We know 2020 is well passed. And few people are morning about it. In this past odd year that has challenged us in so many ways, we managed to keep giving you great tracks regardless of the genre, and always trying to focus on very new artists and musicians. Still, we missed a few that we wanted to write about – as expected – leading to this beautiful collection of tracks released in the last 6 months of 2020, that we think are deserving of special attention. Yes, you may call this a best-of-list. Because when it comes to best-of lists they are all about what or which songs moved us the most. And these ones moved us throughout the year. And will continue to. We are sure of that.
Don’t expect your already favorite songs to be on this list though. Expect, however, to be surprised with great songs you never heard before that you might include in your favorites list.
This is part 2 of 2, you can see part one covering great songs from the first half of 2020 here.
Capa Nau – You Know Me
Gareth Cotter-Stone is also known as Capa Nau. As Capa Nau, he does electronic music with a combination of synths and live instruments, and having remixed tracks from Novo Amor and SOHN, his sonority is somewhere in between. You Know Me is a slow-burning track that bases itself on the house flow to deliver a gorgeous and wavy experiment to the listener. The second single of four released by Capa Nau in the last five months uses a gorgeous atmosphere that sounds clean, loud, and ethereal. Sounding fresh and sea-like at times, the huge variations around the 2.20 mark keeps the listener (and by this time also a dancer) super-engaged, and that Weeknd like pop sonority is only topped by the distinct notion of where to place hooks and variations. A beautiful track precedes his debut EP expected soon this year.
Daniel Wilson – Near Me
Daniel Wilson is hardly a newcomer to the indie music world, his previous songs have gathered several million streams on music platforms as a result of his EP Sinner of the Week back in 2016. Near Me is his first song in four years (Daniel has been producing tracks and co-writing tracks like the Weeknd’s Sidewalks or Joe Goddard’s Home), and a beautiful lullaby that takes the best of Daniel Wilson’s impressive voice. The track talks about how love can create stability in lives with few efforts, with good actions being remembered long after they were performed. It’s a predominately pop song, in every meaning of the world, but it’s also a very beautiful pop song, and one very easy to relate to, and where we can easily feel the soul and church-singing influences that Daniel puts into sonority so well.
Di-Ivories – Somewhere In The Distance
“Somewhere, somewhere in the distance”, Di-Ivories indie psychedelic dream-pop vibe is all over Somewhere In The Distance and that’s a good thing. That’s a perfect thing, in fact. The low-fi video that accompanies the track serves perfectly as it keeps the song’s vibe. This is a track that sounds both personal and like we are transported to a virtual alternative world where we can express ourselves and be ourselves and talk about weaknesses we all have. Because of all of that, but also because this is very addictive and sticks with you as a listener (I personally found myself chanting it long after I’ve heard it play). The track is about the desire to go and escape to your ideal fantasy and challenges you to imagine a “somewhere” you’d like to go and stick with the positive feeling you’ll get there.
Freedom Fry – Human
“Human” is the new single from French & American indie-pop duo, Freedom Fry who sings the very addictive chorus: “I’m only human too, I can’t explain the things I wanna do. I mess it up, I try my best, I do. I’m only human too, just like you”. Freedom Fry achieves a sonority that sounds like a full band, with a very out-going and fun ambiance and some young-sounding and super melodic vocal hooks. The song is so very well build that is naturally a sticker. A good one. Like a very good sweet, we want to try again and again. But it’s also perfect to chill with a relevant modern sonority and a nostalgic spin.
Golding – Alone Together
“Gold Coast based Indie-electronic duo Jay Bainbridge & Matt Bartlem are about to become your most played, with their new hit single”. Sometimes, a sentence like this will drive us away from the song. This time, it’s actually accurate. Alone Together, the latest track released by Golding was written in the midst of isolation but echoes positivity and dancing grooves. It starts groovy and highly electronic, with a bit of that 80’s vibe that makes it enter our veins very easily. Soon after the start, the first chorus hooks us once again. Only to be loving the whole calmed down verses that so easily slide into the groovy chorus again and again. There are layers and layers of elements that only after a while we notice are not there anymore. In a constant slow evolution that never takes the focus from the central groove. It goes by like a breeze.
Hopkins – Dominion
LA-based collaborative duo Hopkins do a blend of pop, electronics, and dream pop combined into very energetic and brilliantly loud music. Dominion was their 3rd released single and talks about giving into weaknesses. Its lush feel is completely honest and sounds sexy and powerful. There are some elements that make the track into a very “indie” track, reminding us of some of our favorite bands like Unknown Mortal Orchestra. But it’s also more modern, without being afraid to show it. Organic, ambient, and an uber melodic electric feel.
I Took Your Name – Human
Human “It´s a groovy song about the former German Democratic Republic, with people spying on each other. In the video, you see pets take the role of the humans“. Just like that, I Took Your Name introduces the first of two songs released in 2020. Also slow-burning, but fostering a gentle evolution that sounds heavily based on the deep drums and bass – that can also sound secondary for the less attentive -, the track is a gorgeous and surprising composition that not only tells a story but also sounds comforting and filled with sound. There is a certain transformation power in it. It’s like the city ambiance was somehow re-ordered to make sense, to feel like all the sound around us is there for a purpose. It’s like this could be a soundtrack for being human. There is comfort in almost every corner of the track, with the silky vocals making everything a delight to be listened to.
Lover Boy – Go Insane
“When the lights go out and the people forget their names, when the drugs kick in and the people just go insane, just for the hell of it” – a brilliant way of making a song, if one can, is to grab a pair of sentences that come from within the heart and make a track around it. It seems that’s what Lover Boy did in the SUPER contagious Go Insane. We can only identify a lot with it, in all its meanings and forms. There is a very gentle vibe that easily makes us lift and feel lighter. That kind of vibe that researchers may try their best to explain, and won’t ever be able to make it justice. If you don’t believe us take a listen below and try to not feel alive with it. Thank you Lover Boy, for making us feel this way.
Medium Build – Another Man
“The eighth step of Alcoholics Anonymous involves making a list of shit you did in your addiction. Step 9 involves making amends with people who were harmed by your addiction. I was prompted by my sponsor to write to someone to who I needed to apologize to. So, I wrote this song while hashing out my thoughts on the apology I had yet to give“. Powerful explanation for a powerful song. Another Man, one of four tracks Medium Build released during 2020, is what we were all these years waiting for Chet Faker to do. An indietronica song that makes us want to be inside it. Both delicate and honest, groovy, and immediate. The lyrics are from an honest point of view, from lessons learned from bad past decisions. Talks about regret from a catharsis point of view, and focus on the good nostalgic feelings, translating that into music. This is an apology in the form of a track, but it’s also more than that, it’s pure talent, from someone that breathes music, and makes music part of his healing process. And we vibe with it. We celebrate it.
MILKBLOOD – Sick of Being Honest
One of the things I loved the most last year was the creation of this duo. David Dahlquist and Pat Morrissey, electronic producers, and pop-composers went to Brooklyn at the same time and found themselves co-writing and co-producing a song for Weezer and working alongside names like Pharrell Williams. Now, they want to get weird and loud and they debuted MILKBLOOD the best possible way: Sick Of Being Honest is a very catchy and well-produced indie electronic piece, which got me singing it all day long and creating some alien-like dancing moves, imitating the monster on the music video. For those who like to shake to strong beats and addictive chord progressions, Sick Of Being Honest is an indietronic hard-candy, ready to sweeten your mouth and break your jaw at the same time!
Naama Guggenheim – SOS
When Naama Guggenheim released SOS the world was going into this virus situation. But we thought the worst was already happening. And it was not. With the worst happening now, we truly need music to shine through the need to embrace and not hurt, the earth. Well SOS is what we can call a peace bomb. A track that is as captivating as surprising and that leads us hanging on the edge of our brains and ears. There is some of Sun Lux magic in it, the heavy electronic elements based on bass and drum elements and that bit of genuineness that exists in experimenting with those elements. After a couple of moments, the turn changes once again to showcase some powerful vocal elements. Then, it evolves, combining both, from Billy Eilish quirky singing ways, to the freedom of not existing a strict structure. SOS reminds us that we should take care of the earth in a more organic way. And does that by captivating both our ears, heart and brain.
N. Kerbin – Open Concept
Nathaniel Kerbin made his entrance on WtMM with his then newest single A Boy and a Man and a Satelite which came out last October and only two months after Open Concept was released and it sounds as great as the previous one. N. Kerbin has been releasing gems since August 2019 releasing 4 tracks under the teaser “My Name Is…” which eventually became the album Too Many Names, a 10-piece LP-based a lot on classic folk voice&guitar but already exploring many sonorities and making the path for the excellence that came after, with songs like Under the Rug or the title song Too Many Names which is the closing one. In Open Concept Nate sings about an unsucceeded relationship and realizing that, “I built this house around you, it was never meant for two” closes the chorus and encapsulates the whole concept of the song. Starting in the shadow of Sufjan Stevens or Justin Vernon (transverse to many of his projects) Kerbin begins to see some light and it’s more than earned.
Ryan Hadarah – Playboy
There are songs we heard several times and could not quite get there in terms of feeling and vibe. And there are some tracks that stick to us – like in the back of our soul – and that speak to us every single time we listen to it. Ryan Hadarah’s Playboy is a strange track in the way it feels the first time we listen to it, there is a Sade-like vibe and there is also a sense of modernity – or Lana Del Rey if we may – but speaks louder than that as a novel sounding track. There is some experimentalism in it, there are saxophones in the back, there is a piano, a guitar, a firm drum set, and a very sensual voice. And it sounds a bit like our conscience might talk to us at times.
walt – lightfoot
Melbourne-based dream-pop act walt released (October 20) lightfoot, a very introspective and involving track, full of catchy hooks and pop-influenced lyrics. Driven by the ride cymbals, lightfoot is just like it’s name: we can feel the light steps passing by but softly and passionately, waking us like a mother’s kiss in a cold morning. The track is mainly composed by warm guitar and synth mesmerizing hints, making the listener addicted to the lovely feeling that this song is able to create inside our minds – a must-listen!
w00ds x Adam Youngman – Tell Me
Lofi producer w00ds spent their 2020 collaborating with several artists (we strongly recommend you binge-listening to all of them on w00ds YouTube channel), they close it off beautifully by releasing Tell Me alongside singer-songwriter Adam Youngman. This is a super-smooth indie-folk lo-fi track tied together by a calming yet bright guitar. The percussion that follows it also gives the song momentum to keep us listening through the quickest 3 minutes of your life. The co-creation of both artists resulted in this RY X meets Bon Iver mash that gives us all the (lo)feels.