2020 has arguably been a difficult year, not only for musicians. In the course of the pandemic many albums were pushed back and live music came to a halt. Despite that, the year saw a couple of great releases we want to highlight here.
Not only did 2020 see great new releases by the likes of Fontaines D.C., Phoebe Bridgers and Haim, it also saw the return of indie veterans such as The Courteeners or Nada Surf. Besides these established acts, Sea Girls, Marsicans and Boniface released their highly anticipated debut albums. Check out our list of the best indie albums 2020 to see who made the list and what you might have missed this year.
10. Glass Animals – Dreamland
The secret beauty of Dreamland is that it needs multiple listens to understand the songs. Bayley is a disgustingly talented lyricist who is striding in confidence right now, each individual song on this album has multiple layers of his psyche embedded and ready to be peeled away. This isn’t an album for fast consumption.
09. Poliça – When We Stay Alive
When We Stay Alive was half written before front woman Channy Leaneagh fell from her roof, busting up her spine. The rest came after. Every song is steady which makes When We Stay Alive the right album to help you collect yourself and become aware of your thoughts. Face your past head-on.
08. The Blinders – Fantasies Of A Stay At Home Psychopath
With Fantasies Of A Stay At Home Psychopath, it’s clear to see that The Blinders haven’t fallen victim to the second album curse. The album sees the band mature and blossom beautifully, and has us hanging on for the return of live music. Fans and new listeners alike are certain to fall in love with the tracks upon this album, leaving them hungry for more.
07. Gerry Cinnamon – The Bonny
Cinnamon’s commitment to authenticity and his fans clearly guided the creation of The Bonny. Fans of Erratic Cinematic will enjoy more of the classic Gerry Cinnamon sound on his new album. For those unfamiliar, Gerry Cinnamon sounds like folk pop meets Scottish ballads with a touch of outlaw country. With The Bonny, Gerry Cinnamon sticks with the sound that has catapulted him to main stages through the power of organic buzz.
06. Bombay Bicycle Club – Everything Else Has Gone Wrong
Everything Else Has Gone Wrong, the fifth studio album by Bombay Bicycle Club, arrived early in 2020, just before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. After a five year hiatus, the group return to full strength on their fifth full length whose title turned out to be quite prophetic for the events that followed its release.
05. Will Joseph Cook – Something To Feel Good About
We’re in the depths of a dark winter. It might be absolutely freezing and going dark at 4pm, but Will Joseph Cook’s brand new album will plunge you right into a Covid-free summer. The 22 year old’s album Something to Feel Good About is full of light melodies covering heavier topics. It’s a refreshing take on a person trying to find themselves in an increasingly scary world.
04. Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher
Phoebe Bridgers’s sophomore album Punisher arrived not only in the middle of the pandemic but also around the black lives matter protests. On the album, Bridgers tackles the relationships with her brother and father but also Max, a black pug that she had for 16 years until he passed away in 2019. Punisher is a big step up from her debut and cements her as one of the most exciting artists in the folk rock genre.
03. Gengahr – Sanctuary
With basses often being snubbed in favour of loud cocky guitars, it’s a pleasure to hear any album that gives the bass such a vital role and such a large presence. Gengahr’s sophomore album Sanctuary is an adventure to listen to from start to finish. Each song as enjoyable as the last and each song exhibits its own personality.
02. Fontaines D.C. – A Hero’s Death
With A Hero’s Death, Fontaines D.C. hope to ‘shock people’, and it’s almost certain that they will. The album sees the band sacrifice the identity that they built with Dogrel to form something new, and completely their own. Adding new feelings and sounds to their palette, Fontaines D.C. make this album an essential listen.
01. Haim – Women in Music Pt. III
The Haim sisters often talk about misogyny and gender-inequality in the music business. Hence the name of their third studio album, Women in Music Pt. III, is not only a statement but also their history. A summerly album and a thoroughly enjoyable listen, the record exhibits some of Haim’s greatest songwriting yet.