AOTY (TS*)

  1. Dogleg - Melee (FFO hotelier, early idlewild, cloud nothings - get it on repeat)

  2. Laura Marling - Song for our daughter (To my ears her finest album to date, and a wonderful lockdown companion)

  3. Hamilton Leithauser - the loves of your life (I miss the Walkmen, but this is lovely)

  4. Caribou - Suddenly (most eclectic caribou album to date - loads of fun)

  5. Makaya McCraven // Gil Scott-Heron- we’re new again (It’s like this is how Gil S-H would reimagine these pieces himself)

  6. The strokes - new abnormal (best since room on fire)

  7. Owen Pallet - Islands (beautiful, cinematic, dramatic)

  8. Jeff Parker - Suite for Max Brown (Up there with Makaya McCraven in my favourite jazz artists right now)

  9. Four tet - Sixteen oceans (really consistent)

  10. Electric soft parade - stages (Have missed the white brothers, always hugely under rated song writers, musicians, and producers. This is great)

I’ve a feeling phoebe bridgers will finish above several of these entries by end of the year list time

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Some standouts include (in no order but alphabetical):

Agnes Obel - Myopia
Caroline Polachek - Pang*
Daniel Davies - Signals
Greg Dulli - Random Desire
Happyness - Floatr
Ital Tek - Outland
Julian Cope - Self Civil War
The Orb - Abolition Of The Royal Familia
Plone - Puzzlewood
Roly Porter - Kistvaen
Soccer Mommy - Color Theory
Steve Hadfield - Unreality
Squarepusher - Be Up A Hello
Thundercat - It Is What It Is

There’s an absolute tonne of stuff I haven’t picked up or heard that I want to as of yet so it’s hard to make any real decision at this point. As it stands, Puzzlewood is my most played album of 2020 so far according to Last FM stats.

*Physical release was this year, so I’m counting it.

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  1. DJ Python - Mas Amble
  2. Soft Pink Truth - Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase
  3. Ghost Halo - Chemical Rain
  4. AAL - 2017-2019
  5. Nicolas Jaar - Cenizas
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Six organs of admittance - Companion rises (Leftfiekd Americana with some nice ambient influences)
Destroyer - Have we met?
RtJ - RtJ 4
Freddie Gibbs & Alchemist - Alfredo (Hip hop - Freddie Gibbs is on some run on the moment and top production from Alchemist)
Four Tet - Sixteen Oceans

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  1. Envy - The Fallen Crimson
  2. RTJ - RTJ4
  3. Denzel Curry x Kenny Beats - Unlocked
  4. The Strokes - The New Abnormal
  5. No Age - Goons Be Gone

Missed loads and we’re not even halfway through!

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Keep forgetting that Four Tet put out an album this year. It’s fine it is a Four Tet album but, he has put out way better stuff this year, KH edits and his wingding stuff have been excellent.

Love your top 3 so need to check out the other two!

Whups, forgot Run The Jewels - Run The Jewels 4. Only heard it a couple of times but damn. Waiting on the physical release now.

  1. jeff rosenstock - no dream
  2. kiwi jr - football money
  3. neil young - homegrown (if that counts)
  4. destroyer - have we met
  5. phoebe bridgers - punisher

thought no dream would be mentioned more, his best album I think

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  1. bow church - The Spirits in This Forest Are Older Than Your Gods (10/10 dark electronica)
  2. Run The Jewels - RTF4 (would be a 10/10 if not for ooh la la. Otherwise perfect)
  3. Deerhoof - Future Teenage Cave Artists (quirky lo-fi experimental indie)
  4. Loathe - I Let It in and It Took Everything (shoegazey metalcore apparently - brutal meets Deftones)
  5. Tape Runs Out - Sleepwalking Into A Fire (really really good indie)
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No order

Moodymann - Do Wrong
K-Lone - Yelli
Gigi Masin - Calypso
DJ Python - Mas Amable
Einsturzende Neubauten - Alles in Allem

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Yep. Will be surprised if anything tops Shrines for me.

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Just doing descriptions for stuff not already recommended.

1: Fiona Apple - Fetch The Bolt Cutters

2: The Soft Pink Truth - Shall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase?

3: Sault - Untitled (Black is…)
Funk, Soul, RnB concoction, flows incredibly as a record. Relevant subject matter, but also endlessly listenable. Can’t recommend it highly enough

4: Lyra Pramuk - Fountain
Hard to describe, but made entirely using her own voice. Sometimes beautiful, sometimes playful. Along the Holly Herndon path but with less beats and in honesty it’s a really unique record. Plus remarkably, Tendril is a great pop song.

5: Beatrice Dillon - Workaround.

The next five:
Run The Jewels - RTJ4

Drakeo The Ruler - Thank You For Using The GTL
Rap recorded down the phone line from prison. Still can’t decide if it’s a bit of a novelty and can be a bit one paced, but there’s a couple of genuine bangers here and his deadpan delivery is amazing, conveys his frustration and his story really aptly.

Lil Uzi Vert - Eternal Atake
This is bonkers in the best way. Massive pop rap, really hard stuff, some really modern, mad production and as a rapper he’s so magnetic, even if he’s not saying much of substance, it sounds like the most life affirming stuff ever. Can be a bit annoying in the wrong mood, but the high points are incredible.

Jeff Parker - Suite For Max Brown

Blake Mills - Mutable Set
His production work has been featured here a lot - Perfume Genius, Fiona Apple - but I’m so into this. Creates an incredible humid atmosphere, sometimes drifts along, others like a storm is brewing. Some tunes here too emerging from the haze, and his guitar playing is extraordinary.

Really great year, given everything that’s gone on. Could have also extolled the virtues of DJ Python; the lovely, weird Nicolas Jaar record; Porridge Radio, who are the British guitar band I’ve been most into in forever; Phoebe Bridgers which sounds great but I’ve only listened to twice & Westside Gunn which is my fave of the ‘Marciano’ influenced rap records that have dominated this year.

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Same for me with The Soft Pink Truth, same sort of flow as Terry Riley’s In C, Forma’s Semblance or Pantha’s Elements of Light.

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That Blake Mills will be in mine.

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Beatrice Dillon - Workaround
Medhane - Cold Water
Perfume Genius - Set My Heart On Fire…
Sault - Untitled
Armand Hammer - Shrines
A.A.L - 2017-2019
Moses Sumney - grae
Fiona Apple - Fetch The Boltcuttets

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That Tape Runs Out EP is properly good, thanks!

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You’re welcome! @BifoIsou recommended it earlier in the year, so good

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You put this so well - I dismissed it early on but it may well be creeping into my top five, which I’d have scoffed at before. More energy and invention per track than Future and Thug have managed in their last couple of albums (for me). Clearly the result of a lot of work and focus and an increasingly rare intent to craft a front to back album.

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feel like i’m probably a bit behind on 2020 albums as i can’t think of loads, but from what i’ve heard i’ll go:

  1. Holy Fuck - Deleter (superb electronic band still at the peak of their powers. includes guest appearances from Alexis Taylor and yer man from Liars)
  2. Brigid Mae Power - Head Above the Water (great folky singer-songwriter. backing musicians include Peter Broderick and Alasdair Roberts among others)
  3. Run the Jewels - RTJ4 (incendiary well produced hip-hop, you’ve all heard it by now)
  4. Destroyer - Have We Met (not quite sure how to describe it but you’ve probably all heard this too. cool synths and stream of consciousness vocals)
  5. Junk Drawer - Ready for the House (somewhere between slacker indie and droney psych)
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