2020-12-22T09:00:47-05:00 2020-12-22T18:06:15-05:00

EARMILK's Best Songs of 2020 [Dance + Electronic]

Despite 2020 being an incredibly hard year, it’s fair to say that some phenomenal music has come about as a result. Whether it’s artists turning their hand to a new genre, re-imagining the sound of dance music, or just tracks that have us desperate to be back out on the dancefloor - there’s been something for everyone. With the closure of clubs and festivals, artists lost more than just spaces to perform, they lost the global exposure of tracks that would be played at these events across the world. Nonetheless, tracks still found a way to blow up via the medium of live streams and radio shows. Who would’ve thought there would be a time where we all sat in anticipation of an online stream? Where we might usually discover new tracks on the dancefloor, these streams did an impeccable job of keeping us up-to-date with the latest heat - and giving artists well-deserved exposure that would usually come from live music events. Deep-digging sessions became the norm, and in a time where there wasn’t much to look forwards to, the importance of music releases increased ten-fold; here are some of our favourite dance tracks of the year. - Jeremy Lin, Beth Taylor, contributing writers

*For a full Spotify playlist of this year's "Best of 2020" [Dance + Electronic] - Click Here

Alan Fitzpatrick & Rebūke - Ultimate Distortion

Two of the biggest names in the dance music world came together to produce a club-ready gem featuring all the elements of an addictive dark peak-time track that belongs on every DJ's Serato library. - Jeremy Lin, Contributing Writer

Alan Fitzpatrick & Patrice Rushen - Haven't You Heard (Fitzy's Half Charged Mix)

Teaming up with vocalist Patrice Rushen, dance music icon Alan Fitzpatrick took on a classic house record that topped the Beatport charts in the early half of 2020. - Jeremy Lin, Contributing Writer

Amelie Lens - Higher

"Higher" perfectly balances the elements of a dark driving track with the elements of a euphoric electronic production to form a peak time masterpiece. - Jeremy Lin, Contributing Writer

Baauer - AETHER

There's no artist that I can easily compare to Baauer. His 2020 album PLANET'S MAD scratched the itch of a multitude of genres, energies and moods; there's not a single track I would skip. This is a highlight though, I'm pretty sure the second passage sent me to the future. - Robin Fulton, Contributing Writer

Bicep - Apricots

Bicep never fail to deliver. Envisioning packed dance floors and what a MOMENT it will be, when it is eventually heard in the clubs. With this in mind, it's an emotional listen whilst full of optimism of that special day in sight, picturing a sea of face glowing beneath the lights with a shared joy that we got through some of the darkest times of our lives. - Jessica Burr, Contributing Writer

Boys Noize - Mvinline

Steering away from his traditional style, Boys Noize took on a house-forward approach on Mvinline that turned into a summer anthem that appeared in virtually every dance music DJ's set. - Jeremy Lin, Contributing Writer

Bronze Whale - Good Enough 

Bronze Whale shines in their production on their latest track "Good Enough". The catchy vocal just sucks you in as the pads and percussion take you away. - Lindsey Oh, Contributing Writer

CamelPhat & Will Easton - Witching Hour

"Witching Hour" was the first single released ahead of their debut album back in October. The house duo teamed up with fellow house producer Will Easton on a massive dancefloor track. - Jeremy Lin, Contributing Writer

Caribou - Never Come Back

A poignant track to Summer 2020, a time to appreciate the little things around you whilst the world is at a standstill. The soundtrack to sunsets and that idyllic golden hour, basking in its glow and sometimes drifting amongst shallow seawater, "Never Come Back" certainly draws on escapism which is something to be cherished, particularly in this challenging year. - Jessica Burr, Contributing Writer

This was the 2020 summer JAM that we all needed! A journey from start to finish, the repetitive synth chords and samples paired with the classic piano and drums build on top of each other for a 5-minute house anthem. Did I mention there's cowbell? - Nicole Proctor, Contributing Writer

Channel Tres - fuego (feat. Tyler, The Creator)

This is the standout track off of Channel's 2020, quarantine centric release "I Can't Go Outside" and one of the best house tracks of the year. Tyler completely dominates the track and Channel provides the vibes. - Rasheed Tulay, Senior Writer

Charlotte de Witte - Sgad Li Mi

Charlotte de Witte has become household name in the techno world and the release of "Sgad Li Mi" showed why. This techno record had fans going absolutely wild and became an instant hit in the techno scene. - Jeremy Lin, Contributing Writer

Christian Löffler - Ronda

This track nearly brought me to tears. It's just gorgeous. - Steph Evans, Managing Editor

Coco Bryce - Ma Bae Be Luv

The Dutch DJ and producer's debut release on Lobster Theremin this summer had listeners in quite the frenzy. Woozy, blissful jungle peppered with some of the most iconic vocals 2020 has heard. Truly impossible not to enjoy, "Ma Bae Be Luv" is a modern-day masterpiece. - Beth Taylor, Contributing Writer

CRi - From Me (Icarus Remix)

CRi's debut album Juvenile via Anjunadeep showcased an exciting array of sounds across downtempo, deep house and indie electronica. Icarus' remix of "From Me" brought the track to a new level delivering a heavy dance rendition that's been on repeat since initial release. - Patrick Ames Connor, Contributing Writer

Dance System, UNIIQU3 - Get up on It!

A match made in heaven, Dance Sytem and UNIIQU3 have created the ultimate dance floor sass that is set to cause mind-blowing scenes on dance floors once club land opens its gates. - Jessica Burr, Contributing Writer

Deft - KOOVER IN '92

A track that's evil to the core, "KOOVER IN '92" was the standout on an epic release from Deft earlier this year. A must-listen for anyone whose taste is rooted in the bassier side of things: there's footwork, jungle, and a little bit extra on one of the hottest labels of the year. It doesn't get much grittier than this. - Beth Taylor, Contributing Writer

Disclosure - Douha (Mali Mali)

Disclosure may still have some work cut out for them when it comes to their features, but the innocent, untouched bliss that comes from playing "Douha (Mali Mali)" is unparalleled. They got back down to basics with a simple looping house track that builds on their own energy as it goes, rather than trying to match it to some big name on the track. It's what's got me through many uninspired moments in 2020, and I reckon will continue to do so in the coming years as well. - Valeria Dulava, Indie Editor

I remember where I was exactly when I first heard this. In my kitchen at 11am, working away on my laptop. I immediately was up and dancing by myself with this on repeat. Beyond a house dance banger, Fatoumata's message was to spread awareness and create conversations around issues her home country Mali faces, in a positive way with good vibrations through dance music. Love the message! - Nicole Proctor, Contributing Writer

DJ Seinfeld - Dreams of U And Me Above the Mezcal Moon

What dreams are made of, the name speaks for itself. DJ Seinfeld knows how to create an atmospheric anthem that sounds like a slice of heaven sent to brighten up our world. - Jessica Burr, Contributing Writer

DJ Swisha & DIYR - Sittin' on Chrome

Dubby breaks, percussive stabs and dynamic vocals make "Sittin' On Chrome" one of the most memorable - and fun - tracks of 2020, from a key member of LA's Juke Bounce Werk crew. - Beth Taylor, Contributing Writer

DJ Zinc, Alicai Harley - Bubble

Only recently discovered, but an instant tune that will stick for years to come. DJ Zinc's legendary tune "Wile Out" if the stuff of legends, and "Bubble" follows in a similar vein with the same face-melting bass, extra sass from Alicai Harley and dance floor flavours. - Jessica Burr, Contributing Writer

DRAMA - Hold On

Chicago-based duo DRAMA deliver a stunning fusion of R&B, jazz, dance, and electronic pop that makes them one of the most exciting acts to hit the main stage in 2020, which would have been extended further if not for COVID. I managed to score a copy of Dance Without Me at a record signing when they stopped by San Francisco right before COVID and the beautiful complex emotions expressed through tracks like "Hold On" helped get me through those early months of quarantine. - David Sikorski, Senior Editor

Drew Dabble - Rush

A fresh release just before 2020 draws to a close, Drew Dabble manages to deliver stand out, dance-ready tunes and "Rush" is one of them from his debut EP That's Life. - Jessica Burr, Contributing Writer

Duck Sauce - Mesmerize

Despite the hurdles of 2020 Duck Sauce's reunion has thrived. "Mesmerize" may just be the icing on the cake of their jam packed year, and the video has given it a whole new lease of life whilst demonstrating the creativity that can evolve, developing something simple yet clever within the boundaries that the pandemic has given us. - Jessica Burr, Contributing Writer

Duke Dumont & RY X - Let Me Go

I was watching one of the first major livestreamed festivals during phase 1 of quarantine, and Duke Dumont closed his set with this gorgeous song. I couldn't stop thinking about it, and he released it a few weeks later - Steph Evans, Managing Editor

Eira Haul - Lorica

Taking things back to the oldskool, Eira Haul keeps things classic in "Lorica". Euphoric synths contrasted against the raging breaks give it an edge that's hard to find these days. Pure rave elation. - Beth Taylor, Contributing Writer

Eric Prydz - NOPUS

After 4 years of anticipation since its EDC 2016 debut, Prydz adopted the fan-assigned title for a long-awaited ID and successor to his acclaimed "Opus". The track is the first formally released "Eric Prydz" track since the Opus album in 2016. - Patrick Ames Connor, Contributing Writer

HÆLOS - Hold On

It was truly so great to see this London outfit come back with new music this year. Their debut album was maybe one of the most magical albums for me of the last decade and "Hold On" was an exciting showing of an even more dancier side to the group than I had seen before. - David Sikorski, Senior Editor

Fjaak - It's Time Again

The self-dubbed "Techno boy band" did not disappoint on this one, released in September the german duo produced yet another raw techno banger primed for the late nights on the dancefloor. - Jeremy Lin, Contributing Writer

Godford - Downtown

The anonymous producer Godford released "Downtown" a head of their non-binary place album. The nostalgia-packed lo-fi dance was perfect teaser for the masterful production featured on the LP. - Jeremy Lin, Contributing Writer

i_o - Parental Advisory

The dance music industry lost a valuable voice this year. We'll remember i_o for the way he moved the culture forward with a real, authentic meeting of techno and trance. - Steph Evans, Managing Editor

India Jordan - I'm Waiting (Just 4 U)

Another one that should've been doing the rounds this festival season, "I'm Waiting (Just 4 U)" is the house and disco track of dreams. Part of one of the best-recieved releases of this year, we'll still be hearing this track in 10 years time. No end-of-year list is complete without it! - Beth Taylor, Contributing Writer

Isolated Material - Root Cause

"Root Cause" delivers a masterclass in electro; it's raw, modulated, and moody - with enough funk to see you through to 2021. Sitting as part of Isolated Material's debut EP, it marks massive things to come for the young producer. Keep your eyes and ears open! - Beth Taylor, Contributing Writer

J Wax - No Service

An understated banger by one of the UK's most promising names in Electro. The bass on this one is mind-blowing; it's a weapon of mass destruction when it comes to the dancefloor. - Beth Taylor, Contributing Writer

Jaden Thompson - Closer

Released on the Martinez Brothers' imprint Cuttin Headz, Closer is the perfect minimal dancefloor weapon needed to close out the year on a groovy note. - Jeremy Lin, Contributing Writer

Jayda G - Both Of Us

This was a big year for Jayda in the music released, and the recognition she's received. It's deserved. - Steph Evans, Managing Editor

Jessy Lanza - Anyone Around

Thoughtful and utterly catchy, will get you dancing. - Ruby Izatt, Contributing Writer

Karenn - On Request

The closing track from Karenn's 2014 London Boiler Room finally saw the light of day this year - and boy, was it worth the wait. One of the most sought-after tunes of the last few years - impeccable stuff from two of the greatest producers in techno. - Beth Taylor, Contributing Writer

KAYTRANADA & Lucky Daye - Look Easy

Serving as their first collaboration, "Look Easy," finds Lucky Daye delivering silky smooth vocals over the festive production from Kaytranada. Utilizing their complimenting talents, they provide a fun and easy ride that's hard to turn off. - Ashton Howard, Contributing Writer

Kidnap - Start Again (Durante Remix)

Looking back at my listening activity this year, it appears I'm becoming a Durante stan. - Steph Evans, Managing Editor

London Grammar - Baby It's You (Kölsch Version)

Kolsch has an uncanny ability to digest London Grammar's melancholy. He's done it before, and he did it again, turning their notable single into an electronic gem. - Steph Evans, Managing Editor

LP Giobbi - Meet Again (Feat. Little Boots)

LP Giobbi evolved in front of our eyes this year. This track perfectly encapsulates her finding her groove, with a dreamy piano progression (now her signature) and a feature from indie vocalist Little Boots. - Steph Evans, Managing Editor

Mall Grab - Sunflower

Mall grab has been known for his experimental approach to dance/electronic music, he definitely pulled out all of the stops on the title track of his first ep of 2020 with 137 bpm melodic techno track - Jeremy Lin, Contributing Writer

Maribou State - Mother

A garage-infused delight, woven with Maribou State's signature stripped-back house with some grooving vocals thrown in, the pair experiment across a multitude of sonic landscapes. Their only release of the year, it's a gem of a track to be cherished. - Jessica Burr, Contributing Writer

Mason & Mark Knight - Drowning In Your Love (feat. Jem Cooke) [Mark Knight Remix]

This is veteran artists doing what they do best. I felt that this year, solid house music was left behind for darker techno and lighter melodic, but this is a reminder why house still rules. - Steph Evans, Managing Editor

Mat Zo - Colours (feat. Olan)

This is beauty and creativity in a way only Mat Zo can execute. People always talk about "genreless" music, but Mat Zo truly operates beyond that, on his own plane. - Steph Evans, Managing Editor

Maur - Set You Free (feat. FABER)

Released in September, this duo quickly learned they had a hit on their hands as "Set You Free" climbed the Beatport charts in very little time. The vocal house record is an undeniable dancefloor gem. - Jeremy Lin, Contributing Writer

Mella Dee - Sidney Street

With the club and nightlife industry currently on hold, Mella Dee shines a light on Sheffield nightclub Sidney Street. Paying homage to the club, Mella Dee delivers nostalgic piano chords and samples paired with chugging basslines reminiscent of the venue's signature, intimate dance floors. - Jessica Burr, Contributing Writer

Mr. Tophat - Time Lapse (DJ Tennis Disko Bang Club Mix)

We get a lot of promotional streams ahead of music's release, and I can usually tell within a few seconds of listening if something is amazing or not. This - I can't decide which I like better, Mr. Tophat's original from his 2019 album or DJ Tennis's remix - immediately blew me away and probably is my most listened to dance track of the year. - Steph Evans, Managing Editor

Nikki Nair - Trunk

One of the latest releases of the year holds one of the weightiest tracks. Nikki Nair's "Trunk" rounds off an incredible year of productions in the finest style. Lending elements from UK bass, electro, breaks and beyond, the bass on this one is going to blow sound systems to bits once the clubs reopen - undoubtedly one of the tracks I'd most like to hear once dancing is legal again. An extremely close call between this and "Slug," which deserves an honourable mention! - Beth Taylor, Contributing Writer

Pangaea - Like This

The banger we all deserved but never got to hear at festivals this summer - an ultimate feel-good anthem from one of the best in the game. Oldskool vocals and that euphoric UKG bassline make it impossible not to listen with a massive grin. - Beth Taylor, Contributing Writer

Patrick Topping - New Reality (Feat. Hayley Topping)

This is couple goals right here. With Patrick Topping's tastemaker production and Hayley Topping's distinct vocals, the couple have demonstrated the magic that can evolve when we're given that extra time to spend with our loved ones. A match made in heaven. - Jessica Burr, Contributing Writer

Pearson Sound - Alien Mode

Another honourable mention to a member of the Hessle Audio crew, "Alien Mode" marked the end of a five-year hiatus from releasing on the label for Pearson Sound, and what a comeback it was. "Alien Mode" stands as an example of everything Hessle Audio is about; exceptionally good music that's impossible to narrow into one genre. - Beth Taylor, Contributing Writer

Pessimist - Ridge Racer Revolution

Pessimist is one of the few who seamlessly manages to blend the lines between techno and drum and bass. "Ridge Racer Revolution," out earlier this year on Ilian Tape showcases his sound at its very best. It's a no-messing rave tune, through and through.- Beth Taylor, Contributing Writer

Prospa - Ecstasy (Over & Over)

This UK duo never misses. They really pushed themselves forward this year, bringing some 80's sheen to the grittiness that makes their music unique. Be on the lookout for them. - Steph Evans, Managing Editor

Ratsnake - April Fool

Rowdy, energetic, but refined electro at its very best. Nothing but straight-up machine funk here - a massive release that largely went under-the-radar this summer. - Beth Taylor, Contributing Writer

Roza Terenzi - Stylish Tantrum

They say people save the best 'til last - Roza Terenzi's "Stylish Tantrum" is no exception. It might be a late release this year, but it's going to have dancefloors moving like there's no tomorrow. - Beth Taylor, Contributing Writer

Sander van Doorn - Temper Temper (feat. ONR)

This is the Sandver van Doorn I fell in love with in the early 2010's, and it's been a while since he's hit it this on the nose. He knows how to play with energy and emotion. - Steph Evans, Managing Editor

San Holo, Broods - Honest

An absolute treat of a collab to see two of some of my favorite artists that are actually defining and helping form what modern alt-electronic music is. Broods' angelic vocals and San Holo's mesmerizing production on this track was a match made in heaven, and it sounds like it. - David Sikorski, Senior Editor

SG Lewis - Impact (feat. Robyn & Channel Tres)

It's so hard to come by a mixing of tastes that just works. Here we have three artists, all at different points in their careers across various sounds, making something beautiful together. There is just something to be said for chemistry and understanding one another, and this track reflects it. - Steph Evans, Managing Editor

Sofi Tukker - House Arrest

Not written about the pandemic but instead about Sophie breaking her foot and being stuck inside pre-pandemic, "House Arrest" was incredibly relatable and scarily predictive of our 2020 lives. Going stir crazy inside was easily diminished by blasting this house banger. Love Sophie's angelic and whimsy vocals that sweep you off to a "post-pandemic" fantasy. - Nicole Proctor, Contributing Writer

Sofi Tukker, Icona Pop - Spa

This song came right at the peak of my complete exhaustion and anxiety with the whole quarantine. The pounding bass, the catchy lyrics captured my imagination and sent me swirling into a sweaty late-night dance floor. - David Sikorski, Senior Editor

Tina Says, Spectrum - Live & Die

Tina Says is an absolute gem to the world of music and continues to make dance anthems, stronger than the last. - Steve Likoski, Contributing Writer

TSHA - Sister

Honestly, it's hard to pick the best songs off of TSHA's EP, Flowers. Based off of that offering, I know this is an artist we're going to be hearing a lot more from in the future. - Steph Evans, Managing Editor

Waze & Odyssey, Tommy Theo - Always

Pair this esteemed house duo with the vocals of legendary talent George Michael, Stevie Wonder and Marie J Blidge and you have a modern-day hit on your hands. Released around the start of the lockdown, "Always" encouraged hope in uncertain times. - Jessica Burr, Contributing Writer

ZHU x Tinashe - Die A Little Bit (Remix)

I personally have been loving all of Tinashe's collaborations this year. This ZHU track always delivers on energy and Tinashe's dancing is INSANE. - Lindsey Oh, Contributing Writer

For a full playlist of this year's "Best of 2020," follow EARMILK on Spotify or click on the link below:

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Dance · Electronic · Feature · Lists · Main Stage · Playlist

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