There's been one hell of an amount of music released in this hell-scape of a year, and amongst it has been some real little gems. In celebration of everything infectious (not you, COVID), we've rounded up ten of the ultimate 2020 bops for your listening pleasure.
Sad bops, power bops, cowboy bops - you name it, we've got a track for you.
CMAT - I Wanna Be a Cowboy, Baby
CMAT took everything that’s good about the world and packed it into a pop song with her yee-haw hit ‘I Wanna Be a Cowboy, Baby’.
Boasting her trademark sharp lyricism and a good old dose of melancholy, it could be the best chunk of Americana since Taylor Swift dropped ‘Tim McGraw’. Through her longing to become her very best self throughout light melodies and twanging guitars; CMAT ultimately created her strongest work to date with this one, putting herself firmly on the radar as a pop-phenomenon in the making. - RM
SPINN - Stuck On A Feeling
If there’s one band we can rely on for a good bop, it’s Liverpool indie-poppers SPINN.
‘Stuck On A Feeling’, the band’s one and only release since their acclaimed debut album back in 2019 found SPINN displaying a real sense of growth and maturity to both their sound and songwriting. A quality little number boasting a healthy dash of psychedelia alongside their infamous jangle-pop; as frontman Johnny Quinn says, you’ll be struggling to sleep with this one stuck in your head. - RM
Baby Queen - Want Me
Oh, Baby Queen. If this list was longer, you’d be finding her entire discography somewhere along the line; but for now we’ll just talk about one of the catchiest pop anthems we’ve heard all year, ‘Want Me’.
An ode to her crush on the queen of Merseyside, Jodie Comer, ‘Want Me’ is Baby Queen’s “sonic tantrum” and boy, do we wish all tantrums sounded like this one. The bouncy, polished cut is a love song in its finest form. Promise, one listen and you’ll be completely and utterly hooked. - RM
Mellah - Hitchin
London based multi-instrumentalist Mellah has churned out multiple tunes well worthy of a mention this year, but it’s the latter of them which really takes the cake.
‘Hitchin’ is a testament to Liam Ramsden’s immersive and diverse sound; combining a blues-tinged foreground with the addictive and infectious indie-pop of his earlier singles, it’s here that Mellah really displays his talents.
One for the leftfield pop fans, ‘Hitchin’ is a sign of big, big things for Liam - take notice, kids! - RM
Confidence Man - First Class Bitch
Just when all seemed lost, Aussie legends Confidence Man blew away the lockdown blues with the track only they could pull off. ‘First Class Bitch’ is the ultimate empowering disco tune set to pull you out of any confidence crisis as quickly as the reopening of your local pub tore you away from your sofa.
It’s Confidence Man at the top of their game; ballsy, swaggering disco-pop for the masses and a promise of one hell of a party on the horizon. - RM
Abbie Ozard - True Romance
Abbie has been one to watch ever since her introduction to the scene, and with this being the industry’s hardest year yet, she has come up above and beyond, even playing socially distanced festivals in the summer.
With an infectious and catchy chorus, ‘True Romance’ is the light within an otherwise dark world thanks to Abbie’s natural talent for setting the right tone. A dreamy track filled with uplifting guitar riffs; the softness of her voice makes this track perfect for repeated consumption for that feel good feeling. - PK
Flyte - I’ve Got A Girl
Flyte are what we call masters of the ‘sad bop’. Continuing on the path towards a forthcoming break-up album, the Winchester trio’s ‘I’ve Got A Girl’ soundtracks the cathartic reality of breaking up not with a romantic partner, but a creative one.
Documenting the loss of a band member and friend, the big piano ballad soars in all the right places and gives a rare glimpse at a bold version of Flyte. Despite the sad subject mater, it’s a glorious little number brimming with nostalgia and a sign of a triumphant incoming era for the band. - RM
Hinds - Good Bad Times
Making their debut within our ‘zine earlier this year, Hinds have been OGS favourites since their explosive entrance onto the music scene with their critically acclaimed 2016 debut ‘Leave Me Alone’.
‘Good Bad Times’, the opening track for their highly anticipated album ‘The Prettiest Curse’ released earlier this year, is Hinds at their best with the grungy garage rock track filled with a certain softness that only these girls could pull off. The track would be the perfect fit for any teenager’s Tumblr profile back in 2016, further proving these girls have kept their sound authentic whilst exploring and developing as they go along but satisfying their fans needs none-the-less. - PK
Blackaby - What’s On The TV?
London based Blackaby really set the bar high when he dropped the first track from his debut EP. ‘What’s On The TV?’ is the perfect piece of easy listening which will take any listener right back to the good old 2000s.
Take addictive pop punk guitars and Vaccines-esque anthemic vocals and this is what you get. A skilful, riotous slice of genre-blending nostalgia destined to cause chaos in the sweaty, intimate venues we miss so dearly. - RM
Lauran Hibberd - Bang Bang Bang
We couldn’t forget the incredible, 90s infused track by one of the most interesting and real girls within the indie rock scene, Lauran Hibberd. Whether you know how to spell her name or not, there’s no denying that this girls talent and infectious girl power tunes speak for themselves and 2020 has been her bitch.
With the basis being the cult classic ’10 things I hate about you’, ‘Bang Bang Bang’ captures the grungy-ness of the decade to perfection; providing the perfect track to get ready to in the morning, straight out of a coming-of-age movie opening scene. - PK