Here it is… my Top TWENTY of ‘20, starting with 20 and working up to the top spot. I’ll also list my favorite track from the album, that way you can try to get a glimpse into what sounds I truly like.
20. Twin Sister – “Twin Sister”
Essentially Dead Neanderthals plus a bass, this album is goes HEAVY on the drone.
Stand-out track: Husk
19. Poliça – “When We Stay Alive”
Local music blending some smooth vocals with personal lyrics and surprisingly not-so-straight-forward instrumentation.
(Note: Minnesota Artist!)
Stand-out track: Driving
18. Norah Jones – “Pick Me Up Off The Floor”
She’s back! Diving back into her roots, Norah seems to brought her maturity to her “original sound.”
Stand-out track: To Live
17. Fiona Apple – “Fetch the Bolt Cutters”
The quarantine album before the quarantine even started.
Stand-out track: Relay
16. Dead Neanderthals – “Cosmic Slime”
Released on the last day of the year, this album is still blossoming to me. Sludgy doom with flourishes of bright and beautiful sax.
Stand-out track: Cosmic Slime
15. Cryptae – “Nightmare Traversal”
Another Dead Neanderthals-related project, this one diving into some death metal with a bit of experimental flare.
Stand-out track: Oubliette
14. Leah Senior – “The Passing Scene”
Sometimes we just need a simple singer-songwriter who can soundtrack a pleasant, sunshiny walk outside.
Stand-out track: Evergreen
13. Lazerbeak – “Penelope”
The second in a trilogy, the beats on this are uplifting but still grounded in meditation.
(Note: Minnesota artist!)
Stand-out track: Treetops
12. Miltvuur – “Sleep Forever”
Doom, grind, and black arts… Dead Neanderthals style. Yep, another DN project.
Stand-out track: Sleep Forever I
11. Vile Creature – “Glory, Glory! Apathy Take Helm!”
Some dark metal with plenty of post-rock and even choral touches. Pulverizing.
Stand-out track: Apathy Took Helm!
10. Dope Walker – “Save Save”
The closest thing to a new release by The Plastic Constellations in well over a decade. Jeff and Aaron enlist some old buddies in other bands to make a pleasant indie record.
(Note: Minnesota Artist!)
Stand-out track: Guest Room Bed
9. Dead Neanderthals – “Blood Rite”
More great Dead Neanderthal doom, BUT WITH VOCALS!
Stand-out track: Blood Rite
8. Deftones – “Ohms”
Heavy riffs and dark like The Cure.
Stand-out track: Genesis
7. Plague Organ – “Orphan”
Stuck somewhere in the world of hypnotics, meditation, and tribal banging, this record is both heavy and relaxing.
This is the last of SIX Dead Neanderthal-related/centered releases.
Stand-out track: Orphan
6. Phoebe Bridgers – “Punisher”
Beautifully arranged, this album is not your typical singer-songwriter affair. There is not only lyrical depth, but very full and dynamic instrumentation.
Stand-out track: Punisher
5. …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead – “X: The Godless Void and Other Stories”
Twenty-five years in the game and the ability to look forward while also reflecting is amazing. Call-backs to previous albums hold up nicely when it’s obvious that the band isn’t retreading or running out of ideas.
Stand-out track: Gravity
4. Matt LaJoie – “Everlasting Spring”
Perfect, relaxing meditation music. I am so very glad I picked up his previous album on a whim while visiting the East Coast in 2019.
Stand-out track: Everlasting Spring
3. Nada Surf – “Never Not Together”
I will keep gushing over the maturity that this band shows. Very smart and topical lyrics.
Stand-out track: Something I Should Do
2. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard – “K.G.”
Microtonal, volume 2. This doesn’t feel like a re-hash, more like a revisit with a deeper understanding and more technical prowess.
Stand-out track: Intrasport
1. The Strokes – “The New Abnormal”
These aren’t your 2000s Strokes, this feels like an entirely new band! It seems like the work with the Voidz really bled into the Strokes… and I’m not mad about it.
Stand-out track: At the Door
HONORABLE 2019 FAVORITE!!
Clio – “Déjà Venise”
I didn’t get this album until 2019 turned into 2020. But had this album arrived in time, it would have been towards the top. I can’t say for certain, but it is quite possible that I played this album the most of ANY album in 2020.