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The Nest

The Student News Site of Brentwood High School

The Nest

The Student News Site of Brentwood High School

The Nest

The greatest songs of 2020 according to eight teenagers

Samia’s album “The Baby”

The Nest Staff gives you their picks for the best songs of the year from the perspective of a high school student.

Kathleen Clay: Big Wheel by Samia

 ¨Big Wheel¨ by Samia is my favorite song to come out of 2020. The lyrics seem to be random on the first listen, but once listened to more, the song portrays a coming of age story through telling about small, random events Samia has experienced. I find it interesting how the song has so many different situations packed into three minutes, like buying new shoes in Tokyo and getting bug bites on her legs, but the song is able to still represent one common theme: growing and changing. ¨Big Wheel¨ is also fast and upbeat, so it is perfect for driving, dancing, or just boosting your mood. The song’s light mood is a perfect escape from the chaos that happened in 2020, and it helped me stay positive when I was feeling down. ¨Big Wheel¨ came off of Samia’s album The Baby, and I would not only recommend checking out ¨Big Wheel,¨ but the album, too!

Alex Ridings: Complicated by Mac Miller

 Complicated by Mac Miller is my favorite song of 2020. Mac’s posthumous album Circles was released by his estate in January of 2020 and created lots of buzz in the music community throughout the year. Although this song came out almost exactly a year ago, I have continued to keep it in my music rotation throughout the entire year. This synth-heavy track brings a bouncy and ethereal sound that plays on repeat in my head for hours at a time. Hidden behind the bubbly melody, Mac’s lyrics reveal a somber truth of the complications of life. He sings, “Before I start to think about the future / First, can I please get through a day / Without any complications.” I think this is a great anthem for 2020 because we went through some of the greatest complications in our life, but we tried our best to make the most of it, just like Mac with his vibrant synth beats.

Emelda Forney: Classic by MKTO

 “Classic” by MKTO is one of my favorite songs of 2020. Although this song was released almost seven years ago, it has recently regained popularity due to it blowing up on Tiktok. Behind this song’s upbeat and catchy tune, there is a deeper meaning. The song talks about how people in this day and age can become wrapped up in trying to look or act a certain way to fit in. They can become predictable and fake. The lyrics talk about this girl from another time, or “classic”, and doesn’t fit society’s traditional standards and how much he is in love with her. This song has a perfect message for everyone, telling people to be unique and not conform to societal norms.

Eloise Ayotte: If the World Was Ending by JP Saxe and Julia Michaels

 “If the World Was Ending” JP Saxe and Julia Michaels. I picked this song because for a lot of us, it did feel like the world was ending this year, and this song really put into words what a lot of us were feeling. Although I am not a big fan of the slower and often “sappier” music, I think this song was very important in 2020 because of how scared and alone a lot of people felt. This song made it, so these feelings were not so daunting. This song was actually inspired by the earthquakes in California, which caused the writers to think about decision making in times of life-threatening crisis. Little did the writers know that following these earthquakes would be a global pandemic rendering their song a huge and very relatable hit.

Justine Favazza: Heart of Glass by Miley Cyrus

 Oddly enough, my 2020 anthem is one that was written almost 45 years ago. However, the fresh rendition of Heart of Glass-covered by Miley Cyrus is one that epitomizes the year for me. When Cyrus’s live performance of this tune went viral earlier this year, it brought a lot of people together. Virtually, of course, as it then blew up on TikTok. In some strange way, teens watching their childhood idol break out into a new, beautifully executed genre of music was comforting. This common interest gave us a sense of community in such uncertain times. 

Finn Schuh: Strange Timez by Gorillaz

 This is the first song on the Gorillaz album that came out in 2020 and was one of my favorites because I think it perfectly sums up how chaotic 2020 was. I’ve always loved the weird and cryptic lyrics of Gorillaz songs to describe certain feelings and events, and this song is no exception. One of the lines is, “no horseplay, no diving,” which I associated with quarantine and how no one can really go out and spend time with their friends. They also described the world as a “surgical glove world,” because of everyone wearing masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19. My favorite line was, “Cutting grass with scissors, whilst the great leaders reclining in the golden hallways we spin, the faithful will be silent.” It made me think of how lots of people were out protesting for the Black Lives Matter movement while lots of powerful people sat back and did nothing to help, and their followers stayed quiet. The song ends with the line, “Strange time to be alive,” and yeah. It definitely was.

Jonas Wall: Ode to the Mets by The Strokes

 Ode to the Mets is my favorite song of 2020, and no, it doesn’t have anything to do with the notoriously mediocre major league baseball team. It is a song that encapsulates my feelings about the most bizarre year of my life as soon as the eerie discordant guitar ceases and Julian Casablancas’ voice begins to croon in a tone that feels neither somber nor hopeful. One that reminds me of what the love interest in the movie “Sing Street” refers to as “happy-sad.” Throughout the song, which was released just weeks before the beginning of the pandemic in the U.S., Casablancas sings of feeling out of control of his surroundings and reminisces about a carefree past. Obviously, it is easy to extrapolate whatever feeling or emotion you want out of a song, but it is hard not to feel that this song helped set the tone for a bizarre and in itself discordant year. Even the album’s title, “The New Abnormal,” predicts a strange and sudden shift in our day to day lives. The Stroke’s unexpected break from their long hiatus brought me one of the most emotionally charged and interesting songs of the year, and it is definitely worth a listen.

Bridget Fitzgerald: good days by SZA 

This song came out around the end of December, and even though it came out towards the end of 2020, I think it is a flawless song to end the year with. This is a positive and euphonious song about moving on from the negatives in life and to always look forward to the blissful days in life. Whether it’s moving on from unhealthy relationships or moving on from a place in your life that you don’t want to be in, it is a powerful song that shows the struggles when moving on, but ultimately at the end of the song, SZA discovers that you have the power to make these days the “good days.”



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