What’s Going On: The Best Of 2020

2020 is about to come to a close, so for this week’s instalment of What’s Going On, we’re going to be looking back at some of the best songs that we’ve featured here throughout the year. If you dig these songs, be sure to dive deeper into each artist’s catalog and give them your support. There will be more great instalments of What’s Going On to come in 2021.

Yves Tumor – I wrote about Yves Tumor in the very first instalment of What’s Going On. Weird, psychedelic, soulful and sensual, Yves Tumor captivated listeners around the world with their fourth studio album Heaven To A Tortured Mind, released this past April. The lead single ‘Gospel for a New Century’ is a great example of Yves Tumor’s sound, the bravado of classic rock perfectly combined with electronic elements. As I mentioned earlier this year, Tumor sounds like the lovechild of Prince, Ziggy Stardust-era David Bowie and Sylvester. I can’t wait to see what Yves Tumor does next.

Listen to Yves Tumor’s single ‘Gospel for a New Century’ below.

NIMMO – Dance duo NIMMO was featured in What’s Going On’s Pride-themed instalment. The duo consisting of childhood friends Sarah Nimmo and Reva Gauntlett has been lauded for their slick intelligent dance music that often contains uplifting messages and themes of overcoming adversity. After breaking through with their huge singles “Dancing Makes Us Brave” and “Everything I Wanted” and album The Power, NIMMO released a new single “Do I Have To Learn It?” this year. “Do I Have To Learn It?” is all about pushing away the negative feelings and taking your own advice.

Listen to NIMMO’s single ‘Do I Have to Learn It?’ below.

Cut Copy – This past summer, Australian synthpop band Cut Copy released their new album Freeze, Melt which was personally one of my favorite albums of 2020. Best known for their upbeat dance releases, their new album saw the band take off their dancing shoes and get a little more subdued. From top to bottom, Freeze, Melt is an enjoyable listen all the way through. “Like Breaking Glass” is a standout track for me and sees Cut Copy doing what they do best, coming at you with lots of synths and a big chorus that stays with you. If wistful electronic music is your thing, you’ll enjoy this latest project from Cut Copy.

Listen to Cut Copy’s single ‘Like Breaking Glass’ below.

Bree Runway – Bree Runway has a sound that’s all her own. The London-born singer, rapper and songwriter combines elements of trap, Ghanian Highlife music, 2000s teen pop and crunchy nu-metal among other sounds to captivate her growing fanbase. Bree released her debut mixtape 2000AND4EVA on November 6 and it features a track “ATM” with Missy Elliott, who she cites as an influence. However, for me, the single “Little Nokia” is the clear standout. The bold single shows just how well Bree Runway mixes styles. In her own words, Bree says: “I’m all about mixing and blending genres, melodies, topics from different realms. To be speaking on hood affairs, with a pop melody on a rock-infused beat is the most Bree Runway thing ever.”

Listen to Bree Runway’s single ‘Little Nokia’ below.

TWRP – Canadian band TWRP brought the funk and good vibes on “Need Each Other” from their album Over The Top. “Need Each Other” speaks to how important togetherness is during trying times, which is an extremely timely message during this pandemic and they manage to do so without making things dour. You can hear in the song that the band was inspired by R&B greats D’Angelo and George Benson. The track also features Oakland trio Planet Booty. TWRP’s colorful costumes and personas will draw you in but the combination of humour, honesty and top-notch musicianship really make TWRP’s music worth checking out. I was lucky to interview TWRP’s Commander Meouch back in September – you can read that interview here.

Listen to TWRP’s single ‘Need Each Other’ below.

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