Radio BurgerFuel

The Best In NZ Music 2020

Posted by Lee Densem


2020 has been a complete and utter let-down with lockdown/s and stuff getting cancelled left, right, and centre. We've decided to greet the arrival of summer in Aotearoa with positive vibes and the knowledge that there are some sweet summer shows to look forward to.

So, in the spirit of not being too much of a Negative Nancy, here's our glass half-full (or the fully charged cold beverage) approach. It's our offically un-offical list of Radio BurgerFuel's Best In NZ Music 2020, featuring some of our favourite releases from Kiwi musicians this year.


So here it goes... In no particular order, enjoy our picks from Church & AP, to Benee, and The Beths. Go whack the playlist on and enjoy some summer listening.


Our favs have been ripping it up this year, winning Te Kaipuoro Hipihope Toa Best Hip Hop Artist at this year’s Aotearoa Music Awards. This track came out of the blue and reminds us of some sweet UK vibes from The Streets of which we whole-heartedly approve.

L.A.B - 'For the love of Jane'

The lads from the Bay Of Plenty followed up their #1 single 'In The Air' with another cracker. The stories the videos tell is even better. Watch both videos now (In The Air and For The Love Of Jane), then read our interview with Joel Shadbolt. Just don’t do it on Xmas day or you’ll get all emotional after the eggnog.


BENEE has become a worldwide success, and her profile has only grown since her debut album ‘Hey u x’ dropped in early November. Conjuring up memories of The National, Bomfunk MCs, Daft Punk could make for an uncohesive record that bounces all over the show. But it works, because her voice and canny lyrics pull it all together. 'Happen To Me' slides to the alternative/rock side of the equation and we could be happy to hear her smiling face singing us through to summer.

choicevaughan & melodownz - 'To Live And Die In AD'

As we talked to Joel, the flight he was waiting to board was bringing the band to Auckland to shoot the video for latest single ‘My Brother’. Having found their sound, we wondered if this first taste is a good example of what fans can expect when they hear the new album?

“Yeah definitely man, we’ve definitely expanded the sound of the band as well. We’re using strings and a three-piece horn section on one of


Despite Covid-19 putting paid to their world domination plans, the release of their sophmore effort 'Jump Rope Gazers' has seen The Beths' star grow and grow. Our favourite track 'Dying To Believe' features a recording from a train saying "the next station is Ōrākei", probably the most kiwi thing we’ve heard this year (and possibly the only shoutout Auckland Transport has got since SWIDT in 312). It is, however, completely in sync for a band whose merch includes pukekos and wāhine playing cricket on tees, and takahes on face masks.

KYLE DAHL - 'boring'

Right here is what we love about working at BurgerFuel. The staff are so damn talented! Kyle Dahl works at BurgerFuel Newtown, in Wellington. He wrote this in his bedroom, and we’ve been grooving to it ever since. Besides being part of another collaborative group called Vaucluse Heights, he also dropped his debut EP ‘Adelaide’ in October. We’re excited to see what 2021 brings!


No list of the best NZ Music in the last few years is complete without him. One thing really bugs me though, on Spotify the ‘h’ in 'have' isn't capitalised on the title for this track. Just saying.

Teeks - 'Remember Me'

He had me from the first second he opened his mouth, the very first time I saw him live. It has been a long time since 2017’s The Grapefruit Skies came out, but his new slow-burn projects are finally here and well worth the wait. So now it is your turn, go and watch Teeks live. It will change your life for the better.

Pacific Heights - '405 (featuring Chaii & Kings)'

The love I have for this man knows no bounds. Pacific Heights is the solo project of Devin Abrams (ex Shapeshifter, and producer extraordinaire for Drax Project). I can only hope that this track and 'The Weight Of It' are teasers for a forthcoming project that will set 2021 alight.


There's nothing better than getting a tune out of the blue that just sticks in your head. 'Totes' did that to us after it made it straight onto the playlist. Hailing from Poneke, Pass The Peas is a five-piece band who released a three track EP a couple of months ago too. 

Diggy Dupé - 'That's Team (feat. AP)'

We are Grey Lynn neighbours, and we were so happy to see this man drop his debut LP earlier in the year (read all about it HERE). One of our favs off the record was this beauty #teammates

Listen to our Best In NZ Music 2020 playlist on Spotify below (or find it HERE) to hear some more of our favs, including tracks from Mo Muse, King Sweeties, Dose, Eastern Bloc, and Melodownz. See you back in 2021 for more beats and burgers!