Albums of 2020

 My 10 favorite albums and EPs of 2020, which includes a number of amazing songwriters.

1. The Slow Rush, by Tame Impala

The first single from The Slow Rush, released last year, was my favorite song of 2019, so it’s no surprise that the entire album is my favorite of 2020. Solid musicianship by Kevin Parker.

2. Starting Over, by Chris Stapleton

Chris Stapleton doesn’t write a single bad note, and Starting Over was a sure thing for my top 10 as soon as I knew it was coming. 

3. Gathering Swans, by Choir Boy

Catchy, goth, atmospheric, electronic, layered, sad, dreamy. This throwback to the Eighties is sure to appeal with those of us who grew up with The Smiths, Tears for Fears, and Boy George.

4. Born Again, by Ellis

A pretty collection of melancholy ballads from Linnea Siggelkow. 

5. Cuttin’ Grass, by Sturgill Simpson

Sturgill Simpson, like Chris Stapleton, is another one of those singer-songwriters who always gets it right. He’s explained how he grew up on bluegrass, so this collection of songs is a solid confluence of classic bluegrass themes and his contemporary style.

6. The Main Thing, by Real Estate

Synth-driven, dreamy indie rock that takes the sting off a painful year.

7. En Español, by The Mavericks

I’d heard of The Mavericks prior to this album, but I wasn’t familiar with their music. I understand they’ve sung country, rock, and jazz, all of it with a distinctive retro sound. That retro'ness is perfectly suited for this Spanish-language album that’s engaging and catchy even if you don’t speak the language.

8. Such Pretty Forks in the Road, by Alanis Morissette

Among my favorite songwriters of the last 30 years is Alanis Morissette, and Pretty Forks continues her sharing of her life’s journey through song.

9. Void Moments, by FACS

One review of this album used the terms post-punk, artful proto-goth, and ethereal wave. Describe it however you like, you’re probably not going to like it. But it’s awesome nonetheless.

10. Sundowner, by Kevin Morby

Kevin Morby writes extraordinarily songs that are simple in their composition and lyrics. He was among my top 10 in 2017, and he’s back this year.

Honorable Mentions

Miss Anthropocene, by Grimes

Co-Starring, by Ray Wylie Hubbard

The Noise You Make Is Silent, by Klangstof

The Shadow, by Naked Giants

out of interest, by We Were Promised Jetpacks

Black Aura My Sun, by Deserta

Monsters, by The Midnight

Fake It Flowers, by beabadoobee

Introduction Presence, by Nation of Language

Overlooked in 2019

So many!

What You See Is What You Get, by Luke Combs

Now Is The Time For Loving Me, Yourself & Everyone Else, by Carriers

Raedeen, by Quinn Christopherson

Creatures of Habit, by Kiltro

Modern History, by Part Time

Cheap Silver and Solid Country Gold, by Mike and the Moonpies

Fine Line, by Harry Styles

Marcus, by Jake and Javier

Baby Come On, by Josefin Ohrn

Baby Hits, by Emmett Kai

Dark Thoughts, by The Shivas

The Highwomen, by The Highwomen

Conflict of Disinterest, by Black Nite Crash

Another Everything, by Acid Carousel

Nothing Hurts Forever, by New Moon

21 Grams of Soul, Leif Erikson

Six Strange Passions, by Profit Prison

Spotlight, by Mutemath

Workin’ Hard, by Larry Fleet

Crushing, by Julia Jacklin

Altogether, by Turnover

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