Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

One of the most prominent things that I’ve noticed about Gen Z is our tendency to cope through music. Especially this year, as we’ve been inundated with an endless stream of bad news, our ability to make it through the loneliness of quarantine and the general stress over the state of our nation has been pretty reliant on our access to music. Finding new playlists and artists has been one of the only constants keeping me going through the trials and tribulations of 2020, so I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 songs that kept me going through the darkest times our nation has seen in the last 100 years or so.

  1. “Post Humorous” by Gus Dapperton

We’re starting off strong with my absolute favorite song of the last six months, and honestly probably the whole year. This is really saying something because I’m definitely the type of person who has a new favorite song every week, so for this to be my go-to track, on repeat since it was released means it has to be amazing. If you like indie/alt sounds like Oliver Tree and Mac DeMarco, then this song is for you. It’s definitely an upbeat song that just sounds like how driving at night with the windows down feels. 10/10 would recommend.

  1. “Highway Roses” by The Shadowboxers

I discovered The Shadowboxers at the end of 2019, and their latest album, “The Slow March of Time Flies By,” has definitely been one of my favorite albums of the year. Their sound gives me retro 70’s vibes but make it modern indie pop. This song specifically is my favorite song off of this album, and lyrically tells a really good story, in my opinion. I’ve also listened to this song countless times in the last few months and still have yet to get tired of it. It’s definitely one of the few songs that gave me joy during the dark days of quarantine.

  1. “Quarantine Dreaming” by PLEASE HOLD

This song is festive for 2020, to say the least. It’s just a chill, mellow vibe that we can all relate to as we attempt to navigate the mutual suffering of our national trauma. If you’re looking for something to have in the background when you’re lonely in quarantine, this is a great option.

  1. “Sundress” by Zoo Culture

The vibes of this song are just so upbeat and fun to listen to that every time I listened to it I forgot about the depressing nature of 2020 for three minutes and 37 seconds. I listened to a few other songs by this group as well and was not disappointed, but “Sundress” is still my favorite by far. It really does sound the way wearing a sundress while window shopping in beach towns feels, that is to say there’s so much joy invoked by the incredibly specific sound this song has. If you’re looking for something upbeat, but different from the more common chart-toppers that you’re used to, I’d highly recommend this one. 

  1. “Red Eyes, Pt. 2” by Merlin

In contrast with song #4, “Red Eyes, Pt. 2” has a very mellow, soft indie sound that makes me feel like sitting on a wraparound porch in corduroy pants and watching the rain fall on the grass. Yes, that’s an incredibly specific description, but once you listen to it I think it’ll make sense. This is one of the songs that offered me peace during the tumult of 2020 and was just really nice to hum to myself as I did mundane things around the house during my quarantine.

  1. “Window” by Still Woozy

If you haven’t started listening to Still Woozy yet, I’m deeply sorry for the hole in your life, because I, personally, am absolutely obsessed. He has a very specific, “genre-androgynous” style that’s kind of a groovy combination of indie, pop, and some neo-soul music that just sounds colorful. That’s the best way I can explain it. “Window” was released in the middle of quarantine and I had it on repeat for weeks on end. It’s both upbeat and calming at the same time, and I think it’s impossible not to feel pure joy when listening to it.

  1. “Oh My God” by Alec Benjamin

This song, on another note, was a great option for me when I didn’t want to escape the negativity that 2020 made us all feel. In fact, most of Alec Benjamin’s songs, I think, are great tracks to cry to or have on in the background when you just need to sit and feel sad, angry, or just straight up damaged. This song in particular is great to belt when you’re feeling lonely and separated from yourself. If you’re ever having a moment where you’re not sure who you are, or who you want to be, this is a great contender for the soundtrack to that emotion.

  1. “Work Song” by Hozier

This song isn’t new by any means, but it became one of my anthems during the stress and fear of this year. It never fails to calm me down, and it’s just overall a really lovely song. Lyrically, Hozier is unmatched in the way he seems to fit such depth and poetry into all of his songs, and “Work Song” is definitely one of the most intense examples of his hallmark poetic style. If you’re looking for a song to listen to while lying in a field, or next to a creek, or watching a thunderstorm, this is definitely it.

  1. “honey” by Coastal Club

This song is another upbeat, fun one that’s really good for sunny road trips with the windows down, and/or dancing in the pouring rain. It’s one of those songs that makes you feel like if you listen to it at a low volume it’s a crime, because it just has such a happy sound. I really don’t have volumes to say about it but go listen to it if you’re looking for a good time and you’re tired of hearing “Electric Love” on TikTok all the time.

  1.  “Glitter” by BENEE

I discovered this song last fall but forgot about it until BENEE started blowing up on TikTok with this song and “Supalonely,” and fell back in love. She combines a unique sound with mainstream styles that make her really easy to listen to, and “Glitter” is one of my favorite songs of hers so far. It’s upbeat, but not over the top so you can either belt it or have it on in the background of whatever you’re doing throughout the day, and it’s just as good either way. 

            These are just some of the songs that kept me at least partially sane during all the negativity that 2020 has thrown at us, and I hope that if you decide to listen to it, you’ll find some joy and consolation in them too.

My name is Megan Kirchhofer and I'm a sophomore at NMSU. I'm double majoring in Communications and Creative Writing with a minor in Gender & Sexuality Studies. This will be my second year participating in Her Campus, and I have now taken on the role of Social Media Officer for our chapter. I've been passionate about writing for my entire life, and have been focusing heavily on developing my poetry, as well as honing my skills as an essayist.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️