|Lucman's AOTY List For 2020|
Year was bad but music was good!
Keeper Of Days
|34||Citizens and Saints|
The Joy Of Being
|33||The Moore Family Band|
|32||Crippled Black Phoenix|
|31||The Innocence Mission|
See You Tomorrow
In The Dead, Dead Wood
You're Not Alone
You and I
Top 25 of 2020.
Jason Isbell just keeps rocking on. He’s practically the whole reason I fell in love with country music and his consistency has made it difficult to listen to much else. Reunions is one of his strongest projects yet, offering less of the blues of The Nashville Sound and more of the heartfelt beauty of Southeastern.
Sad In The City
Broadway Calls releases their first album in seven years and it’s leaps and bounds the best thing they’ve ever done. Jammed packed with delicious summery hooks and unrelenting power-chords, all coloured with strokes of honest optimism and youthful romanticism.
Brian somehow continually turns simplistic tunes into magic and I fall for it every time. Local Honey is his most restrained and tender record yet, telling the same romantic stories we fell in love with in yet another warmer, rustic light.
This stunning slice of city-pop, showcasing a luminous array of urban soul, R&B and jazz textures, and funky, bristling grooves is a delight through and through.
In and Out of the Light
In and out of Light is the kind of crooning, romantic album that sets my imagination and passion alight. I can picture the glistening streets of Paris at night, underneath a steady rainfall, holding my lover and talking about the most affectionate and random of things.
Have We Met
Dan Bejar, the master of modern sophisti-pop, returns with another slice of beautiful synth-wave bathed in 80s pastiche. At the end of the day Destroyer continues to be Destroyer and that’s a lovely constant.
What's Your Pleasure?
A lush, sophisticated, and unabashedly sexy album. Its electronic stokes of sensuality are endlessly beautiful and it excels at everything it does.
We Will Always Love You
This is a sprawling album that’s as comfy and approachable as it is adventurous and unconventional. But what it never ceases to be is an endless joy to the ears and a vapor of life for the soul
The Fallen Crimson
No one expected this Japanese post-rock/screamo outfit to release another record, but not only did they make a triumphant return, they released their most exuberant, emotional, and blinding album yet.
FREE I.H: This Is Not the One...
Watch out, the Illuminati is real. It is planning to take over the punk scene and brainwash its people and this is its siren call. It’s bottled insanity where you’ll find everything from punk, hardcore, indie pop, and a bucket of angst and spunk. I’m not sure where it came from, but I’m so glad it exists.
Everyone and their grandma is putting Punisher on their year-end lists and for good reason. This album is Good, with a capital G. The sonic soundscape Bridgers plays with here is utterly breathtaking.
12th House Rock
Blimey, these lads have it. The magic, the creativity, the unbridled emotion. Their brand of post-hardcore blends the best of Deftones’ unique concoction of angst and Hum’s swirling, distortion drenched shoegaze. They’re bringing it it back, man, they’re bringing it back.
Dancing with the Curse
Raspy vocals? Spastic ska passages? Kick a%# punk rock? You want it you’ve got it. For Get Dead the formula has been perfected and now they’re just showing off. It’s unfair really.
Breakfast for Pathetics
This is an absolute delight for the 90s kid in me. It has as much to thank the 90s grunge movement for as it does modern punk and indie-pop as it revels in all the uncensored, cathartic energy and emotional vulnerability of them all. It’s one delicious breakfast.
This blistering three-piece offers nothing but pedal to the metal adrenaline, nodding at the Ramones, Bad Religion, The Clash, the list of classics goes on. With fourteen cuts of aggressive, melodic brilliance I was hard pressed to find a better punk album this year.
Starmaker contains a surprise around every corner, many of which aren’t entirely recognizable in traditional country: lush, ambient passages, vocoder touched vocals, woodwinds and old timely string flourishes. Every melody and detail hits home on this instant country classic.
Inlet is the follow-up twenty-two years in the making and it’s the most natural progression of sound we could have heard from them. It’s as if the band bypassed the wishy-washy years in music from 2000-2019 and jumped right into the 2020s just as the sound of the 90s was making a comeback (see entry 14).
With Terry Date back in the producer’s seat and the band members being as mentally healthy as they’ve ever been, the anticipation around Ohms was electric. And of course, it turned out to be another triumph, melding the best elements of their modern sound with choice flashbacks of their past. It’s brooding, visceral, beautiful, and for lack of a better word, freaking cool.
The Great Dismal
This is some of the heaviest and most densely atmospheric music the band has ever released. Yet, whilst the vocals are hugged by a wall of gorgeous electric fuzz, these songs possess an abundance of melodic beauty that captivates and at times overwhelms.
This dude. This DUDE.
|5||Pure Reason Revolution|
Pure Reason Revolution share a similar story to our previous entry on this list, Envy. After a ten-year hiatus they release a new artistic statement that is arguably the new pinnacle of their career. The thunderous sonic textures, progressive dynamics, and wonderful melodies are unique, epic, and all over dazzling.
[EVERMORE]. Try as I might I simply could not separate these two albums from one another. In a year of isolation these two records emphasized with the struggle, lived in it, embraced it, and turned it into something beautiful and redemptive, profound even, without ever relying on the obvious name of the pandemic. They were a retreat into calmer woods rather than a hindrance to life and progress.
Tunng Presents...DEAD CLUB
On paper, a concept album around death is probably not the best thing to be listening to during these times. But Tunng’s DEAD CLUB deserves its rightful praise and attention. It is biting, it can be bleak, it’s a right tough listen at points, but something with the beauty, the love, and the humanity of this can never be described as morbid. As a concept record it should be talked about and pondered on, which makes it perhaps the most important record of our current times. As a piece of music, it’s absolutely splendid.
|2||Burden of Life|
The Makeshift Conqueror
Metal and I have had a shaky relationship these past few years. I simply no longer care for its aesthetic decisions nor its constant need to dwell in anger and frustration. But when I make the claim that The Makeshift Conqueror has become one of my favourite records of all-time in the genre I mean that this is the new blueprint for me.
A Kintsugi is a piece of pottery that is repaired with lacquer dusted or mixed with powered gold. And that is the perfect way to describe what this album did for me in 2020 and it is what it continues to do for me now. It’s the perfect pop album, if entirely atypical and idiosyncratic. But that’s just Seiko for you. She’s always pushing the boundaries of what pop music can be and in doing so creating some of the most memorable, heartfelt, and progressive pop music ever.