10 Songs of 2020 for Your Pandemic Playlists

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10 Songs of 2020 for Your Pandemic Playlist

By Danny Whirlow, Swimming World College Intern. 

With a new academic year about to begin, some schools are following through with their swim seasons. Naturally, practices are sure to carry some anxiety with them as the pandemic still grips the globe. What better way to cure the coronavirus blues than with a tough workout and a fresh playlist? The year 2020 hasn’t been good for anyone, but it’s been said that artists create their best work during strife. Here are ten new songs from 2020 for your pandemic practice playlist:

“Good News” by Mac Miller

Released posthumously in January, the Pittsburgh rapper’s influence still resonates two years after his death. This single from the album Circles features trance-like instrumentation that rolls along with Miller’s laid-back vocals. It’s steady beat is also perfect to pace along too.

“Time Stands” by Nathaniel Rateliff

Rateliff stands apart from his band The Night Sweats on this slow track. In a soaring chorus, the singer expresses his solidarity with a weary, unnamed party. This track isn’t for the main set, but its intimacy would be better found as swimmers drift through a warm-down.

“Ordinary Man” by Ozzy Osbourne

Rock stars collided in February, with Elton John lending his voice to this track from Osbourne’s most recent solo album. After ten years of no new music, the Prince of Darkness proved that he still has the pipes to hang with the most talented contemporary singers. And with a backing band that includes Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, “Ordinary Man” is a song for the ages.

“Everything Has Changed” by Best Coast

While the last three songs have been subdued and soft, this one is anything but. The Los Angles rock duo sing of the strangeness of change, a relatable subject for swimmers who return to a familiar setting still effected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd

Move aside, Stranger Things, its The Weeknd’s turn to use the 80s aesthetic. True enough, the Canadian singer’s vibrant synths and slick crooning elevates this song above other pop tunes. Play during a rev-up set to get the heart pumping!

“Algorhythm” by Childish Gambino

Punchy rapping offsets a melodic chorus on this track. Gambino’s lyrics compel listeners to move their bodies, appropriate for swimmers as they begin more intense sets.

“Don’t Start Now” by Dua Lipa

Originally released as a single on October 31st, 2019, “Don’t Start Now” has gained critical and commercial success alongside the rest of Lipa’s album Future Nostalgia. Crank it’s infectious grooves mid-practice as swimmers shake of the lockdown rust.

“Dance of the Clairvoyants” by Pearl Jam

Ozzy Osbourne wasn’t the only rock star to return in 2020. In March, Seattle darlings Pearl Jam eschewed their grunge sound while drawing on more electronic influences, pushing the band’s creative boundaries further than ever before.

“Bad Decisions” by The Strokes

After a seven-year hiatus, the members of The Strokes reunited, moving on from their various side projects. This track from The New Abnormal has all the sonic hallmarks of classic Strokes tracks and incorporates elements of Billy Idol’s “Dancing with Myself” (whose credited as a co-writer).

“I Don’t Understand Rock and Roll” by White Denim

On March 14, 2020, White Denim announced that they intended to write, record, and release a new album by April 17. They did, and World As a Waiting Room features this blisteringly fast song, perfect for an intense main set.

What songs from 2020 have found their way onto your playlist?

-All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.

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