2020 has been shit. Not good shit, not the shit; but a royal shit show. In Australia, the number of people suffering from COVID-19 have been low in comparison to the horrific amount of deaths overseas. For that, we are resoundingly lucky. That doesn’t mean we’re immune to the conspiracy theories (“the 5G towers are causing COVID-19!”), or apathy. Individualism over collectivism in western society has proven itself to be a curse. If only we all cared about the most vulnerable people in our communities some more. If we did, perhaps we wouldn’t still be in this shit.
All of that said, 2020 has had a saving grace: Music. As always, music remains my lifeline, my inspiration, and brings some excitement to everyday life. The Aussies have been on fire, with legends like Gordi, The McClymonts and Hayley Mary (of The Jezabels) proving they’re here to stay for good. Newcomers Nat Vazer and Miiesha make me miss intimate gigs so much. This year, we have also witnessed some of the most stunning comeback albums ever. There’s Fiona Apple returning after eight long years with Fetch the Bolt Cutters, an album that’s a complete outlier within her discography but still uniquely her. Hum also returned after 22 years (!) with Inlet, an epic album that delivers on the riffs and soundtracks the apocalypse.
I have loved fewer albums than I usually do at this time of year. However, the music on this list are albums that immediately grabbed me — something that very rarely occurs for me. They have also stayed in regular rotation and only get better with each listen. So, without further ado, here are my favourite albums of 2020 (so far):
- Hayley Williams – Petals for Armor
- Fiona Apple – Fetch the Bolt Cutters
- Perfume Genius – Set My Heart On Fire Immediately
- Nat Vazer – Is This Offensive and Loud?
- Algiers – There Is No Year
- Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher
- Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
- Rina Sawayama – SAWAYAMA
- Moses Sumney – græ
- Gordi – Our Two Skins
- Hum – Inlet
- Katie Gately – Loom
- Yves Tumor – Heaven to a Tortured Mind
- Dogleg – Melee
- Miiesha – Nyaaringu
- NNAMDÏ – BRAT
- Porridge Radio – Every Bad
- The Strokes – The New Abnormal
- Okay Kaya – Watch This Liquid Pour Itself
- O’Brother – You and I
- Nap Eyes – Snapshot of a Beginner
- Nova Twins – Who Are The Girls?
- Pet Shop Boys – Hotspot
- The McClymonts – Mayhem To Madness
- Hayley Mary – The Piss, The Perfume EP
Honourable Mentions: Katie Von Schleicher – Consummation; Destroyer – Have We Met; Code Orange – Underneath; Frances Quinlan – Likewise; Nicolas Jaar – Cenizas