The year is only halfway over even though it’s felt like it’s been ending for at least the whole thing. I don’t need to be the one to tell you that 2020 has been the most intense, turbulent and upsetting year of most of our lives. If it hasn’t been that for you… I’m suspicious. I do send my condolences to you if you did lose anyone in your life to COVID or hell, police brutality this year. In any case, the music kept coming – some really good stuff at that. Thinking back to this time last year, I didn’t have a clear frontrunner for top favorite, or even a super-steady Top 10. This year I feel like I’ve got a really solid core Top 10, plus some other spirited top favorites. I feel like I’ve had to latch onto records and use them as security blankets. Makes sense.
In a sea of impenetrable darkness, eternal deceit coming from places of power and idiocy from places close to us; the steady flow of creativity, inspiration and generosity of musicians and artists has been a beacon. Below you’ll find my Top 25 favorite records of the year so far (listed in order! wow!), Top Five favorite EPs from 2020, 40 favorite songs (in alphabetical order), and a list of every 2020 record I’ve listened to this year. Thank you to all the artists mentioned below. I’ve linked all the album art to the artists’ Bandcamp pages, or places you could potentially buy their music. I hope you enjoy + find something that can bring you comfort.
25 GR8 ALBUMS OF 2020 SO FAR:
Mimicking the pirouettes and plies from an old black and white VHS recording of ballet in a decrepit, empty apartment building.
There is no other album from 2020 that transports me to a world like this one does. Cindy Lee is the project of Pat Flegel, known in the 10s as the singer for the band Women, and over half a decade deep into releasing music as their drag persona Cindy Lee, an act that acts as a marriage between retro pop of the 50s and 60s with harsh noise and murder movie marathon synth worship. The pairing hasn’t sounded better than on What’s Tonight To Eternity, which is harrowing and comforting in the same breath.
Songs like “Speaking From Above” and “I Want You To Suffer” bring the most brutal noise found on the record, but also some of the most gorgeous, touching melodies and vocal performances. The title track and “Lucifer Stand” layer on ghoulish synth stabs and build a narrative almost solely through instrumentals. Then “The Limit” and “Heavy Metal” are just blissful, blown out ballads. This record stretches across a spectrum, but always feels like you’re consistently in one totally unique, Silent Hill-esque world. It reminds me a lot of The Caretaker at points, using a familiar, recognizable blueprint of retro pop melodies and rhythms but obscures them with blankets of feedback and clatter, replicating that of a clouded memory failing to recall past glories. It’s not an easy listen, but I cannot recommend visiting this world for yourself enough.
Rollerblading through a hometown mall with your friends and encountering glamorous drama between rival schools in your town.
I have been a die-hard TOPS fan since their debut in 2012. I’ve seen them live five times and even booked them a show at my university. I want you to know how happy I am that I love this album so much. I liked Sugar At the Gate quite a bit, Picture You Staring basically soundtracked my final year of college, and their debut Tender Opposites has some all-time best songs in their discography, but no full album has hit me like I Feel Alive has. The upbeat songs are punchier, the slower ballads have the satisfying hooks that keep me engaged and the full band performances are on point. Jane Penny is sounding the best ever, her voice full of steady emotion matching the beefed up instrumentals.
The ONLY bad thing about this record… is that I can’t hear these songs live until who knows when!! TOPS are one of the best live bands since their setlists are just full of their satisfying pop tunes and ballads. I can already see so many of the album cuts here fitting right in with classics. Let’s please have a moment of silence for the world not being able to see the smiles of the bandmates after they play the last dog bark sound effect on “Drowning In Paradise” live until who knows when.
Vision blurring after endlessly scrolling through your phone until 5am every night.
Charli XCX set the bar high in 2020 (in May no less) by releasing an entire record of new material she wrote, recorded and produced (with some outside help) solely during quarantine, most of which all relates to emotions and feelings stemming from being cooped up due to a worldwide pandemic. How does one synthesize this stressful time into entertaining pop songs? By harnessing and pressing that anxious energy that would normally be spent performing for thousands of fans or dancing with friends in clubs into equally anxious and violent bangers (see, “pink diamond”, “anthems”, “visions”). Charli also confronts the self doubt, the wicked voices in her head about her relationship and the goodness of spending time with her partner on other tracks. The whole thing isn’t SUPER watertight, but the highs have warranted an insane amount of replays with me. As someone who went to damn near 200 concerts last year “anthems” is truly the song that speaks to me the most. We all just wanna see our friends.
An unending, unyielding, unbreakable, unstoppable, inspirational, beautiful, foundational force that pushes gloriously forward against madness and injustice.
“The Revolution Has Come”. Almost uncannily timed for this particular moment in time, but at the same time, this unrest, injustice and widespread cruelty has been rampant and a major theme in this country and the world for centuries. It just feels especially relevant right now, but it could have come out summer 2014, in November of 2016… pick any time in the last half decade and it’ll be relevant. SAULT are a semi-shadowy collective from the UK making inflammatory soul and R&B with a smooth kick, easy to listen to alongside the potent messages. SAULT put out two of the best albums of 2019 and few people (except the cool ones) picked up on it. Hopefully this record gets them a higher profile, because they deserve it. This music isn’t about raising their profile, but it’d be nice. UNTITLED is a beautiful, touching, powerful record that uses tenderness as a weapon.
Alien glam rock entity from the same universe as Interstella 5555 reckons with their former self as their memories are returned to them.
Once I stopped caring that Yves Tumor stopped being as wildly experimental and obtuse like they were on previous records and recognize that they instead made a wildly catchy and adventurous… almost glam rock record, I was happy. Yves Tumor nails the aesthetics of their recent press photo style with the music on this record, melting and rapidly kaleidoscoping in and out of focus, bathed in bright colors and face paint, adorned in big glasses, cowboy hats and glamorous hair. There are a few inconsistent moments on the album as a whole, but for the amount of ridiculous highs this album has the lows are barely a footnote. Also shout out to all the guest singers on this one, they really bring a whole new flavor to break up the album quite a bit in terms of timbre.
Swimming down a river at sunrise scented with pleasing, balmy fragrances.
I saw someone describe this as Arthur Russell embracing sophisti-pop and like, I’m not mad about that. These are two things I love on their own and would assume they’d go well together regardless of this album’s existence. Glad to be validated by this. The album kind of floats along aimlessly at points, but when it connects, hoo boy. Some truly marvelous grooves and melodies on here. Plus Westerman’s voice is just so smooth and excels at making me feel at ease. A plush mattress, a warm velvety bath, a lazy river with no annoying kids tipping my inner tube over. Just the good things.
A giant painting leaks associated words into the walls and floors that surrounds it.
I’m a massive Hop Along fan, so lead singer Frances Quinlan’s first solo record is obviously going to place high for me. Her voice cannot be beat and it’s very cool to hear her write alongside instruments that we wouldn’t normally hear in a Hop Along tune like drum machines and synths. This contains at least two of the best Quinlan-associated tracks ever. Even a deconstructed Built To Spill cover! It’s weird, but I love it. I just love all of it.
A roller rink disco fantasy of your dreams, sweat cooled by a swiveling fan each circuit.
Do you need an album that will make you feel like you’re having a MOMENT? The first track “Spotlight” is an apt opener, with Ware openly divulging what this album will be putting upon you. This album is 12 hot disco and 80s pop equivalent cuts that will make you feel like a star. These are songs that are designed for personal revelations on the dance floor. For movement that you don’t notice. You could be moving about your house with a pep in your step. Shaking your can, as someone I know might say. Even the low key tunes engage the listener in forbidden throes of movement. It’s an album that has the potential to morph any ordinary occurrence into an extraordinary one. In a year like 2020, this record is a blessing.
A one-way ticket on a trans-dimensional time machine that transports you to a sparkling disco club in the Middle East, in a universe free of US foreign intervention, only dancing.
Golan Heights-born brotherly duo TootArd previously made desert blues rock, touched by a tad of reggae, with similar ripping guitar as Tuareg musicians of North Africa. For Migrant Birds, the duo found a quarter-tone synthesizer and pulled massive inspiration from disco, along with Arabic synth music pioneers who helped bring the region’s popular music into the present. Now residing in Haifa and Bern respectively, the group sings of escape, but also of fondness for their homeland and familial countries. You wouldn’t think that by purely listening to the record, an immaculately produced collection of Lebanese and Egyptian disco hits, complete with funky orchestras, guitar and that signature synthesizer coming in with mind-blowing instrumental runs. TootArd really bring the funk along with the geographic hurt.
As someone who has done a bit of crate digging for Arabic music and rare grooves from around the world, this feels like I’ve found a hidden gem lost to time, but it’s from this year. This is a record that I cannot wait to cut up the dance floor to once clubs re-open, and when the US feels like a welcoming enough place to let these maestros in to perform. Please let that day be soon.
Refusing to leave your house, instead crafting miniature cities filled with cardboard cutouts of people and getting wrapped up in the mundane dramas you create for them.
Do you really need MY co-sign to tell you to listen to this? It’s Fiona Apple we’re talking about. You know this is going to be a great album. It’s disorganized, cluttered with untidy sounds, Apple howls like she’s got nothing holding her back. Stumbling, sashaying, barking and bowing along to ramshackle (but tastefully done) instrumentals. Not my favorite Fiona record, but again, we’re talking about a new album from Fiona Apple and we’re damn lucky to have this in a cursed-ass year.
The perfect summer weather that reminds you of all the best summer vacation memories from childhood and makes you emotional on a train ride home.
This record brings me to a specific, intentional place. It brings me to summer 2002 or 2003, on the days when we’d open up for a garage sale, positioning the fans in such a way where they’d occasionally hit the shoppers, but mostly focus on us sitting at the sale table, getting ready to sell away my Pokemon card collection to the neighborhood kids. We always had the radio on. Sheryl Crow is on at least every hour. Those memories exist like distant lights now, loose approximations. A simpler time. Vague feelings of a good time that this album amplifies while listening. This is purely on an instrumental level. Very simple, nostalgic and radio-ready Americana + folk rock that checks all the pleasure centers in my brain. Lyrically Katie Crutchfield is still on her best foot in the songwriting field, although now she’s penning personal anecdotes and making them the most digestible they’ve ever been. The growth is there. It’s too good.
Innocuously tuning into a late night public access one-person theatre production complete with puppets, costume changes, magic tricks, a planetarium backdrop, velvet curtains and in-camera editing.
Kate NV sounds like she has FUN making music. On her 2016 debut Binasu, NV crafted experimental synth landscapes out of sweet, uncanny blips and bops of sound, much like deconstructed pop songs, while also striking straight up pop gold. Her mostly instrumental follow-up FOR deals with a bit more “classical” instrumentation but still feels like the joy and excitement of discovery is tightly woven in the roots of its composition. Now Kate is back to straight-up pop with Room For The Moon, which delights in instrumental passages that almost sound like questions themselves, reminding me of off-the-wall cartoon soundtracks from the late 90s like Doug or Rocco’s Modern Life. The record also harkens back to the maximalist pop of 80s Japan, melding live instrumentation with rubbery bass, optimistic melodies and wicked synth work. It sounds like Kate NV is having more fun than any one of us, but is more than happy to invite us into the elaborate world she’s built for herself.
A grandparent reflects on their more wild and wanderlust-fulfilling days and finds pride in watching their grandchildren express the same rambunctiousness they once did.
I’ve always appreciated Laura Marling’s music, always listening to her albums she releases, but none of them have ever left a massive, lasting impression on me. Song For Our Daughter has left a MASSIVE impression upon me, simply because its songs are so well-written, so well-composed, so well-arranged. The songs just hit that sweet spot in my brain that makes me happy. Some songs string me along with her stories of her relationships, and the upbeat songs are just so much fun. If you need a tried and true, bonafide, watertight, iron-clad classic of a solo singer/songwriter album, look no further.
A vintage car (nothing flashy, but clearly well-maintained) floats over the neighborhood thanks to a buoyant, lightweight smoke filtering out of its stereo, filling its insides, and being calmly watched by the community below.
Over the last decade or so, pundits have said that the lines of hip hop styles are more divided than ever. Rappers can either be lyrical and deep or beat-centric, vibey and shallow. This is obviously boiling this so-called argument down to extremely basic terms, but it really seems like some people think that all of these qualities can’t exist together on the same project. On Medhane’s Cold Water, his third album in less than a year(! – seriously, this dude’s work ethic is off the charts), paints dreamy aesthetics with minimal looped-sample beats, while Medhane flexes serious wordplay and flow. Lyrical, dreamy, blissful, hard, agile, comatose, whatever. It’s nonchalant that he can do it all. He’s always on his game, spitting in a monotone yet motivated cadence. He exists in a sphere of exciting young emcees like MIKE, Navy Blue, Slauson Malone and Mavi that I can’t wait to hear more from (Navy Blue and MIKE have already dropped great projects this year – check them!). I don’t want to say Earl Sweatshirt brought the biggest spotlight to this breed of hip hop to the present with Some Rap Songs since I’m sure there are other foundational records before that, but that’s what it reminded me of right off the bat. Aside from comparisons, this is a stellar record that you need in your collection.
Primitive teleportation technology allows us to fleetingly capture unstable, flickering projections of those wishing to transport and record their messages before fading away.
When I first heard WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD, I thought it was still in need of mastering / mixing. Then when I revisited, I found a tender, soulful and psychedelic R&B record buried underneath sheets of grief-stricken fuzz and numbing reverb. The album feels like it’s struggling to pull itself up off the floor, but the perspective it gains while down there is on the small things. The album builds and prides itself off the micro-movements in grooves and rhythm, and on the bleary, feather-light voice of Hakim. It’s a jarring journey at first, but once you get to its speed, it’s a rewarding listen.
A beautiful skating routine punctuated by a fireworks display that explodes into dazzling middle finger shapes.
On each record, Perfume Genius’ scope just keeps getting bigger. Set My Heart On Fire Immediately is Mike Hadreas’ fifth album and somehow forges past the already ceiling-busting ambitions of his last album No Shape by just going further into each emotion and feeling and lyrical muse he’s hoping to channel. The tender moments are palpable, his voice shifting from a gauzy smear to a pointed firecracker. The instrumental moments are expertly arranged, knowing when to ramp up the dynamics and when to hang back and perfectly accompany Hadreas’ unique vocal melodies. I wish there were more “pop” moments on this record like “On The Floor” because holy SHIT that is an incredible song, but I’m incredibly grateful for all the masterful work he put into these compositions.
The centuries-running meeting of the oldest book club in the big city, discussing the words of scholars of the past and the future and equating them to the perils of everyday life.
Brooklyn rapper Ka is a master of his craft. If you’ve heard a Ka project, you likely know what this one sounds like. Ka’s spoken word-esque flow skittering over classic, minimal loop-based beats, talking knowledge about the hardship and every day traumas of his neighborhood Brownsville. This album in particular seems to pull more instrumental inspiration from torch song rock and funk from the late 70s, with fat bass, weeping guitars, breezy acoustic guitars and attention-grabbing piano. No one is making music like him, but it’s clear that he’s the master of the realm. Don’t miss his contributions to the also good Preservation album Eastern Medicine, Western Illness.
Zooming out on a busy city intersection and making all the people look like ants.
Like you’ve read on this blog, I love music that transports me to different worlds. This is not a bold claim. Escapism, or even just pure submergence into someone’s brain is what a lot of people look for in their media consumption. Joyful transports me to a very specific kind of world. It takes me to a fictional late-Playstation / early-PS2 / Dreamcast (I never owned/knew any friends with a Dreamcast though, so I may be off-base) platform game, complete with wall-jumping, rail-grinding, chain combos, a protagonist with sunglasses, baggy pants and a loose t-shirt with a smiley face on it. Am I describing some kind of Jet Set Radio clone? Either way, Andras brings the joy via bubbling acid house that takes me BACK. It makes me HAPPY.
A party-starting superpower is bestowed upon you and once you help the entire Earth party together, you expand your operations into distant space, supercharged by the jubilation from your own edge of the galaxy.
As a person who digests a LOT of “serious” music (and other media), I forget that fun as a concept is valid. Does that make sense? Sometimes I just need to be like, “no, this is so much fun and I need to let go.” Georgia helped me do that last year when I saw her perform. I wasn’t prepared to dance at her show (with her in a one-person set up with drum pads & synths rigged up around her), but her limitless excitement spilled out to the audience around me and responded by dancing of their own. I had to join. I cannot dance. But damn it, I had so much fun dancing along. The songs I heard then I’m hearing now on Seeking Thrills, a boundary-less exploration of bringing a good time to every living being on this planet. It doesn’t hurt that the first four songs are damn near untouchable.
A sacrificial effigy burns in the early hours of the morning as a meteor shower rains down in the distant, glowing sky.
Dedicated to the life of a man who while imprisoned, worked as an inmate firefighter in California, ORCORARA 2010 is a gorgeous, tender and emotional record that confronts unchecked paradoxes and injustices that have accumulated in our society’s framework for centuries. Layered with soothing piano and synthetic tones that slowly develop as the album progresses as well as more immediate, cathartic feedback, clanking and rattling field recordings, ORCORARA 2010 is an intense, but rewarding listen, playing out like a score to a story you can illustrate in your own head if you read enough about what’s happening to the marginalized and beaten down populations of our country. To start, dive into the most straightforward track on the record, “Grove (feat. Embaci)” for beautiful singing, mourning doves, and devastating melodies & emotion. It’s worth your time.
Couch surfing on a wave of trash on the hottest night of the year down a busy city avenue.
Bringing the outrageous, bodacious funk, Pottery bring another goofy energy into the post punk template. Drawing inspiration (or influence) from bands like Talking Heads, Devo and Gang of Four, the Montreal quintet’s debut album is a statement that not all janky post punk has to be boring and regimented, with songs frequently breaking out of a static groove to bust into a different rhythm and sequence. But most of all, the record is just so damn fun, with lots of ad-libs from the band members in the background, grunting along with some of the funkier moments on the LP: “break the drummer’s arm!”
Digital distortion-covered footage of a forced smile, broadcasted on a LCD TV hanging loosely over a borough street.
Armand Hammer is the duo of billy woods and ELUCID and Shrines is their fifth album working together. If you don’t know, woods will rap tight circles around you. ELUCID will distort reality with his dark, war-torn production and will likewise hit you with high-powered pointed verses. The duo’s music feels especially relevant right now, as the world feels like it’s truly beginning to collapse; the cracks in reality that have been eerily present over the past few decades are beginning to loosen. It’s toughened music that isn’t afraid to confront societal and existential problems at large. It’s also DENSE – I’m still unearthing wordplay I hadn’t picked up on after my first few listens. I’m ready to keep plunging forward into Shrines, as I hope you are as well.
The Spanish tiling in your kitchen is exquisite and matches the sea breezes coming through your foyer open windows.
Maybe I’m ranking this record so high because it’s brought me so much calm to this skin-peeler of a year, but I think it’s also just really great. I spent a good amount of time driving around the small town my parents live in with the windows down blasting this record on any day the weather topped 50*F. John Carroll Kirby is no stranger to solo work, but he’s likely more well known for his work with artists like Solange, Frank Ocean and Connan Mockasin. Any quick listen to My Garden will recognize the rotund bass synths and pristine keys used on When I Get Home. The grooves found on this record will call back to clean aromas, open windows, a well-timed breeze, good sounds from the kitchen, relaxed sighs, the sight of waves in the distance and for making pleasant times out of this rancid hell that is 2020.
Every time you try and leave your house you get instantly teleported back to being chained to your basement floor.
It seems like over the last decade post punk has become the most formulaic genre. Stiff, jerky instrumentals with a singer that’s either doing the most or the least. Occasionally there’s a breakdown and a groove or something. Give me some LACK of substance, some lack of structure, please! FACS deliver this on their third album in as many years, further expanding, or rather deconstructing their great material on their older releases and letting experimental jams of corroding guitar noise, blasting drums and distorted bass lead the listener where it may. A framework may exist at the start of the song, but there’s no guarantees it will end as things began. Give me more rock like this.
An anti-gravity chamber on a far-future space station is the setting for the most innovative and entertaining pop concert ever recorded.
This is a call-out to folks that haven’t listened to this yet: if you want some of THE BEST pop cuts of the year, listen to this!! “Forgive Me” and “Do It” are insanely catchy and expertly crafted. “Tipsy” sounds like a max-leveled Sleigh Bells song. The title track was co-produced by Disclosure. Nearly every song was written and produced by the two sisters. It exceeds in being a catchy AND meticulously performed record. There are so many more great things about this record that you just need to experience. Sometimes, the kids are just correct on these things. Just trust.
FIVE GR8 EPS OF 2020 SO FAR:
Gotta give some love to the little ones. There have been a lot of great EPs I’ve enjoyed this year actually. Shout out to Disclosure, Konradsen and Christine and the Queens. Just because they’re short doesn’t mean you shouldn’t love them any less.
Mysterious photo editing software slowly buffers in filters to your actual face, but slowly starts to warp and render reality around you uncannily.
Delightful synth pop with textures and tones so vivid it’s almost like the music itself is tactile. Like you can reach out and grab and it, squish it and manipulate it. Ultra-satisfying melodies + dynamic arcs across all four tracks.
A dose of instant pick-me-up, an effervescent salve that stimulates nerve endings and encourages a dynamic range of movement.
An absolute blast of an EP, encompassing many different realms of the dance music spectrum. In a time where we can’t go out and dance, For You is a chance to turn any home space into a welcoming club.
Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz attempts to return home but accidentally warps herself to a post-apocalyptic future and is celebrated by a cult of Wizard of Oz film fanatics.
Whatever you think it is, that’s what it’s not. Starts off innocent enough with stage-quality vocal performances and dramatic instrumental swells, only to devolve into a digital hell. It’s awesome.
Vines of flowers gradually envelop a studying musician, wholly committed to mastering the art of playing alongside nature.
Debut release of harp-based ambient electronic compositions. Absolutely something to accompany you on some sort of mystical quest through an enchanted cave or grove.
Carving apart a large steel slab with an extremely sharp sword and whittling together a sculpture garden in an open field.
Total chameleon flirting in between genres and moods, all with a signature intensity. Haunting and beautiful, and just not give a fuck. Plus named after Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
40 GR8 SONGS OF 2020 SO FAR:
When I first thought of making this list of my favorite songs, I could only pick up maybe 10 or 15. Then after making a list of 50 or 60 I thought, “uh oh, maybe there are some songs I really do love from this year”. And sure enough, that was the case. Even though the year has been garbage, my top 40 favorite songs have lifted me through. There is some pure HEAT on this list too – I highly recommend everyone listen to every single song here.
Listen to all these songs + nearly 100 more on my Best of 2020 Spotify Playlist!
- Andy Shauf – “Try Again”
- Bibio – “Oakmoss”
- Braids – “Young Buck”
- Charli XCX – “anthems”
- Chloe x Halle – “Do It”
- Choir Boy – “Complainer”
- Christine and the Queens – “People, I’ve been sad”
- Cindy Lee – “Speaking From Above”
- Destroyer – “It Just Doesn’t Happen”
- Disclosure – “Ecstasy”
- Elysia Crampton – “Grove (feat. Embaci)”
- Empress Of – “Bit Of Rain”
- FACS – “Version”
- Frances Quinlan – “Your Reply”
- Georgia – “24 Hours”
- Gil Scott-Heron & Makaya McCraven – “I’ll Take Care Of You”
- India Jordan – “For You”
- Jayda G – “Both Of Us”
- Jessy Lanza – “Lick In Heaven”
- John Carroll Kirby – “Blueberry Beads”
- Kalbells – “Cool and Bendable”
- Laura Marling – “Held Down”
- Lido Pimienta – “Nada (feat. Li Samuet)”
- Nation of Language – “The Wall & I”
- Nubya Garcia – “Pace”
- Perfume Genius – “On The Floor”
- Pottery – “Texas Drums Pt. I & II”
- Preservation – “Correspondence (feat. Your Old Droog & Mach-Hommy)”
- Rina Sawayama – “Love Me 4 Me”
- SAULT – “Wildfires”
- Soccer Mommy – “circle the drain”
- Thundercat – “Dragonball Durag”
- TootArd – “Moonlight”
- TOPS – “Colder & Closer”
- Ultraísta – “Anybody”
- U.S. Girls – “4 American Dollars”
- Waxahatchee – “Can’t Do Much”
- Westerman – “Confirmation (SSBD)”
- Yumi Zouma – “Cool For A Second”
- Yves Tumor – “Super Stars”
2020 LISTENING LOG:
312 records here + more I probably forgot to log. I want you to pick out at least one to listen to that you’ve never heard of based upon name alone. Thanks!
- AceMoMA – A New Dawn
- Against All Logic – 2017 – 2019
- Agnes Obel – Myopia
- Alexandra Savior – The Archer
- Algiers – There Is No Year
- Alice Bag – Sister Dynamite
- Alice Boman – Dream On
- Amnesia Scanner – Tearless
- Andras – Joyful
- Andy Shauf – The Neon Skyline
- Angela Muñoz – Introspection
- Anna Burch – If You’re Dreaming
- Aoife Nessa Frances – Land of No Junction
- Arbor Labor Union – New Petal Instants
- Arca – KiCk i
- Armand Hammer – Shrines
- ARTHUR – Hair of the Dog
- Asa Tone – Temporary Music
- Ásgeir – Bury The Moon
- Ava Luna – Live at Market Hotel
- Backxwash – God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It
- BAMBARA – Stray
- Banoffee – Look At Us Now Dad
- Basia Bulat – Are You In Love?
- Beatrice Dillon – Workaround
- Bell Towers – Junior Mix
- Bessie Jones – Get In Union
- Bibio – Sleep On The Wing
- Blake Mills – Mutable Set
- bod [包家巷] – Music For Self-Esteem
- Boldy James & The Alchemist – The Price of Tea In China
- Bonny Light Horseman – Bonny Light Horseman
- Braids – Shadow Offering
- Brigitte Barbu – Muzak pour ascenceurs en panne
- Brother Theotis Taylor – Brother Theotis Taylor
- Buscabulla – Regresa
- The Buttertones – Jazzhound
- Cable Ties – Far Enough
- Caleb Landry Jones – The Mother Stone
- Captain Planet – NO VISA
- Caribou – Suddenly
- Carly Rae Jepsen – Dedicated Side B
- Caroline Rose – Superstar
- Charli XCX – how i’m feeling now
- Chester Raj Anand – Strawberry
- Chicano Batman – Invisible People
- Chloe x Halle – Ungodly Hour
- Choir Boy – Gathering Swans
- Christine and the Queens – La vita nuova
- Cindy Lee – What’s Tonight To Eternity
- Cindy Lee – Cat O’ Nine Tails
- Circles Around The Sun – Circles Around The Sun
- Clams Casino – Instrumental Relics
- Clap! Clap! – Liquid Portraits
- CMON – Confusing Mix of Nations
- Cold Beat – Mother
- Country Westerns – Country Westerns
- Crisman – Crisman
- Dan Deacon – Mystic Familiar
- Daniel Avery & Alessandro Cortini – Illusion of Time
- Daniel Avery – Love + Light
- Deeper – Auto-Pain
- Deerhoof – Future Teenage Cave Artists
- Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats – Unlocked
- Desire Marea – DESIRE
- Destroyer – Have We Met
- Devon Williams – A Tear In The Fabric
- Dirty Projectors – Flight Tower
- Dirty Projectors – Windows Open
- Disclosure – Ecstasy
- Discovery Zone – Remote Control
- Disq – Collector
- The Districts – You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere
- DJ Lostboi – The Blue Stallion
- DJ Lostboi & Torus – The Flash
- Dogleg – Melee
- DRAMA – Dance Without Me
- Dua Saleh – ROSETTA
- Duke Deuce – Memphis Massacre 2
- Ellis – Born Again
- Elysia Crampton – ORCORARA 2010
- Emancipator – Mountain Of Memory
- Empress Of – I’m Your Empress Of
- En Attendant Ana – Juillet
- Esther Rose – My Favorite Mistakes
- Ezra Feinberg – Recumbent Speech
- FACS – Void Moments
- Fiona Apple – Fetch The Bolt Cutters
- Fortunato Durutti Marinetti – Desire
- Four Tet – Sixteen Oceans
- Frances Quinlan – Likewise
- Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist – Alfredo
- The Garden – Kiss My Super Bowl Ring
- Georgia – Seeking Thrills
- Gia Margaret – Mia Gargaret
- Gigi Masin – Calypso
- Gil Scott-Heron & Makaya McCraven – We’re New Again – A Reimagining by Makaya McCraven
- Green-House – Six Songs for Invisible Gardens
- Greg Fox – Contact
- Grimes – Miss Anthropocene
- GUM – Out In The World
- Gum Country – Somewhere
- Gupi – None
- Hailu Mergia – Yene Mircha
- Haleek Maul – Errol
- Half Waif – The Caretaker
- Hamerkop – Remote
- Hanni El Khatib – FLIGHT
- Hazel English – Wake UP!
- Hilary Woods – Birthmarks
- HMLTD – West of Eden
- Holy Fawn – The Black Moon
- Holy Fuck – Deleter
- Holy Hive – Float Back To You
- The Homesick – The Big Exercise
- Honey Cutt – Coasting
- Honey Harper – Starmaker
- Horse Lords – The Common Task
- Hum – Inlet
- Ian William Craig – Red Sun Through Smoke
- I Break Horses – Warnings
- Iceblink – Carpet Cocoon
- India Jordan – For You
- The Innocence Mission – See You Tomorrow
- Irreversible Entanglements – Who Sent You?
- Ivan Ave – Double Goodbyes
- J Hus – Big Conspiracy
- Jacaszek – Music For Film
- Jackie Lynn – Jacqueline
- Jah9 – Note To Self
- James Krivchenia – A New Found Relaxation
- Jay Electronica – A Written Testimony
- Jeff Parker – Suite For Max Brown
- Jeff Rosenstock – NO DREAM
- Jerry Paper – Abracadabra
- Jerskin Fendrix – Winterreise
- Jessie Ware – What’s Your Pleasure?
- Jess Williamson – Sorceress
- JFDR – New Dreams
- J-Felix – Whole Again Hooligan
- Jockstrap – Wicked City
- John Carroll Kirby – My Garden
- Jon McKiel – Bobby Joe Hope
- Jonah Mutono – GERG
- Jonah Yano – souvenir
- Ka – Descendants of Cain
- Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – The Mosaic of Transformation
- Kalbells – Mothertime
- Kassa Overall – I THINK I’M GOOD
- Kate NV – Room For The Moon
- Katie Gately – Loom
- Katie Pruitt – Expectations
- KeiyaA – Forever, Ya Girl
- Kevin Krauter – Full Hand
- King Krule – Man Alive!
- Klô Pelgag – Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs
- Knxwledge – 1988
- Konradsen – Rodeo No. 5
- LA Priest – GENE
- Laura Marling – Song For Our Daughter
- Laurel Halo – Possessed (Original Score)
- Lee Ranaldo & Raul Refree – Names of North End Women
- Leifur James – Angel In Disguise
- Leo Takami – Felis Catus and Silence
- LEYA – Flood Dream
- Lido Pimienta – Miss Colombia
- Lil Uzi Very – Eternal Atake
- Lithics – Tower of Age
- Little Dragon – New Me, Same Us
- Little Simz – Drop 6
- Locate S,1 – Personalia
- Lorenzo Senni – Scacco Matto
- Loving – If I Am Only My Thoughts
- Lowell Brams & Sufjan Stevens – Aporia
- Lyra Pramuk – Fountain
- Machine Girl – U-Void Synthesizer
- Magdalena Bay – A Little Rhythm and a Wicked Feeling
- MAYBEL – Gathering
- Medhane – Cold Water
- Megan Thee Stallion – Suga
- Midwife – Forever
- MIKE – Weight of the World
- Mild Minds – MOOD
- Moaning – Uneasy Laughter
- Moby – All Visible Objects
- Moodymann – Taken Away
- Moses Boyd – Dark Matter
- Moses Sumney – græ
- Mura Masa – R.Y.C
- Myrkur – Folkesange
- Nadia Reid – Out of My Province
- Naeem – Startisha
- Nailah Hunter – Spells
- Nana Grizol – South Somewhere Else
- Nap Eyes – Snapshot of a Beginner
- Natalia Lafourcade – Un canto por México Vol. 1
- Nation of Language – Introduction, Presence
- Navy Blue – Àdá Irin
- Nazar – Guerilla
- Neil Young – Homegrown
- Nick Hakim – WILL THIS MAKE ME GOOD
- Nicolas Godin – Concrete and Glass
- Nicolas Jaar – Cenizas
- Nídia – Não Fales Nela Que A Mentes
- Nídia – S/T
- Nihiloxica – Kaloli
- NNAMDÏ – BRAT
- Noveller – Arrow
- nthng – Hypnotherapy
- Ohmme – Fantasize Your Ghost
- ohslo – Honeymoon
- Okay Kaya – Watch This Liquid Pour Itself
- Ono – Red Summer
- OOIOO – nijimusi
- Overcoats – The Fight
- Owen – The Avalanche
- Owen Pallett – Island
- Pantayo – Pantayo
- 박혜진 Park Hye Jin – How can I
- P.E. – Person
- Peaking Lights – E S C A P E
- Peel Dream Magazine – Agitprop Alterna
- Perfume Genius – Set My Heart On Fire Immediately
- Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher
- Photay – Waking Hours
- Pia Fraus – Empty Parks
- Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – Viscerals
- Pink Siifu – Negro
- POLIÇA – When We Stay Alive
- Porridge Radio – Every Bad
- Pottery – Welcome To Bobby’s Motel
- Preservation – Eastern Medicine, Western Illness
- Priscilla Ermel – Origens Da Luz
- Psychic Markers – Psychic Markers
- Public Practice – Gentle Grip
- Pure X – Pure X
- Purity Ring – WOMB
- Quelle Chris & Chris Keys – Innocent Country 2
- Quin Kirchner – The Shadows and The Light
- R.A.P. Ferreira – Purple Moonlight Pages
- Rejoicer – Spiritual Sleaze
- RIKI – Riki
- Rina Sawayama – SAWAYAMA
- RJD2 – The Fun Ones
- RMR – Drug Dealing Is A Lost Art
- Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Sideways To New Italy
- Rone – Room With A View
- Roy Ayers, Adrian Younge & Ali Shaheed Muhammad – Roy Ayers JID002
- Run The Jewels – RTJ4
- Sam Gendel – Satin Doll
- SAULT – UNTITLED (Black Is)
- The Seshen – CYAN
- Shabaka and the Ancestors – We Are Sent Here by History
- Shabazz Palaces – The Don Of Diamond Dreams
- Shopping – All Or Nothing
- Sign Libra – Sea to Sea
- Skee Mask – ISS005
- Skee Mask – ISS006
- Soccer Mommy – color theory
- Soela – Genuine Silk
- Sofia Kourtesis – Sarita Colonia
- Softcore untd. – Bygger Opp, River Ned
- The Soft Pink Truth – Shall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase?
- Sonic Boom – All Things Being Equal
- Sorry – 925
- Sotomayor – Orígenes
- Space Afrika – hybtwibt?
- Squarepusher – Be Up A Hello
- Squirrel Flower – I Was Born Swimming
- The Strokes – The New Abnormal
- Sun Araw – Rock Sutra
- Sunwatchers – Oh Yeah?
- Swamp Dogg – Sorry You Couldn’t Make It
- Sweet Whirl – How Much Works
- Sylvan Esso – WITH
- Tame Impala – The Slow Rush
- Tan Cologne – Cave Vaults On The Moon In New Mexico
- Tenci – My Heart Is An Open Field
- Tennis – Swimmer
- Teyana Taylor – The Album
- Thundercat – It Is What It Is
- TOKiMONSTA – Oasis Nocturno
- Tom Misch & Yussef Dayes – What Kinda Music
- Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela – Rejoice
- TootArd – Migrant Birds
- TOPS – I Feel Alive
- TORRES – Silver Tongue
- Trace Mountains – Lost In The Country
- Ulla – Tumbling Towards A Wall
- Ultraísta – Sister
- U.S. Girls – Heavy Light
- Various Artists – Pacific Breeze Volume 2: Japanese City Pop, AOR & Boogie 1972-1986
- Wajatta – Don’t Let Get You Down
- The Wants – Container
- Warmth – Life
- Waxahatchee – Saint Cloud
- The Weeknd – After Hours
- Westerman – Your Hero Is Not Dead
- Why Bonnie – Voice Box
- Wilma Archer – A Western Circular
- Wilsen – Ruiner
- Windy & Carl – Allegiance and Conviction
- Wolf Parade – Thin Mind
- Woods – Strange To Explain
- Yaeji – WHAT WE DREW 우리가 그려왔던
- youbet – Compare and Despair
- Ytamo – Vacant
- Yumi Zouma – Truth or Consequences
- Yves Tumor – Heaven To A Tortured Mind
- Zebra Katz – LESS IS MOOR
- Zeroh – BLQLYTE
- 070 Shake – Modus Vivendi