No Rock Just Pebbles: Top Music of 2020

If you hadn’t noticed, this was a pretty weird year. One of the things that got us through it was music and thankfully there was a lot of great music that came out. We decided to compile a list of our favorite EPs, albums and songs so you can see how we coped!

EPs

KennyHoopla – How Will I Rest in Peace if I’m Buried by a Highway? – Quick synopsis: Midwest emo if it wasn’t so embarrassing to say was your favorite genre

Skullcrusher – Skullcrusher – Quick Synopsis: She reads your diary over the soft strumming of an acoustic guitar

Tomberlin – Projections – Quick Synopsis: Sorta like At Weddings but with a light drum beat

Albums

10. Soccer Mommy – Color Theory

I (Anya) was in the .005% of Soccer Mommy listeners this year. Soccer Mommy has 1,326,751 monthly listeners, making me part of the top 66 Soccer Mommy listeners. To be honest – most of my listens were of her first album, Clean, but I would be remise to not mention the wonderful album that is color theory. With gems like ‘yellow is the color of her eyes’ and ‘royal screw up’ (along with the EP of demo tapes), Sophie Allison successfully creates another indie sad girl masterpiece. We all are ‘falling apart these days’ but at least we’re doing it together on a club penguin server.

9. illuminati hotties – FREE I.H: This Is Not The One You’ve Been Waiting For

With just the right amount of self-loathing and resentment, tenderpunk (as termed by front woman Sarah Tudzin) has never been better. Tudzin’s recent difficulties with record label Tiny Engines  seep into the emotionally driven tape that’s fun to listen to.

8. The Garden – Kiss My Super Bowl Ring

Wyatt and Fletcher Shears might be the coolest twins that aren’t Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. Kiss My Super Bowl Ring proves that. Their newest album, produced by icon Dylan Brady, is just the right amount of maniacal while still having meaning.

7. Yves Tumor – Heaven To A Tortured Mind

After two months of quarantine, I started driving to the Dunkin’ far from my house to get iced coffee while blasting this album. If you know me (Anya), you know that I can’t really drive, but listening to these songs made me feel like I could. They’re powerful and cutting edge, enough to take to you to another world when this one gets too overwhelming.

6. Waxahatchee – Saint Cloud

Waxahatchee’s southern twang mixed with her Philadelphia residence automatically makes her a NRJP favorite. It’s an album of seeming contradictions – poetic but blunt, angry but calm – that tie together into songs that are insanely cathartic to sing along to. Waxahatchee seems like the perfect person to go on a long hike with because she would give you the best advice you’ve ever received and definitely bring you an extra serving of trail mix.

5. THICK – 5 Years Behind

THICK is bringing back riot grrrl.  This album is has very Camp Cope crossed over with Bratmobile vibes, especially the song ‘Mansplain’, which automatically makes it one of our favorite of the year. Seeing how we are also blink-182 stans, its pop punk influence pushes it to the perfect blend of singable and angry, making it one of the best albums of 2020.

4. Dehd – Flower of Devotion

I (MG) scream No Time in the car on the way to visit my ex boyfriend at the grocery store he manages, so you tell me if I have brain damage.  I (Anya) listen to Loner almost every morning, so you tell me how I’ve been dealing with isolation. This album is a godsend, especially when you feel like there’s no one in the world who understands how you’re feeling. Dehd proves that they understand and that they’re great musicians, with hard hitting lyrics packed into danceable songs.

3. Fiona Apple – Fetch The Bolt Cutters

Everything that Fiona Apple does is perfect. In her 1997 MTV VMA acceptance speech she said, “This world is bullsh*t. And you shouldn’t model your life … about what you think that we think is cool and what we’re wearing and what we’re saying and everything. Go with yourself”. This album is the embodiment of that speech with the added bonus of explorations into femininity, growth and Cara Delevingne’s vocal talents.

2. Okay Kaya – Watch This Liquid Pour Itself

The first time I (MG) heard this album, it soundtracked an existential crisis. The second time I listened to it I was doing a puzzle. Needless to say – it’s versatile. Sort of made me feel like aliens were taking over my body. Who’s to say why.

1. Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher

Our mental health was probably better before Punisher came out, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t the best album of the year. It literally does not get better than an album featuring songs about Elliott Smith and Julien Baker. Honestly – there isn’t much else to say about this album that hasn’t been said, so Phoebe if you’re reading this we would really like to hang out sometime.

Songs

Check out a playlist of our favorite songs! Featuring top tunes such as Hannah Sun by Lomelda, Worth It by beabadoobee, Peppers and Onions by Tierra Whack and many more!


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