I remember playing this on repeat on a Sunday morning to get hyped for the third day of GALA, London’s first big festival back. My neighbours must have loved me. With chipmunk-like vocals and shattering breakbeats swooping into atmospheric synths, ‘So U Know’ arrived as an instant dancefloor anthem, perfectly timed for the return to clubland. After such a static year, this stomper taught me how to two-step again – no easy feat.
Whether or not we felt comfortable enough to hit the club, 2021 was the year we got our groove back. Hell, many of us had given it a go at home. We’d played that Dua Lipa album to death. We’d tried, desperately, to make ‘lockdown discos’ a thing. Last year, some of the bigger legends among us even attended virtual NYE parties. It was good fun, until it got boring – fast.
Though much of the world has slipped in and out of lockdown this year, there were moments when most of us were able to get back on the dancefloor. The pre-night hype, the thump-thump-thump, the endless spilled drinks: by God, it felt good. And even if we weren’t quite up to a night on the town, as 2021 went on, there were certainly many more reasons to regain that spring in our step. The vaccine rollout sped up. We saw our loved ones again. And we danced – in bars, on street corners, and yes, at home. So wherever we wound up, however we got there, here are 13 songs that got Time Out writers dancing again this year.