Rise of the Synthosaurs
This is a placeholder for all Synthosaurus releases of the year (there were a lot!) I didn't really expect anything good from this project before i jumped in, but, while undoubtly corny, I found all their releases to be thoroughly enjoyable. Really consistent project too
This may not have a song like 'Star Rider', but overal this is a much stronger album. A bit less cheesy with more realised song-writing. Generally an album of nice riffs of catchy-ness, which is all i ask from this ind of album
Amalie Bruun has a fantastic voice and that coupled with the lovely instrumention makes this a gorgeous and whimsical album. Occasionaly, is this a little over the top for me, but overall this so much beautiful moments such as 'House Carpenter' or the piano on the closer 'Vinter'
I'm a sucker for this kind of lush chamber pop/folk and with Pallet's gentle voice and gorgeous arranngement of instruments, is this one of the prettiest of the year
The Piss, The Perfume
The Piss, The Perfume
The debut release of the Jezabels front woman is a collection of 5 high highly enjoyable pop rock songs. It's honestly not much more than that, but it will provide a good time for 18 minutes
10 Years Gone
Live album with basically studio-quaity recording, which makes it a reimagination of a bunch of their best songs. If you like Deafheaven it's definitely worth a listen
|44||Lianne La Havas|
Lianne La Havas
"good vibes" the album. Such a pleasent listen with the cool vibe and La Havas' excellent vocals. The cover for 'Weird Fishes' is one of the best covers i have heard in a long time too
|43||Run the Jewels|
Walking in the Snow
This is the most I have enjoyed Run the Jewels since the debut. Great high energy hip-hop with cool beats.
Do You Wanne Be My Lover Tonight
Noisy art punk that goes hard. Really nice high-energy with really strong vocals. I haven't vibed with a lot of punk lately, but this was a mainstay in my 2020
Comme des Garcons (Like the Boys)
One of the most exciting and audacious pop artists active right now. Sawayama is chaotic, diverse and ultimately really fun. The consistency is not quite there yet, but from her debut album it becomes clear that she has a future pop classic in her
When I Die, Will I Get Better?
Hardcore with a really cool gaze-y atmosphere. Love albums that combine harshness and beauty and When I Die.. does it very well. The dynamicism is on point
Your Good Times Will Come
Go to this for your good vibes house tunes. Laurence Guy is a really good at bringing soul and personality in his tracks
|38||Eefje de Visser|
I was a little dissapointed with Bitterzoet at first; i missed the more bold poppyness from her previous album Nachtlicht. But this has been of the strongest growers of the year and it is still really catchy in its slightly more understatedness. 'de Parade' & 'Onverstaanbaar' have been living rent free inside my head. Truly one of the more exciting Dutch indie artist
|37||Melt Yourself Down|
Afrobeat/jazz fusion/dance punk
Every Single Day
Melt Yourself Down continue their path with basically fusing everything and come with one of the most in your face and high-energy albums of the year.
[entry for both Tommorows albums] Moody electronic chamber pop kinda stuff. It has an excellent atmosphere and great production. I really like the vulnerable vocals too, great stuff
What's Tonight to Eternity
What's Tonight to Eternity is anxiety inducing. The combination of sweet vocals with frantic production creates a dissonance that both makes me feel uncomfortable, but in a really nice way
Probably the most apporpriate album title of the year, Energy is full of extremly fun house tunes and is overal a super good time. 'My High' is banger of the year
Apocalyptic post-rock in the year of 2020, which is fitting of course. Mudai (7) is weird, eclectic and always exciting.
|32||Triangulo de Amor Bizarro|
Indie Rock/Noise Pop
No Eres Tu
Gazey indie rock that is chaotic, fun & catchy. It does make the album somewhat too unbalanced sometimes, but it is really fun ride.
|31||The Soft Pink Truth|
Shall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase?
Really gorgous album with nice vibes that flows super well. Every track is spacious enough to let every melody breath, while never being unmoving. Love the clear piano sounds and choral/chamber infusions
|30||Bohren und der Club of Gore|
Bohren continue their brand of slow ambient jazz. The spacious strcture gives each instrument time to breathe and gives the album a calm feeling, despite the dark undertones
Ep as an extension of 2019's amazing Aminoverse. If you liked that one, there is no reason to not give this a quick listen
Cosmic Dream Country (thanks Sowing for the perfect discription)
The Day It Rained Forever
Dreamy country made for the warm summer days. It's such a breezy and pleasant listen experience
Loved So Little
Exactly what I would have expected from a Matt Berninger solo record in 2020 and it's all the better for it. A lot more simple as many National albums but its consistent quality makes up for that
Step Into You
Shoegaze with a heavy thick atmosphere. Love the dominating bass line and the somewhat noisy guitar structures.
Strange To Explain
Indie Folk/Psych pop
Stange to Explain
Woods' brand of light breezy psych folk is such a pleasant easy listen. Perfect for the warm summer days
|24||Crippled Black Phoenix|
House of Fools
Doomy epicness from the Brittish band. The dynamics are on point, making sure that tracks never get boring for a single second.
|23||A.A.L. (Against All Logic)|
If Loving You Is Wrong
2017-2019 is a lot of things; it's loud, abrasive and all over the place. Like club music that had a stroke. It's full of bangers too and a really good time
Good Luck Everybody
Your Voice, As I Remember It
AJJ tried to prepare us for the year back in January, but I don't think even they were ready for what was to come. It's a classic AJJ album in any way: relatively simple song-writing with blunt and over the top song-writing. There always something in their approach that really appeals to me and Good Luck Everybody delivers.
Tender as a Tomb
My ultimate summer jam of 2020. Very consistent selection of easy-listening, good vibes pop song.
Throes of Joy in the Jaws of Defeatism
Fluxing of the Muscle
Throes of Joy.. Is fast, aggressive and heavy as hell. It can be tricky to keep that sort of momentum going on a relatively long album like this, but Napalm Death pull it off due to their ability to include variety in their song-writing, including several industrial elements
What's Your Pleasure?
Jessie Ware just radiates class. There is so much confidence on display in the sensual disco pop songs of What's Your Pleasure, that make the tracks sound like nostalgic invitations to the dance floor
I Know the End
Punisher was no love at first sight for me. It only started to click on my about fourth listen, while doing fieldwork in the extreme summer heat. I'm not sure why it took for so long - Punisher is far from inaccessable. Maybe I needed the blistering sun of August to appreciate the pristine instrumentation and Bridgers unusal story-telling. It has been in constant rotation ever since regardless
Program Music III
Electronic/modern classical/post rock
Too hard to pick a track for this
It's pretty crazy how much a single track can do. The main track Sons genre-hops from classical, post rock & glitch music with multiple climaxes. It's not super cohesive and the flow isn't always perfect, but man is it an exciting ride
Some evil, deranged shit. Makes me feel like I was accidently transported to the deepest pits of hell. The first track in particular is insanity and I love it. Additional shoutout to the album art for giving me nightmares
With a lot of genre-blending prog music, I find that they often merge ideas and genres randomly without a clear plan. This is not the case for Thy Catefalque, and it's not for the lack of crazy shit they pull off. While Naiv does a lot, everything builds together beautifully and there is always a clear progression and plan visible
Weaving A Basket
Sea Oleena giving us those blissful grouper vibes and providing some much relaxation in 2020. Gorgeous album
Folky Black Metal
While, Bloem still has the intensity of good black metal, it additionally finds a beauty that is not often found in the genre. The guitar textures overlap really nicely and the addition of horns make it sound so powerful and beautiful. The production here is absolutely perfect
Love + Light
Certainly one of the more exciting electronic releases of the year for me. The way Avery plays around ambience and more intense beats is really wonderful. A nicely diverse album too
Ultimate Success Today
I'm normally not a big fan of more spoken word like vocals and it took me about 1-2 listens before i got into them on Ultimate Succes Today, but they do work really well here. They have such a demanding presence. Instrunmentally is this album air-tight as well.
Agnes Obel builds on the experimental layers and vocal styles of Citizen of Glass and does something actually melodically interesting with it. It's her at the most melancholic and probably at her most beautiful as well
Nicolas Jaar had quite the active 2020 with this, the previously included A.A.L project and the similarily good Telas. In contrast to A.A.L is Cenizas as lot more subued and moves at a glacial speed, but it does create an exremely compelling bleak atmosphere
Down in the Adan
What a lovely, quiet album. Windswept Alien feels like it was created in the most idealistic place on earth, it has the peacefulness to it. It's a serene beauty of an album combining acoustic guitar with, for example, string arangements and flutes
The Great Dismal
A Fabricated Life
The Great Dismal came to me in a perfect time. It was on a big Shoegaze mood after checking My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive discogs, and Nothing scratched all my itches. From the nicely distorted guitar atmosphere and the dreamy vocal melodies, this album has it all
The Fallen Crimson
Dawn and Gaze
I love how well Envy combines the beauty of post-rock and the harshness of screamo. It creates a wonderful contrast and natural dynamic that makes it such an exciting listen
Phanerozoic II: Mesozoic | Cenozoic
Jurassic | Cretaceous
Comparisons with 2018's Phanerozoic I were unavoidable during the release of this album, and personally i'm 100% in camp Phan II. What really makes this album for me is how dynamic it is. 'Holocene' might be somewhat of a underwhelming closer in isolation (i still love it regardless!), but it's the perfect cool down of the album's most intense moment in the ending of 'Pleistocene'. The quiter parts make the forceful moments so much more impactful. The chorus of 'Jurassic | Cretaceous', for instance, feels impactful enough to have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs itself instead of the meteorite
I can't say I was expecting to enjoy a 2 hour black metal album this much before the year started, but Im Wald is so masterfully executed that it wasn't hard to get into at all. The songs are long and somewhat repetitive but just enough elements are added in each song to keep make it both a hypnotic and exciting listen. And every song has it's own thing that keeps it distinguishable, whether it's the epic synths of 'Uber den Baumen', the weird violin tone of 'Le reve Lucide' or the, well, voices of 'Stimmen Im Wald'.
We Will Always Love You
Take Care in Your Dreaming
We Will Always Love You is - and sounds like - a trimph. It features an large and wild ensemble of features, including Tricky, MGMT & fucking Rivers Cuomo and combine those additions perfectly with their previous plunderphonics elements. Despite its length and the the number of tracks, it keeps its focus due to the impeccable flow. What an archivement
South Africa/United Kingdom
International Love Affair
Keleketla! really does sound like a product of love. A collaboration of various arists from London and South Africa, it brings a very diverse set of styles and genres that intertwine beautifully. Mixing african styles & jazz with additional splashes of hip hop. Every track brings something new to the table, but the album still contains a sound that feels distinct to Keleketla to me. An international love affair indeed
Set My Heart On Fire Immediately
Even though all the other albums here are great, there never was any competition when it comes to #1 spot for me. Perfume Genius' development has been one of the most interesting to follow and I think he made his masterpiece with Set My Heart.. . More subdued as his previous two works, but the performance is that of complete confidence. It's a gorgeously arranged album that uses the chamber elements to create an extremly immersive beauty that had hooked me from the very release and never let go