by Massimo Usai
Yes, it was a beastly year.
A year that runs through history in an impetuous and different way from many critical years for some peoples rather than others is the year of mass suffering globalization.
Everyone in every corner of the hemisphere had (and continue to have) the exact same problem: the Virus, but, regardless of what happens in the world, arrived at these days of the year, I take with me all the records that I have listened to in the last twelve months, and I classify them.
I love making my “record of the year” chart, the list of music that keeps me company throughout the year and has meant so much to me.
I have been doing it since I was a teenager and maybe I will do it as well as a centennial.
So, regardless of what has involved us on a human level in 2020, I still listened to a lot of new music, which is my evaluation of a year of music.
A classic top 10 and then a series of records that have had the same importance as my best albums of this troubled year will greet us in a few days.
So this is it my “Records of the Year 2020” :
N.10 : Set my Heart on Fire immediately – Perfume Genius
Whatever this music is, the results are uniformly fantastic: rich, fascinating and moving, packed with gorgeous melodies and arrangements that feel alive, constantly writhing into unexpected new shapes.
I fell asleep in the evening last summer looking at some trees from my window and I had some hazy dream. His music was on the stereo and when I woke up the soul of this record was inside on me, probably for ever.
N.9 : Someone new – Helena Deland
The Canadian version of Laura Marling. The new folk it’s so interesting.
Helena’s songs are so beautiful, and her words melts in every inch of my soul every time I listen them.
N.8 : Help – Duval Timothy
“Slave” has been one of my top 5 songs of the year. All album is minimalist, magic and irresistible.
N.7 : Idiot Prayer – Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Palace
This album represents 2020 in its whole for me. Famous song revisited alone just with a piano. A concert live just on streaming.
Sadness and hopes in the same moments. Lovely in every single aspect.
N.6 : Man Alive ! – King Krule
King Krule’s music and aesthetic captures the atmosphere of a lot of memories from this year perfectly and probably I can’t explain it but I love it.
Anyway it’s a perfect soundtrack for 2020 but the album come out exactly one month before the first lockdown.
So it’s quite weird how he anticipate the mood of all of us.
N.5 : Debris – Keeley Forsyth
The expressionistic voice of late-era Joni Mitchell, the solemness of late-era Nick Cave, and the artistry of Nico and Joy Division.
Could you ask for more?
“Debris” is easily one of the best debut albums in avant-folk in quite some time.
N.4 : The Archer – Alexandra Savior
Do you like B-movie? Do you like Arctic Monkey last two albums? Do you like cinematic “americana” music?
She has everything. She made one of record of the year.
N.3 : Song for our Daughter – Laura Marling
Three big names in my top 3 of the year.
The third step of my ranking goes to the “Queen of Folk” of the last 15 years.
Album after album, Laura reaches new heights, and it is not the album of the year only because two giants have decided to record their records this year.
N.2 : Fetch the Bolt Cutters – Fiona Apple
Existence is a major theme of the album, on a large scale as living, breathing things, but also on a personal level .
Her records are rare, but every record is a treasure.
“Fetch the Bolt Cutters” is wild and experimental, a gripping listen that refuses to go down easy.
Which means you need to put the right attention to appreciate in full.
N.1: ALBUM OF THE YEAR – Rough And Rowdy Ways – Bob Dylan
In the strangest year of our existence, while all the records are very much in theme with the events around us, Bob Dylan comes out with an album that smells 60 years of music.
I was unsure what to choose as the record of the year, and in the end, the choice went to the great Bob because this song is undoubtedly my song of the last 10 years.
Thanks, Bob, for another masterpiece.
Without any order, .just random …
Petals for armor – Hayley Williams
We will always love you – The Avalanches
Think of Spring – M Ward
Big Bunny – Alaska Reid
Hyperspace – Beck
The Universal Want – Doves
The Night Chancers – Baxter Dury
Gold Record – Bill Callahan
Suddenly – Caribou
American Head – The Flaming Lips
Punisher – Phobe Bridgers
Beyond the Pale – Jarvis…
Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez – Gorillaz
Phantom birds –Matt Berry
Odin’s Raven Magic – Sigur Ros
Magic – Oneohtrix Point Never
Songs – Adrianne Lenker
Kick! – Arca
Sawayama – Rina Sawayama
Kitchen Sink – Nadine Shah
Sister – Mina Tindle
The Ascention – Sufjan Stevens
A Hero’s Death – Fontaines D.C.
Inner Song – Kelly Lee Owens
Beginners – Christian Lee Hutson
Healing Is a Miracle – Julianna Barwick
Grae – Moses Sumney
The baby – Samia
Earth – EOB
Sixteen Oceans – Four Tet
Disco Volador – The Oriells
Neon Skyline – Andy Shauf
Serpeantine Prison –Matt Berninger
Enter your email address at the bottom of this page to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.