While 2020 brought it’s far share of standout albums, it was also a year full of standout singles and we’d like to share some of our top picks from this past year. Whether the song was a prelude to an album, released along with a music video, or just a standalone, these singles stood as a testament to the creative and spectacular sounds of 2020 within the Greater Lowell area.
l.ucas – “Pretty”
“Pretty” by l.ucas has to be one of the catchiest songs I’ve ever heard! There’s a slick piano melody that immediately grabs your attention. Followed by syrupy Drake-esque vocals and a beat so smooth it could have been made for your favorite hot 100 artist. And then it’s all over before you know it! What’s truly impressive is how effortlessly Lucas DeLisle blends these elements together to create his own sound. With an albums worth of other great singles released this year, along with the numerous collaborations that he’s been apart, I strongly believe l.ucas is poised to have a breakout year in 2021. – Phil Cambra
Green Piece – “Ride the Wave”
Unashamed of it’s crashing, Green Piece’s single “Ride the Wave” poses an all-consuming dose of sonic joy with blissful, driving riffs & seafoam laden synths. With deep swells, this single diligently carries it’s listener on a lifeboat; rafting about and into a sea of uncertainty all while holding our breath as we brave the unknown. – Alyssa Vautier
Cropze’s – “Space Ghost”
Whether it’s the intensity of the rhymes and backbeat, the accompanying video full of familiar Lowell people and places, or my love for Space Ghost, regardless, Cropze’s “Space Ghost” was certainly a standout single this year. – Joel Gray
D-Tension – “Science Friction”
When D-Tension’s Science Friction dropped back in early July it was the exact song we needed when we needed it the most. With protests, counter-protests, a pandemic, proud boy racists, lock downs and loud mouth useless politicians all coming to a boiling point; D-Tension’s sharp wit and intelligent perspective helped us make sense from the Senseless. – Jim Phelps
SoloArtist – “Runaways”
For as bad a time 2020 has been in a grander sense, it’s been something of a banner year for local hip-hop collective Mill Side Worldwide, for how prolific they have been in the Lowell scene these past 12 months. Among their varied releases includes this genuine tearjerker from SoloArtist; a sparsely-produced rap elegy to relationships falling apart, with a suitably intense video to match. – Lilz Martin
Bullpup – “I H8 Theatre Kids”
Like 2020, “I H8 Theatre Kids” is a perfect, jumbled, manic, flaming shitstorm that makes listeners feel as though psychosis has kicked them square in the sternum. The only difference between the two is that 2020 was all about not getting sick, and Bullpup’s single is sick. – Luke Pelletier
Pillbook – “Skippin’”
Aaron Garcia’s project Pillbook has yet to disappoint with releases like “Skippin’”. As a poppy rendition of a previous 2017 release, “Skippin’” leaves one grooving and feeling light as a feather (despite fairly melancholy lyrics). It’s the sensation of the sun against your skin on a warm summer’s day. This song encapsulates Pillbook’s interesting musical growth, proving to long time fans Garcia’s ability to keep the same material we love fresh and dynamic. I’m really liking the direction “Skippin'” takes, and I couldn’t be more excited to see what else is coming in 2021. —Morgan Gunning
Photo collage includes photography from: Bella Boutiette (Bullpup), Alyssa Hitchcock (SoloArtist), Adam Parshall (D-Tension), Timi Ogunjobi (l.ucas), Aaron Edwards & Dottie Davis (Pillbook), Katelyn Black (cropze) or provided by artist.