Eddie Van Halen once said, "I don't love bands, I love songs." That stuck with me earlier this year after he passed and I thought a lot about the ways I process and discover music. I don't share the same sentiment as Eddie. I do love bands, but I also love songs. However, what I really love are albums. If 2020 gave us anything, it was the gift of time which has felt slow, rushed, and also suspended. However if anything, we certainly had a lot of it and I loved to spend the newfound time listening to albums. Still my favorite format of music, I love sitting down and listening to a work of art. This year I listened to over 100 new albums from 2020 alone, a lot of old Jazz (I listened to Coltrane's entire studio album discography in chronological order back in the early days of the pandemic), and finally understood Yo La Tengo. This year allowed me to push myself and make so many new musical discoveries, but I hope there is something here for everyone. The new standards in jazz from Jyoti, Nubya Garcia, Jeff Parker, and Moses Boyd, the rising hip-hop of Ka, Shabazz Palacs, and Freddie Gibbs, the return to rock of Bully, Gum Country, and Country Westerns, and the overall dominance from our reigning queens Phoebe Bridgers, Haim, Waxahatcee, and of course Fiona's modern day masterpiece. The commitment of sitting down and listening to an album is something I strive to do daily and gives me a comfort like no other. This year, that felt extra special. These are my favorite records from 2020.
50. NAP EYES | Snapshot of a Beginner
49. JESSIE WARE | What's Your Pleasure?
48. NO JOY | Motherhood
47. SHABAKA AND THE ANCESTORS | We Are Sent Here By History
46. BARTEES STRANGE | Live Forever
45. GUM COUNTRY | Somewhere
44. BOB DYLAN | Rough and Rowdy Ways
43. ANDY SHAUF | Neon Skyline
42. JYOTI | Mama, You Can Bet!
41. NOTHING | The Great Dismal