It’s been a year where all the norms were turned upside down. People often comment it was a year where very little happened, I’d contend that so much happened it was hard to keep up!  Amidst the shit storm, there were bright spots and heroes such as Marcus Rashford and his compassion and eloquence,  Tim Burgess who kept us all connected via music and his #timstwitterlisteningparties and Tom Gray and his Broken Record campaign to name but three (and yes I note the irony of including a Spotify Playlist here – so if you find music you like, maybe buy it ? ) But the bigger heroes are the health care workers, nurses, doctors, scientists, shop workers and front line staff everywhere. Plus you, yes YOU –  you who stuck to the rules, not out of deference to our incongruous, inept government but out of respect for their fellow citizens. Well played.

Throughout the year music was something of a life raft to cling onto, to comfort and console to inspire to move, to provide an escape and to give us hope. And in a year that took far more than it gave one of the highlights was the quality of albums released. There were some incredible debuts,  welcome returns, a shift in gears and reinventions for some.  This is our top 50 albums of 202.   You might disagree.  There might be some glaring omissions or inclusions you may vehemently disagree with. This is all fine, even if it’s down to inherent indie snobbery or overzealous poptimism. However, if it is truly “all about the music” then hopefully you can listen with an open mind and ears.

As mentioned music has been a lighthouse in a turbid sea of shite this year,  it’s a shame the government don’t feel the same –  however, you may feel inclined to support musicians who have not only had careers decimated by Covid but have the double whammy of Brexshit and one way would be signing this petition here    –

So on to the list –  first the playlist and then the albums listed in order –  I didn’t review every album on the list but where I did I have provided a link. Right, I’m off to buy shares in Bacofoil. I hear its profits soared this year 😉  Here’s to better days.

  1. I Break Horses: Warnings (Bella Union)
    Sweden’s I Break Horses(aka Maria Lindén) returns with her third album, Warnings, demonstrating her music has lost none of its magisterial artistry during the project’s six-year hiatus … read my full review over at Under The Rader mag – here –

2  Taylor Swift – evermore ( Republic)
Taylor Swift has always been a master of reinvention, from prodigious country singer/songwriter to tabloid-friendly girl-next-door pop alchemist to global megastar. 2020 has seen her conjure not one but two unexpected and quite beautiful albums, which demonstrate why she’s regarded as the most versatile songwriter o
My full review over at –

  1. Fenne Lily : Breach(Dead Oceans)
  2. Waxahatchee:  St Cloud(Merge Records)
    Saint Cloud is a much more reflective clear-headed album than her previous works and sonically appears to reflect her decision to get sober. She steps out from the fug of distortion and in doing so sounds calmer and more at peace with the world.
  3. Sorry : 925(Domino)
    Full review –
    and Interview –
  4. Laveda : What Happens After(Color Station)
  5. Matt Berninger: Serpentine River (Book Records)
  6. Taylor Swift Folklore (Republic Records)
  7. Working Men’s Club: Working Men’s Club(Heavenly Recordings)
  8. Another Sky: I Slept On The Floor(Fiction Records)
    Full review
  9. Porridge Radio: Every Bad(Secretly Canadian )
  10. Juanita Stein : Snapshot (Nude)
    Full review –
  11. Deep Sea Diver: Impossible Weight(High Beam Records / ATO)
    Full Review –
  12. Sara Noelle: Cover The Blue (1967420 Records DK2)
  13. Ellis: Born Again(Fat Possum Records )
  14. Thick: 5 Years Behind(Wharf Cat )
    Full review –
  15. Dehd:  Flower Of Devotion (Fire Talk)
  16. Bambara:  Stray(Wharf Cat )
    Full Review-
  17. Public Practice Gentle Grip(Wharf Cat )
    Full Review –
  18. I Like Trains : Kompromat(Atlantic Curve)
    Full Review –
  19. Jessie Ware: What’s Your Pleasure(Virgin EMI)
  1. Pins: Hot Slick(Haus Of Pins)
    Full Review –
  2. Silverbacks: Fad(Central Tone)

Full Review

  1. Phoebe Bridgers: Punisher(Dead Oceans)
  2. Beach Bunny: Honeymoon(Mom & Pop)
    Full Review –
  1. Bryde: The Volume Of Things(Easy Life Records)
     Full review
  1. Catherine Anne Davis & Bernard Butler: In Memory Of My Feelings (Needle Mythology)
  2. Soccer Mommy : Color Theory(Loma Vista)
  3. Throwing Muses : Sun Racket(Fire Records)
    Full Review –
  4. Jehnny Beth : To Love Is To Live(Caroline)
    Full Review –
  5. Smoke Fairies  : Darkness Brings The Wonders Home(Year Seven Records)
    Full Review –
  1. The Beths : Jump Rope Gazers(Car Park Records)
    Full Review –
  2. Torres : Silver Tongue(Merge Records)
    Full Review –
  1. Creeper: Sex, Death and the Infinite Void(Roadrunner Records)
  2. Tim Burgess: I Love The Sky(Beggars)
  3. Katie Malco:Failures (6131 Records)
    Full Review
  1. Harkin: Harkin(Hand Mirror)
    Full review –
  2. Drew Citron: Free Now (Park The Van)
     Full Review –
  1. JARV IS: Beyond The Pale(Rough Trade)
  2. Mt Doubt: Doubtlands(Last Night From Glasgow)
  3. Bully: Sugar Egg(Sub Pop)
  4. Jess Williamson: The Sorceress(Mexican Summer)
  5. Helena Deland:  Someone New(Luminelle)
  6. beabadoobee: Fake It Flowers(Dirty Hit)
  7. Samia:  The Baby(Grand Jury)

46.Leila Moss: Who The Power (Bella Union)
Full review –

47.Alex The Astronaut – The Theory Of Absolutely Nothing

48.Nicloe Atkins – Italian Ice (Single Lock Records.)

49.Bugeye – Ready Steady Bang ( Reckless Yeah)

50.Carla J Easton – Weirdo (Olive Grove)

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