Thursday, December 31, 2020

Best Music of 2020

So, 2020 is almost over. 

You don't need me to remind you of what a crappy year 2020 was, especially in the context of a post about my favorite albums of the year. 

But, here's the thing I will tell you about, and which you can feel free to skip over if you just want to get to the music. 2020 had some redeeming qualities. More than anything, it made me realize what I have to be thankful for, and it helped me and KJ teach Little Chuck the same. 

So, before I get to the music, that's what I'm going to talk about. The things that I truly am grateful for, some of which were actually the result of this god-awful pandemic we're all going through. 

First and foremost, I got to spend so much more time with my family than I have in years. Of course we drove each other crazy at times, but overall it was definitely a net positive.

Little Chuck's baseball season was cancelled, but back in the spring, he came up with the idea of designating two days a week for us to play baseball together. On those days, we rode our bicycles to a local field, and I pitched batting practice to him. Then, we played catch and kept track of our record of consecutive catches without a miss. 

I also seized the opportunity to get back in touch with some college friends that I hadn't spoken to in years, and my old pal Stein and I have been playing Strat-O-Matic baseball via Zoom once a week since May. 

Of course, just like everyone else, my lack of a commute has made managing the home life a little easier, but considering my wife is in grad school right now, it really has made all the difference in the world. 

Last, but certainly not least, I'm grateful that we're among the lucky ones who haven't been impacted financially by the pandemic. To this point, my one resolution for 2021 is to make sure my son appreciates how truly lucky we are. and to find ways to teach him how important it is to help others who are not so fortunate. 

Anyway, on to the music. 2020 was a pretty good year, probably better than last, in my opinion. This year, I feel like a top 25 is warranted, but I'll be honest the top seven are really the ones that made a huge impact on me. 

Since I'm usually inclined to reveal these as a countdown, I'm going to post a few at a time, but I'm just going to keep adding to this post as I do so. Once again, thanks for caring what I have to say, and I hope you and your family are healthy and safe, and that 2021 is a banner year for you by comparison. 

25. Bill Fay - Countless Branches

24. Bruce Springsteen - Letter to You

23. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - Sideways to New Italy

22. Darlingside - Fish Pond Fish

21. Torres - Silver Tongue

20. Haim - Women in Music Pt. III

19. Mark Kozelek, Ben Boye, Jim White - Mark Kozelek with Ben Boye and Jim White 2

18. The Flaming Lips - American Head

17. Pinegrove - Marigold

16. Owen - The Avalanche

15. Woods - Strange to Explain

14. Fleet Foxes - Shore

13. Kathleen Edwards - Total Freedom

12. Matt Berninger - Serpentine Prison

11. Wolf Parade - Thin Mind

10. Adrianne Lenker - Songs

9. Nada Surf - Never Not Together

8. Phoebe Bridgers - Punisher

7. Waxahatchee - Saint Cloud

6. American Aquarium - Lamentations

5. Bonny Light Horseman - Bonny Light Horseman

4. Lori McKenna - The Balladeer

3. Nap Eyes - Snapshot of a Beginner

2. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Reunions

1. Hamilton Leithauser - The Loves of Your Life