I love a good listen to some music even if I don’t talk about it much, but it often inspires or reflects my moods and has a good hand in motivating my writing. Since Spotify has given me a rundown of my household’s most-listened-to tracks, I thought I’d Tweet out a a countdown of our 10 most played for 2020. Then I figured once I’d written all those tweets and got links to the songs I might as well post it here for posterity. So, here’s what I’ve apparently been listening to the most this year, along with some YouTube links so you can give them a listen and judge me.

10. Come With Me Now – KONGOS

A relative newcomer to my listening, so I must’ve played it a lot. It’s a high-energy ‘let’s get things done’ kind of tune. They have a bunch of other noteworthy songs and I’m especially partial to the timely Autocorrect.

9. Rose Tattoo by Dropkick Murphys

I got back into listening to these guys a lot this year, I guess it’s been a punkish kind of time. To be honest, in the ugly throes of early-lockdown, seeing their concert streamed live was really uplifting. And this is just a great all-rounder of a track.

8. Happy by Pharrell Williams

As a flipside to the punk. To be honest my wife puts this on repeat all the time and by now it’s like a form of torture.

7. Bad Guy by Billie Eilish

Hardly think this one needs explaining; as my wife says, “We’re in touch with the youth today, we know all about Billy Eyelash.”

6. The Big Fellah by Black 47

An educational story, succinctly charting the life and times of Michael Collins, and an epic Celtic rock ballad, what the hell more do you want. I’m totally ripping this off for a short story/novella.

5. Johnny I Hardly Knew Ya by the Dropkick Murphys

Halfway through the list, time for more Murphys. This is pretty much the spiritual sound of the novel I’m currently writing. So if you like this song you might like the book. If you don’t like it you might still like the book, though, because it’s got monsters and stuff in it.

4. Cold Little Heart by Michael Kiwanuka

Yes, we watched Big Little Lies this year, and yes, we now listen to a lot of this delightful artist. This is a particularly evocative piece, I find. What’s more, we should be seeing him live in April, virus willing.

3. East of Eden by Zella Day

Something about the mood of this track really put me in the right mind for writing Kept From Cages. Listen carefully and you’ll realise this might also have had a hand in the book’s title.

2. Smash Shit Up by Dropkick Murphys

Ah the final Murphys tune to sinch their grip on like a third of my Top 10. Truth be told, when my wife’s not home I’m just moshing on my own in the kitchen. Sometimes also when she’s just in another room.

I considered doctoring the list because it’s basically just them, but this one does a good job of capturing my anger at being older and more responsible than I used to be.

1. Sushi by Merk & Kremont

You’d think the Murphys would’ve topped the chart, but no, it’s been stolen away by this weird little number. Okay, true story, one day I just told Alexa “play sushi music” while we were making sushi and this came on and now we loop it whenever we’re doing sushi. Which I didn’t think was that often, but here it is. I don’t even really know who these people are.

Honourable Mentions

As some artists have clearly had a bit of biased airtime, here’s a few extra artists and tracks from further down the list that I’ve enjoyed:

There’s also a curious bunch that don’t seem to have even made the list, which I suspect means Spotify hasn’t actually given me a fully accurate summary of my listening habits at all, but what can you do, I’m working with what I’ve got.

And that’s my musical review.