Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The Top 25 Albums of 2020

Here are the best 25 albums of 2020. You must have these amazing creations in your collection immediately. Don't delay! 

25. Between You and Me by San Cisco

The musical growth of this band continues to astound me. They will be a treasure in my heart forever.


24. Letter To You by Bruce Springsteen

The Boss is back and he is not fucking around with this one. Always the optimist in darkness. 


23. 10 Songs by Travis

All of us experienced mental health issues this year. Travis is the perfect salve for this. So so glad they released a record this year!


22. On Sunset by Paul Weller

The Modfather continues to dazzle all of us with his wide and varied musical directions. Soak up that California sun!


21. It's Only Us by Monophonics

I tried to find one track on this record that I could put in my Top Tracks of 2020 but I couldn't. Why? Because the whole record is that good!


20. The Makarrata Project by Midnight Oil

A very much welcome return to the music scene from this Sydney band. A great project that highlights the struggles of native peoples everywhere.


19. Sanctuary by Gengahr

Soaring melodies and dreamy mindscapes are what this record is all about. One of the best new bands to come from Britain in this decade.


18. The True Story of Bananagun by Banangun 

A stunning debut from this Aussie outfit. Happy and fun music with several dashes of psychedelia mixed in for extra trippiness.


17. American Head by The Flaming Lips

Another instant classic that sends the mind on many inner journeys. I love watching the light bugs glow...

16. The Glow by DMAs

A full-on embrace and torch carry of Brit Rock has suited this Sydney band quite well. This one is very Stone Roses-y. How many awesome bands are coming out of Australia these days? Many!


15. Death of the Party by Magic Gang

So amped about this Brighton band bursting on to the scene in the last couple of years. Their sophomore effort is simply stunning.


14. Shore by Fleet Foxes

What is it about this band that creates such a unique place in my soul? They both caress and murder my heart at the same time.


13. Foolish Loving Spaces by Blossoms

The third record from these Mancunians sees them pursuing a more pop-based sound and it's bloody mags.


12. XOXO by The Jayhawks 

Ah, my local band that continues to make stellar music. All things Minnesotan...

11. Lianne Le Havas by Lianne Le Havas

It has been too long since Lianne's last record but this release made it well worth the wait. Just gorgeous...


10. Pwr/Up by ACDC What else can I say? It's a fucking ACDC record.


9. Wachito Rico by Boy Pablo

Swedish hipster turns out amazing debut loaded with fun pop and cool lo-fi vibes.


8. Wake Up by Hazel English

Ah, Hazel...Hazel...Hazel...your music is so beautiful and it breaks my heart in the most wonderful of ways. Your spirit time is 1962 and your style is DREAM.


7. Italian Ice by Nicole Atkins

Nostalgia on overdrive with this one. Is that an AM radio I'm listening to? Regardless, it's gold.


6. CTV3: Cool Tape Volume 3 by Jaden

Someone has been listening to The Beatles. And that someone is fucking awesome. Haters, go peddle your nonsense somewhere else. This is a tremendous record.


5. I Slept On The Floor by Another Sky 

This is the British band I'm most excited about this year. London (and the world) will never be the same. Like the others before them, they have taken the sword from the Lady in the Lake...

4. Junk Food by Easy Life

This record made me feel light-hearted at several points this year and I really needed it. I totally heart how the youth of today look at love.


3. Rtj4 by Run The Jewels

This dynamic duo is incapable of making a bad record. In fact, all they can do is make ridiculously awesome albums. The most relevant statement of the year and it couldn't have come at a better time.


2. Hate For Sale by The Pretenders

This hall of fame band of my youth kicked some serious ass this year. But, hey, that's what Chrissie does. She's been kicking my ass for forty years.


1. The Universal Want by Doves 

With each release, Doves set the landscape for our lives. It's usually dark but hopeful. It's always gorgeous and satisfying but it's not an easy ride. They've only made five records and two solo offerings but it's always enough. 

The Universal Want builds upon that legacy. It's an honor to call it The Best Album of 2020. 

Track #1 of 2020: Walking In The Snow by Run The Jewels

Run The Jewels have the best track of 2020. It perfectly sums up where we are at as a culture in 2020.

And every day on the evening news, they feed you fear for free 

And you so numb, you watch the cops choke out a man like me 

Until my voice goes from a shriek to whisper, "I can't breathe"

And you sit there in the house on couch and watch it on TV 

The most you give's a Twitter rant and call it a tragedy 

But truly the travesty, you've been robbed of your empathy 

Replaced it with apathy, I wish I could magically 

Fast forward the future so then you can face it And see how fucked up it'll be, 

I promise I'm honest They coming for you the day after they comin' for me 

This was written BEFORE George Floyd. These guys are just amazing!

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Track #2 of 2020: Prisoners by Doves

Doves returned to the scene this year in full force. Thank God. The Universal Want is an amazing record and ranks right up there with all of the rest of their albums. This is my favorite track. 

Monday, December 28, 2020

Track #3 of 2020: My Swimming Brain by Blossoms

Blossoms have made 2020 much more bearable. Their second album came out in February so it's been with us all year. This track is not only awesome but it sums up my mind perfectly. 

Track #4 of 2020: Domino by Nicole Atkins

Nicole Atkins really nailed retro nostalgia with this track. Slinky and cool..

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Track #5 of 2020: Sangria by Easy Life

Newcomers Easy Life kicked off 2020 with this fabulous track that tells the tale of being separated from the one you love. I think these Leicester Lads have a very bright future ahead of them! 

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Track #6 of 2020: Off My Mind by Hazel English

Hazel English has made 2020 much brighter with this track from her third release, Wake Up! The early 60s Spectoresque sound is really marvelous. 

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Track #7 of 2020: Bittersweet by Lianne La Havas

How about some romance on Christmas Eve? Lianne La Havas has the perfect track for you and a loved one by the fireplace.  

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Track #8 of 2020: More.Again. Forever by The Courteeners

The title track from The Courteeners' latest offering is like a chase scene on a darkened street that seems to never end. What are we chasing? Who cares? We just know it's cool.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Track #9 of 2020: Velour and Velcro by The Districts

The Keystone State is responsible for many contributions to our country and now they can add one more awesome one. The Districts released their fourth full length this year and it's a stunner. The stand out track clocks in at nine this year on my countdown. 

Shimmery indie-pop lovers rejoice! 

Monday, December 21, 2020

Track #10 of 2020: Atlas Please by Gengahr

We are into the best ten tracks of 2020 and I can't think of a better way to kick that off than Stoke's own Gengahr. Taken from their release Sanctuary, this track just pops!

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Track #11 of 2020: St.Peter's Bay by Sarah Harmer

Sarah Harmer's beautiful story of St. Peter's Bay cast a massive spell on me this year. I want to visit that world on a long, relaxing vacation...

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Track #12: You Can't Hurt A Fool by The Pretenders

Chrissie came back in full force in 2020 with an amazing record called Hate For Sale. All of the tracks are stellar but this one really stood out as classic Pretenders. 

Friday, December 18, 2020

Track #13 of 2020: Falling For You by Jaden

Jaden Smith turned out a corker of a record this year. This young man is a stellar musician and artist. Here is my favorite track...

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Track #14 of 2020: ...Exclusively by Tiana Major9

The Year 2020 can be described in many ways. One of my favorites is the Year of Snuggling at Home. And no one is better at providing that soundtrack than Tiana Major9. So, find a loved one and curl up to this track. Who knows what might happen? 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Track #16 of 2020: Think by The Magic Gang

Brighton outfit The Magic Gang leaves zero doubt that the future of British music is in good hands. I'm super amped about where the direction this band is heading!

Monday, December 14, 2020

Track #17 of 2020: Blue Moon Rising by Noel Gallagher

I love the direction Noel Gallagher is going with his career. Psychedelic club music is the sound of the 21st century. His voice suits the style quite well. I also like the return to seeing Extended Plays from artists. Reminds me a lot of the UK single which I miss a great deal. 

Here is the title track from his latest release.

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Track #18 of 2020: Fell In Love With The City by Another Sky

The future of Brit Rock is in good hands with London outfit Another Sky. What a shovel to the head stunner of a debut record. 

Here is one of many choice cuts...

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Track #19 of 2020: The Jayhawks: Homecoming

I love it when hometown heroes make good. I've been a fan of The Jayhawks since the mid-'80s, seeing them in all sorts of great bars and clubs. Some still exist and others (like the 400 Bar) sadly do not. 

Our treasure is still around...

Friday, December 11, 2020

Track #20 of 2020: Strangers by DMA's

Even though they are from Sydney, Australia, the DMA's are keeping the Brit Pop sound very much alive. Their latest record, The Glow, is aptly named as it fills the listener with sonic warmth. 

This track is one of the standouts and my favorite on the record.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Track #21 of 2020: Out of Reach by Bananagun

Bannagun burst out into the world last summer and it's never been the same since. Their first record (The True Story of Bananagun) is a start to finish corker. Here is my favorite track, clocking in at #21.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Track #22 of 2020: First Nation by Midnight Oil

A powerful return to the fold for Midnight Oil. After 18 years, it's so great to hear this band again! 

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Track #23 of 2020: I Hope She Loves Me Back by Boy Pablo

How many of us have hoped that "she loves us back?" The yearning in Boy Pablo's stand out track from Wachito Rico is universal. I'm looking forward to seeing the growth of this artist. 

Monday, December 7, 2020

Track #24 of 2020: Waving at the Window by Travis

Glasgow's Travis is a band perfectly suited for these darker, introspective times. In many ways, they are our collective therapists. 10 Songs is a pandemic record and the opening track sums it all up perfectly.

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Track #25 of 2020: Darling, I Hug A Pillow by Morrissey

We are officially in the Top 25 and the Moz himself slots in here to continue our journey and exploration of the best tracks of 2020. His current release, I Am Not A Dog On Your Chain, is classic HIM.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Track #26 of 2020: Tell Me When You Leave Tonight by San Cisco

San Cisco is a very special band for me because my hometown of Minneapolis helped to break them in the US. Well, that and the fact that they make amazing music.

Their new record is magnificent. Here is my favorite track. 

Friday, December 4, 2020

Track #27 of 2020: Mirror Ball by Paul Weller

Paul Weller's latest record (On Sunset) shone brightly in 2020. The Modfather continues to make exciting, innovative, and relevant music six decades into his career. 

The opening track is my pick for #27 of 2020.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Track #28 of 2020: Will You Return / When You Come Down (Feat. Micah Nelson) by The Flaming Lips

Next up in our countdown is the opening track from the latest LP by The Flaming Lips. American Head is a true return to form for this band. What a stunner!

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Track #29 of 2020: Letter To You by Bruce Springsteen

The Boss clocks in at #29 with the title track from his latest record. How many decades has this guy been making music? 


Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Track #30 of 2020: Good For You by Spacey Jane

Next up in our countdown is this amazing track from Freemantle's own Spacey Jane. Man, I love a good guitar-driven pop song!