2020 was a year indeed, but despite being filled with one tough blow after another, Music was there for us to guide us through these challenging times. While some of the year’s biggest smash hits turn back to the drumbeats and synths of the ’80s for inspiration, this is a good thing as that nostalgia translates to happiness and dancing.
While nothing beats a great Music Video, we’re seeing that the success of a single doesn’t necessarily depend on a flashy video. In fact, Megan Thee Stallion‘s hit “Savage” only has a Lyric Video and an Animated Video, but its exposure on TikTok helped propel it into the stratosphere of success.
And on the other side of things, Taylor Swift continues to top album sales charts without any definitive hit single. Times are changing on the musical landscape and more than ever on the Billboard Hot 100 we’re seeing songs from previous years land in the 2020 Hot 100 which either is a sign of people latching onto familiar things for comfort, or maybe chart criteria perhaps needs a deeper look.
Below are our Top Ten favourite singles of 2020! What are yours? Tweet us at @mrwillw!
1. Midnight Sky – Miley Cyrus
2. Rain on Me – Lady Gaga ft. Ariana Grande
3. Break My Heart – Dua Lipa
4. Say So – Doja Cat
5. Adore You – Harry Styles
6. ily – Surf Mesa ft. Emilee
7. How You Like That– Blackpink
8. August – Taylor Swift
9. Savage – Megan Thee Stallion
10. Naked – Ava Max
(Photo/video credit: Warner Music/Universal Music Group/Sony Music Entertainment)
AVA MAX exploded onto the Pop scene in the Summer of 2018 with Top 10 smash hit SWEET BY PSYCHO and after leaving such a mark, we were hungry for more. Finally, after some two years later comes her debut studio album HEAVEN & HELL and it proves well worth the wait.
The 15-track collection which she co-wrote with the help of Toronto’s Cirkut, is banger upon banger. She manages to infuse synthy nostalgia into her tunes, which draw focus not only to her stellar vocal range, but her songwriting talent. The Album at 44 minutes is a quick listen which we can loop multiple times over easily, culminating in her smash hit Sweet By Psycho saving the best for last on the sequence.
This is not to say this the only bright moment. Literally every Track start to finish is a cohesive fun Pop experience. Her melodies are reminiscent of infectious Euro-pop, but her production has a sonic sophistication to it. We hate drawing comparisons to another fashion-forward female Pop Icon, but HEAVEN AND HELL at times makes us feel the same way we did we first heard that one’s debut Disc.
The party begins with recent single, the gender-positive KINGS & QUEENS which samples Bonnie Tyler‘s If You Were a Woman (And I Was a Man) .
NAKED is just about as seductive as it sounds, that hook crawling into our ears and sticking. Ava Max sings about really getting to know her soul and not just her body, “Well you can take off all my clothes and never see me naked/You don’t know how heart/You’re never gonna break it”. The Track is single-worthy. Gorgeous.
Charlie Puth sneaks-in a writing credit on the fun TATTOO which keeps the fun momentum going.
BORN TO THE NIGHT is pure authentic ’80s-inspired Synth-Pop. The type that transports you to a land of melancholic euphoria you never want to leave.
BELLADONNA takes us into darker territory, complete with gothic bells and really takes flight late, as she sings about being the type of dangerous woman a boy can get addicted to.
Our ears have only known such joy a few times in 2020 and this stellar debut counts among them.
Warner Music Canada release AVA MAX‘s HEAVEN & HELL.
We cannot begin to express our excitement for what could be for Popstar AVA MAX. We wanted to introduce you to her in case you still haven’t heard. The 26-year-old Singer/Songwriter from Milwaukee boasts a rare whistle register thanks for the influence of Mariah Carey growing-up. She also cites Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, Whitney Houston and Fergie as some of her idols, but when we hear and see her, we think early Gaga.
Like recent success stories at Warner Music like Grammy winner Dua Lipa and nominee Bebe Rexha, she comes of Albanian heritage.
Current single SWEET BUT PSYCHO slowly has been gaining momentum since the Fall and now it appears its popularity is peaking stateside, reaching the Top 30 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 but we have a feeling there’s more where that came from.
We love that her sound is familiar but definitely fresh and she appears to having fun with it, which is what Pop Music should always be about.
We want more AVA MAX and can’t wait to hear what’s next!
In the meantime check out our favourite cuts by the rising star: