Features Music Year End 2020 Pass The Mic: Artists and labels on 2020

Year End 2020

Music: Pass The Mic: Artists and labels on 2020

Strangelight (Nat Coghlan)

photo by Scott Evans

1. What are your top five albums that were released in 2020? (In order 1-5)

  1. Oneohtrix Point Never – Magic Oneohtrix Point Never
  2. RMR – Drug Dealing is a Lost Art
  3. Oranssi Pazuzu – Mestarin kynsi
  4. Madeleine Cocolas – Ithaca
  5. Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher

You know it was really hard to pick, and order, just five. There was no shortage of good music this year. Also shout out to everyone who released a bedroom ambient album in 2020. I mean that legitimately, they were all good. Send me your bedroom ambient album. I will absolutely listen to it, and most likely enjoy it.

2. What band did you discover in 2020 (can be a brand new band or an older band) that had an impact on your life? What made them significant?

The threshold for having an impact on my life was pretty low this year. If a song or album made me happy, that was pretty affecting within the broader context of 2020. That being the case, I would probably say Jeff Rosenstock. I had seen his name here and there but never paid much attention because I assumed he was pop-punk or pop-punk adjacent. I'd like to think I'm not snobby about such things, but who I am kidding, I am. Anyway, Jack Shirley, who mastered Adult Themes recorded a Jeff Rosenstock livestream and I dug it. I listened to the new album, No Dream, and was taken by how earnest it was. It's like an alternative universe where Matt Sharp never left Weezer, they progressively became more unhinged, and Beverly Hills was never written. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather live in that world.

3. How will you remember 2020? (In terms of music)

If it's like how I remember anything else in my life, inaccurately. In terms of music, 2020 was actually pretty good. Not so good that it outweighs everything else, but if music is the only measurement, 2020 wasn't half bad. We played some really great shows, recorded, and released an album. The shows were really fun and the time in the studio was a blast. I'm really happy with how Adult Themes came out, and putting the record together was a really fun process. But it's hard to completely compartmentalize, especially since we finished recording days before California' shelter in place order. For better or worse, the album will always have a strong link to the pandemic for me.

4. What can we look forward to from you in 2021?

We're writing new songs, so you can look forward to some new music. I doubt we'll have the chance to play any of these songs live before we record them, so if they're no good, don't blame us, blame the nonexistent audiences for not letting us know how bad they were. I think that logic is pretty air tight.

5. What records are you looking forward to most in 2021?

I'm pretty crap at knowing what albums are on the horizon. I've become too reliant on letting the algorithm tell me what has come out every friday. But, I am excited for the new Viagra Boys album. I really liked Street Worms and that EP they put out.

6. Trying to put a positive spin on things, what is your favorite development from the global pandemic this year? (Is there a new medium you enjoy, a specific song or collaboration, personal news, etc. that was a bright spot?)

Looking for silver linings is not my strong suit, but I've got a lighthearted one. Due to the pandemic I was able to lowball a bunch of blues lawyers, shred dentists, and folks who play in megachurch bands who were selling their gear. It's not like I'm going to do anything with it any time soon, but I'd like to think I saved a bunch of guitars from having to be party to an infinite number of bad interpretations of Layla, and a bunch of amps suffering at the hands of whoever is running the boards at Miracle Springwater Ministries.

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Words by Loren on Dec. 13, 2020, 11:25 a.m.

Main photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

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Pass The Mic: Artists and labels on 2020

Posted by Loren on Dec. 13, 2020, 11:25 a.m.

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Pages in this feature:

  1. A-F Records / Nightmarathons (Chris Stowe)
  2. Asbestos Worker (Josh Stever)
  3. Attic Salt (Skip Davis)
  4. Black Dots (Wade Henderson - guitar/yelling)
  5. Body Stuff (Curran Reynolds)
  6. Bootblacks (Barrett Hiatt)
  7. Bothers (John Massel)
  8. Broadway Calls (Ty Vaughn - guitar/vocals)
  9. Burnt Tapes (Phil LaTour)
  10. City Of Industry (Ossa Humilata)
  11. Cloud Rat (Rorik Brooks)
  12. Primitive Teeth (Christine)
  13. Days N Daze / Escape from the ZOO / Chad Hates George (Jesse Sendejas)
  14. DC-Jam Records (Darron Hemann)
  15. Deaf Club (Brian Amalfitano)
  16. Dirt Cult Records / Low Culture (Chris Mason)
  17. Divided Heaven (Jeff Berman)
  18. Foxfires (Josh Lyford)
  19. Heart and Lung
  20. Iron Lung Records (Jensen)
  21. Lamniformes
  22. Locrian / The Holy Circle / Axebreaker (Terence Hannum)
  23. MakeWar (Edwin)
  24. Nato Coles and the Blue Diamond Band (Nato Coles)
  25. Neighborhood Brats (George Rager)
  26. Netherlands (Timo Ellis)
  27. Old Ghosts (Derek)
  28. Partial Traces (Brad Lokkesmoe)
  29. Quattracenta (Andrea - drums)
  30. Real Numbers (Eli Hansen)
  31. Red Fiction / Secret Chiefs 3 / Estradasphere (Jason Schimmel)
  32. Red Scare Industries (Tobias Jeg)
  33. Reptoid (Jordan Sobolew)
  34. Salinas Records / Quaker Wedding (Marco Reosti)
  35. Sam Russo
  36. Scuba Cop
  37. Secret Fun Club (Sal Gallegos III)
  38. SpiritWorld (Stu Folsom)
  39. Sutekh Hexen / In Solace Publishing (Kevin Gan Yuen)
  40. The Carvels NYC (Lynne Von Pang)
  41. The Path (Jon Berg)
  42. The Pretty Flowers (Noah Green)
  43. Tibetan Sky Burial
  44. To Live A Lie Records / Tired Of Everything (Will Butler)
  45. Western Addiction (Jason Hall)
  46. Strangelight (Nat Coghlan)
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Series: Year End 2020

Our wrap-up of the best music and more for the year we'll all want to otherwise forget, 2020.

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