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There basically isn’t a single facet of the music industry that hasn’t been completely disrupted, thwarted, or upended this year. The coronavirus pandemic annihilated so much of what we've taken for granted about this art form: it canceled world tours, put a stop to promotional campaigns, and for long stretches at a time made it impossible to even go to the store to buy a record. Most musicians spent the year like the rest of us, staying cooped up inside their houses or apartments—some even recorded new music there. Stars in the making watched their dreams be put on pause. Songs that could have torn up the charts floundered.
But there was one thing that COVID-19 couldn’t do: it couldn’t stop us from listening to music. In a way, music has never been more important than it has been this year, as songs and albums became one of the easiest and most reliable ways to escape the routine of lockdown and the horrors of the pandemic at large. Whether it was Drake laughing and crying at the Nike headquarters, Grimes plucking an acoustic guitar, or The Weeknd blessing us with a club anthem for a time without clubs, music helped make a ridiculously hard year a little easier. Here are the 30 best Canadian songs of 2020.