The Best of 2020 | Staff Picks

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We made it! 2020 is finally coming to an end (hopefully not along with the world). You've finally mastered your TikTok algorithm and only get served the hits. You've mastered the perfect rotation for your Zoom backgrounds. You've broken the Guinness World Record for consecutive hours doom-scrolling. You've finished reading White Fragility and have made the pledge to be a better ally. This year is going down in the history books as one of the toughest in our generation due to the tragic losses of life due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to COVID-19, the entire music industry has come to a stand still and a lot of our colleagues have lost their jobs and the future of our industry is going to look very different. As sobering as this year has been, we've all had to take a long look at ourselves and make a decision about who we wanted to be.

But there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel and 2021 is already starting to look up. As usual, music is one of the things that always helps us get through tough times and 2020 was no different. We honestly may have needed it even more this year. As we try to put the tragedies of 2020 behind us, and look forward to the return of live music, being outside, and seeing our loved ones in person, our staff would like to share our favorite things that helped us survive this year and some of the things we're excited to hear more of in 2021.


Max Polo

Song That Best Describes Your 2020: Bea Miller, Aminè - "FEEL SOMETHING DIFFERENT"

Most Underrated Artist of 2020: 박혜진 Park Hye Jin

Best Breakout Artist of 2020: Doja Cat. From first seeing her at Echo Park Rising in 2014, it's been a long time coming

Best Music Video of 2020: KennyHoopla - "how will i rest in peace if i'm buried by a highway?//"

Biggest Artist Crush of 2020: Carly Rae Jepsen, this year and every year.

Favorite 2020 Distraction: Video games without a doubt. Between crafting my own island paradise on Animal Crossing to exploring the gorgeous world of Genshin Impact, 2020 would not have been bearable without a digital escape.

Artist you're most looking forward to seeing live in 2021/2022: My Chemical Romance, fingers crossed 🤞🏽

Favorite 2020 trend: TikTok finally entering the mainstream.

Artist to Watch in 2021: Keep an eye on Holly Humberstone, María Isabel, and spill tab.

Favorite Song of 2020: ZICO - "Any Song"

Favorite Album of 2020: Gus Dapperton - Orca

Favorite Artist of 2020: Jean Dawson

New Year’s Resolution?: Check Facebook comments less.


Green Lee

Song That Best Describes Your 2020: Soulja Boy - "Kiss Me Thru The Phone"

Most Underrated Artist of 2020: Su Lee

Best Breakout Artist of 2020: Giveon / BENEE

Best Music Video of 2020: DJ Khaled x Drake - "POPSTAR"

Biggest Artist Crush of 2020: Peggy Gou

Favorite 2020 Distraction: Computer Games & Anime. It's like I'm 19 again!!!

Artist you're most looking forward to seeing live in 2021/2022: Duckwrth. I need to see SuperGood in action.

Favorite 2020 Trend: Non-teens dropping their ego and hopping on the TikTok train (me included)

Artist to Watch in 2021: spill tab / blxst / Ambré

Favorite Song of 2020: No Rome ft. Bearface - "1:45AM"

Favorite Album of 2020: Duckwrth - SuperGood

Favorite Artist of 2020: keshi

New Year’s Resolution?: Huh?


Paige MacDonald

Song That Best Describes Your 2020: Flor - "Dancing Around" (not being biased)… the accuracy of the lyrics is too on point.

Most Underrated Artist of 2020: Zachary Knowles

Best Breakout Artist of 2020: Tate McRae

Best Music Video of 2020: Conan Gray - "Heather"

Biggest Artist Crush of 2020: The bass player in Flor… Obviously

Favorite 2020 Distraction: Ugh….. Ashamedly…….TikTok

Artist you're most looking forward to seeing live in 2021/2022: Turnover… because they make everything better and after the year we just had… need to stand in the middle of the crowd and have a good cry/scream.

Favorite 2020 trend: Work from home clothes AKA sweats every single day

Artist to Watch in 2021: Oh… that's a hard one to narrow down but I'd say Zachary Knowles (again) and 1990nowhere.

Favorite Song of 2020: Zachary Knowles - "Super Sad Songs'

Favorite Album of 2020: MisterWives - SUPERBLOOM

Favorite Artist of 2020: Conan Gray

New Year’s Resolution?: More time for myself AWAY FROM A SCREEN and less postmates


Malcolm J. Gray

Song That Best Describes Your 2020: N.E.R.D. - "Love Bomb"

Most Underrated Artist of 2020: Joesef

Best Breakout Artist of 2020: Blxst

Best Music Video of 2020: Disclosure - "My High" featuring Amine & slowthai

Favorite 2020 Distraction:  "Focus on Yourself King" TikTok Videos

Artist you're most looking forward to seeing live in 2021/2022:  

Favorite 2020 trend: Calling people you care about

Artist to Watch in 2021: Fana Hues

Favorite Song of 2020: Saint Lyor - "Big Facts"

Favorite Album of 2020: Yves Tumor - Heaven To a Tortured Mind

Favorite Artist of 2020: Arlo Parks

New Year’s Resolution?: Ideate less, Execute more


David O' Connor

Song That Best Describes Your 2020: Chiild - "Hands Off Me"

Most Underrated Artist of 2020: KennyHoopla

Best Breakout Artist of 2020: Jack Harlow

Best Music Video of 2020: Lil Baby - "The Bigger Picture"

Biggest Artist Crush of 2020: CHLOBOCOP

Favorite 2020 Distraction: ruthless optimism besting calculated cyncism

Artist you're most looking forward to seeing live in 2021/2022: fuck, yes…

Favorite 2020 trend: asking your neighbors kids how to find rare gear in Witcher 3

Artist to Watch in 2021: again&again

Favorite Song of 2020: Arlo Parks - “Eugene”

Favorite Album of 2020: Kota the Friend - Lyrics to Go, Vol. 1

Favorite Artist of 2020: Reo Cragun

New Year’s Resolution?: vaccinate before ya date  


Joey Legittino

Song That Best Describes Your 2020: “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” - R.E.M

Most Underrated Artist of 2020: badmonsham

Best Breakout Artist of 2020: Gracie Abrams

Best Music Video of 2020: MGK ft. Halsey - "Forget Me Too"

Biggest Artist Crush of 2020: still Kailee Morgue

Favorite 2020 Distraction: Tik Tok

Artist you're most looking forward to seeing live in 2021/2022: Rage Against the Machine

Favorite 2020 trend: Aliens

Artist to Watch in 2021: Morray

Favorite Song of 2020: Hans Williams - "Body on My Shoulders"

Favorite Album of 2020: Babyjake - Don’t Give Me Problems Give Me Wine

Favorite Artist of 2020: Fiji Blue

New Year’s Resolution?: Do better than last year


Alexa Schoenfold

Song That Best Describes Your 2020: D'Angelo - "The Charade"

Most Underrated Artist of 2020: Joy Oladokun

Best Breakout Artist of 2020: BENEE, Jean Dawson

Best Music Video of 2020: Loathe - "Two-Way Mirror"

Biggest Artist Crush of 2020: Tom Misch, MGK

Favorite 2020 Distraction: Nature (…and FaceTime)

Artist you're most looking forward to seeing live in 2021/2022: Thundercat

Favorite 2020 trend: Giving a sh!t about other people

Artist to Watch in 2021: Q, Zach Bryan

Favorite Song of 2020: Jazmine Sullivan - "Lost One"

Favorite Album of 2020: The Avalanches - We Will Always Love You

Favorite Artist of 2020: SAULT. (Also… Miley.)

New Year’s Resolution?: Show up with kindness. Stay connected to those that matter most. Finally get a normal bedtime.


Jessica Thomas

Song That Best Describes Your 2020: Ashnikko - "Working Bitch"

Most Underrated Artist of 2020: KILLBOY (not for long)  

Best Breakout Artist of 2020: Remi Wolf  

Best Music Video of 2020: ROSALÍA & Travis Scott - "TKN"

Biggest Artist Crush of 2020: Luna Aura  

Favorite 2020 Distraction: Slightly insensitive 2020 / COVID internet memes that drag me at my core…  

Artist you're most looking forward to seeing live in 2021/2022: Jacob Collier 

Favorite 2020 trend: TO GO COCKTAILS  

Artist to Watch in 2021: Avenue Beat  

Favorite Song of 2020: spill tab - "Calvaire"  

Favorite Album of 2020: Gracie Abrams - minor

Favorite Artist of 2020: mazie

New Year’s Resolution?: Stop falling asleep in my clothes & achieve homeostasis.  


Yasmin Damoui

Song That Best Describes Your 2020: Role Model - “going out”

Most Underrated Artist of 2020: CHIIILD

Best Breakout Artist of 2020: BENEE

Best Music Video of 2020: Channel Tres - “Weedman”

Biggest Artist Crush of 2020: Omar Apollo (every year)

Favorite 2020 Distraction: Eating KIVA gummies and listening to anything by LEISURE or Polo & Pan

Artist you're most looking forward to seeing live in 2021/2022: Usher in Vegas

Favorite 2020 trend: LOTS of unexpected artist collaborations

Artist to Watch in 2021: Tycho Jones, spill tab, Payday, Hojean, Royal & The Serpent, Abby Sage, mehro (sorry I cheated - there’s so many!)

Favorite Song of 2020: SAULT - “Wildfires”

Favorite Album of 2020: Holly Humberstone - Falling Asleep At The Wheel

Favorite Artist of 2020: Verzache

New Year’s Resolution?: Continue practicing gratitude for all the amazing blessings we took for granted pre-COVID


Alec Wing

Most Underrated Artist of 2020: Vegyn

Best Breakout Artist of 2020: Caroline Rose

Best Music Video of 2020: Moses Sumney - "Cut Me"


Biggest Artist Crush of 2020: Lianne La Havas

Favorite 2020 Distraction: Surprisingly evocative dreams

Artist you're most looking forward to seeing live in 2021/2022: D'Angelo (fingers crossed)

Favorite 2020 trend: Checking in on loved ones more consistently

Artist to Watch in 2021: Athletic Progression

Favorite Song of 2020: Gorillaz - "Simplicity"

Favorite Album of 2020: Fiona Apple - Fetch the Bolt Cutters

New Year’s Resolution?: To come up with something new


Tyler Borland

Song That Best Describes Your 2020: Curtis Waters - "Pity Party"

Most Underrated Artist of 2020: Elroy

Best Breakout Artist of 2020: Teezo Touchdown for sure!

Best Music Video of 2020: This is a tough one, but probably the slowthai “feeling away” video or “Power Freaks” by Jean Dawson

Biggest Artist Crush of 2020: Jorja Smith

Favorite 2020 Distraction: I’ve gotten super into Curb Your Enthusiasm

Artist you're most looking forward to seeing live in 2021/2022: Oh man I miss concerts… probably ericdoa, BIGBABYGUCCI, and Kevin Kazi

Favorite 2020 trend: Verzuz has been so entertaining. Not sure if it’s a trend, but definitely one of my favorite things to come out of this year.

Artist to Watch in 2021: Elroy, 18veno, Hollow Sinatra

Favorite Song of 2020: Tycho Jones - “Don’t Be Afraid”

Favorite Album of 2020: brakence - punk2

Favorite Artist of 2020: brakence, Kenny Mason, BIGBABYGUCCI, Jean Dawson

New Year’s Resolution?: Finish college and get a full time music gig


Maddy Quach

Song That Best Describes Your 2020: Antonio Williams and Kerry McCoy - Changes”

Most Underrated Artist of 2020: Issy Wood. She’s just signed to Mark Ronson’s Zelig Records & I’m so excited to see what comes of it.

Best Breakout Artist of 2020: glaive

Best Music Video of 2020: slowthai - "nhs"

Biggest Artist Crush of 2020: Freddie Gibbs this year and also every other year.

Favorite 2020 Distraction: Hand-sewing clothes!

Artist you're most looking forward to seeing live in 2021/2022: YG, Grimes, Sharon Van Etten. I’m buying tickets to anything and everything next year.

Favorite 2020 trend: That one month at the beginning of quarantine when everyone was drawing carrots and bananas on their Instagram stories. What was that…

Artist to Watch in 2021: ICECOLDBISHOP, CoachDaGhost

Favorite Song of 2020: This one goes to “Empty Beach” by Coco (although Hotboii’s “Don’t Need Time” is a close second).

Favorite Album of 2020: Fiona Apple - Fetch The Bolt Cutters

Favorite Artist of 2020: Flo Milli

New Year’s Resolution?: Celebrate my accomplishments more.


Rachael Jansky

Song That Best Describes Your 2020: Benee, Gus Dapperton - "supalonely" (the pandemic really has me missing all the homies :()

Most Underrated Artist of 2020: Q

Best Breakout Artist of 2020: CHIKA - forever grateful I didn't scroll past her Tiny Desk on my Twitter feed

Best Music Video of 2020: Amine - "Compensating"

Biggest Artist Crush of 2020: Halsey. My answer will never not be Halsey.

Favorite 2020 Distraction: Love Island, but the UK version ONLY

Artist you're most looking forward to seeing live in 2021/2022: Rico Nasty!!!!

Favorite 2020 trend: allllll the Clubhouse drama

Artist to Watch in 2021: Sally Boy

Favorite Song of 2020: Charlie Burg - "Lancaster Nights"

Favorite Album of 2020: Glass Animals - Dreamland (you literally melt into their music, perfect escape from the shit show of a year we've had)

Favorite Artist of 2020: Dominic Fike

New Year’s Resolution?: Graduate college, land my first big girl job, and have fewer existential crises :')


Jimmy Smith

Song That Best Describes Your 2020: "Brave Faces, Everyone" - Spanish Love Songs

Most Underrated Artist of 2020: POORSTACY

Best Breakout Artist of 2020: KennyHoopla

Best Music Video of 2020: Code Orange - "Swallowing The Rabbit Whole"

Favorite 2020 Distraction: Daydreaming about 2021. Oh and lots of TikTok

Artist you're most looking forward to seeing live in 2021/2022: Every Time I Die

Favorite 2020 trend: Pop-punk revival

Artist to Watch in 2021: nothing,nowhere.

Favorite Song of 2020: The Dirty Nil - Doom Boy

Favorite Album of 2020: The Used - Heartwork

Favorite Artist of 2020: Travis Barker

New Year’s Resolution?: Don't take live music for granted


Jenna Singer

Song That Best Describes Your 2020: bulow and duckwrth - "sad and bored"

Most Underrated Artist of 2020: Jean Dawson

Best Breakout Artist of 2020: glaive

Best Music Video of 2020: idk but "Thick and Thin" - Lany got me through some shit

Biggest Artist Crush of 2020: Justin Bieber

Favorite 2020 Distraction: Cooking

Artist you're most looking forward to seeing live in 2020/2021: Billie Eilish

Favorite 2020 trend: hyperpop

Artist to Watch in 2021: Huron John

Favorite Song of 2020: Still Woozy - "Window"

Favorite Album of 2020: LANY - mama's boy

Favorite Artist of 2020: can't give that away sorry

New Year’s Resolution?: less time on social media

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