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dmathias50 Best Songs of 2020 (So Far)

(Roughly) Ranked
1Ruston Kelly
Shape and Destroy

Ruston Kelly, his guitar, and some heart on sleeve lyrics. This song has not left my rotation since it's release in the Spring and its emotional impact hasn't lessened on me either.
New Dreams

"Care For You"
The best chorus on the album, this song is folk/ambient/indie pop goodness that will sneak up on you. The most immediate song on the album
3Jason Isbell

Stories of growing up, both positive and negative. One of Isbell's stronger choruses and the lyrics create a sense of regret and nostalgia all in one nice package.
4Owen Pallett

"A Bloody Morning"
An absolutely epic, building song. The orchestral elements and amount of layers make this perhaps the most engaging song I've heard in 2020.
Songs of Sonoma Mountain

"When I Was Younger I Cried"
A meandering folk melody gives the backdrops to beautiful lyrics touching on the complexities of gender identity.
6Ian William Craig
Red Sun Through Smoke

Minimal and heartbreaking, largely just Craig's voice and a piano. The sound of ambient artist deciding to go more direct in terms to tackle the hardships discussed in the album.
7Honey Harper

"Something Relative"
The flute in the bridge solidifies this for me, but the entire thing is an interesting twist on a classic country tale of heartbreak.
8Spanish Love Songs
Brave Faces Everyone

"Losers 2"
The perfect song for 2020, in basically all the wrong ways. That bridge is a little too timely. Personal and political pop-punk done to perfection.
9Phoebe Bridgers

"I Know The End"
Yeah those screams at the end got me too. I love a big cathartic moment, leave me alone.
10Katie Pruitt

"It's Always Been You"
Simple lyrics, a perfect piano line, and amazing vocals. The perfect love song and queer representation in country music.
11Siv Jakobsen
A Temporary Soothing

"I Call It Love"
I love love songs this year apparently. The faint gang vocals solidify this one for me, but the entire thing is just beautiful and moving, with Siv's voice being the perfect pairing. Pop-folk perfection.
12Ruston Kelly
Shape and Destroy

"Radio Cloud"
The definition of Dirt Emo. Classic country stylings with a pop punk chorus and some great lyrics.
13Moses Sumney

One of the most interesting artists emerging in the scene right now and one of the most interesting songs from his very interesting album. This is interesting and experimental in all of the right ways, an absolutely enrapturing progressive-pop song.
14Two People
Second Body

"Dream Steppin'"
Engaging and poppy synthpop that still takes enough risks to keep it absolutely engaging.
15Leah Senior
The Passing Scene

"Bug in a Bath"
Fun, piano driven indie-pop - What more do you need?
16Zach Bryan

"Heading South"
It's hard to find an artist more real than Zach Bryan in the year 2020 and "Heading South" is the perfect encapsulation of what he is. Country music filmed by amateurs in a barn. The production is shit, in the best way possible.
17Mora Mothaus
Overture To A Dream

"Toxic Snow"
This song grips you on your first listen, it's an absolutely enrapturing cut of chamber pop.
Songs of Sonoma Mountain

"The Bird in the Shed"
The mystifying imagery that Ismay is able to conjure up across her entire debut album is at its finest with this one.
19John Moreland

"Harder Dreams"
John Moreland tried to branch out with his acoustic country on his newest album, with mixed success. The electronic flourishes added to "Harder Dreams" match his gruff voice and lyrics perfectly.
20Katie Pruitt

Pruitt's absolutely stellar voice is the main focus of this title track, with her belt in front of the backup vocals causing goosebumps without fail.
21Dogwood Tales
Closest Thing to Heaven

"Riding Horses"
A classic country song with beautiful country lyrics to boot, all while sounding about as genuine as you could hope for.
22Drive-By Truckers
The Unraveling

"Armageddon's Back in Town"
The most rocking offering from The Trucker's newest, with some piano and strings put to great use.

"Right Round the Clock"
Dark-pop with a perfect sampling of "Mad World"
24Honey Harper

"Vaguely Satisfied"
Basically take what I said about the earlier Honey Harper selection but take away the part about the flute.
25Ruston Kelly
Shape and Destroy

"Under the Sun"
One of the best cathartic pay offs I've ever heard in the context of the album itself, but it's a pretty damn good alt-country offering on its own.
Saint Cloud

"Ruby Falls"
A slow burn alt-country jam. Go on a walk, look at the clouds, and listen to "Ruby Falls"
New Dreams

"My Work"
The ethereal slow build of "New Dreams" creates an absolutely haunting pay off.
28Nadia Reid
Out of My Province

"Best Thing"
Delightfully controlled folk cacophony.
29ghost gnotes
ghost gnotes

Sufjan impression, but it has a banjo, so I love it.
As it Grows Dark/Light

"How Could You Disappear?"
Fun synth-pop that is sung by a very sad man.
31The Chicks

Honestly it could just be the 14 seconds and I'd probably include it still.
32Taylor Swift

Taylor + Bon Iver, of course it's on this list.
33Margo Price
That's How Rumors Get Started

"I'd Die For You"
My kindergarten teacher's daughter writes a really good Tom Petty song.
34Hailey Whitters
The Dream

"Ten Year Town"
Absolutely delightful country-pop with powerful lyrics.
New Dreams

"Falls (No Wonder)"
Another very simple song with a melody that will sneak up on you out of the middle of nowhere"
36Jason Isbell

"The River"
A really pretty song with some great piano that is about a murderer.
37Moses Sumney

"Cut Me"
Sexy pop that is just weird enough.
38Orville Peck
Show Pony

"Legends Never Die"
You know Ashley McBryde is good because she beat out Shania Twain. And this is really good Shania Twain + Orville + Cheese
39Jaye Jayle

"A Cold Win"
The opposite of the last two
40Caroline Rose

"Feel The Way I Want"
Just really killer pop. That Jaye Jayle track is sandwiched in a weird spot
41H.C. McEntire
Eno Axis

"Hands for the Harvest"
Touching country about farming, but it doesn't sound like what you think
42Courtney Marie Andrews
Old Flowers

"It Must Be Someone Else's Fault"
This will make you feel like you live on a farm back in the 1920s and are just about to fall in love with the suitor across town
43Lianne La Havas
Lianne La Havas

Smooooooooooth R&B/Pop that can want to gently bob your head with
44Ruston Kelly
Shape and Destroy

I've already talked about Ruston a lot, just watch this very good music video:
Days of Effort and Ease

"Love, Go Lightly"
The folk song that caused my sister to say "Your taste in music is just music other people think is boring"

"Walk in the Woods"
Indie-rock/pop that gives early 2000s, Sixpence None the Richer vibes
47Tyson Motsenbocker
Someday I’ll Make it All Up to You

"Autumn Love"
Read the title of the song and then imagine an indie folk song that sounds like that and you probably nailed it
48Andrew Judah
Impossible Staircase

Seven minutes of prog-rock goodness will killer vocals
49Agnes Obel

"Broken Sleep"
The last two minutes are pure baroque pop goodness.
50A.A. Williams
Forever Blue

Those roars just speak to me.
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