It’s been a crazy year, and a depressing year, so perhaps we all retreated more into our record collections to seek out that fleeting joy. On my end, I spent a lot of time running/walking in the ‘burbs, so these are the records that played the most in my life…thus they are my Favorite Albums of 2020. The validity means little to anyone other than myself, but since you stop by, perhaps come by and check out my list!
And, just an FYI…there are 30 bands, and I linked back to Bandcamp pages so you can buy directly from the artists…except that one band because apparently they’re too cool…even though that album rips.
Seeing as we’re based in Austin, born and raise and what not, we feel a special affinity for our music scene, which has been hit really hard this year. But, let’s celebrate the music that came out, despite the difficulties we all faced. So, here’s our Top Releases from the ATX scene. And still staying away from numbering things, as this feels like telling one friend you like them more than your other friend…and I’m just excited all these great artists live nearby and were able to put their art into the world in this shit year.
Austin’s Chronophage, one of the town’s most under-appreciated acts, have a brand new LP coming out this Friday, Th’ Pig Kiss’d Album. They just dropped this incredible video featuring a day in the life of a neighborhood crow. In the musical element, the songs opens with these anxious jittering guitar cuts, jaggedly splicing up the song while vocals are delivered in spoken fashion; its all about the contrast. Still, one of my favorite bits about the band is their willingness to change directions, taking a sharp turn here at the 47 second mark by building in some softened harmonies to provide a sprinkle of pop sensibility. Throughout the songs, they weave the two styles seamlessly, still keeping that anxiety that drives the song’s tension. The LP drops this Friday via Cleta Patra/Soft Office; I bet it rips.
Year-end lists (or “best-of”s as most people term them) are extremely hard for me to compile. I listen to (and buy) a lot of music from day-to-day & despite my best efforts truly cannot keep up with the sheer magnitude of quality recordings coming out each year – and 2019 was a pretty fucking great year for music. So here’s my best shot at compiling a list of my “10 Most-Listened-To” albums from 2019 (plus five honorable mentions). They’re in alphabetical order to avoid any sort of ranking, because honestly ranking something as “best” or assigning a numerical rating seems antiquated & frankly diminishes great art, IMHO. (Trouble In Mind Records releases are excluded, for conflict of interest, but it’s safe to say that anything we’d be investing thousands of dollars releasing is – in our opinion – worth your time). Hope you enjoy & possibly discover something new. Support independent artists & record labels!
Here’s a link to the great Trouble in Mind releases of 2019: Bandcamp or Spotify.