Thanks Paul Fletcher for the great idea, I couldn’t help but want to share my favorite albums that got released in 2020 as well. Music is a huge part of my life, possibly the biggest, so it wasn’t easy to narrow it down to just 5, but I did, just for you!
As difficult as this year has been, in more ways than just one, there’s been a lot of really great music released, some of the best in a while in my opinion.
So here they are, my top 5, ranked in order, favorite albums of 2020.
5) Noah Cyrus – ‘The End of Everything’
Miley Cyrus’s little sister has definitely grown up into her own artist. While you can hear the similarities in tone and vulnerability, Noah’s vibe is completely her own. Not afraid to sing about the harder and sometimes sadder side of life, whether on the track ‘Lonely’ which I think a lot of us could relate to through this past year, or the modern day hymn, ‘I Got So H*gh I Saw Jesus,’ she shares her fears and worries in the form of a beautiful song.However ‘Ghost,’ the first track on the album, is the stand out to me.
4) Phoebe Bridgers – ‘Punisher’
The long anticipated sophomore album from America’s indie darling finally was released this year and I couldn’t have been happier. It also surpassed my expectations, as her debut and last album, 2017’s ‘Stranger in The Alps’ is one my favorites of all time. I didn’t know what sonic approach she would take with her second one, but I was more than happy with the one she did.
Funny, dark, sensitive and poignant, no one does it like Phoebe. From the rock to the folk flavor, with songs like ‘Kyoto’ and ‘Moon Song’ this album encapsulates multiple genres and feelings. My favorite again being the first track off the album, ‘ICU.’
3) Dua Lipa – ‘Future Nostalgia’
I surprised myself with liking a pop/dance album, let alone the entire thing, and ranking it in my favorites of the year. But I would be lying if I said rising star; Dua Lipa’s second album wasn’t one of them, as I frequently still listen to it as a pick me up. With shades and tones of disco, dance, techno, as well as R & B, it’s not just a pop album, just like Dua isn’t just a pop artist.
With her deep and sultry singing voice, she takes you on a celestial journey through the genres with hit after hit. A sucker for the first track of an album, again, a stand out is the song the album gets its title from as it’s a great introduction to the whole vibe of the album. Other favorites are definitely the single, ‘Levitating’ or the summery ‘Cool,’ but the most impressive and interesting one to me is the collaboration with French artist, Angele, on ‘Fever.’
2) The 1975 – ‘Notes on a Conditional Form’
I am very vocal about The 1975 being my absolute favorite band, and I treat each album release as the ushering in of a new sonic era, not only for the band but for myself and other fans, and this latest release was no exception. After the postponement and cancellation of a world tour, that I had tickets to, a 22 song new album was just what the doctor ordered, no pun intended.
It was another trip through multiple genres from punk, to electronic, to acoustic, with songs like ‘People,’ ‘I Think There’s Something You Should Know,’ and ‘Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America’ featuring my girl and friend of the band, Phoebe Bridgers. Or the sentimental and sad track, ‘Guys,’ which touches on missing your ‘mates’ while in quarantine during this trying year.
However, my favorite track has to be ‘What Should I Say,’ the beat, the vibe, everything about it, and the back up vocals are provided by alternative artist, FKA Twigs, making it all the more interesting to listen to.
1) HAIM – ‘Women in Music Pt. III’
I became a fan and finally learned how to pronounce their name in 2020 and I haven't looked back. They have quickly became one of my favorite bands of all time. Incredible musicians and lyricists, these extremely talented sisters have a lot to share with each of their unique perspectives that find a way to gel into one as a band.
And if that's not enough of a draw, a friendship with legendary director Paul Thomas Anderson, has led to him directing multiple music videos of theirs, that feel, aesthetically at least, like mini indie movies. Stand out tracks include the initial one that grabbed my attention that led to my discovery of their greatness, which is 'Don't Wanna,' then there's the honest and vulnerable, 'Gasoline,' and the anthemic 'The Steps.'
But the moment I became a fan, was after watching the 'Now I'm In It' music video, it was funny, beautifully shot, intriguing and empowering. I can't say enough good things about this band as a whole, and look forward to their continued growth and evolution. Like a fine wine, only sweeter with time.
Diplo – ‘Diplo Presents Thomas Wesley’
LANY – ‘Mama’s Boy’
Brian Fallon – ‘Local Honey’
If you made it this far, thank you for reading and listening. It's a dream come true for me to share with people what I enjoy listening to. I wouldn't do you wrong either, any of these albums have more than enough good songs to add to your playlist.
And I'm excited for a brand new year to consume some new music that will be released this year. I'll keep you posted!