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NPR Music's Top 14 Songs Of April

To bolster the fun and success of her already chart-climbing 2020 single "Savage," Megan Thee Stallion manifested a remix from Beyoncé.
Bob Levey
Getty Images for Spotify
To bolster the fun and success of her already chart-climbing 2020 single "Savage," Megan Thee Stallion manifested a remix from Beyoncé.

Stream this playlist via Spotify.

As the NPR Music staff continues to cover the pandemic and its effects on the music industry, we are still listening to new music. In fact, we started Press Pause and Hit Play, a new playlist updated daily, in an effort to catalog our favorites released during this time.

We did something different for April. Instead of long discussions over email and video chat to determine which songs would make our monthly list, each staff member was guaranteed their No. 1 pick. We don't always share our list-making process, but the results seen below reveal the music held closest to the chest, what gets repeat listens during quarantine.

Below you'll find an alphabetized list of NPR Music's top 14 songs of April 2020. Be sure to check out our top 14 albums from the month and, above, listen to the Best of April podcast from All Songs Considered.

Clarice Jensen, "Holy Mother"
The deepest of drone experiences, Jensen's jet stream waves of sound, cresting over oscillating organ-like figures, offer a view from within to contemplate the unfathomable vastness. — Tom Huizenga

Discovery Zone, "Blissful Morning Dream Interpretation Melody"
The electronic producer uses her equipment's store-bought settings as a means to explore our melancholic modern world. Turns out she's speaking in a language we all know by default. — Andrew Flanagan

Dornik, "Crush"
APPLE / SPOTIFYThe third single from Dornik's sophomore album marks a true return to form for the British singer-songwriter. Synths and harmonies hit from all directions on this one. — Bobby Carter

Ellis, "Pringle Creek"
On the opening track of her debut, Ellis spins a reverie in a warm wash of shoegaze soundscapes and collapses it with a blaze of guitar. — Cyrena Touros

Fiona Apple, "Heavy Balloon"
As tangible a depiction of chronic emotional distress as you're likely to hear, with an atmospheric groove, a simmering verse and a raging, resolute chorus. — Nate Chinen, WBGO

Hamilton Leithauser, "The Garbage Men"
APPLE / SPOTIFYThe stirring and singular harmonies of Hamilton Leithauser make the failed dreams, broken promises and anxiety in "The Garbage Men" feel like an uplifting fairy tale. — Robin Hilton

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, "Dreamsicle"
A slice-of-life story of a song, "Dreamsicle" may sound just as sweet as its namesake summertime treat, but there's heartrending depth in its delicate details. — Lyndsey McKenna

Laura Marling, "Strange Girl"
APPLE / SPOTIFYOn the wind of a rolling rhythm and a guitar riff that turns the song into a magic carpet ride, England's finest folk-rocker sends a free-wheeling and compassionate love letter to her younger self. — Ann Powers

Megan Thee Stallion, "Savage Remix (feat. Beyoncé)"
Two Texas music titans really just flipped the world on its head. Beyonce delivers ethereal horse neighing (you read that right) and cheeky, pop culture references in that smoky, lower "rapper-voice" register she assumes when it's time to bar up. — Sidney Madden

Moor Jewelry, "Look Alive"
APPLE /SPOTIFYTwo Philly electronic music wizards return to their roots for absolute punk chaos. Moor Mother and Mental Jewelry improvise everything, leaving the scars and snarls in tact. — Lars Gotrich

Nate Smith, "Signs of Life: Secret Agents of Weathering"
APPLE / SPOTIFYThe opening track from the versatile jazz drummer's absorbing Light and Shadow EP is a daily meditation. In a pandemic, we are all secret agents of weathering. — Lauren Onkey

Protomartyr, "Worm in Heaven"
APPLE / SPOTIFYUltimate Success Today's closing track is a mournful look back on something painful for singer Joe Casey as he wonders if it was ever worth it at all. — Bob Boilen

Rita Indiana, "Como Un Dragón"
APPLE / SPOTIFYThe first taste of La Montra's first album in 10 years, Mandinga Times, mixes metal with Dominican dembow and a righteous flex: "Pi pi, llegaron los camiones / A recoger la mierda que tu crees / Que son canciones." ("Beep beep, the trucks are here / to pick up the s*** you think / are songs.") — Stefanie Fernández

Young Dolph, "Sunshine"
APPLE /SPOTIFYWhat good is having new money if you can't pay the cost during a global pandemic?Just like everybody, Young Dolph's been quarantinin'. But coronavirus is nothing to a man who's survived 100 shots. — Rodney Carmichael

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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