2020, the Playlist

Dedicated to a year we’ll never forget.


Tatum Romero, Reporter

As we come to the close of the craziest year we’ve known in quite some time, it only felt right to accumulate bops that sum up what we’ve been saying since we quickly retracted our “20/20, perfect vision” hope for this year… There’s been forest fires, hurricanes, murder hornets, Black Lives Matter protests, historical politics, and a global pandemic. STRESSFUL! Haven’t we earned a dance party?

I present to you, “2020, the playlist”, which you can find on Spotify with this same name and cover art… Enjoy!

“It’s The End Of The World As We Know It” – R.E.M.

For a lot of people, especially those of us who are younger, this is the first major crisis we’ve experienced. This song, whose lyrics are based on both the jellybean-fueled dreams of R.E.M. lead singer, Michael Stipe and things he’d seen while flipping through TV channels, is the perfect representation of 2020. Both are the most bizarre combination of events. Wouldn’t you say so? 

“Ten Things” – Paul Baribeau

Apologies for the morbidity, but a lot of people have died this year… It has forced us to remember the future is uncertain. Luckily, this song provides some much-needed advice. 2020 has been helpful for at least one reason: it showed us all the things we are neglecting, including ourselves. Don’t hold off on the things you can be doing now because “right now, all you have is time, time, time”.

“I Want To Break Free” – Queen

What a bop! And very relatable… Do we not want to break free from this year? 

“Things We Lost In The Fire” – Bastille

2020 has been a year on fire, and not in a “slay” kind of way… Metaphorical and literal wildfires in California, Colorado, and all around the world have added to the insanity of 2020. “Things We Lost In The Fire” is written as a metaphor for a broken relationship, but do we not have a relationship with this year? Betrayal. That’s what 2020 did to us, but we are surviving, and someday we get to move on. 

“Level of Concern” – Twenty One Pilots

Early on in the pandemic, Twenty One Pilots shared a more lighthearted quarantine song about asking someone to ride out the uncertain circumstances with you. Relationships have gotten rocky this year with the fear of the pandemic. The song discusses the last time Tyler Joseph felt the same stress and a loss of control (marrying his wife) and how that relates to COVID-19 and its struggles. When asked about the song, Tyler Joseph shared that when you commit to someone you lose a good portion of your control and it stops being “you” and becomes “us”. That is a very important realization to have, this year especially.

“Noises” – Mike Mains and The Branches*

This is for any of you who went a little crazy during the quarantine. We love our families, but being stuck with no one but them got hard, huh? 

“Sit Still” – Grouplove*

Anxiety is a major theme in not only this song, but this year as well. Life gets so busy and we wish we could slow down (and sit still), but what happened when the world shut down and we had to sit still? We wanted our old lives back. 

“Quarantine” – Blink-182*

The blunt lyrics let fans know just how the band feels about COVID-19, singing, “I guess I’m blessed to be so f–king bored and hiding from this phantom antigen that wants to send us to the morgue. Quarantine, f–k this disease!” If you don’t like bad words, don’t give this one a listen… But if you don’t mind, you may find this one relatable.

“Six Feet Apart” – Luke Combs

This one goes out to the country fans. In Luke Combs’ song “Six Feet Apart” he laments on some of the things he misses most during quarantine. It may evoke tears; be warned.

“Imagine” – John Lennon

A classic whose lyrics we all know became very relevant again this year. Written during the Vietnam War, Lennon called it “an ad campaign for peace”. Peace. That’s what everyone is really asking for. 

“Black Lives Matter” – Dax

When asked about this song, Dax shared “Nobody’s born racist, you know? I mean, racism is not a gender, it’s not a sexuality, it’s not a physical attribute. It’s a thought process.” This song is a call to action because if you aren’t part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Such a cool song that reminds us, “we can bring back hope, but not the people that are dying”… Learn from the hurt.

“Good Job” – Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys dedicated her new song “Good Job” to frontline workers. Alicia originally wrote the track with her husband Swizz Beatz last year, but it resonates even more in the current state of the world. Share this song with that frontline worker in your life!

“2021” – Vampire Weekend

Released in 2019, this song (or rather Ezra Koenig) somehow perfectly managed to encapsulate our feelings with a simple croon. We just want to be considered by this coming year, maybe be spared in some way… “2021, will you think about me?”All the high hopes are gone as we approach the next season of new year’s resolutions, instead, we have desperate hope. It’s not much but it’s what we’ve got. We’ve waited a year, but there’s no way we’re waiting three more for… anything! Food, family, money, fresh air… None of it.

“Better Days” – One Republic

This is a song of hope. The band wrote this anthem during self-quarantining and put together a music video with the collaboration of fans worldwide. The video is a compilation of videos that showed either acts of kindness from home or footage of first responders helping provide aid during the pandemic.  It is exactly what everyone needs to see when they get lost in the list that makes up 2020. “Sunshine is about to come your way”… 

*listener discretion advised; may contain offensive language