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The 2020 Music End of Year Thread


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Welcome to the 2020 End of Year Music Thread. In this thread, you can post your own year end of list for best albums and songs, the list of others and generally discuss the year in music. Suggested resources: 

 

I will post end of the year lists and notable things that pop up as they come along. Feel free to post your own lists, discuss the best albums of the year, the lack of touring due to COVID-19, etc. 

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I thought the Fiona Apple album was good, but I don't quite understand it's album of the year status. Even on the main site I use to follow/catalogue my listening (Rate Your Music) its currently #3 overall. For me its just... good? 3/5 type level.

Speaking of RYM, it's current Top 20 for those interested: 

  1. The Microphones - "Microphones in 2020"
  2. clipping. - "Vision of Bodies Being Burned" 
  3. Fiona Apple - "Fetch the Bolt Cutters"
  4. Jessie Ware - "What's Your Pleasure?"
  5. Run the Jewels - "RTJ4"
  6. Oranssi Pazuzu - "Mestarin kynsi"
  7. Charli XCX - "How I'm Feeling Now"
  8. Ulcerate - "Stare Into Death and Be Still" 
  9. Nobuo Uematsu / Masashi Hamauzu / Mitsuto Suzuki - Finaly Fantasy VII Remake Original Soundtrack
  10. Paysage d'Hiver - "Im Wald"
  11. Natalia Lafourcade - "Un canto por Mexico Vol. 1"
  12. Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist - "Alfredo"
  13. Phoebe Bridgers - "Punisher"
  14. Adrianne Lenker - "Songs"
  15. R.A.P. Ferreira - "Purple Moonlight Pages"
  16. Aesop Rock - "Spirit World Field Guide"
  17. Lianne La Havas - "Lianne La Havas"
  18. Fleet Foxes - "Shore"
  19. Mac Miller - "Circles"
  20. Neptunian Maximalism - "Éons"

Probably the only list you'll see Gangsta Rap, Mexican Folk, Video Game Soundtrack, Art Pop, Avant-garde Jazz, Psychedelic Black Metal and Technical Death Metal on the same list, haha. 

 

 

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Cool! I'll need to have a think, I'm not sure how much I've listened to this year. I've got a few things on my list that I'd like to try and I'd be interested to check out some of the stuff on the year end lists. I might come back here in a week or two and post mine.

Of those that have been mentioned so far I liked the Fiona Apple and Charli XCX ones. Not familiar with any others yet, although a few are on my list.

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Firstly, I would say it was a weird year in music for me. Often with my favourite albums, I'd associate them with seeing that band live. But obviously without gigs, we we were kind of robbed of that. I was super thankful to have seen Los Campesinos play this year, playing Romance Is Boring in full and then a set of self-described bangers, before heading to an after party where they exclusively played pop and emo. It was ace. That's why this year feels empty - a real lack of live music. That said, loads of great stuff. 

The two albums that have probably done the most for me are Set My Heart On Fire Immediately by Perfume Genius and How I'm Feeling Now by Charli XCX; wildly different albums that simultaneously connected with my lockdown experience. 

Other favourites, in no order.

Beach Bunny - Honeymoon 
King Krule - Man Alive!
Soccer Mommy - Color Theory
U.S Girls - Heavy Light
Porridge Radio - Every Bad
Dua Lipa - Future Nostlagia
Brian Fallon - Local Honey
Fiona Apple - Fetch The Bolt Cutters
Little Simz - Drop 6
Jeff Parker - Suite for Max Brown
Haim - Women in Music Pt. III
Phoebe Bridges - Punisher
070 Shake - Modus Vivendi
Taylor Swift - Folklore
Fontaines DC - A Hero's Death
Machine Gun Kelly - Tickets to My Downfall

I know it was released at the end of November last year, but I listened to Reflections by Hannah Diamond so much this year, would hugely recommend for any Charli XCX fan. 

Edited by Jimmy
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I'm still finalising my own top 20 from the few hundred albums I have listened to this year.  I tend to skew towards rock, metal, prog and a bit of jazz and folk, but trying to make sure I give a fair shake to big albums in most genres first. 

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Time Magazine's EOY 

Quote

10. Tiwa Savage - Celia
09. Grimes - Miss Anthropocene
08. Makaya McCraven - We’re New Again – A Reimagining
07. Gabriel Garzón-Montano - Agüita
06. Perfume Genius - Set My Heart on Fire Immediately
05. Lil Uzi Vert - Eternal Atake
04. The Chicks - Gaslighter
03. Fiona Apple - Fetch The Bolt Cutters
02. Chloe x Halle - Ungodly Hour
01. Taylor Swift - Folklore

The New Yorker's EOY

Quote
10. Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher
09. Freddie Gibbs and the Alchemist – Alfredo
08. Fleet Foxes – Shore
07. Bob Dylan – Rough and Rowdy Ways
06. Jyoti – Mama, You Can Bet!
05. Fiona Apple – Fetch the Bolt Cutters
04. Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
03. Mary Lattimore – Silver Ladders
02. Adrianne Lenker – Songs and Instrumentals
01. Etran de L’Aïr – No. 1
 

 

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My top picks have been pretty consistent through the year, bar the odd song not many albums have leapt out at me.

1. All Time Low - Wake Up, Sunshine
2. Boston Manor - GLUE
3. Bring Me The Horizon - Post Human: Survival Horror (EP)
4. Twin Atlantic - Power
5. Biffy Clyro - A Celebration of Endings
6. Vistas - Everything Changes In The End
7. The Hunna - I'd Rather Die Than Let You In
8. Rematch - Do It All Again (EP)
9. IDLES - Ultra Mono
10. Stand Atlantic - Pink Elephant

Only four changes from the list I did in September, with Creeper, The 1975, Those Damn Crows, and Spanish Love Songs missing out, largely because I decided EPs count after all. My Spotify Wrapped may tell a different story, but mostly because I've listened to Every Avenue's Picture Perfect through about a million times this year. Way way way too many things I haven't listened to enough this year, or at all for that matter, but I'm settling on the list above.

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Stereogum: 

Quote

20. Sorry - 925
19. Charli XCX - How I'm Feeling Now
18. Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist - Alfredo
17. The 1975 - Notes On A Conditional Form
16. Bartees Strange - Live Forever
15. Perfume Genius - Set My Heart On Fire Immediately
14. Fleet Foxes - Shore
13. Yves Tumor - Heaven To A Tortured Mind
12. Lomelda - Hannah
11. Hum - Inlet
10. Soccer Mommy - color theory
09. SAULT - Untitled (Rise)
08. Touché Amoré - Lament
07. Oneohtrix Point Never - Magic Oneohtrix Point Never
06. Boldy James & Sterling Toles - Manger On McNichols
05. Taylor Swift - folklore
04. HAIM - Women In Music Pt. III
03. Run The Jewels - RTJ4
02. Waxahatchee - Saint Cloud
01. Fiona Apple - Fetch The Bolt Cutters

Consequence of Sound: 

Quote

20. Sorry - 925
19. Charli XCX - How I'm Feeling Now
18. Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist - Alfredo
17. The 1975 - Notes On A Conditional Form
16. Bartees Strange - Live Forever
15. Perfume Genius - Set My Heart On Fire Immediately
14. Fleet Foxes - Shore
13. Yves Tumor - Heaven To A Tortured Mind
12. Lomelda - Hannah
11. Hum - Inlet
10. Soccer Mommy - color theory
09. SAULT - Untitled (Rise)
08. Touché Amoré - Lament
07. Oneohtrix Point Never - Magic Oneohtrix Point Never
06. Boldy James & Sterling Toles - Manger On McNichols
05. Taylor Swift - folklore
04. HAIM - Women In Music Pt. III
03. Run The Jewels - RTJ4
02. Waxahatchee - Saint Cloud
01. Fiona Apple - Fetch The Bolt Cutters

Complex Magazine: 

Quote

20. Flo Milli, ‘Ho, Why Is You Here?’
19. Pop Smoke, ‘Meet the Woo 2’
18. Jay Electronica, ‘A Written Testimony’
17. dvsn, ‘A Muse In Her Feelings’
16. Bad Bunny, ‘YHLQMDLG’
15. Chloe x Halle, ‘Ungodly Hour’
14. Gunna, ‘Wunna’
13. Taylor Swift, ‘Folklore’
12. Conway the Machine, ‘From King to a GOD’
11. Polo G, ‘The GOAT’
10. Pop Smoke, ‘Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon’
09. Westside Gunn, ‘Pray for Paris’
08. Mac Miller, ‘Circles’
07. Tame Impala, ‘The Slow Rush’
06. 21 Savage & Metro Boomin, ‘Savage Mode II’
05. Benny the Butcher, ‘Burden of Proof’
04. Freddie Gibbs & the Alchemist, 'Alfredo'
03. Lil Uzi Vert, ‘Eternal Atake‘
02. Lil Baby, ‘My Turn’
01. The Weeknd, ‘After Hours’

 

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I'm not hip to a lot of current music, but I did fucking love Human Impact's debut album. The band is comprised of ex-members of Unsane, Cop Shoot Cop, and Swans and the album I think reflects pieces of those bands but this is definitely its own thing. For me, it wasn't just a good album, but it's one I'm going to be listening to for years to come and I think will shape how I maybe approach my own recordings. 

This was also great, first time I heard of these guys was this year. It's a really good blend of punk and hip hop, depending on the song the sound/style may lean further to one side but they do both pretty well. I posted this in the punk thread a few months back, was able to score a copy of the vinyl for this album which was  nice. 

 

 

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Everyone advertise Spotify and share your wrapped up lists:

Screenshot_20201203-190031.png

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Mine's more embarrassing because it's largely 00s nu-metal. I fall asleep to a playlist of nu-metal and Ghost songs.

As for my AOTYs, easily RTJ4 and Orville Peck's Show Pony (though, that's an EP). 

 

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I have listened to Orville Peck numerous times and I think it is lovely that others enjoy it, but I do not understand the appeal at all. 

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spoilered for size

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I listened to a lot less as I've been at home but every year the top three artists always make sense but the bottom two surprise me. I also love how the songs are never a representation of the artists. 

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Pitchfork have released their Top 100 Songs of 2020 list. Here's the top 25:

Quote

25: 100 gecs – hand crushed by a mallet (remix) [ft. Fall Out Boy, Craig Owens & Nicole Dollanger]

24: The Weather Station – Robber

23: The Weeknd – Blinding Lights

22: Jessie Ware – What's Your Pleasure?

21: India Jordan – For You

20: Jazmine Sullivan – Lost One

19: Adrianne Lenker – anything

18: Jayda G – Both Of Us

17: Grimes – Delete Forever

16: Fiona Apple – Fetch The Bolt Cutters

15: Chloe x Halle – Do It

14: U.S. Girls – 4 American Dollars

13: Soccer Mommy – circle the drain

12: Moses Sumney – Cut Me

11: Lady Gaga / Ariana Grande – Rain On Me

10: Waxahatchee – Fire

09: Phoebe Bridgers – Garden Song

08: Perfume Genius – Describe

07: Yves Tumor – Gospel For A New Country

06: Bob Dylan – Murder Most Foul

05: Bad Bunny / Jowell & Randy / Ñengo Flow – Safaera

04: Megan Thee Stallion – Savage Remix [ft. Beyoncé]

03: Fiona Apple – I Want You To Love Me

02: Christine And The Queens – People, I've been sad

01: Cardi B – WAP [ft. Megan Thee Stallion

 

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I just don't keep up with new releases any more. I've accepted my old age. When I get to an album or song I get to it, it might just be six or seven years late.

 

That said, RTJ4 is the best of the year and came out at just the time it was needed. I know that "Ooh La La" hit hard for people during the riots in the US.

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And Pitchfork have released their Top 50 Albums of the Year, here's the top ten:

Quote

10: Bad Bunny – YHLQMDLG

09: Jessie Ware – What's Your Pleasure?

08: HAIM – Women In Music Pt. III

07: Yves Tumor – Heaven To A Tortured Mind

06: Bob Dylan – Rough And Rowdy Ways

05: Perfume Genius – Set My Heart On Fire Immediately

04: Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher

03: Moses Sumney – græ

02: Waxahatchee – Saint Cloud

01: Fiona Apple – Fetch The Bolt Cutters

 

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We forgot Rolling Stone in the shuffle: 

Quote

20. Ashley McBryde - 'Never Will'
19. Chloe x Halle - 'Ungodly Hour'
18. Moses Sumney, 'Græ'
17. Fleet Foxes - 'Shore'
16. BTS - 'Maps of the Soul: 7'
15. Flo Milli - 'Ho, Why Is You Here?'
14. Haim - 'Women in Music Pt. III'
13. City Girls - 'City on Lock'
12. Bruce Springsteen - 'Letter to You'
11. Lady Gaga - 'Chromatica'
10. Phoebe Bridgers - 'Punisher'
09. Jessie Ware - 'What's Your Pleasure?'
08. Lil Uzi Vert - 'Eternal Atake'
07. Waxahatchee - 'Saint Cloud'
06. Run the Jewels - 'RTJ4'
05. Dua Lipa - 'Future Nostalgia'
04. Bob Dylan - 'Rough and Rowdy Ways'
03. Bad Bunny - 'YHLQMDLG'
02. Fiona Apple - 'Fetch The Bolt Cutters'
01. Taylor Swift - 'folklore'

I was expecting a blowout of Fiona Apple dominating most lists, but seems like Run the Jewels, Taylor Swift, Bob Dylan and Phoebe Bridgers are all giving her a run for her money. 

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Listened to the Haim album literally this morning. Pretty good, 3/5. 

 

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its nice to see waxahatchee getting a lot of love, i don't remember this happening for their previous releases.

arbitrarily numbered list time!

  1. ajj - good luck everybody
  2. the mountain goats - songs for pierre chauvin
  3. open mike eagle - anime, trauma, and divorce
  4. waxahatchee - saint cloud
  5. spillage village - spilligion
  6. everything put out by griselda's big three because i can't really separate it
  7. bad moves - untenable
  8. huh probably could have made it to ten if i didn't group griselda huh oh well

i'm sure i'll think of something later. i still need to listen to jeff rosenstock's new album and the other album put out this year by the mountain goats but for some reason i just haven't been able to do it.

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I had written an essay about why Fiona Apple's Fetch the Bolt Cutter was the best album I heard this year and the best album I have heard in at least 5 years, but it got erased when I accidentally closed the browser. At this stage, it is probably in my top album of all time discussion. There are albums I can distinctly remember at times of my life and how integral they were - being unemployed and listening to Blonde by Frank Ocean, learning about David Bowie's death and mourning with Blackstar, breaking up with my boyfriend and processing the experience with Veckatimest by Grizzly Bear. April 17th was the day that quarantine from COVID-19 became tolerable because I had Fiona Apple. Throughout this year, there have been times my favorite song has shifted - somedays Shameika, somedays Under the Table, somedays Cosmonauts. But the album helped me get through this year. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

515 Albums and 101 EPs later, I've finalised my end of year lists. You can read my Top 150 Albums and Top 50 EPs on my blog here: https://garethjhunt.wordpress.com/2020/12/27/top-albums-and-eps-of-2020/

There's a couple of Spotify playlists included. One track per release (two notable absentees because the albums are Bandcamp only). 

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