Looking back on December 31, 2019, I truly don’t think any of us could have ever expected what was to come. While live entertainment has been one of the biggest areas of our lives impacted this year, the creative process of songwriting has thrived for most in this scenario.

Throughout the year so far, it’s been evident in the songs that have been released that artists have used this time to reach deep in themselves and create some beautifully written music. It’s so cool to me that artists can put something out into the world that brings us together and makes things just a little bit better.

Here’s my take on the 10 best songs of 2020 so far, in no particular order.

“I See You” by Phoebe Bridgers

Phoebe Bridgers is one of my favorite artists, and she’s an incredible lyricist as well. This specific track is the title track of an EP she released on May 19. More recently, her new album, Punisher, just came out on June 12.

One of my favorite things about Phoebe’s writing is her ability to write dark lyrics but emote positivity with an upbeat production. This song in particular is a perfect example of that. “I See You” has an almost “coming-of-age movie esque” production that feels more like pop than what she usually releases. I love it though.

The song is mostly just Phoebe thinking out loud, telling the story of how she struggles to feel but not when she’s with a certain person. Even when she’s with that person, she doesn’t know what to feel. She just knows that she feels something.

If you’re a work of art
I’m standing too close
I can see the brush strokes


But I feel something
When I see you now
I feel something
When I see you

Little Things by Louis The Child, Quinn XCII and Chelsea Cutler

I’m a sucker for a fun alt-pop song with a spectacular beat drop out of the chorus. Hence, “Little Things.” This song is the perfect summer song, and I’ve been listening to it on repeat. It has the perfect amount of emotion mixed with a fun production that makes you want to dance.

The song emotes an intense amount of nostalgia in the best way possible. It’s an ode to something we have all thought about this year I’m sure—holding on to the little moments and appreciating the people around us just a little more.

And there will come a time when we’re slowin’ down
And we’ll hold onto memories, memories”


One day
We’ll think of these moments
‘Cause ah
Just like this synth, it’s the little things


Every single second is golden
Hold on to the moment

That last line is definitely my favorite line of the song and something we can all relate to. Plus, I’m a big fan of all three artists so the collaboration was very exciting to me.

“If This is the Last Time” by LANY

LANY is one of my all-time favorite bands, so I was a little too excited about this release. It surpassed my expectations in all of the best ways. I definitely think it’s one of the best, if not the best song that’s been released about what’s been happening in the world and how we’re all feeling.

Hey, mom, I know we’re gettin’ old
And the lines on our hands have changed
But you still look at me the same


If this is the last time, please come close
I love you with all my heart, you know
I don’t wanna cry, I’m bad at goodbye
If this is the last time


Hey dad, what’s up? Miss you so much
Yeah, the shade of your hair has changed
But I look up to you the same

It’s such a personal song, but personal in a way that we all feel what Paul Klein was feeling when he wrote it. I think that’s the main goal of any song that you write, and he did it so well. It’s a vulnerable letter his parents focused on how he’s getting old and how much he appreciates them. It’s so delicately and beautifully executed.

“Fine Line” by Harry Styles

Harry Styles’ second album, Fine Line, is one of my favorite albums released in a long time. While it’s definitely underappreciated, the song “Fine Line” is by far my favorite off the album. The album itself crosses multiple genres and really showcased how successful Harry is as a pop/rock solo artist.

The song closes out the album and creates a perfect ending. At its roots, it’s a folksy ballad, but the production adds an epic and triumphant aspect to the songs with strings and horns. It’s the longest song on the album, and has an ending that creates such a strong outro to the whole album.

“Fine Line” discusses that fine line of being happy and sad at the same time, or possibly the fine line of emotional connection in a relationship. Either way, the lyrics are fantastic.

Put a price on emotion
I’m looking for something to buy
You’ve got my devotion
But man, I can hate you sometimes
We’ll be a fine line

The song ends with the horns and strings accelerating into a huge chorus of the instruments accompanied with the lyrics “We’ll be alright.” It’s quite possibly the best ending to a song or album ever.

“Modern Loneliness” by Lauv

Lauv’s album, How I’m Feeling, is one of my favorite albums released so far this year. I’m a big fan of Lauv as an artist and a songwriter, and I appreciate his ability to be vulnerable. That’s the reason why I like this song specifically.

I think we can all agree that sometimes having a sneak peek into everyone else’s life 24/7 via social media can somehow make you feel lonely. It’s a weird world we live in, and that’s exactly what this song is about. It’s about being able to call your friends or see what they’re doing at any time, but feeling so lonely at the same time. Modern loneliness, I guess.

And I’ve been trying to find a reason to get up
Been trying to find a reason for this stuff
In my bedroom and my closet
The baggage in my heart is still so dark


Modern loneliness, we’re never alone
But always depressed, yeah
Love my friends to death
But I never call and I never text, yeah

I appreciate this song, because it speaks to real struggles that we face everyday, especially the younger generation growing up knowing nothing different than social media. On the other side of that, it’s really well written melodically and just a fun song all together.

“You Don’t Love Me (Like You Used To)” by THE WLDLFE

I’m a huge fan of this band, and I’ve been able to watch them build their following and become bigger and bigger which has been really cool. They graduated from my college, so I know a lot about their journey. I’ve seen their music evolve, and this song in particular is one of their best. So much so that it made the list.

The song piqued my interest immediately with the smooth, bright guitar riff that happens in the beginning. It’s a more folksy pop sound versus the more alternative synthy vibe their songs normally give off. It’s a breakup ballad, telling the story of the realization that things aren’t the way they used to be. The lead singer also has a very distinct voice, so you’ll always know The Wldlfe when you hear them.

So excuse my heart just for askin’
Cause I’m not sure that you want the truth
Cause you don’t love like you used to

“The Movies” by Nightly

Another one of my favorite bands, Nightly is similar to LANY and The Wldlfe in the way that they’re an indie alt pop band. This is for sure one of my most-played summer songs. I love the simple production of the song, which is mostly just arpeggiated guitar, some synth/piano, and light drums. The guitar solo mid song is pretty sweet, too.

The concept of the songs is a pretty common and cheesy one. You know, how being with someone feels like you’re in a movie. The reason I like it so much though is because they found a way to not make it feel cheesy lyrically.

Talked until you fell asleep
Now I’m driving home on dopamine
My brain is in the back seat
And my heart’s in drive

I’m a big fan of the brain and heart lyrics, because I feel like they’re super fresh and haven’t really been written before. It’s so cool when artists find ways to express common feelings, but with brand new lyrics.

You know there’s nothing like you and I together
‘Cause when we touch, something in it moves me
I swear to God, feels just like the movies

“Don’t Wanna” by Haim

I just recently started listening to Haim this year, and I’ve loved everything I’ve heard. This song is off their new album they just released, and it was released as a single prior to the album. I love this group because I love that they’re sisters, and I really love that they’re an all female pop/rock band.

The chorus is definitely my favorite part of this song. The melody is catchy, I love the harmonies, and I especially love the funky line from some kind of synth or guitar behind the chorus. It’s just so good.

I don’t wanna give up on you
I don’t wanna, don’t wanna, I don’t wanna have to
Well, we both had nights wakin’ up in strangers’ beds
But I don’t wanna, don’t wanna, I don’t wanna give up yet

Another song where the concept is written about very frequently, but they found a way to make it sound fresh. All together, Haim brings a sound that we don’t get a lot of especially from an all female group, and I love it.

“Little League” by Conan Gray

Conan Gray is an upcoming pop artist that’s bringing so much to the table. I’ve been a huge fan of him since he released his first EP, and he blew up after his song, “Maniac” became popular on TikTok.

This song is another song that makes me feel like I’m a teenager with the windows down in a coming of age movie. It’s nostalgic in the best way, and it brings a sound that hasn’t been heard a lot. It tells the story of remembering our childhood and the innocence that came with it. The production is driving until it reaches the chorus where it drops off and creates that perfect emotion that accompanies the lyrics. I also love the concept of little league, which is what adds the newness to the song.

Do you remember days on our old block?
Messing with our neighbors, who called the cops
Coulda swore that you and me
Could get away with anything”

“When we were younger
We didn’t know how it would be
We were the dumb, the wild, the free
Little league

“Golf On TV” by Lennon Stella feat. JP Saxe

You never think that someone would write a love song about people watching golf on tv, at least I didn’t. Lennon Stella and JP Saxe are both phenomenal songwriters, so of course they’d write something this good. It’s a brand new take on a love song.

I woke up to the bed made
And you’re downstairs
Doing the dishes
And my mom’s there
She’s kind of obsessed with you
I think that I might be too
She thinks that you’re good for me
That’s not something I’m used to

I love the way that Lennon and JP both write, because it’s so conversational. Sometimes when artists write love songs, they get caught up in the cliches and not just write about the normal, relatable things. I really appreciate what they did with it.

Some people wanna switch it up
Like just one love
Could never be enough
Some people watch golf on TV
And neither of those things make sense to me

I love the chorus of this song. It’s the overall idea of finding a love that doesn’t make you want another again, but it’s written in such a new way. Like who would ever think to compare love to watching golf? It’s too good.

This year has brought so many crazy hard things, but it’s also brought great songwriting and music to keep us smiling through those times.

These songs are ones that have spoke to me, and ones I just love to jam to. I’m grateful for the power of music, and I hope you check out some of the artists on this list.