The Best Songs of 2020 (So Far)
The year 2020 might not have started on the strongest note, but at least the music has. With only three months down so far, we already have the likes of Lady Gaga and Bad Bunny making us dance during happy moments and Soccer Mommy and Phoebe Bridgers holding us during melancholy ones. No matter how you’re feeling during this confusing time, there just might be a new record out there to match your mood.
Here, BAZAAR.com picks the best new tracks of 2020 so far. But continue to watch this space for new additions throughout the year. (And missed our top songs of 2019? Check out that list here.)
“Si Veo a Tu Mamá” by Bad Bunny
Any artist who decides to sample the Brazilian classic “The Girl from Ipanema” is sure to create a hit, but when Bad Bunny remixes the bossa nova track, it becomes a prime example of where the future of urbano pop can go. The song is upbeat and danceable, but with Spanish lyrics that are sincerely heartbreaking, narrating the emotions that follow you into post-breakup life while you wonder what your ex is up to. —Bianca Betancourt, BAZAAR.com Assistant Digital News Editor
“Physical” by Dua Lipa
Between the new sounds that Lady Gaga, The Weeknd, and now Dua Lipa are currently serving listeners, it seems like the heavy synth and booming bass feel of the ’80s is back in full swing. We love that with “Physical,” Dua isn’t afraid to experiment with a mainstream pop sound while also rocking avant-garde, punchy-bright looks with her accompanying videos. This high-energy track just makes us want to dance and, apparently, so does Dua. —B.B.
“Juro Que” by Rosalía
Rosalía returns to her flamenco roots with this raw and mesmerizing track. While the Catalan singer received her big break abroad by experimenting with the Caribbean sounds of reggaeton, Rosalía at her core is a flamenco singer—and she shines when she strips down the frills of pop for a more bare-boned, operatic performance, much like “Juro Que.” One doesn’t have to speak Spanish to hear the pain and heartbreak that evokes through Rosalía’s greatest instrument: her voice. —B.B.
“Silly Watch” by Lil Uzi Vert
For nearly three years, Lil Uzi fans lived off nothing but Instagram-fit slideshows and scattered song snippets that were almost always left with no follow-up. But out of the flames of bad-contract embargo finally came Eternal Atake II, a record perfectly surreal enough to exist in the current moment. “Silly Watch” is one of its six opening tracks that each hit with equal-part speed, fury, and style as Uzi breathlessly works through the album’s entrance into another dimension. For three straight minutes, North Philly’s favorite rap alien relentlessly keeps his small, designer-clad shoe on the gas pedal, making a track so sinister it comes with its own artist-suggested dance move. —Natalie Maher, BAZAAR.com Contributor
“Stoned Again” by King Krule
In 2020, King Krule’s growl is a welcomed and expected staple, a rare time-tested signature that doesn’t seem to lose its edge with wear. “Stoned Again” takes Archy’s usual gruffness and ups it an octave to a snarled yell, only then to juxtapose it with these velvety soft opening lines: “Yeah she’s my sweet / My sweet and sour, my lemon honey.” —N.M.
“Circle the Drain” by Soccer Mommy
“Circle the Drain” sounds like what would play in a teenager’s room after a good date in an early 2000s cult-classic high school movie. With near Hilary Duff-esque approachability, Soccer Mommy details depressive tendencies amid sing-along melodies and warm guitar strums, making for a song that is as sweet and approachable as it is cuttingly honest. —N.M.
“People, I’ve Been Sad” by Christine and the Queens
In some ways—maybe most ways—Christine and the Queens seems like an insurmountable force. Héloïse Letissier has spent the last four years rotating through identities and aliases, becoming the dominant face of otherworldly crisp, clean, and cutting modern pop music. But in 2020, she’s gone full mask off, peeking her head out with an honest confession: “It’s true that people, I’ve been sad,” she offers sweetly, before unfurling into a poetic part-English, part-French hymnal of self-realization. —N.M.
“Stupid Love” by Lady Gaga
After showcasing her inimitable range with her Joanne and A Star Is Born eras, Gaga takes her fans back to her shiny pop roots with “Stupid Love,” the helplessly romantic and kinetic lead single to her upcoming album, Chromatica. As the multi-hyphenate artist revealed, making the LP was a form of healing for her chronic pain, which explains the bright, uplifting production courtesy of Tchami and BloodPop. But audiences can probably agree that listening also heals; Gaga’s sonic optimism is much needed in uncertain times. —Erica Gonzales, BAZAAR.com Culture & Content Strategy Editor
“Captain Hook” by Megan Thee Stallion
After the rapper’s former record label tried to block the release of her new music, the arrival of her March 6 project, Suga, just tasted even sweeter. On the follow-up to her 2019 album Fever, and seasonal hit “Hot Girl Summer,” Stallion is confident, sharp, vulgar, and untouchable. The standout track, “Captain Hook”—on which she flaunts her sexual exploits and weaves through dexterous flows—may just find her at her raunchiest and most intimidating. And we love it. —E.G.
“Garden Song” by Phoebe Bridgers
In her first solo release since her acclaimed 2017 debut album, Stranger in the Alps, Bridgers sends us into a dreamlike state with her signature narrative style and gentle vocals as she sings about her hometown and recurring nightmares. The pairing of the peaceful, guitar-led melody with haunting imagery is spine-tingling (“Someday, I’m gonna live / In your house up on the hill / And when your skinhead neighbor goes missing / I’ll plant a garden in the yard”), as is the gravelly bass harmony, performed by her tour manager, under the chorus. —E.G.
Listen to all the picks below and follow Harper’s BAZAAR on Spotify.
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