Fordanceand electronic music, the main existential questions of the year revolved around context. What good is this music, and where better exists, at a time when festivals are cancelled, desert raves are policed, club kids can't go to the club, and house parties are life-threatening?
There was not much response. While much of the dance music released in 2020 was played on the radio, headphones, and computer speakers.in live broadcasts, "I can't wait for this to be over" was the main consensus in the global dance music community, especially as COVIDlanded in quick successionfor world nightlife.
But while the circumstances were bleak, the dance music released in 2020 was anything but. Dance music exploded into our living rooms, fueling our workouts and getting heads bobbing at times during the workday. Dance music lifted us up, got our heart rate racing, created nostalgia for all those good old days and longed for that moment when the festival doors open again. Basically, dance music's role this year was just to help us keep going as our army crawled toward the 2020 finish line. In all the throbbing, pulsing, and shimmering shimmer of hers, she did exactly that.
Here are our picks for the 25 best dance songs of the year.
25. The feat of Knocks. MUNA, "body"
"Bodies" would have been the song of the summer if this summer wasn't totally crazy and actually felt like summer. The Knocks have teamed up with gay pop-rock trio MUNA to honor something we didn't know we'd miss so much until it was taken away from us: dancing on top of strangers in crowded, sweaty basements. With uplifting songwriting, upbeat synths, and a steady kick, "Bodies" is the upbeat bop we needed in 2020. Perhaps one day soon we'll be able to live out its message. —MEGAN VENZIN
24. Griz y Jauz, "Son of Mulberry"
In fact, this year there were many existential questions to ponder. So many that at certain times it seemed better to turn our brains off completely. How do you ask? bass music The genre has always been particularly physical, and so was Griz and Jauz's October collaboration, No Doubt. The song hit your solar plexus like a Mack truck and was disgusting in every way. It was a heavy headbanger at all times that we had to get out of our heads. —katie bain
23. Park Hye Jin, "So"
After gaining prominence at the end of 2018, 박혜진 Park Hye Jin rose in 2020 by signing them.How I canEP for Ninja Tune. It's a cross-section of genres from her musical repertoire, but lead single "Like This" evokes the dreamy, low-key rap and deep house sound she's known for. The song, with its airy synths and soft wind chimes, would fly far if it weren't anchored in a jumbled beat, and PHJ's ASMR-esque vocals are particularly soothing. Suitable for listening at home, "Like This" strikes a happy medium between the club and the couch. —KRYSTAL RODRIGUEZ
22. Biscoit Kawaii feat. Tyga, "Vibe (if I support it)"
An ode to ultimate strength set to a 160bpm beat and paired with Kawaii's smooth vocals, “Vibe (If I Back It Up)” by Cookiee Kawaii started the year as a meteoric TikTok trend. But when 15 seconds of butt-shaking expands into a full track, the vibe doesn't always hold, so to speak. This song is intended to serve as an invitation to more than one young promise.—ZEL MCCARTHY
21. Kelly Lee Owens, "Jeanette"
Welsh producer Kelly Lee Owens delivered a deft slice of cerebral IDM with 'Jeanette' from her sophomore LP in August.inner song.The song, like the rest of the album, is the product of a challenging few years in which Owens dealt with breakup, the death of his grandfather, and the ever-present anxieties of the times. With its strong, powerful kicks and sparkling synths in the driver's seat, "Jeanette" packs an emotional punch while serving as something of a catharsis. —VALERIA LEE
20. TroyBoi, "Mother Africa"
Praise be to Mother Africa, the place where all human life began. For TroyBoi, the connection is a bit more direct. The British producer pays homage to his Nigerian roots with this smooth and slippery Funkadelic grinder, basing the beat on a traditional vocal sample his friend gave him after a trip to Kenya. It's a heady mix of culture and style, and proceeds from the song will go to Save the Children Africa in its fight against hunger, disease and child trafficking.—at bein
19. Joel Corry x MNEK, "Head and Heart"
The genius of Joel Corry/MNEK's "Head & Heart" is that the chorus melody and verse are identical. The track's success, however, lies in the dangerously catchy chorus of non-lexical words ("ba-ba-ba-dum ba-ba-dum ba-ba-dum") that opens the record a cappella and repeats a as the tempo increases. , frequency in less than three minutes, but somehow not annoying. Rarely does dance-pop become an anthem as easily as this.—ZM
18. Kylie Minogue, "Magia"
Like synth-pop, Say Something announced the new album by Kylie MinogueEra, the Wurlitzer-like chords that open "Magic" make it clear: the diva has arrived at the disco. Reuniting with frequent collaborators Peter Wallevik and Daniel Davidsen (and for the first time Teemu Brunila and Michelle Buzz) for her debut single.nightclubThe album offers Minogue harmonies and a vocal range that would do the Bee Gees proud without sounding too retro. "You believe in Magic?" she sings in the choir, and after listening to her, I'm sure you'll say yes.—ZM
17. Tensnake feat. Fiora, "Automatic"
After wandering part-time soundscapes for several years, Tensnake announced his return to the club by breaking out earlier this year with frequent collaborator Fiora on synth-pop Automatic. In smaller hands, this song's bass line might have just been a gimmick, but the way these two play with major and minor changes is like a jumper cable to the solar plexus, while Fiora's mezzo becomes in a purr that feeds that motor that continues to work automatically.—ZM
16. In the center, "We all moved in together."
"This is techno love," growls actor and ex-DJ Idris Elba in the spoken word introduction to the title track from Inner City's first album in 30 years. Elba's performance and the pounding beat that follows it are so impressive that any doubts are dispelled that the Detroit icons recruited the actor solely for his star power. To be clear, this function is not required; The trio of Kevin Saunderson, his son Dantiez Saunderson and singer Steffanie Christi'an is impressive in its own right. Still, the electricity of this track is undeniably a proclamation of techno glamour, and the return of one of its architects to the fore.—ZM
15. Performance Aluna & Kaytranada. Rhyme, "The Recipe"
If house parties were to officially return, Aluna and Kaytranada's new collaboration, The Recipe, would be everywhere. He had previously called "Together" from Kaytranada's 2016 debut album.99,9%,this time Aluna presents her own debut LPRenaissance, underscoring her transition from lead singer of AlunaGeorge to solo stardom. "The Recipe" highlights the individual strengths and collective bond of both artists, while Francis Sashay's sweet voice overlays Kaytranada's decidedly fluid production. It's a Friday night to Saturday vibe made even more luxurious by an Elizabethan music video. —KR
There's a story behind every track at TSHAFlorThe EP, like Sister, was inspired by the sudden discovery of a sister the British producer didn't even know existed. But "Change" remains the brightest and most infectious of all. It's poppier than your average production, with sultry vocals from Gabrielle Aplin, '80s drumming, and a luscious crowd of 303. Its summery vibes were just what quarantine called for and we hope it's on repeat all winter long. . —perna k
13. Louie Vega & The Martinez Brothers feat. Marc E. Bassy, "Let It Go"
When Louie Vega and the Martinez brothers get together, it's practically a family reunion. The hometown legend and new school duo, all Bronx Nuyorican musical prodigies, created a city summer anthem in "Let It Go," their soulful and joyous declaration of love for New York City. First featured on The Brothersfabric giftsMixed and then released on his Cuttin' Headz label, "Let It Go" was such a hit that Defected Records re-released it in July along with remixes by Dom Dolla and Honey Dijon. —KR
12. Bronson, "Heart Attack"
What would a year of dance music be without a performance by a long-awaited supergroup? Enter Bronson, the brainchild of live electronic duo Odesza and Australian bass house producer Golden Features. The lead single from her self-titled debut album, Heart Attack, has a deep house beat with a soulful vocal delivery from lau.ra. But its most charming feature is its throbbing bassline, which emulates the unpredictable qualities of a broken heart. —MV
11. Baauer, „Reachupdontstop“
Everybody come on up and give Baauer a big round of applause. The producerhas been namedd for their first Grammy this year, a well-deserved recognition after nearly a decade of world-class productions. his second albummad planet, is a riotous concept piece that explores the big beat of the 2000s era and the sounds of the French touch that producer Harry Rodríguez favored in his youth. Reachupdontstop is a perfect rave treat that smells like smoke machines and tastes like sweat. Watch the music video of aliens partying with humans after planets collide. —perna k
10. Dua Lipa und The Blessed Madonna, „Break My Heart“ (Moodymann Remix)
At the time of the mix album Dua Lipa and The Blessed Madonna,Yearning for the future of the club, reaches its final stretch, you will be forgiven if you feel that you have been danced. The set keeps the energy with songs by Lipanostalgia for the futureAlbum remixed by artists like Mark Ronson, Masters At Work, Paul Woolford and Mr Fingers. (Not to mention guest appearances by pop stars like Madonna, Missy Elliott, and Gwen Stefani.) After all the exuberance, Lipa and The Blessed Madonna saved a real gem for last: the Moodyman remix of "Break My Heart." The combination of an underground Detroit hero and a global pop superstar is quirky on paper and joyous in execution. Moodymann can get esoteric with his remixes, but here he finds the moment with a house anthem featuring Lipa's vocals. Every DJ set needs such a strong close-up.—JACK TREGONING
9. Jamie xx, "I don't know"
For Jamie xx fans, it's been a long five years since the Londoner released his first solo album.I Heart. That set list oscillated between intimate ballads featuring The xx on the vocals of Romy and Oliver Sims, percussion instruments, and party tunes like "Gosh" and "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)." In April of this year, the producer returned with "Idontknow," a comeback single that highlightsI HeartIn a move reminiscent of his friend and collaborator Four Tet, Jamie xx has decided to shake up his reputation for simple, tasteful productions. Instead, "Idontknow" is dense, layered, and fast-paced, with abrupt tempo changes and stunning vocals evoking the height of a London summer. With that, Jamie xx's color palette is bolder than ever.—JT
8. Deadmau5 & Kiesza, "United by a Wave of Light"
In a year where many of us have been ignoring reality with the disorienting comforts of nostalgia, Deadmau5 and Kiesza have taken us back to the late 2000s, a slightly more innocent time when Deadmau5 established himself. himself and his sound with songs that are now becoming classics like "Recuerdo" and "Faxing Berlin". The Canadian producer's first collaboration with Kiesza, Bridged By a Lightwave, takes us through the same dark and alluring sonic wormhole as those previous hits and reminds us why we fell in love with Deadmau5 in the first place.k. bain
7. Mat Zo, "Love Songs"
Mat Zo has a special ability to update the borrowed and create a new one. "Love Songs" finds its basis in a 1970s R&B ballad by Eddie Holman with a similar name. The truncated, soaring vocal sample takes on a new vibe that's bright, flashy and classic Zo, reminiscent of the "Easy" years and wrapped in chords just euphoric enough to inspire a sea of candi-covered hands to let the air flow. blow. We can't wait to hear this amplified, but for now computer audio and Zo's own Minecraft fests will have to suffice. —MV
6. Madeon, "The Prince"
Bathed in heavy electronic beats, The Prince sounds like a somber b-side to Madeon's Grammy-nominated 2019 LP.good faith. Although the lyrics are almost incomprehensible, there is a melancholic tone that forcefully breaks through the filters. Deep and desperate, this cut pulls at the soul that beats to the beat in these monotonous days for obvious reasons. —MV
5.feat SG Lewis. Lucky Daye, "Feed the Fire"
If 2020 has brought any life lessons, it is to appreciate the present. While we have yet to partake in the escapist euphoria of community dance, SG Lewis evokes it on his latest single, "Feed the Fire," featuring New Orleans singer Lucky Daye. Between the irresistibly groovy bassline and brain-tickling arpeggios, the duo paint a picture of desire under the disco ball; the heartbreaking, cosmic thrill of connecting with someone you just met. It's a night to relive over and over again, all you have to do is press replay. —KR
4. Jayda G, "The Two of Us"
The arrival of Jayda G's "Both of Us" in May was emotional and bittersweet. In a normal year, House Jam would have had a busy summer, turning up whenever a festival or dance floor needed some sun. With 2020 being what it is, we had to imagine the dark room full of strangers. Fortunately, Both of Us was built for transcendence. Over the course of six minutes, Jayda G employs her trademark combination of warm pads and piano, weaving the melody around his own breathy voice. The track peaks, smooths out, and peaks again before an inspired opening section where everything slows down and builds to an ecstatic final crescendo. While "Both Of Us" didn't get the summer it deserved, Jayda G ends the year that waya well deserved Grammy nominee.—JT
3. Jessie Ware, "Control del alma"
Disco fans know that dance music and electronic music are not always synonymous. Four lanes to the radiantWhat is your pleasure?We find Jessie Ware doing a musical tug-of-war with producers, nu-disco princes James Ford (Simian Mobile Disco) and Morgan Geist (Metro Area, Storm Queen) on the non-electronic "Soul Control." Ware's breathy chorus does the trick here, while Ford and Geist keep the track's layers as loose as live, focusing the power of the singer's voice, but more importantly, her soul.ZM
2. Promotion, "Mein High"
The Lawrence brothers bring great pride to an undeniable slice of the British garage, through the crackling vocals of Oregon hip-hop artist Aminé and a biting feature of British rapper Slowthai. The lead single from the album Disclosure 2020Energy, layered lyrics of "My High" that simply evoke "B–ch, don't f–k up my high" over an endurance test level BPM and a ringing chorus we've dreamed of, en masse on a sweaty screaming dance floor: but which one was only heard in heavy rotation on our workout playlists. The duo never had a problem with sizzling, sophisticated house music. With "My High" they delivered something heavier, but no less happy.—k. bain
1. Biceps, "Apricots"
In what was often a terrifying year, Bicep released music that was proportionately terrifying, and no less compelling for it. Apricots clashes cultures through samples of traditional Malawian singing and a 1950s performance by the Bulgarian State Television and Radio Women's Vocal Choir. Sparse and haunting, "Apricots" turns into an almost cacophony before descending into heat. The lead single from the London duo's upcoming album,islands"Apricots" sounds like a transmission from outer space that nevertheless reaches a deeply human and very primal part of us. Electronic music needed this more than any party anthem this year.—k. bain