Mary Varvaris’s Top Albums of 2020 (So Far)

Best of 2020 (So Far)

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.

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Craig Manning’s Top Albums of 2020 (So Far)

Best of 2020 (So Far)

I don’t need to tell anyone reading these words that 2020 has been a tough year. The last few months have, in many ways, been like living through a nightmare and slowly realizing you don’t get to wake up from it. Thank God, then, for the music. A few major artists delayed their new albums because of COVID-19, but the ones that stayed the course and released their art into this uncertain world have had an unusual opportunity to make a mark as much more than background music. In the depths of quarantine, I certainly used music as something of a life raft, looking to Fridays and new album releases as rare bright spots in weeks packed with bad news, or building huge emotional connections with the records on this list. I frankly can’t remember a year that had a stronger first half in terms of music releases. I guess someone out there knew we fucking needed something good to break the deluge of bad.

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Adam Grundy’s Top Albums of 2020 (So Far)

Best of 2020 (So Far)

2020 has been a rough year to get through given all of the outside factors going on in the world around us. Luckily, the music that has come shining through the speakers has been nothing short of fantastic at the mid-way point on the year. Much like the full contributor mid-year list, my personal list was dominated by female artists. From the deeply personal Petals for Armor by Hayley Williams, the pure-pop bliss of Future Nostalgia by Dua Lipa, to the aptly titled Manic by Halsey, there are some incredible works of art all over the spectrum here. These are the 30 albums I have loved listening to the most at the halfway point of 2020.

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Brett Bodner’s Top Albums of 2020 (So Far)

Best of 2020 (So Far)

While it feels like seven years have passed since New Year’s Day 2020, we’re actually only halfway through the year somehow. As the world around us feels like it has never been more chaotic, we’ve been lucky enough to have been blessed with some great music to help all of us get through the days. We’ve had incredible and epic albums from artists like Spanish Love Songs, Phoebe Bridgers, Hayley Williams and Jeff Rosenstock. Their music has got me through many days in quarantine and they’ve filled me with hope instead of feeling down about what’s going on outside. 

Hopefully the second half of the year is filled with the albums that have been pushed back or have yet to have announced release dates (Looking at you, A Day To Remember, Foo Fighters and Weezer). Even if they aren’t, the first half of the year has given us all plenty of fuel to power through the next five months. 

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Trevor Graham’s Top Albums of 2020 (So Far)

Best of 2020 (So Far)

I mean, where do I even start with this year? I don’t. I don’t! I simply refuse. We’re all painfully aware of what kind of year this has been. Let’s just go ahead and skip the context that would typically be required for me to say something like, oh I dunno, thank fucking God-or-whoever for music this year. Seriously. In any year, this would have been an absolutely bananas six months of new tunes, but this year it has been especially appreciated. Whether it’s a newcomer or a triumphant return, defining solo career or dream collaboration — it’s 2020 and musicians are really out here Shooting. Their. Shots. So what have I been listening to and loving the most? I assume you clicked this to find out, so I’ll cut the impromptu ramble (but thanks for hanging in there). Here are my top 30 albums of the year so far.

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The Best Albums of 2019 (So Far)

The Best of 2019 - So Far

It’s crazy to think another mid-year list is in the books – the first six months of 2019 have flown by. Thankfully, there has been plenty of music for us to discuss, debate, love, and share. Once again, the is an unique list – a diverse one that beautifully shows off the collective, eclectic taste of our staff and contributors. So without further ado here is our favorite twenty albums of 2019 thus far – we’re excited to see what the next six months have to offer.

Note: You can share your own lists in the forums and clicking the artist name and album title will take you to the album’s streaming page featuring quick links for all streaming services.

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The Best Albums of 2018 (So Far)

I think I say this every year but fuck it – the music 2018 has blessed us with in its first six months has been extraordinary. With all the insane shit happening around us and to us in this day and age, it feels like music is the only sane thing we have. So below we have our top 20 favorite releases of the year thus far. If you can’t find something to love on this list then you just aren’t trying hard enough – this is an eclectic list that encompasses multiple genres and styles. I can’t wait to see what the next six months brings to our ears.

Note: You can share your own list in our music forum.

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The Best Albums of 2017 (So Far)

Best of 2017

The first six months of 2017 have probably brought more than enough albums to fill a year-end list. Alas, it’s only mid-year, which leaves us with the task of distilling everything we’ve heard so far into quick, concise top 10 lists. Rather than try to define the overarching themes of the year, we’d rather just let the albums we love speak for themselves. Below, you will find both our combined staff top 10, as well as individual lists from our contributors and moderators. Here’s hoping you find something new to love.

Note: You can share your own list in our music forum.

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The Best Albums of 2016 (So Far)

Best of 2016

As we pass the midway mark of 2016, it’s nice to sit back and reflect on the great albums that have come out so far this year. Below you’ll find a compiled list that looks at the selected albums from contributors and moderators to this website, as well as all of the broken down individual lists. Maybe there will be some albums you’ve heard of, hopefully there will be quite a few you haven’t checked out yet, and maybe there will be a few you’ll want to give a second look. I think it’s been a pretty damn good year for music so far and there’s quite a bit to still look forward to as well.

There’s a thread in our music forum where we’d love to see your lists.

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