Incredibly (and perhaps thankfully), 2020 is almost over. And that means one thing — the return of our annual Top Tracks countdown!
As usual, the team from wiwibloggs have voted for their favourite new songs released in 2020 by Eurovision stars. Songs which were selected for Eurovision or competed in national finals were excluded (they’ve been analysed to death in our jury reviews). Artists must have competed at Eurovision as part of the main act to be eligible (but those who were selected for 2020 were also included in the voting).
After reviewing more than 1,000 songs over the course of the year, we finally settled on our top 50 – it wasn’t easy. And now, it’s time to reveal our top picks.
Our Hall of Fame currently includes:
- 2013: Loreen – “We Got The Power”
- 2014: Emmelie De Forest – “Drunk Tonight”
- 2015: Lena – “Traffic Lights”
- 2016: Loïc Nottet – “Million Eyes”
- 2017: Loïc Nottet – “Mud Blood”
- 2018: Iveta Mukuchyan – “Hayastani Axjikner”
- 2019: Duncan Laurence – “Love Don’t Hate It”
But, who will join them?
Find out below with the conclusion of this year’s countdown!
Team Wiwi’s top songs by Eurovision artists in 2020: 10 to 1
10. Mahmood (feat. Sfera Ebbasta and Feid) – “Dorado”
What we said: Mahmood has released the music video for his latest single “Dorado” — an Italian-Latino banger with golden Arabic influences. For this new song, Mahmood has brought a few friends along. He teams up with Italian rapper Sfera Ebbasta and Colombian singer/songwriter Feid. Mahmood is known for his clever wordplay and the “Dorado” MV echoes the lyrical content of the song well. A rags-to-riches story, the video begins with Mahmood singing alone in a near empty room that doesn’t have much more than an electric fan and a poster of American singer Lana Del Rey. We then escalate quickly to find Mahmood, Sfera Ebbasta and Feid dancing and relaxing in a museum of Egyptian artefacts and on top of a ginormous Sphinx. (Tom)
9. NAVIBAND – “Девочка в белом”
What we said: Their song “Iншымi” became one of the songs that helped the Belarusians through upsetting times. Since then, NAVIBAND have also actively taken part in the peaceful protests, performing alongside the Chains of Solidarity. Women have taken up an important role in the events in Belarus since the start. To those women, NAVIBAND’s Ksenia has written an ode: “Девочка в белом”, which translates to “Girl in White”, referring to the Woman in White movement in Belarus. She sings: “I believe there won’t be any more fear/ Our strength is impeccable/ A proud girl in white”. (Renske)
8. KEiiNO (feat. Charlotte Qamaniq) – “Black Leather”
What we said: Norway’s KEiiNO have released a steady number of new singles since they won the televote at Eurovision 2019. Their latest song is “Black Leather”, with Alexandra Rotan, Tom Hugo and Fred Buljo joining forces with Inuk throat singer Charlotte Qamanic. The supergroup explain more about the song in the description of the official lyric video: ““Black Leather” is a pop tribute to the Berlin club-scene. Written on the night of a men-only party at Berghain; the song portrays a future where gender identification and expression are no longer a barrier to fulfil one’s heart’s desires. “Black Leather” is the first pop-banger that includes traditional singing from two indigenous cultures; Sami Joik and Inuk throat singing.” (Jonathan)
Previous top tracks: “Dancing In The Smoke” (#37 in 2019)
7. KEiiNO – “Colours”
What we said: After topping the televote at Eurovision 2019, Norway’s KEiiNO – that’s Alexandra Rotan, Tom Hugo and Fred Buljo – have kept the hits coming in the months since. Now, the trio have released the new song “Colours”, which is predominantly sung in Northern Sami, a language on the UN’s list of highly endangered languages. Explaining in the description of the official lyric video, the band note: “When the Norwegian National Broadcaster NRK wanted a band to write a song for their campaign to make all of Norway joik, Joikebølgen, KEiiNO was on top of their list. They asked for a song that could unite generations in song and joik, and KEiiNO has once again delivered a song that makes you wanna dance and join the fun.” (Jonathan)
Previous top tracks: “Black Leather” (#8 in 2020), “Dancing In The Smoke” (#37 in 2019)
6. KEiiNO and Electric Fields – “Would I Lie”
What we said: It’s the collaboration that many have been waiting for. Norway’s Eurovision 2019 act KEiiNO and Eurovision – Australia Decides 2019 runners-up Electric Fields have teamed up on the new song “Would I Lie”. Both groups are known for mixing the traditional native music of their country with contemporary production. The combination of both groups together has lead to a catchy pop banger infused beautifully with flourishes of Aboriginal Australian and Sámi instrumentation. (Jonathan)
Previous top tracks: “Colours” (#7 in 2020), “Black Leather” (#8 in 2020), “Dancing In The Smoke” (#37 in 2019)
5. Roxen and Alexander Rybak – “Wonderland”
What we said: It’s the holiday collaboration of the year — and one we never knew we needed. But now that Romanian star Roxen has teamed up with Eurovision winner Alexander Rybak on “Wonderland”, we’re not sure how we ever lived without it. Roxen’s team say the story revolves around the “feelings she has experienced during this last period” — no doubt a reference to the ongoing pandemic that’s left so many of us stuck at home and feeling isolated. The opening lyrics hint at that, but also Roxen’s underlying sense of optimism. Rybak’s influence can be felt most clearly in the strings, which mesh smoothly with the tropical house undertone. They’re present but not overpowering, giving the electronic sound a warm, folksy feel. (William)
Previous top tracks (Alexander Rybak): “Kotik” (#27 in 2015)
4. Netta – “Cuckoo”
What we said: She performed her new single “Cuckoo” during Eurovision: Europe Shine A Light, receiving the widespread praise that she deserved. While we all knew Netta’s strength, fans were touched to see her more fragile side come out through the song. The tender number has now been added to Spotify’s Global Pop and New Pop playlists, and won plaudits from Twitter followers and Billboard magazine alike. Israel’s Eurovision 2018 winner has now released the music video for what some consider her best song yet. The video in some ways reflects what we saw in Europe Shine a Light. Netta performs in a bed with music box accompaniment — but this bed is futuristic and high-fashion. Scenes cut between vulnerable Netta singing her heart out and images of couples questioning whether they really love each other. (Izhar)
3. Dami Im – “Paper Dragon”
What we said: With Montaigne’s Eurovision 2020 participation pushed back to 2021 because of the pandemic, Dami won’t have the chance to compete in a national final. Thankfully she will have the chance to perform her would-be entry “Paper Dragon”, which is out now. Dami worked with an Italian stop-motion animator, who created the whole video using paper cutouts. It’s a delicate and endearing way to present a song about inner strength and unleashing the beast within. The verses are light and bouncy — but listen closely and the picture isn’t so cute. Dami is being underestimated and misunderstood. The repetition of the lyrics suggests it’s habitual. Thankfully Dami is a lot stronger than paper, and she’s ready to breathe fire. (William)
2. Verka Serduchka – “Make it Rain Champagne”
What we said: Musically, this mixes pop and near Eastern sounds. Thematically, “champagne” embodies not merely French bubbly, but Verka’s uplifting spirit and philosophy of making each moment memorable: “Sitting in the bath tub, riding on the train, waiting at the bus stop, you gotta make it rain.” No matter how ho-hum the location, you can still seize the day. Upon its release, the song sent fans into a tizzy with hopes high that it could go to Eurovision. It clocks in at under three minutes, is catchy AF and presents endless opportunities for wild staging. Unfortunately, Danylko soon shot down the rumour on the web series SLUH: “I had barely released the song and people were already writing I was preparing [for Eurovision]. Let me just explain it like this: Serduchka wanted it, but Danylko was against.” (William)
*While Verka Serduchka’s “Make It Rain Champagne” was released in 2019, it was done so too late for inclusion in last year’s top tracks countdown. Hence its appearance on the 2020 list.
1. Mahmood – “Rapide”
What we said: “Rapide” sets a different tone compared to Mahmood’s previous singles “Barrio” and “Soldi”. The track sees the Sanremo champ touching upon different relationship aspects. He gets even with a past love. Lyrics like “I won’t fall into your rapids” or “now that I have nothing I’ll defend myself from the trust I didn’t and don’t have” underline his state of mind. Mahmood also brings the subject of cheating and heartbreak across in his delicate vocal delivery. With the support of simple yet effective production, the chorus is where his voice stands out the most. Several Italian expletives are interwoven throughout the lyrics, illustrating his frustrations. (Florian)
Our Top Tracks of 2020 ranking is determined by independent votes from a panel of wiwibloggers. They are Renske, Josh, Robyn, Lauren, William, Tom, Padraig, Mario and Jonathan.
What do you think of our top tracks of 2020? Are you surprised by our choices? Let us know in the comments.
Listen to our top tracks of 2020 playlist on Spotify