The sound of 2020: tunes that helped me get through the year

What’s the sound of 2020? I recently discovered a fantastic online time capsule of music. It’s called “2020 IS A SONG“, and it has a simple objective: sharing with the world the one song that got you through this crazy year.

While it’s hard to choose only one song, for this time capsule I decided that mine had to be Sleeptalking by Friendly Fires.

I’ve written about the importance of noticing the world around. In an attempt to explain to myself why certain songs helped me more than others, I’m sharing a list of the tunes that brought me solace, peace or joy and why. Here’s the sound of 2020 for me.

The Love Thieves – Depeche Mode

I listened to this song a lot in a period when I was really stressed and hopeless. There’s something calming about it. It allowed me to take deep breaths and appreciate every note. To me, the way Dave Gahan sings it is a form of poetry.

Back then, it was hard to name my emotions, but the guitar solo did it for me.

Do You Really Want to Hurt Me? – Culture Club

I don’t have much of a logical explanation for this one, but I’ll try my best to make sense.

The day I was grieving a colleague’s death, this song brought me peace. I don’t know if my colleague was a fan of Culture Club, and I don’t ever remember her playing a song by them in her office, but it somehow helped me have closure. The lyrics don’t reflect the way I felt about my colleague in any way. I just found it was helpful.

The Bossa Nova Exciting Jazz Samba Rhythms Vol. 4 – Various Artists

Musically speaking, 2020 was the bossa nova year for me. This genre makes me happy no matter what. The songs might be telling the saddest stories with the most cheerful tune.

This playlist made my afternoons at work relaxing and joyful. On a really good day, I’d even dance a little. For a moment, I forgot about the stress of doing work I disliked. My favourite track from the playlist is Você by Dick Farney & Norma Benguell.

Pure Love – Hayley Williams

It’s not common to hear this kind of pop song nowadays. That’s one of the many reasons why I love it so much. It immediately made me think of Janet Jackson and Michael Jackson. There’s no doubt their influence is in this track.

At the same time, the lyrics are so expressive and energetic that they inspire me. I hope someday I can reach that level of expression in my own work.

Sleeptalking – Friendly Fires

So why did I choose this song for the time capsule? I feel it truly reflects my levels of energy at this point of the year. In this moment, I’m more at peace with myself and, above all, more connected to my true core.

The lyrics are expressive and simple. Then again, something I’d like to accomplish as I move forward as a writer.


How about you? What songs helped you get through 2020?

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