What a year of tunes! I don’t know about you, but I’ve needed Music more than ever this year. 2020 has been hard! As a result, I’ve spent quite a bit of time revisiting longtime favorites as nostalgic comfort food, but there has also been a bevy of great new songs as well. Here are the ones I’ve listened to most…The Top 50 with a Spotify link to a playlist with all of them and an additional 50 because I just listened to so much this year leaving it difficult to whittle down. Hope you find some new favorites!
Lastly, just an FYI that I set out to only include an artist in the Top 50 once so as to highlight a larger variety of worthy musicians. I then promptly had to break said rule twice in the top 25 because the song are just so stinking good. More Repeat songs from artists/albums I’ve loved will be represented in the unranked bottom 50 to round out an even 100 songs that I’ve highly enjoyed. Okay then…
Begin…(said in my best Inigo Montoya accent)
50. “Take the Moment” – The Classic Crime
Spotify calls it my most-listened to song of 2020, but little do they know where else I listened to music. Regardless, this is an Uber-catchy song and I dig it.
49. “Man of Your Word” – Maverick City Worship
Maverick City is pumping out some of the best and diverse worship of the genre. This one is confident in God’s word…it sways, it swings, it celebrates with assurance.
48. “Lonely Saints” – Chase Tremaine
47. “Good God” – Benjamin Daniel
This indie artist is quickly becoming a favorite lyricist. poetic and encouraging.
46. “The Thanksgiving Song” – Ben Rector
45. “Miracles” – Colton Dixon
44. “Eventful Horizons” – Anchor & Braille
My favorite song of an album full of moody tunes. Great for the late night.
43. “Magic in the Moment” – The Gray Havens
42. “So We Sing” – Five Iron Frenzy
FIF is back and all grown up?! Nah…more of their insightful and sharp (yet necessary) commentary. Ska lives!
41. “Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music” – Kevin Max
40. “Secular Music” – John Reuben
Witty and self-deprecating Reuben is back!
39. “Out of My Depth” – Tina Boonstra
Indie-pop song that caught me be surprise.
38. “2008” – Slick Shoes
Intricate guitar work within punk music beds and this was my favorite on a terrific album.
37. “Who Can” – Cochran & Co.
36. “Big Feelings” – Peabod
35. “Graves into Gardens” – Elevation Worship
Easily my favorite church worship song of the year.
34. “Running” – Land of Color
33. “In the Garden” – Josh Garrels
Peaceful and reassuring…perfect for a year like this.
32. “Love is the Ocean” – Smalltown Poets
31. “Miracle” – Tauren Wells
An obvious ode to Michael Jackson, and a fun one to boot.
30. “Yes & No” – David Dunn
29. “Into the Sea (Its Gonna Be Ok)” – Tasha Layton
This girls got pipes!
28. “Dream War” – Ella Mine
The album of the same name is well-worth a listen or two as well. It’s a long listen but a good one.
27. “W.D.Y.K.A.G. – Kings Kaleidoscope
In a genius pairing we get a Propaganda KK collab, and it’s sublime.
26. “Best Friends” – Hillsong Young & Free
A more fun pop direction, but I’m here for it.
25. “Drown” – Lecrae
That John Legend vocal hook is perfect and oh-so-catchy.
24. “Love” – We Are Messengers
23. “More Than Words” – Nashville Life Worship
A pep rally song if I ever heard one. I dare you to stay still listening to this tune. Impossible.
22. “Harmony Hall” – Switchfoot
My introduction to this terrific song by Vampire Weekend. What an excellent tune, and very apropos for the age we live in.
21. “Faces on a Train” – Brandon Heath
That jazzy sax for a hook is fresh and pleasant. Nice update to Brandon’s typical pop sound.
20. “I Miss the Old Days Too” – Tyson Mostenbocker
Melancholy and nostalgia-drenched…aka my kind of song.
19. “Behold” – Mission House
18. “No Surprises” – Madison Cunningham
Replacing the paranoia of Radiohead’s original for a more lullaby take, Cunningham does this classic justice adding her own spin.
17. “Facebook” – The Brilliance
Doing their best Radiohead Ok Computer era impression this song is a sobering warning.
16. “YOU” – Off-road Minivan
Soaring alt-rock that hits my music taste just right.
15. “Deep End” – Lecrae
Another earworm tune from an album full of them. Production on this one is top-notch.
14. “Tightrope” – Jon Guerra
Violins. Male/female harmonies and lyrics that cut to the heart. Yet another reason to be all-in on Jon Guerra’s work.
13. “Song in My Head” – We Are The City
So very catchy, I’ve been into this song for since I first heard it in January…The bridge hook gets me every time.
12. “Candy-Coated Emptiness” – NAMO
As perfect and witty a pop song as you’ll hear this year. Really wanted this to make my top 10 but it’s just missed…
11. “Underdressed” – Gable Price & Friends
80s soaked rock n’ roll with worship centric lyrics? Sold!
10. “The King Is Alive” – American Arson
Spoken word to a strong rock soundscape full of passion.
9. “The Hope Inside” – Colony House
This is the perfect close to a tight pop-rock album with a story to tell.
8. “Heaven Is In Our Sights” – Citizens
So uplifting…this song has meant quite a bit to me this year.
7. “Level of Concern” – Twenty One Pilots
That bass line! So good.
6. “How Did We Get Here” – Wake Low
There’s just something very alluring about this song that draws me in. It quickly rise up the ranks when I first heard it.
5. “Survival” (Feat. Drew & Ellie Holcomb) – NEEDTOBREATHE
Ellie steals the show on this barn burner.
4. “Let the Ground Rest” – Chris Renzema
This tune became a family rallying cry for us in 2020. “If it’s not right now, it’s for the best/you’re gonna grow, I know this/but for now/just let the ground rest.”
3. “The Road, The Rocks, The Weeds” – John Mark Mcmillan
A beautiful reminder that the God of the universe knows our suffering because He’s suffered, AND amazingly enough suffers with us.
2. “Grace & Mercy” – Jess Ray
Oh how I love this song! And I welcome the reminder of my need for new grace and mercy every day. May I be likewise gracious and merciful with others because I have received both in abundance.
1. “Citizens” – Jon Guerra
I could write a novel about this song and its impact on me, but that’s another post for another time. Suffice to say, this is a perfect blend of the tension between God’s truth and our worldly reality. Listen with lyrics at the ready and soak it in.
For my top 50 and an additional 50 songs (because I cannot help myself)…Follow along below…happy listening!