Seattle indie rock duo Mansions returned in 2020 with their first full-length album in seven years, Big Bad, their most somber and atmospheric work yet. We spoke with Chris Browder about the album's influences back in June, and we get a similar sort of melancholy vibe from much of his list of favorite songs of 2020, which he's shared with us as the year winds down. It includes tracks by Phoebe Bridgers, Lomelda, The Weakerthans frontman John K Samson, Land of Talk, Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion, and more. See Chris's picks and commentary, and stream Big Bad, below.

Chris Browder's Favorite Songs of 2020

Phoebe Bridgers - "Garden Song"

I’m sure this album is going to be at the top of a lot of year-end lists, and rightfully so. This one’s my favorite from it, the right combo of great song + interesting production, from the electronics to the background vocals.

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion - "WAP"

Undeniably the song of the summer and somehow I’m still not tired of it.

Squirrel Flower - "So Hot You’re Hurting My Feelings"

Holy shit I just googled and realized this was a cover?? I’m probably dumb but that just blew my mind. That makes it even better.

John K. Samson - "Fantasy Baseball at the End of the World"

He managed to sum up the moment better than I thought possible. It’s not surprising since he’s always had that skill, but goddamn what a song.

Lomelda - "It’s Lomelda"

It’s hard to pick a favorite from this fantastic album, but the creativity in concept of this song pushes it over the top. I wish Mansions was in there.

Ludacris ft. Lil Wayne - "S.O.T.L."

I didn’t think Political Ludacris was something I needed, but this one is so good, and came at just the right moment. Wayne’s performance is disappointing, but it doesn’t even matter.

Taylor Swift - "cardigan"

I've always wondered what it'd be like if Britney Spears or Katy Perry or some other pop star took a left turn and made an introspective singer-songwriter album. It makes sense that Taylor would do it since she has the songwriting chops to pull it off. Piano riffs that sound like The National don't hurt either.

Michael Flynn - "Saluda"

I've been following Michael Flynn since he was making music as "Slow Runner." He's still just as good and clever a songwriter as ever, and I wish more people knew about this album.

Porches - "I Miss That"

Porches kinda makes me feel like I'm at Urban Outfitters in a way that makes me a little uncomfortable/old, but this song is really fantastic. Really creative pop.

Land of Talk - "Footnotes"

No matter where I am Land of Talk makes me feel like I'm walking around outside on a gray day with headphones on, in a good way. It feels personal like it's coming from inside my brain, and I basically love anything they release.

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Browse our Best of 2020 tag for more year-end lists.