|My 2020 With A Twist|
Over the last seven or eight years work has meant little time to dig into new music. Due to that I’ve had to be selective on what I listen to, mostly releases from bands/artists I already love and I’ve definitely missed a load of great music.
Whilst 2020 has been rubbish in a lot of ways the one big shift for me is that for the last 9 months I’ve worked from home which has given me the opportunity to finally listen to more music again during the day, not just on my commute.
So here are the albums that got me through 2020 which even though they aren’t all new, have been new to me...
I Let It In And It Took Everything
My album of the year. These guys blew me away this year and have my two most listened to songs on Spotify in Is It Really You? and A Sad Cartoon. The Deftones influence is huge on this album but, in a year where Deftones were on top form with a great album, I think Loathe outshone their heroes. Their heavy bits are more core and experimental rhythmically like on their debut but the major improvement is that their dreamy ‘’gaze’ like sections are fantastic. It’s a bit disjointed as an album start to finish but the highlights are huge!
Recommended Track - A Sad Cartoon
The Cold Sun
After loving the new album I went to check out the debut. They hadn’t developed their sound fully and the hooks aren’t quite as sweet but there’s still some great stuff here.
Recommended Track - Loathe
I came across this from a targeted add on social media where the top comment said something along the lines of ‘without Hum, there would be no Deftones’. I’m not sure that’s entirely true but I can see the influence they had on developing the sound between Around The Fur and White Pony where the ‘’gaze’ type elements were added.
This came out right in the middle of a really high pressure busy time at work for me and it helped keep me level and chilled.
Recommended Track - Step Into You
Downward Is Heavenward
So apparently I didn’t have the best taste in music when I was ten and I totally slept on this release! Was great digging in to classic Hum after Inlet, really glad they got back together!
Recommended Track - Green To Me
Splinters From An Ever-Changing Face
Need to release some anger, maybe get onto some primal scream therapy? You can do a lot worse than this juggernaut.
Heard this for the first time at the most frustrating time of the year for me and it helped big time.
Recommended Track - Fear For Me Now (because the ‘You’re Sick’ breakdown at the end was the hardcore moment of 2020)
So for whatever reason, 7 years ago when Sputnik was losing its collective shit about Sun bat her I didn’t care for it. Clearly I was wrong or my tastes have changed because I’ve loved this album in 2020. Dream House was my most listened to song not by Loathe in 2020.
Recommended Track - Dream House
Obviously after realising I like Deafheaven a lot now I went to check out more.
This is a more metal, riff based album and whilst not as layered and ethereal as Sunbather, still really enjoyable in its own right.
Recommended Track - Baby Blue
Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
Once I got past the horrible opening track I think this might be my favourite Deafheaven album. Some really great stuff here as they again refined and tweaked their sound.
Recommended Track - Glint
|9||Protest the Hero|
Back when I was a teenager I was a huge PTH fanboy! I even loved Scurrilous which divided opinion and helped crowdfund the excellent Volition as well, however, Pacific Myth did nothing for me and just didn’t click.
With that in mind I didn’t have particularly high hopes for Palimpsest, especially given Roddy had his throat issues and had to change the way he sings but wow did they rise above adversity and absolutely smash it this year. The guitar leads and rhythm is as infectious as ever but the hooks are the best they’ve ever been. This could even be their best ever album.
Recommended Track - All Hands (All Hands All Hands)
The Great Dismal
Another band I knew ‘nothing’ about before this year and another great album! I absolutely love the mellow intro track but it’s from Catch A Fade onwards right to the end of the album where I’m hooked.
Recommended Track - In Blueberry Memories
One of my favourite things about this website is when a massive album gets a random bump for little to no reason and I missed it when it first came out. This was one of those times, huge album!
Recommended Track - Of Flesh Weaker Than Ash
An End Has A Start
It seems a long time ago now but in the summer we were able to sit in beer gardens and enjoy people’s company without having to order a scotch egg (and with actually nice weather). During one of these times in a nice beer garden I got a bit tipsy and had a bit of a singsong with some old friends from songs during our college years: vampire weekend, bloc party and the like. During this, a mate of mine started belting out some of this album which I’d never heard in my life. What I found was a really well put together collection of indie rock tunes with some smart lyrics to go with it.
Recommended Track - Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors
Anyone who knows me knows I love Agnes Obel. She’s been on repeat in my kitchen for the last 3 months as we got a Labrador puppy and it’s nice for him to have some background noise at night when he’s in his crate so Philharmonics and Aventine have been on repeat! Myopia followed on from Citizen of Glass with the more experimental side, without really pushing any boundaries further. It felt like what Aventine was to Philharmonics, a refining of the previously used sound.
Recommended Track - Broken Sleep
|14||Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou|
May Our Chambers Be Full
Not much I need to say about this recent release which has been pretty much loved across the whole website. Slow doom-y/gaze-y metal with a female vocalist is pretty much crack to Sputnik. The Valley is one of the best songs of the year but you all know that even if you only dipped into the album so just to be different I’ll say...
Recommended Track - Monolith
|15||Every Time I Die|
When I was a teenager I was recommended ETID and listened to Gutter Phenomenon a few times but it didn’t do a lot for me. Because of that I accepted they were popular but not for me (like how I just don’t really like DEP). However, when they released their two new tracks a couple of weeks ago I checked them out and loved what I heard. Then I went and checked their last and one of their best rated album and again, turns out I was wrong!
Recommended Track - Map Change
Similar story here to PTH where I’ve been a huge fanboy for years but didn’t really like the last release. Gore had some great songs on it but it never grabbed me and pulled me back for repeat listens the way KNY and everything from ATF did before. Much like PTH, I feared one of my favourite bands had lost their magic touch and that I’d have to settle for their stellar back catalogue and hope one day for Eros to come out. Again, as is the theme for 2020, I was wrong! This was a brilliant return to form and one of my most enjoyed albums of 2020. Less standout tracks for me but the whole album has a really good balance (balance, balance).
Recommended Track - Genesis