2020 Albums of the year : not to be forgotten

Posted by Muckypeg records on

Theres a lot of 'album of the year 2020' lists out there, some good, some obvious and some bizarre depending on your tastes. 

2020 hasn’t been a normal year for buying music and the fear is some very good albums will be forgotten due to a lack of exposure and touring. 

So here at Muckypeg records we have curated a list of albums we think should not be forgotten from 2020. 

Artist : Lanterns On The Lake 
Album : Spook The Herd
 
Label : Bella Union 
Release date : 21 Feb 2020 

Spook the Herd is the fourth studio album by British indie rock band Lanterns on the Lake and the album was shortlisted for the Hyundai Mercury Prize 2020. Emotive and beautiful.  

 

Artist : PINS 
Album : Hot Slick
 
Label : Haus of PINS 
Release date : May 29th 2020 

Fun Fun Fun. This vibrant album is filled with neon synths, loud guitars, and cheeky melodies that mirror the group’s new boldly hued imagery and create the sound of a girl gang refreshed and amplified. 

Artist : Deerhoof 
Album : Future Teenage Cave Artists
 
Label : Joyful Noise Recordings 
Release date : May 29th 2020 

Personal favourite and probably song of my year (title track). Like a lot of the music they have released over the last quarter-century, the Deerhoof of FTCA stitches together fragments of 'r&b' and 'classic rock' and transforms them into a new language of revolution, forgoing verse-chorus structures for dream logic and blind intuition. But what makes this album different is its intimacy, the blues riffs and slide guitars are joined by rusty pianos and whispered three-part harmonies. 

Artist : Lady Gaga 
Album : CHROMATICA
 
Label : Polydor 
Release date : May 29th 2020 

A return to form on Chromatica, the sixth studio album by Lady Gaga. Harking back to a more dance-pop, synth-pop and electropop project with elements of house, disco and other electronic genres which most people would associate with Lady Gaga. It features guest vocals from Blackpink, Ariana Grande and Elton John. 

Artist : Bob Dylan 
Album : Rough and Rowdy Ways
 
Label : Columbia Records 
Release date : 17th July 2020 

I know no one is going to forget a Bob Dylan album just because of a pesky virus but this album really is special and needs highlighting. Dylan really has become the best version of himself (no Frank Sinatra covers here) distilling all his song craft onto his 39th studio album. 

Artist : Hinds 
Album : The Prettiest Curse
 
Label : Lucky Number 
Release date : June 5th 2020 

With “The Prettiest Curse” Hinds shrug off any remaining lo-fi accusations and unveil a widescreen beast of an album, not so much a shift as a quantum leap in their evolution as a band. This is a record positively bursting with life, with the band finally harnessing the full extent of their pop prowess and unleashing songs which sound bigger, bolder, and more complex than anything they have done before. 

Artist : Khruangbin 
Album : Mordechai
 
Label : New West Records 
Release date : 26th June 2020 

One of our best selling vinyls of the year. Khruangbin has always been multilingual, weaving far-flung musical languages like East Asian surf-rock, Persian funk, and Jamaican dub into mellifluous harmony. Mordechai features vocals prominently on nearly every song, a first for the mostly instrumental band. It’s a shift that rewards the risk, reorienting Khruangbin’s transportive sound toward a new sense of emotional directness, without losing the spirit of nomadic wandering that’s always defined it.  

Artist : Lithics 
Album : Tower of Age
 
Label : Trouble In Mind Records 
Release date : 3rd July 2020 

Spikey art house indie music and another personal favourite. "Tower of Age" bristles with invention, wedging lyrical Dadaism into right angles of rhythmic minimalism. This is music in ellipses. A circular communication and a fusion of decades worth of musical insight into a singular refraction of thought & sound. Guitars plunk and scratch, and rhythms pulse and syncopate tightly wound around an imagist's philosophy to "use absolutely no word that does not contribute to the presentation." 

The band's austere approach to composition and wordplay elevates them above and beyond bands seeking similar sounds; it's not that they use less; it's HOW they use less. 

Artist : Dream Wife 
Album : So When You Gonna…
 
Label : Lucky Number 
Release date : 3rd July 2020 

This second album by Dream Wife is a record brimming with adrenaline and playful excitement (“It’s an invitation, a challenge, a call to action,” says Rakel). From the jagged, CSS-like guitar of “So When You Gonna…” to the hooky brightness of album opener “Sports!” and the whip-smart lyrical asides of “Validation”, these are moreish, pumped up, sparkling tracks that feel like newer, dynamic evolutions of debut standouts, like “F.U.U.” and “Hey Heartbreaker.” 

Artist : The Chicks 
Album : GASLIGHTER
 
Label : Columbia 
Release date : 17th July 2020 

We love this album. Co-produced by Jack Antonoff (Taylor Swift, Lorde, Lana Del Ray), and featuring drumming by Red hot chilli peppers Chad Smith this is a pop album ala Taylor Swift with the obvious country highlights making the Chicks (formally the Dixie Chicks) first album in 14 years a fun experience...unless your Adrian Pasdar. 

 

Artist : Fontaines D.C 
Album : A Hero’s Death
 
Label : Partisan Records 
Release date : July 31st 2020 

Barely a year after the release of their hugely acclaimed debut album ‘Dogrel’, which earned a Mercury Prize nomination and Album Of The Year 2019 at BBC 6 Music, Dublin’s Fontaines D.C. have returned with ‘A Hero’s Death’, an intensely confident, patient and complex follow up album. 

 The album arrives battered and bruised, albeit beautiful - a heady and philosophical take on the modern world and its great uncertainty. 


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