With the end of the 2020 upon us, everyone is starting to look back on the past 12 months. This year has been quite something. A lot of us have seen our plans get delayed or derailed. For me, every day has started to feel more or less the same and blend into one big ball of meh. Spotify has helped me take a look back on that ball – only for the musical part of it sadly – by compiling and presenting me with a list of my most listened songs of 2020.
It is with shock and horror that I discovered that all the artists on this list were white men. Each and every one of them… I wish I could say I am surprised, but white men do make up the vast majority of the music industry – from sound engineers, to producers and record label big wigs. In the genres I tend to listen to, the interprets are also mostly white men, especially the big acts.
So today, I’m coming to you with music from women of a variety of countries and backgrounds. Great music can come from everywhere and if it isn’t presented to us, we have to look for it. It’s also important to remember that representation of minorities and women, be it in the media or in the arts, can be part of the way to a more equal and fair life.
With that, I hope you will also be inspired to look beyond what you know and shake things up. And next year, let’s aim for equal and fair.
Navy – Kilo Kish (Navy, 2012)
This is groovy – dare I say a bit jazzy? The lyrics develop a celestially themed metaphor, it sounds both poetic and casual.
Easy to Be Around – Diane Cluck (Oh Vanille / Ova Nil, 2004)
Great for folk fans. This song is filled with dreamy harmonies and soft sweet guitar.
MIMOSA – ZOMBIE-CHANG (MIMOSA, 2019)
MIMOSA has mild retro flavours while still sounding modern and unique. The effects on the vocals compliment the electronic background.
Get Lonely – Adia Victoria (Silences, 2019)
This song is hypnotic with a rich instrumentation and delicately moody vocals.
YOLO – Stella Jang (YOLO, 2019)
Sweet, acapella and with a rap break, what else could we ask of Stella’s song.
Laura – Bat For Lashes (The Haunted Man, 2012)
The sad tale of an aging party animal. This is a perfect match for those nights when you’re in the mood for a cry.
With You – Valerie June (The Order Of Time, 2017)
The airy and bright feeling of this song keeps me wanting to listen to it.
Singing Machine – Kimya Dawson (Hidden Vagenda, 2004)
As most of Kimya Dawson’s discography, Singing Machine is cute and raw. The cracks in her voice are a charming addition.
Coward – Yael Naim with Brad Mehldau (Older(Revisited), 2015)
Here, Brad Mehldau – a known jazzer – accompanies Yael Naim in this version of her song. She talks about becoming a mother and her worries around motherhood.
Go To Hell – Empress Of (Go to Hell, 2017)
If I were to ever write a song telling people to go to hell, I could only hope it sounds as magical as this one.
I miss you – AYA GLOOMY (KANJIRU, 2019)
Sounding distant and otherworldly, while at the same time touching and emotional, I love the echo-y-ness – I know, that cannot possibly be a word – of it.
Heart-Shaped Birthmark – Tei Shi (Saudade, 2013)There is nothing but Tei Shi’s voice and effects on this track. It seems to be all around you at once. I love how soothing her voice sounds and how much space it takes.