We've listened to a lot of music this year. Like, a lot. With no gigs or festivals to attend, what else would we be doing with our time?
In that respect, we reckon we've got a pretty good handle on the best songs released during 2020.
Now, however, it's time to celebrate the best songs of the year...
10 Roisin Murphy - 'Murphy's Law'
Roisin Murphy returned with 'Roisin Machine', a collection of electro-disco numbers to keep lost souls dancing this year. We don't know about you, but this was the song from that brilliant album that kept our mood most buoyant in 2020. G'wan, try it – it's impossible not to move to its glorious deep disco/house pomp. Now all we need for 2021 is a dancefloor to test drive it on.
9 Fontaines DC – 'Televised Mind'
You may already be familiar with our feelings on Fontaines DC's album 'A Hero's Death'. There's a multitude of thrilling moments to choose from on that album, but this track – the bleak, tremulous juggernaut of a song that it is – never fails to summon the goosebumps. This song is a perfect example of all the well-oiled parts of a rock band – from guitars to drums to bass to vocals – working perfectly in tandem to create something truly magical.
8 Ailbhe Reddy – 'Time Difference'
Ailbhe Reddy's excellent debut album 'Personal History' was released this year, and showcased a songwriter who has grown and matured massively in recent years. This track, however, is the jewel in its crown – a dreamy little indie-pop number about sinking into loneliness and feeling a widening gap in a relationship. It shouldn't be so cheerful, really - but it's gotten our toes tapping every time we've listened to it this year.
7 The Weeknd - 'Blinding Lights'
Over the years, Abel Tesfaye has released some really great albums – including his fourth, 'After Hours', which also made it onto our Best Albums of 2020 list. However, he has also been more than adept at churning out some killer singles – and 'Blinding Lights' could well be one of his best to date. A sprightly neo-soul love song filtered through a gauzy 1980s haze of late night regret, it's impossible not to get swept up in that glorious chorus.
6 Denise Chaila – 'Chaila'
It's been hard to escape Denise Chaila this year, but that's been no bad thing. The Limerick-based hip-hop artist released one of the best albums of the year, acknowledging heavy topics – racism, sexuality, cultural identity – but never in a preachy way. Take this track, for example: a song based around the many mispronuciations of her own name, spun into a playful number that zips and slides and lands deft punches without being too heavy-handed. It's also damned catchy.
5 Chloe x Halle – 'Do It'
Was there a better woozy r'n'b track released this year? Sisters Chloe and Halle Bailey have been knocking around for a few years after first being discovered by Beyonce, but it wasn't until 'Do It', taken from their second album 'Ungoldly Hour' that their star fully ascended. To us, this song borrows from the best of classic '90s r'n'b while putting a fresh, contemporary spin on the genre. Considering they're still only 22 and 20, it's scary how good they already are.
4 Dua Lipa - 'Don't Start Now'
We could have chosen any number of tracks from 'Future Nostalgia', but this is the one that's gotten us most fired up in 2020. 'Don't Start Now' is a pop song that has it all: sharp lyrics, a stunning vocal, key changes and a build-up to a chorus that struts and swaggers across the dancefloor, hammering home an empowering message as it kicks up its heels.
3 Cmat - 'Another Day (KFC)'
2020 was undoubtedly Cmat's year. If you follow the Dublin musician on Twitter, you'll be aware that her online persona is as gas as her music – yet there's a melancholy streak running through Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson's output that gives it a certain levity, too. Take this track, for instance – ostensibly written after her debit card failed in KFC after she'd had a terrible day and was looking forward to some fried chicken - but woven into a heartbreak-infused country-pop number that you only need to hear once to love. She makes it seem so easy, but it's definitely not.
2 Daði Freyr – 'Think About Things'
It's rare that a Eurovision entry sticks around long enough in our memory to be considered for an end-of-year list. It's even more rare when it's a Eurovision entry for a contest that didn't even happen. That's how good 'Think About Things' is. A seriously catchy little space-pop bop, it's little wonder that it went viral. When you consider it was written for his infant daughter, it makes the lyrics even sweeter.
1 Cardi B and Meghan Thee Stallion - 'WAP'
There's no getting around it: 'WAP' was not only the biggest song of 2020, but it was the most controversial, too. Even the most extroverted among us would probablt admit to being taken aback the first time they heard Cardi B and Meghan Thee Stallion rapping lines like “Put this pussy right in your face / Swipe your nose like a credit card / Hop on top, I wanna ride / I do a kegel while it's inside” - but not only was the song hilarious, it was genuinely boundary-pushing. Here were two hip-hop artists who happen to be female reclaiming their sexuality and using it whatever way they pleased. To top it all off, it's a banger in the musical sense, too.