Top Dance Songs 2020: Your Ultimate Playlist!
The Ultimate playlist of dance songs
After March of 2020, the clubs weren’t exactly bangin’. The pandemic swooped in and ruined all of our fun in 2020, but that doesn’t mean that there was no new dance music in 2020. We might not have been able to hit the dancefloor with our friends, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t dance. We just did it at home. This is your ultimate playlist of dance songs 2020.
Since we didn’t have the clubs, it was even more important to have a killer playlist of the top dance songs 2020. If we were going to have amazing, private dance parties at home, we needed to have the absolute best dance songs of 2020. In this post, we’re going to give you the ultimate playlist of dance songs from 2020. But before we get started, let’s take a look at what makes a good dance song? Is there a formula, or does it just happen like magic?
What makes a good dance song?
This can be a tricky question because dance music is all about a feeling. That feeling that makes you want to move your body. But what are the individual elements that are needed to craft an unstoppable dance song?
First, there’s the beat. A great dance song has to have a great beat. That’s the energy and the backbone of any dance song and knowing how to craft a beat isn’t as easy as it may seem. Dance songs need to have a beat that’s simple enough to dance to, but not so simple that it becomes boring. That means knowing when and how to switch things up. And it also means knowing how to build a beat that doesn’t sound generic.
The second element are the other tracks on the song. “The music,” if you will. While it may seem like the beat is what keeps people dancing, the other tracks are what creates an emotional connection for the listener. Then, of course, there is the vocal. While not all dance songs need a vocal, it is often what grounds the song; what makes it feel totally unique.
So, now that we’ve looked at what makes for an effective dance song, let’s get into the ultimate playlist of dance songs from 2020. Obviously, we can’t cover every dance song that came out in 2020, but these are the top dance songs 2020.
What are the top dance songs 2020?
When it comes to the top dance songs 2020, we’re going to start with dance music royalty. But don’t worry, there will be some up and comers on this list too.
“Magic” by Kylie Minogue
Kylie Minogue has been the queen of the disco for over two decades and she hasn’t lost a step. This track starts off with a simple analog synth line and plinky electric piano, but it soon gives way to a bouncy disco beat that transports you right back to Studio 54 in the late 70s. This track has a less techno feel than some of Kylie’s older dance tracks, but that’s also what makes it stand out.
So, it should come as no surprise that this was the first single off of Minogue’s 2020 album Disco. Once you get used to the infectious beat of the song, you start to realize what really makes this track click. Kylie is still an intimidating vocalist, and the production of this track by Peter Wallevik and Daniel Davidson makes the most of her vocal abilities. The harmonies recall the 70s, but there’s something tighter and more modern about them that keeps the song from feeling too nostalgic. But it’s got just the right amount of swing to make it one of the top dance songs 2020.
“Heart Attack” by Bronson
When two already established artists decide to work together, you never really know what you’re going to get. But this track is giving fans exactly what they want. “Heart Attack” starts off with a pulsing house beat, but the building structure of the song is more like what you would expect from a pop song. It sucks to you right in with a velvety smooth production and a sense that this track is going somewhere rather than just spinning its wheels. The other striking feature of this track is that it emphasizes a vocal by lau.ra that turns the track into so much more than just a club banger. As the song breaks towards the middle, the beat totally drops away for a few bars to allow lau.ra’s voice to take over, and it’s a beautiful, quiet moment that you want to last as long as possible. When the beat finally returns, it brings a distant synth line with it that interplays with the chords to actually move the song to a new place. Part of what makes this track one of the best dance songs of 2020 is that it isn’t content to sit still as a one trick pony. This is dance music at its best and most mature.
“Idontknow” by Jamie xx
It’s hard to fit Jamie xx into a box. His past efforts have gone back and forth between ballads and good-time party jams, but after five years he’s returned with something that is neither of those things.
Instead, we’re treated to something fascinating and one of the top dance songs 2020. After that long a wait, fans were surely wondering what Jamie was up to, and the result is a really exciting mix of glitch, techno, and something else entirely. The beat stops and starts. It changes directions without warning. The vocals are chopped up and unintelligible, but still fascinating to listen to. Then a low, simple synth line creeps in, shifting from major to minor and evoking something dark and emotional at the same time. This is not your typical club banger, but it’s an innovative and intellectual track that keeps you guessing from start to finish.
“Bridged by a Lightwave” by Deadmau5 & Kiesza
At a time when it feels like so many producers are diving back into the 80s for some nostalgia, Deadmau5 seems to be content to step back to an earlier time in his career: the late 2000s. Always the master of precise arrangements, Deadmau5 teams up with singer Kiesza for a track that starts and stops a bit before it really gets going.
The dreamy beginning of the song makes it feel as though Deadmau5 is following his peers back into the 80s, and this is reinforced by Kiesza’s dreamy sounding vocals. But when the track really gets going, it’s clear that we’ve been tricked. When the beat drops back in, we’re treated to some classic Deadmau5 synths and beats, and it’s just so satisfying. The track clocks in at just under three minutes, but in that short run time it accomplishes everything it set out to do.
Ultimate playlist of dance songs
We’re about halfway through our playlist, so it’s time to recognize some new, up and coming artists who are starting to make names for themselves. We’ve chosen some really innovative tracks, so let’s take a look at the ultimate playlist of dance songs.
“Like This” by Park Hye Jin
This song works as both a dance song and an ambient song. It swirls around, shifting keys and melodies with a constant shuffle beat that keeps the track grounded along with Park’s lilting, dreamlike voice. It’s a powerful effort for someone who has only been on the radar for a few years.
The production itself is fairly simple, but that is all the song really needs. As it flirts with trance music, Park’s voice adds an intriguing twist that allows the track to bloom over its four-minute run. While producers like Deadmau5 are masters of excess, Park Hye Jin may have mastered the art of minimalism.
“Jeanette” by Kelly Lee Owens
This is one of those tracks that feels like it is made specifically for its time. A time of looking backward. A time of high anxiety. A time to experiment and reflect. The track begins with a series of different synth arpeggios that bounce back and forth from left to right (this song needs to be experienced on headphones for full effect). But when it breaks in the middle, you truly have no idea what to expect next. Will it drop back to where it was or is it a launching pad for something else.
As the track builds back up, it becomes clear why this is one of the top dance tracks 2020. It stays playful while hinting that something big is coming. When the beat drops back in, it’s the bass that gets your attention first. Deep and ominous in a minor key, it hums just below the surface before taking over the track. For a track with no vocal anchor, it’s a real feat that Owens can keep things moving along so smoothly. It’s a mature and patient track that hints at a long career ahead.
“We All Move Together” by Inner City
Dance music doesn’t typically get too political, but this track from Inner City is different. This is the first new music we’ve gotten from Inner City in nearly thirty years, and the timing could not have been more perfect. The video for the track is a blistering indictment of the Detroit Police Department and the number of complaints that have been made against them. The track opens with actor/DJ Idris Elba’s deep growly voice before the throbbing beat kicks in.
Elba’s voice comes back over and over through the track to repeat the phrase “we all move together.” As the beat becomes for intense, the song takes on an almost frightening intensity, which is also what makes it feel so immediate and relevant. It’s nice to see that Inner City has returned with one of the top dance songs 2020.
“Break My Heart” by Dua Lipa and the Blessed Madonna
You know you’ve really made it when Madonna gets second billing on your song. The track itself starts out by establishing depth. Sounds are ping ponging from one side to another, but in the center of the track we hear a beat that feels like it’s miles in the distance. At that point it’s hard to tell where the track is going to go, but then it finds its groove. A mid-tempo track that has just the right amount of swing.
By the song gets to its final stretch, it doesn’t seem like it has anywhere left to go, but then a harder beat kicks in and it’s as though the song has its own encore. When you’ve got a production team like this, it’s no wonder the track is so slick, so precise, and so intelligently made. And that’s why it made our list of top dance songs 2020.
“Both of Us” by Jayda G
If this track had come out during a normal year, it would have lit up the summer. Light and airy with a fun beat behind it, “Both of Us” would have been the perfect 2020 summer jam if it hadn’t been for the fact that we were all at home trying to figure out what to do with our time.
Luckily, the world is opening up again, and this track will not be forgotten anytime soon. Unlike some of the songs on this list, this one takes its time. With a run time of over six minutes, there’s plenty of time for the track to start, stop, and then go in an entirely new direction. For the most part, the dynamics of this song are really what keep it moving. Instead of focusing on a single idea, Jayda gives us a variety of ideas to work with, and it adds up to one of the top dance songs 2020.
“Apricots” by Bicep
One of the more eclectic and abstract dance songs to come out of 2020 was “Apricots” by Bicep. The ominous sounding track slowly unfolds beginning with a sampled clip of traditional Malawian singing on top of a dark synth pad. The track also samples an obscure performance by the Bulgarian State Radio and Television Vocal Choir from the 1950s. So, yeah, this track is a bit all over the place, and that’s exactly why it’s so cool.
The constantly building nature of the song means we never stay in one place for too long. The beat, and the vocal sample remain consistent, but around those elements, everything is in a constant state of flux. Where are we building to? What will happen when we get there? Those are the questions you are asking as you absorb the complex rhythms and melodies of this song.
“My High” by Disclosure
This song starts out with the sound of a crashing car, and it doesn’t let up from there. This frenetic track pounds with a relentless beat and lightning fast vocals that sometimes dip into being slightly out of tune. The vocals, supplied by Oregon-based rapper Animé, fit flawlessly with the complex beat and keep the song moving forward.
And then just as it feels like the song has to wind down, it surges back with distorted synths and breathy, whispered vocals that toss us right back into the insanity one more time. While this is clearly one of the best dance songs of 2020, you might just need a little break after it’s over.
“Soul Control” by Jessie Ware
A little bit disco and a little early 80s new-wave, this track from Jessie Ware straddles the line between retro pop song and dance track. Ware’s vocals jump around with the sort of bouncy fun that was featured in countless 80s pop hits, and this is only reinforced by vintage synth sounds and quick, staccato guitars that sound like they were lifted from a Chic song.
Unlike, many dance songs coming out these days, this one pulses with a sense of fun and disco abandon. Sometimes the verses and choruses blend together with washes of synth and guitar solos, but the heart of the song never goes away. You can’t have an ultimate playlist of dance songs without this track.
So, while we weren’t hearing these songs in clubs, there’s a good chance you were rocking out in your bedroom while blasting them. But our goal at Turntable is to make sure music lovers can find things they may have missed or forgotten about. If you’ve fallen in love with any of the track you’ve heard here, make sure to add them to your Turntable playlist so you can start sharing them. After all, at Turntable be believe that music is more fun with friends.