As the end of 2020 approaches, music media outlets are likely beginning to form their lists of the best albums of the year. I’ve been doing the same, and I’m excited to rank some of the records that have been soundtracking my year. My taste in music isn’t too broad, so most of the artists on the list will fall under the indie-rock umbrella. Some of the bands are newcomers to the scene, others are familiar favorites, and some are just nostalgia picks.
Through all the release postponements and canceled tours, it’s been a surprisingly good year for music. Legacy bands like the Strokes and the Killers released new albums that both just about lived up to my expectations, and likely won’t make most year-end lists for outlets like Pitchfork and Rolling Stone. But these are bands that got me into the music I appreciate today. The Strokes’ and the Killers’ first records were formative in determining the bands I love today.
The Killers’ “Hot Fuss” introduced me to the Cure and Oasis, two bands the members were passionate about. The Strokes’ “Is This It” is considered to be one of the best rock records of the century so far, and the pinnacle of the 2000s New York City scene that includes bands like Interpol and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. My history with these bands is what will likely land them on my list for the year’s best. While their new records may not be their best, they are still notable releases and hold significant sentimental value.
Two bands released solid second albums this year, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and Fontaines D.C. The Fontaines D.C. record, “A Hero’s Death,” is probably the one I looked forward to hearing most this year. While it does contain some tracks that I don’t favor too much, it also has gems like “Oh Such a Spring” and “I Don’t Belong” made it worth the wait.
“Serpentine Prison,” by Matt Berninger, the lead singer of the National, was another album I highly anticipated. It’s his first solo record, and a nice departure from the sound of the National that can be attributed to producer Booker T. Jones’ contributions.
There’s been plenty of quality records to contend for spots on year-end lists everywhere, and mine is no exception. There is at least one record that isn’t even out yet, by the War On Drugs, that could make my list. I look forward to ranking my favorite albums of the year and sharing them with our readers.
Ryan Meyer is a sophomore journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]