIM

 

Technically released in late 2019, I did not stumble across this little pop nugget until Haim’s amazing album “Women In Music Pt. III” graced the world with its sound in June 2020. Written about Danielle going through a bout of depression, Now I’m In It takes a groovy bassline with some quick, soft spoken delivery and delivers one of 2020’s strongest pop offerings. Who knew a song about laying in bed eating chocolate and binging Netflix because you’re too sad to do anything would be so catchy and relatable? Well maybe after this year, it became a feeling all too familiar.

9. Gaslighter – The Chicks

 

In my mind, this song is a perfect “fuck you” to the Commander in Chief (well soon to be former) instead of Natalie Maines’ ex-husband. Their long awaited comeback single did not disappoint and The Chicks were able to deliver one of the year’s catchiest hooks. In addition to the earworm of a chorus, this song managed to combine the band’s almost punk rock attitude with Jack Antonoff’s bullet train of melody and vocal production he has oh so gracefully gifted pop music with. It’s a shame this wasn’t the smash it deserved to be, but in another world it dominated country and pop radio and those Trump supporting hicks weren’t able to escape it.  

8. Physical – Dua Lipa

 

It almost feels like a stale take putting every pop phag’s favorite 2020 song into my list, but how could I not?? “Don’t Start Now” began this near perfect pop era with a bang but the follow-up single “Physical” took it to the next level. Part 80’s power pop and part roller disco riot anthem, Dua provided the world (well mainly Europe) with one of the year’s best pop songs that feels like the best possible slap in the face one could hope for.

7. Photo ID – Remi Wolf

 

Discovered this cute little diddy thanks to one of my good friends and it’s been a relationship with my replay button ever since. Still largely unknown, Remi Wolf is an up and coming Gen Z pop star with inspirations that range from the mowtown groove of Michael McDonald, the sass of Chaka Khan, and the eccentric swagger of David Byrne. Between her two EPs, the standout song in her discography is this little piece of pop heaven, Photo ID. If anyone can write a song about a trip to the DMV and make you want to shake your ass with its funky verve and vibe, then they are worth paying attention to.

6. XS – Rina Sawayama

 

In theory, a song that sounds like a mashup between a 2001 Neptunes produced Britney Spears track and System of a Down should be an absolute clusterfuck. Instead it’s one of 2020’s most daring and standout pop tracks that had all the gays screaming “RINA RINA RINA”. The song is so irresistible and catchy you almost forget it’s about the damage capitalism and a life of materialism causes and maybe that’s why it never hit the charts.

5. the last great american dynasty – Taylor Swift

 

Taylor Swift has always been a gifted storyteller and that’s what makes her the best songwriter in pop and one of the best songwriters in any music genre. Her lyrics have historically drawn on her own real life experiences and has unfairly overshadowed her work because of it. With this new era of her career, Taylor has left her real world inspiration behind and focused her craft on fictious storytelling and it suits her well. TLGAD is peak Swift – a whimsical tale of a young woman against the world who does things on her own terms. Not overpowered by the focus of “which man is this song about?”, Taylor managed to produce a narrative that is both an interesting and fascinating page turner, something she’s always been amazing at but never sounded better than she does now.

4. Say So – Doja Cat

 

One of the first pop songs of 2020 to go full vintage 70’s and disco, Doja manages to give the gays exactly what we’ve been (secrently) wanting from a female rap star since the early days of Nicki. A retro pop sound with one of the catchiest rap verses in decades, all topped with one of the most fun music videos of the year, Doja really owned 2020 with goldmine of a pop song.

3. Say Something – Kylie Minogue

 

When Kylie said her new album was going to be called “DISCO”, many pop listeners scratched their heads upon the release of the lead single. “Say Something” is not what I’d describe as disco nor does it have a traditional pop song structure. The pre-chorus builds and then the chorus comes and goes in a flash leaving you wanting more (like a good pop song does). Even though the chorus ends prematurely and the song seems to move on to the next section, words can’t describe the feelings and goosebump the final chorus and backing choir gives me. Seriously this song sends me to another planet and nothing does the song more justice than the Infinite Disco performance (see above) that showcases what a living legend the impossible princess Miss Kylie Minogue is.

2. Rain On Me – Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande

 

2020 is the worst year of our lives and we really needed a moment to distract us and make us dance again. Luckily, Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande were hear to deliver that to us – a pulsating club anthem that did what gay anthems like “Raining Men” and star studded diva collaborations like “No More Tears” failed to do, create an infectious dance pop production that made you want to channel all the tears, trauma, and sadness in your life into one of the best night outs in your life. It’s homophobic how Miss Rona robbed us of being able to appreciate the larger than life sound of “Rain on Me” on the dancefloor where it was made to flourish. Despite the circumstances, Gaga and Ari managed to bless the world with the “pause” we all needed and the permission to feel okay with being sad and wanting to dance. I can’t think of a better message to hear during this shitshow of a year, can you?  

1. Levitating – Dua Lipa

 

I had a really hard time trying to pick what my favorite song of 2020 was between the top 5. When I thought about what my top songs of the year have been (e.g. Teenage Dream, Super Bass, no tears left to cry), it was easy. I connect with lots of different types of music but none more than dance pop because of the sugar rush and euphoria it makes me feel and no song captured that better this year than Levitating. Seriously – the song was created from a sugar high experienced by Dua and the songwriting team. Both parts future space glamazon extravaganza and disco and funk nostalgia, Levitating is pure pop magic and we are fortunate to witness it climb up the charts as we speak. Between the flawless, bounce, and glittery hook and the Blondie-esque rap bridge, Dua confidently and effortlessly delivers one of 2020’s strongest pop offerings – campy, galactic fun that takes you to a dancefloor located on the rings of Saturn where Miss Rona is non-existent and its club goers don’t have a care in the world.

 

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Circle the Drain is for sure one of my favourite songs of the year. I have barely seen any Soccer Mommy appreciation on here. dead2 Glad to see you giving some love to a handful of my favourite album cuts of the year too like Guys, mirrorball and IDHCAA. cry7 Also a deserving #1!

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On 12/30/2020 at 4:12 PM, Lachlan said:

Circle the Drain is for sure one of my favourite songs of the year. I have barely seen any Soccer Mommy appreciation on here. dead2 Glad to see you giving some love to a handful of my favourite album cuts of the year too like Guys, mirrorball and IDHCAA. cry7 Also a deserving #1!

Soccer Mommy is amazing and I think this song would be received well here! 
 

thank you for having good taste! cry6 

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