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The WendyMix 2020

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

Let the festivities begin…here's the WendyMix 2020 (20th anniversary edition)


You can listen here on Spotify

Or if you prefer to see the link: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7pcKKZEZQx29lwbN0hKn9L


Musicians especially have had a tough time in this pandemic year, so I’ve made a donation to a great charity called Help Musicians (https://www.helpmusicians.org.uk/).


WendyMix 2020 track listing

1. James Blake, Are You Even Real? Gorgeousness. Don’t worry if this is too mellow for you, things pick up later. 2. Exile, Taylor Swift with Bon Iver I usually prefer my Tay-Tay in full-on pop mode, but Folklore became a comforting album I played over and over again in all the lockdowns and quarantines. 3. Tis The Damn Season, Taylor Swift

And then, lo-and-behold, Saint Taylor dropped another great lockdown album in December. She's killing it. 4. My Rajneesh, Sufjan Stevens I thought about including his most poppy song ever, Video Game, instead, but this song is weirder and better. 5. You Ain’t Big, Rufus Wainwright I had missed Rufus’ voice. Plus, a shout out to North Cakalaka. 6. Drumset, Fiona Apple Definitely one of the albums of the year. 7. Worry, Songhoy Blues Timbuktu rocks, literally. 8. Everything Has Changed, Best Coast Fell in love with this song in the before times (aka January, when the world seemed different). 9 .Headstart, Jade Bird Very Americana but actually from London. 10. Boyfriend, Hardy 98% of you will hate this. I usually hate modern country but this song is so damn catchy. The New York Times liked it too (now you can now hate both me AND the Times.) 11. Drunk on a Plane, Izaak Opatz Kinda silly, but in honour of an activity we didn’t get to do enough of this year. 12. Home, Caribou One of the buzzwords of 2020, eh? The great sample is from Gloria Barnes. 13. Jump Rope Gazers, The Beths Did I play this song about 200 times this year? Why, yes, I did (hey I had some extra time on my hands). The nostalgia, her voice, just perfect. From New Zealand. 14. On The Floor, Perfume Genius Another album of the year, some sensual and smart stuff. This might be tied with Jump Rope Gazers for my song of the year.


15. Wildfires, SAULT

A mysterious new musical collective. 16. Ooh Laa, John Legend I’ve always thought John Legend was a cool dude but I didn’t really think much about his music until this song!

17. Motivation, MUNA They tweaked Normani’s slightly-more-banging pop song with this cover. 18. Think About Things, Dadi Freyr Icelandic pop at its best, a shame we didn’t get to see them on stage at Eurovision. Watch this space in early 2021 for my an Icelandic project I’ve been working on! 19. Identical, Phoenix Sources close to the WendyMix confirm this is a great song to dance around in your kitchen. From Sofia Coppola’s hubby (and from her film On The Rocks). 20. Lockdown, Anderson .Paak The best topical track of the year. 21. Freeze Tag, Dinner Party New supergroup (including Kamasi Washington) with a smooth song and a meaningful message. 22. Witness 4 The Prosecution, Prince The Prince vaults keep giving and giving. 23. What a Life, Scarlet Pleasures From THAT magnificent final scene of Thomas Vinterberg's Another Round. Mads 4 Ever. 24. What’s Poppin, Jack Harlow Even thought I’m not on TikTok somehow the TikTok stuff infiltrates my world anyway! 25. Levitating, Dua Lipa A great year for Dua Lipa. The upbeat music we all needed. 26. Turntables, Janelle Monae Her excellent track from All In (the inspiring Stacey Abrams doc on Netflix). 27. Daydream, The Aces Err, just another great pop song from a bunch of cool girls from Utah (yes, Utah. Who knew?) 28. Magic, Kylie Because we all needed a little Kylie magic to brighten 2020. 29. Work That, Mary J Blige A song from way back in 2007, but Oh My God it was thrilling to see Kamala walk on stage to this in November 2020 for her first speech as VP Elect. 30. WAP, Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion For godsakes earmuff the kids before playing this one. I personally prefer 'Savage' but as a good feminist I had to include this to support ladies being as raunchy as they want to be! (err…macaroni!?)


And don’t forget for extra fun there was the WendyMix 2020 part one, with great tracks from HAIM, Harry Styles, Waxahatchee, Run The Jewels, and more. That link: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3W9sRWv3aA0i77KanmDQli


And in the spirit of sharing, if you are looking for other great playlists:

NPR Music's staff picks

Rachel Syme's Dance Away the Pain (Pandemic Edition) playlist

Peter Knegt looks back at the pop music of 2020

Edgar Wright's best music of 2020 (two parts)


Thanks to Al O'Neill for the Photoshop wizardry on both covers.

Wendy Mitchell is a film and entertainment journalist, film festival consultant, and panel and Q&A moderator.