Why would you want to revisit 2020? A fair question, but in an overall trash year, music was better than ever and helped us get by like never before. In this special feature, my chronically late look back at the albums I loved the most.
In recent years, artists like Caroline Polachek, Bishop Briggs, and Phoebe Bridgers were at #1 on my year-end music reviews, and now it’s time again to share my personal highlights from the past year. As always, you might discover some music that you missed out on the first time around.
Each year for the past several years, my summary at the end of these lists made increasingly bleak allusions to our increasingly bleak surroundings. I’ll spare you this time. We all know 2020 sucked like no year sucked before. But through the chaos, there was a story where isolation and darkness turned into incredible art, a new queen of pop transcended time and space in the perfect escape, and the year’s breakthrough artist offered a boundary-shattering exploration of identity, putting her whole heart into it when we needed it most.
And now that we’ve made it through the first few hellish weeks of 2021, there’s finally something on the horizon. What’s that? A glimmer of hope? I’ll believe it when I see it, but I truly do wish that when I see you back here for the next one of these lists, there will be reason to say that things started to turn around and new music wasn’t our only saving grace.
For more where this came from, be sure to listen to my radio show, Signal Boost on WRFL, each week. I hope you also found some new faves here to last you into the next year. Thanks for reading my top 40 albums of 2020!