How is it almost 2021?!?! Due to pandemic-related causes it feels as if this year has just flown by. I took a moment to sit down and reflect on my year, and the albums that formed a huge part of it.
This is by no means a definite list… there were loads of albums that I wanted to include, but I had to stop somewhere!
So in no particular order…
The Killers – Imploding the Mirage
The Killers are one of those bands that never get old. Some artists have their one hit wonder and fizzle out, but for me, The Killers manage to put out CONSISTENTLY great music. I just adore this album; it has such a nostalgic feel, and also gives me major Bruce Springsteen vibes. When The Dreams Run Dry, Caution, Dying Breed and Lightening Fields are some of my faves.
BENEE – Hey u x
Wow, wow, wow! This only came out in November of this year, so a recent addition to my 2020 soundtrack, but stunning nonetheless. Featuring some stellar collaborations with Grimes, Bakar and Lily Allen; I had this on repeat as soon as it came out.
Diana Ross – To Love Again
I know this album came out way before 2020, but bear with me for a second. In 2020 I fell in love with Diana Ross. I’ve always enjoyed her music, but never fully sat down and listened to her discography in its entirety. Believe me when I say I had this album on REPEAT this year – in fact, Ross was actually my top artist in my Spotify Wrapped. Such an amazing album with some proper belters. It would’ve felt weird for me to not include this album in my list.
COIN – Dreamland
An album of anthems. That is all. Crash My Car was also one of my most listened tracks on Spotify this year.
Easy Life – Junk Food
If you hadn’t caught on from this blog already, I am a massive fan of Easy Life (Exhibit A). This EP came out at the beginning of this year, and has pretty much been with me for the entirety of 2020, as it’s always one I come back to. Their recent releases throughout the year (including daydreams, who gives a f**k?, see you later maybe never (demos)) are just great. Proper vibes tunes and I’m here for it.
Mac Miller – Circles
Released posthumously following the death of Miller, this album is an emotional listen. I think Sheldon Pearce of Pitchfork put it perfectly, describing the album as ‘a companion piece to Swimming […] an optimistic epilogue to the life of an aspirational artist’.
The Weeknd – After Hours
I could not write this list without including After Hours. I think we can all agree The Weeknd was robbed of a Grammy nomination with this one.
Will Joseph Cook – Something To Feel Good About
This album only came out in November, but I am very much in love with it. I don’t think there is one track that I don’t like. DOWNDOWNDOWN!, Something To Feel Good About, and She Likes Me are particularly catchy ones though.
Glass Animals – Dream Land
WHAT A VIBEY ALBUM. Some major bops – I’m a massive fan.
Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
This album makes me want to go out and have a boogie. Until we’re allowed to do so, you can find me dancing along in my kitchen (cheers Alexa).
McFly – Young Dumb Thrills
THEY’RE BACK. I always feel super nostalgic whenever I listen to this band. Sink or Sing, Not The End, and Tonight Is The Night are my faves. Basically a whole album of proper anthems and feel good tunes which is definitely what we all need after the year we’ve had.
Ariana Grande – Positions
Yassssss Ari!! I know there were some mixed reviews on this album, but for me it was up there as one of my favourites from her. I would also recommend listening on a late night drive.
boy pablo – Wachito Rico
I’m a big fan of this debut album from Chilean-Norwegian Nicolas Muñoz. If you’re into Easy Life and Rex Orange County then this will be right up your street.
James Blake – Before
Technically EP but WOW what a stunning collection of tracks. It’s melancholic meets house/dance, ‘paying homage to his London club days’.
SAULT – Untitled (Rise)
Within the past couple of years, this British music collective have emerged out of no where; totally anonymous with no photos, no interviews and no gigs. They’ve put out an insane FOUR albums in just two years. I listened to this particular album through the summer. It’s just an incredible and important body of music.
Teyana Taylor – The Album
Is there any other album that begins with the literal audio recording of a 911 call made by Taylor’s husband as she gives birth to her baby daughter? That’s what I thought.
Taylor Swift – evermore
Okay Tay Tay, releasing a cheeky two surprise albums in one year… we see you. Out of both the albums I have to say this one is definitely my favourite. It’s more mellow, but I love the vivid pictures she paints and the stories that she tells.
Dominic Fike – What Could Possibly Go Wrong
I think this album title pretty much summarises everyone’s attitude at the beginning of 2020… little did we know…
Tame Impala – The Slow Rush
Some big fat bops throughout, and such an intricate and well put together album. Tame Impala decided to make their return in the year that we needed it most.
Rina Sawayama: SAWAYAMA
A QUEEN. This debut album is filled with INSANE tunes which draw from a massive range of genres and musical influences. It’s grungy, raw and rugged whilst being perfectly polished and immaculately produced. What an incredible talent Sawayama is. I also imagine that hearing this live would be UNREAL (especially Comme des Garçons (Like The Boys) and Snakeskin – some of my fave tracks on the album, with proper dance/club vibes).
John Legend – Bigger Love
John, John, John… where to begin. To me, this album feels like a Sunday morning. It’s soulful and uplifting, with elements of doo-wop in tracks like Ooh Laa. It also features collaborations with Koffee and Rapsody to name a few. I’m also obsessed with his recent Tiny Desk session.
Fleet Foxes – Shore
From the first ten seconds of the opening track Wading in Waist-High Water, I was entranced. What a stunning body of work. Robin Pecknold’s voice is sublime throughout, and the album is as equally mellow and pensive as it is bright and optimistic. Every single track is simply beautiful.
Master Peace – Love Bites
I LOVE this EP. It’s so eclectic in terms of the musical styles and genres it incorporates. It’s also so lyrically intricate and clever. Every single track is catchy and memorable.
BERWYN – DEMOTAPE/VEGA
I first came across BERWYN when I heard TRAP PHONE on Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show. This is such an honest and raw EP, and I would highly recommend giving it a listen. BERWYN is most certainly one to watch.
Kali Uchis – Sin Miedo (del Amor y Otros Demonios) ∞
I’ve always been a massive fan of Kali Uchis, and this album is just MEGA. A stunning collection of tracks, mostly in Spanish, influenced by boleros, reggaetón, and Latin soul music that she grew up with.
If you’ve made it to the end of this list, congrats! Are there any albums that made your 2020 or stood out to you? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2021.