All discussion in here please (to keep it out of the poll thread). Thanks all!
Always difficult but this year feels even more so. Lockdown has made it difficult to listen in bursts of more than about 20 minutes very often, also a lot more oddities in my collection this year mainly as a result of Bandcamp days combined with lockdown releases - E.P.s, live albums, demos, odd tracks etc.
At the moment I think a few albums released earlier in the year are rising to the top possibly as they are the ones I’ve managed to eventually give more time to.
I have only heard three new records this year, Folklore, Letter To You and RTJ4. The latter 2 are very very good, the former is an absolute masterpiece.
The Strokes - The New Abnormal
Nathan Fake - Blizzards
Run the Jewels - RTJ4
Grimes - Miss Anthropocene
Tame Impala - The Slow Rush
No Age - Goons Be Gone
Haim - Women in Music Part III
Against All Logic - 2017 - 2019
Protomartyr - Ultimate Success Today
No 1 is The Strokes and the rest is up for grabs. Will do some catching up the next couple of weeks, but feel like I’ve heard most of what I’d be interested in cos I’ve had so much time to listen to music when WFH
Oops sorry I’ve cluttered up the poll thread already!
I agree. On one hand there’s been a lot of really good records this year, but on the other my engagement with them has been completely different to usual, so compiling a list has been really tough. Still not sure now what I’ll go for.
Shortlist of 26! Will divide into genres in case anyone is interested in specific types
Rock / Pop / Punk / general
Clint Mansell & Clint Walsh
Chris Forsyth x Garcia Peoples
Daniel Avery & Alessandro Cortini
Sault x 2
Run The Jewels
Indica Dubs Showcase Chapter 5
Angel Bat Dawid & Tha Brotherhood - Live!
Anz - Spring / Summer Dubz 2020
Against All Logic - 2017-2019
Adrianne Lenker - Songs / Instrumentals
Beatrice Dillon - Workaround
Boldy James - The Price Of Tea In China
Boldy James & Sterling Toles - Manger on McNichols
Chris Crack - White People Love Algorithms
Crack Cloud - Pain Olympics
DJ Python - Mas Amable
Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia
Duval Timothy - Help
Fiona Apple - Fetch The Bolt Cutters
Fleet Foxes - Shore
Gil Scott-Heron & Makaya McCraven - We’re New Again
Haim - Women In Music Pt III
Jay Electronica - Act II - The Patents of Nobility
Jeff Parker - Suite For Max Brown
Jessie Ware - What’s Your Pleasure?
Jyoti - Mama, You Can Bet!
KeiyaA - Forever, Ya Girl
Lil Uzi Vert - Eternal Atake
Lyra Pramuk - Fountain
Microphones - Microphones in 2020
Nicolas Jaar - Cenizas
Pa Salieu - Send Them To Coventry
Phoebe Bridgers - Punisher
Roisin Murphy - Roisin Machine
Sault - Untitled (Black Is)
Sault - Untitled (Rise)
The Soft Pink Truth - Shall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase
Sorry - 925
Space Afrika - hybtwibt?
Taylor Swift - Folklore
Waxahatchee - Saint Cloud
Young Jesus - Welcome to Conceptual Beach
For me it’s a been a slightly below average year. A fair number of ‘good to great’ albums but a lack of a really stunning classic and probably less in the ‘good’ category than normal. My tastes are broad and I usually find two or three new albums a week to enjoy (apart from in the dead times in January and December most years). This year I’ve found myself listening to more old stuff than usual to fill the gaps (which has been quite fun actually). In a normal year I would say that about 70% of the stuff I listen to on a day to day basis is new, this year it is probably closer to 50%.
Right then. For the past couple of years I’ve been choosing my AOTY by having a knock-out tournament between a long-list of my 64 favourite records. I use a random tournament generator to pair them off, listen to them back to back and the one I judge to be best goes through to the next round.
Yes, I know, I need a life.
For the troubled and turbulent year of 2020 my play-off for the AOTY prize looks like this:
competitor #1: Envy
competitor #2: Sevdaliza
competitor #1: Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
competitor #2: Open Mike Eagle
competitor #1: Adrienne Lenker
competitor #2: Loma
competitor #1: Autechre
competitor #2: Kvelertak
competitor #1: Lianne La Havas
competitor #2: Boldy James
competitor #1: Emmy The Great
competitor #2: Daniel Avery
competitor #1: Ghost Halo
competitor #2: Sufjan Stevens
competitor #1: Kelly Lee Owens
competitor #2: Ian William Craig
competitor #1: Happyness
competitor #2: Denzel Curry
competitor #1: Mitochondrial Sun
competitor #2: Olafur Arnalds
competitor #1: Six Organs of Admittance
competitor #2: Daughters of Reykjavik
competitor #1: Bartlees Strange
competitor #2: Klo Pelgag
competitor #1: Isobel Campbell
competitor #2: Frances Quinlan
competitor #1: Rebecca Foon
competitor #2: Owen
competitor #1: Juliana Barwick
competitor #2: The Ocean
competitor #1: An Autumn for Crippled Children
competitor #2: Protomartyr
competitor #1: Freddie Gibbs
competitor #2: Fluietaars
competitor #1: Armand Hammer
competitor #2: Car Seat Headrest
competitor #1: Phoebe bridgers
competitor #2: A A Williams
competitor #1: ERR /Thou
competitor #2: Four Tet
competitor #1: Bell Witch
competitor #2: War on Women
competitor #1: Bill Callahan
competitor #2: Mary Latimore
competitor #1: Jason Molina
competitor #2: Ka
competitor #1: Soccer Mommy
competitor #2: Sarah Davachi
competitor #1: Throwing Muses
competitor #2: Run The Jewels
competitor #1: Christian Lee Hutson
competitor #2: Audn
competitor #1: Imaginary Softwoods
competitor #2: Waxahatchee
competitor #1: Noveller
competitor #2: Microphones
competitor #1: Anna Von Hauswolf
competitor #2: Grimes
competitor #1: The Beths
competitor #2: Post Louis
competitor #1: Torres
competitor #2: Svalbard
competitor #1: Gia Margaret
competitor #2: Paul Epworth
Dire year. Not loved a single record.
The Avalanches record is what’s stopping any sort of decision at the moment.
Only album I’ve spent any real time with from this year has been the new Cornershop album, it’s pretty good
I looked at my Last.fm stats of most listened to albums and posted my top five. U.S. Girls was tied with Nadine Shah’s album.
The Springsteen album is just stunning. I like his stuff, seen him once live but wouldn’t call myself a proper fan. I’ll have to give all his other big hitters another listen.
Letter To You was a perfect album for me to the run up to and also a soundtrack to the US election. After the result it’s a perfect celebratory album. I’ll always associate this album with Trump’s losing and so it’s a win-win. The tunes on it are brilliant as is the production. Ghosts, The Power Of Prayer and I’ll See You In My Dreams are among my favourite tracks of the year. A perfect album during a shit year. My top pick.
I’m a huge Taylor Swift fan and had tickets for her Hyde Park gig. It was due to be her touring her album Lover which I think is one of her best.
My second pick was folklore which didn’t disappoint. Taylor does indie basically and it seems she does it effortlessly. So many amazing tracks on the album. Betty is probably my favourite but it changes with each listen and the new pond sessions album is an even more stripped down affair that seems to bring out more my slightly lesser favourites.
During summer in lockdown I would put several cans of beer and a bottle of wine in my rucksack and go to Primrose Hill and listen to albums alone in the evenings whilst drinking. The two albums I had huge on repetition was folklore (and the best of Neil Diamond, which is amazing). folklore did a lot of good for my mental health. Really enjoyed those evenings. Cheers, Taylor.
Spend an inordinate amount of time wondering who is sitting on an album that got pushed this year or not completed due to lockdown. There was a point roundabout to late May bank holiday were I thought there would be a load of albums coming out round September and my wallet wouldn’t be able to cope it just never really happened.
Not even Adrienne Lenker?
Entering this week, these are the five most likely to make it in order of release date (I’ll probably have to roll dice for the final order):
Caspian - On Circles
Post Louis - Descender
The Flaming Lips - American Head
METZ - Atlas Vending
Adrianne Lenker - Songs
There are lots of other great ones though, and there are still a couple that could sneak in. If the Midwife album were longer this would be much harder.
That Smashing Pumpkins record must be really awful then.
That disclaimer was very purposeful.
(It’s really good and a massive departure from what he’s done in the past.)