WEB PICKS: 2020 Top Tracks

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CONTRIBUTIONS BY: Vince Barreras, Ruby Lee, Baker McNamara, AnnaMarie Otor, John Peterson, Melissa Resurreccion, Dylan Stevens, Samantha Sullivan

At the end of the year, everyone eagerly awaits their Spotify Wrapped. It’s an all encompassing package nicely capturing their top artists of the year, favorite songs, and seeing how much new music they discovered. This year, the Web Department put together our most streamed songs from our respective Spotify Wrappeds. Check out our picks below, and give them a listen in the playlist embedded at the end!

“Alcove” by Pinegrove

“Alcove” is a gentle song about seclusion, comfort, and selflessness. Like many other songs on Pinegrove’s newest album Marigold, “Alcove” comes from a place of discomfort and works towards acceptance. Evan Stephens Hall takes the lead with vocals and acoustic guitar, but provides a complimentary ambience, soft slide guitar, and a climactic full band finish to make the track stand out as an artistic success. — John Peterson

“First Love / Late Spring” by Mitski

Following her empowering and guitar heavy song “Townie” on Bury Me At Makeout Creek, Japanese singer songwriter Mitski reveals a more tender and vulnerable side of her. Contrasting the elation that comes with a blooming first love paired with the withering late spring symbolizing the complications in relationships, she portrays this sense of turmoil that is so overwhelming she says “Mune ga hachikire-sōde,” translating to “my heart seems like it’s going to burst.” She exposes two sides of the same coin through the juxtaposition of her lyrics (“I was so young when I behaved twenty five / Yet now, I find I’ve grown into a tall child”), coupling up with a strong ballad-like sound that developed from a steady bass line. While her lyrics may not make sense at face value, the nuances within the track shows the complexity of her perception of love. — Melissa Resurreccion

“Flood” by Dehd

As Emily Kempf runs straight into the sea in the video for “Flood,” she is absolutely fearless. Standing firm in her love, she doesn’t try to hide her devastation or devotion admitting “I sit at your feet/I wanted you to keep me.” Powerful, uncontrollable, and possessing both the ability to destroy and cleanse, falling in love is just like becoming water on “Flood.” — Samantha Sullivan 

“grabba” by MIKE

“grabba” is simply a song about smoking weed to cope with mental and external stress. MIKE uses a sample that he chops, stretches, and stutters to create an uncertain but simultaneously comforting atmosphere. He goes on to rap about dealing with depressive thoughts while still striving to be the best man he can be. The song serves as a great window into the mind of MIKE and showcases his incredible ability to craft sincere, concise tracks. — Dylan Stevens

“I’ve Been Down” by HAIM

Many songs on HAIM’s 2020 album, Women In Music Part III, delve into intense themes of depression, anxiety, and existential dread, but none of the tracks connect in the way “I’ve Been Down” does. In this song, we hear lead singer, Danielle Haim, screaming into the microphone about dealing with depression and the troubles that come with it. She discusses how the days are blending into one another and being incapable of shaking this feeling – all the while sounding like a British garage rock band and fitting the energy of the song completely. Since the song’s release, the tune of Ms. Danielle Haim screaming ‘I’ve been doooooown” has been on repeat and it will likely stay that way for months to come. — Baker McNamara

“One Rizla” by Shame

Though this track came out in late 2017 before the British post-punk band’s debut album Songs Of Praise (2018), it still reigns as one of their best songs. In what started out with an odd, funky intro in its early stages, “One Rizla” eventually became an anthemic classic for the group complimented by frontman Charlie Steen’s distinct vocals and an infectious guitar riff. It’s difficult not to sing along to the chorus as he yells “Well I’m not much to look at / And I ain’t much to hear / But if you think I love you / You’ve got the wrong idea.”  — AnnaMarie Otor

“Sweet Night” by V of BTS

Sweet Night is quite honestly the definition of comfort. It is perfect for rainy days, foggy mornings, slow days, and calm evenings, but can cater to virtually every other day and mood as well (clearly). To put it simply, when Spotify said “one song helped you get through it all,” they weren’t lying! — Ruby Lee

“Your Eyes Are Bleeding” by Princess Nokia

This is a song from Princess Nokia’s 2018 mixtape A Girl Cried Red. Princess Nokia takes trap beats and incorporates live instruments into these instrumentals to make something from the alternative rap/trap style that’s been pretty popular over the last few years. Some dub it as emo-trap while others just simply call it “singing over trap beats.” Regardless, it is Princess Nokia making deep and intrapersonal songs that are really sweet. She has a great voice and this mixtape was a way for her to pay homage to a lot of early 2000s emo bands she loved growing up with her own spin. — Vince Barreras


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