Now, a few decades after the golden age of ’90s indie rock, that’s not so much the case. Success neither curing mental illness nor reversing a parent’s medical death sentence is a lot for a 22-year-old to face, but Allison is more than up to the task. Those kinds of moments pop up all over Punisher, which is generally noisier and more upbeat than its predecessor. The Best Albums Of 2020, So Far by American Songwriter July 2, 2020, 4:36 pm It is now July 2, the 183rd day of 2020, and we are now officially into the back half of the calendar year. Facebook10LikeShareTweet With this being the year of the pandemic, many indie rock bands and artists’ 2020 releases were simply ‘missed’ as indie music fans’ lives were turned upside down. —Steven Edelstone, With The Loves of Your Life, former The Walkmen frontman Hamilton Leithauser expands his scope in a searching spirit, satiating his hunger for connection with the stories of others. While earning their stripes as an opening band, playing with acts like Shame, Jay Som and Girlpool, it was hard to determine which direction they would go since their shows were much punkier than any of their recordings up until that point. ... indie rock and folk music to give a record that feels exhilaratingly free. In some ways, it possesses little pieces of all the musical lives Crutchfield has lived before: punk-y vocals à la her once-upon-a-time rock band with Allison, P.S. That stylized artificiality has been an unspoken running theme in Bejar’s music as Destroyer, at least since Kaputt in 2011. Rose’s Lavender follow-up The Caretaker is smaller in scale. Fetch the Bolt Cutters is finally here, and it’s another miraculous case of bottled lightning. Tucked in among the record’s memorable melodies, clever arrangements and impressive guests are a steady stream of details that lend plainspoken perspective to Bridgers’ emotional highs and (mostly) lows. Instead, she started writing, and didn’t stop for months. Within 10 seconds, you know—without a doubt—it’s a Waxahatchee album. New Releases Now - Sign up to find top new songs of 2020 and videos from the best new 2020 albums! Following Clean, Soccer Mommy (real name Sophie Allison) became especially vocal about her struggles with body dysmorphia, depression and anxiety. Britpop Dream Pop Grunge Indie Rock Industrial Rock Rap Rock Garage Rock Latin Alternative Post-Punk Emo Punk Rock Echoes A Life Divided 2020 $1.95 Haunted Painting Sad13 2020 $1.65 Discover and listen to new music releases and 2020's best new album releases this week and every week here. They want us to know that it’s okay to not have all the answers, and it’s okay to feel contradictory emotions. Her record Out in the Storm, which we named one of the best albums of that year, displayed a whole new side of the singer. Now that their Rob Schnapf-produced (Beck, Elliott Smith) first album Collector has arrived, we have an answer: It’s perhaps more uniform in sound than their debut EP and live shows would suggest, but it shows off their dynamic guitar triple-threat, down-to-earth lyrics and instantaneous pop know-how that made them so enjoyable and relatable in the first place. Some of these albums could easily find a home on other lists—pop, punk, or perhaps folk—but they also all fit here, under the indie rock umbrella. Katie Crutchfield’s new sobriety led to a move away from rollicking indie and toward a calmer, Americana-informed sound that reels you in. Now, though, as her star is rising, Rose has turned that critical eye inward. With each Hop Along release, as Quinlan mentioned in her recent Paste session, the four members act as a collective, workshopping the songs together after the demo stage. Effervescence is a key ingredient in all their music, but The Prettiest Curse’s bubbliness is more pronounced, the froth that shapes the band’s rising to the surface in a slightly broader coating. So it’s funny that Fetch the Bolt Cutters is exactly what so many expected it to be: brilliant. He’s now wondering aloud about getting a home in Miami, going and getting married and tattooing her name on his arm (“Instant Destiny”) and thinking back on how he was feeling a year prior when he had no cares in the world (“One More Year”). ... the best 50 albums from this year have something for everyone. But she tacks on an extra bit that contextualizes the rest of the song: “It’s 4 a.m. again,” she sings flatly, “and I’m doing nothing again.” And all of a sudden … you’re there. Eight years later, things are wildly different. Set My Heart on Fire Immediately, the fifth studio album by Perfume Genius, boasts the best album title of 2020. or studio (Universal, Disney, Warner Bros….). Angles’ “Taken for a Fool,” Comedown Machine’s “All the Time” and a handful of Impressions songs suggested that our leather-clad early-aughts heroes might still possess a flicker of their initial spark. The Best Indie Rock Albums of 2020. For the public to forgive him for his past misdeeds (if it ever will), he needs to forgive himself first to find a way forward. Hear the hot songs of the year and all important new cd releases of 2020 in one place. Its sweet psych and power-pop weren’t fully cooked, but it had palpable charisma and contained seeds of the wide range of sounds they’d explore in the future. The quintet—which comprises singer-songwriter-guitarist trio Tom Russo, Joe White and Fran Keaney, plus bassist Joe Russo and drummer Marcel Tussie—arrived essentially fully formed with 2016’s Talk Tight, and have remained remarkably consistent since, from 2017 EP The French Press to their acclaimed full-length debut, 2018 standout Hope Downs. Studio equipment. It’s a moody, empathetic album, bolstered by repetition and the palpable scenes they create, whether that’s an imagined, heavenly gorge or the melancholy urban landscapes you traverse every day. She’s said as much. On Loner, Rose placed the system surrounding fame and celebrity squarely in her crosshairs. The top 20 are: 20. Brighton, U.K. quartet Porridge Radio grapple with these questions on their new album Every Bad. DJ equipment. Starting out as a duo of Isaac deBroux-Slone and Raina Bock in Madison, Wisc., the band self-recorded their first release—an EP titled Disq 1—in deBroux-Slone’s basement and released it in 2016. It can be difficult, at times, to make out what exactly she’s getting at in any given verse, but there’s an overwhelming sensation that what she’s singing is vastly important. Yet, it’s different from anything she’s ever released before. —Clare Martin, Fans of Rolling Blackouts C.F.’s The Go-Betweens-indebted, jangle-pop-tinged guitar-rock will find themselves on familiar ground on Sideways to New Italy. Best Rock And Indie Albums Of 2020. December 3, 2020 Lis Sinatra. Written, recorded, produced and mixed in Leithauser’s cramped, DIY New York City studio The Struggle Hut, the album achieves a powerful sense of place, capturing the city and its innumerable narratives—NYC is well-trod creative territory, to say the least, and could have easily made for a mundane effort in the hands of a lesser songwriter. Plus, when you’re battling your own demons, it makes things even harder. —Steven Edelstone, Rarely when uttering the words “for better or for worse” on their wedding day do couples really consider the latter half of that sentiment. Over the course of Half Waif’s discography, Nandi Rose’s music has expanded from bucolic soundscapes into icier portraits. It runs on twang, jangle, truth and wide open spaces; on the album cover, Crutchfield, dressed in a billowy baby-blue frock, sprawls across an old Ford truck bearing a license plate from her native Alabama. If Out in the Storm was a tornado of sound and emotion, Saint Cloud, Crutchfield’s fifth album under the Waxahatchee alias (out Friday, March 27 on Merge Records) is the calm that comes afterwards. Over the last 25 years, she has made five albums that have all—in due time—ascended to holy text status, even if it took some longer than others to come around to her genius. Instead of aiming to melt the brains of tens of thousands of twenty-somethings in a field on psychedelics (though this likely still will, let’s be honest), Parker instead turns his eye toward dancehalls, replacing fuzzy guitars and impressive percussion with bouncy piano and dance-y synths. It’s one of many moments on Likewise that prove not only that her solo career deserves to exist, but also that she’s able to thrive without her longtime bandmates (or at least without them in their full roles). illuminati hotties - FREE I. H: This Is Not The One You've Been Waiting For. They’re also masters of grooves both meditative and invigorating, and they experiment with foreground and background sounds in mind-numbing ways. Her most recent, the staggeringly good The Idler Wheel… arrived in 2012. In a surprise to probably no one, Fiona Apple is now five for five. To say the album is derivative is to miss the point. The latter plays strictly in the mode of garage rock. It leans into the electro-pop atmosphere of Three Futures, but the textures are so unsettling and lonely that it would never scan as a bid for crossover appeal. Sundara Karma – Ulfilas’ Alphabet. ... self-titled album is more indie-rock than anything else, it could be safely argued. It’s an astute pivot for Rose, and an indicator that she is anything but your typical ascendant artist. “I was in a really bad place,” she reflected in a more recent interview SPIN. Superstar proves itself a tightly knit satire of celebrity, effective thanks to Rose’s sharp storytelling and her calculated use of distortion, which highlights the artificial quality of the protagonist’s new surroundings. H.e.a.t II is a gleaming chrome comet of pure class, its core … One of this year’s highlights arrived early in … She shakes and shimmies as a smarmy male singer, while bikini-clad babes dance behind her or unconvincingly “play” instruments. Hinds—Carlotta Cosials, Ana Perrote, Amber Grimbergen, and Ade Martin—have a strong grip on their musical identity, and they’re not keen on a makeover. The album’s clear standout (and one of the year’s best songs), “Kyoto,” features Bridgers’ crunchiest guitar riffs yet, a soaring chorus and the travails of dealing with someone who can’t quite get their shit together juxtaposed with a wander through a 7-11 and trip to the suburbs to stare at chemtrails. With lots of new albums from bands such as Bombay Bicycle Club, Twin Atlantic, Blossoms or The 1975 in the making, 2020 promises to … Quinlan has long had one of the best voices in indie rock, so why not essentially subtract everything else and give it 100 percent of the spotlight? Also grant that the tone baked into every Hinds record, from 2016’s Leave Me Alone to 2018’s I Don’t Run, pairs perfectly with warm, sunny days spent driving on beachside highways with the windows rolled down, even when they’re singing about loneliness, breakups and the neverending quest for hugs and cuddles. They shout repeated lines like they’re therapeutically screaming into the void, but surprisingly, listening to it is just as therapeutic. —Lizzie Manno, The whole idea behind releasing or performing a cover is to add your own spin to it: Otherwise, what’s the point? Before that: Extraordinary Machine, in 2005. Hinds’ usual fuzzed-up rock aesthetic bridges the gap between The Prettiest Curse and I Don’t Run nicely. The following is a list of albums released or scheduled for release in 2020.These are notable albums, defined as having received significant coverage from reliable sources independent of the subject. Over the best and most inventive psychedelic rock instrumentals in decades, Parker let all of his apprehensions and regrets out, knowing full well he’s “gotta be above it now” and that he “can’t let them bring me down” though he’s long realized they will. How do we make things better and dig ourselves out of a hole—especially if we don’t see the hole or if that hole has become comfortable? The majority of this year's best indie rock albums feature guitars at the forefront. Their half-hearted performance brought to mind the women in the background of Robert Palmer videos, who serve as ornamentation at best. —Lizzie Manno, Marigold is the first true collection of Pinegrove songs that addresses (or doesn’t) the events that have unfolded since lead singer Evan Stephens Hall’s admission of sexual coercion in late 2017 via a Facebook post. In comparison to the expansive sound of his recent work with indie four-piece Foxwarren, the woozy woodwind, warm piano and guitar (all played by Shauf himself) come across as if they are being played in the small back room of a bar. Beabadoobee – Fake It Flowers [Dirty Hit] Fake It Flowers, the debut from the British singer-songwriter Bea Kristi, is such an earnest homage to the 1990s that it's hard to find fault with it. For 2017’s boxy form/a EP and 2018’s grief-stricken Lavender, she embraced synths that resembled icicles falling onto a patio and shattering—an element previously scattered, but not placed front and center, throughout her work—in service of songs as thoughtfully composed as they were towering and immediate. To call it an early contender for the year’s best indie rock album wouldn’t be an exaggeration. Like every record before it, her latest album Fetch the Bolt Cutters taps into both the repulsive and the revolutionary. As … Their second album’s roots run deep through their creative output to this point: The chords of b-side standout “Cameo” originally belonged to Hope Downs’ abandoned title track, while the chorus of closer “The Cool Change” first appeared in a song Tom Russo, White and Keaney performed in a previous band back in the 2000s. Visit Juno Studio. Headlining festivals and writing for pop and rap stars, Kevin Parker is finally confident. Best Rock And Indie Albums Of 2020. It’s quite incredible that Quinlan managed to make the song so unrecognizable that I listened to the whole thing without even realizing it was a cover of the legendary Boise, Idaho indie band’s biggest hit. But Leithauser has spent his entire career on its wavelength, and dedicates The Loves of Your Life to the people who make the metropolis what it is, bringing all of his skills (he plays most of the instruments on the album) to bear on rendering their stories in poignant detail. —Scott Russell, Dan Bejar’s songs often sound like part of the soundtrack to a movie that exists only in his mind. It’s a world not unlike our own, but that’s part of the appeal, really. Saint Cloud is Crutchfield’s country/Americana record. July … —Lizzie Manno, In 2017, Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfeld quite literally blew the music world away. —Max Freedman, “We’re gonna put you in the movies and our TV / All you’ve got to do is put on this little bikini,” indie rock chameleon Caroline Rose sang on “Bikini” off her breakout 2018 record Loner. Most of the songs here feel a bit rougher around the edges, which is partly what gives them so much charm. After recruiting three more full-time members—Shannon Connor (guitar, keys), Logan Severson (guitar/backing vocals) and Brendan Manley (drums)—and signing to Saddle Creek for their debut album, Disq were fully equipped to bring their distinct charm and varying influences to life. Seemingly in direct response to those criticisms, Julian Casablancas and co. have avoided anything resembling musical consistency on every Strokes release since. Swimmer was borne from this heart wrenching period of time, a fitting name considering the sailing motif in Tennis’ discography (Cape Dory recounts their post-college sailing trip along the East Coast, and most of Yours Conditionally was written during their journey at sea from San Diego to the Sea of Cortez). She considered leaving music altogether. He felt like he was only going backwards, and he was left wondering why won’t they talk to him. —Ellen Johnson, Fiona Apple engages our minds like no one else. In the case of our present moment, the year’s best indie rock albums are a healthy mix of extremely-indie albums, higher profile events and everything in between. But Shadow Talk, the second album from Chicago experimental five-piece Cafe Racer, reaches heady emotional and sonic heights, not by leaning on overused effects or sprinkling meaningless, abstract imagery, but by expecting more out of a song and its lyrics. That magic reappears in flashes on The New Abnormal—the first Strokes release since Future Present Past and their first full-length in seven years—but even if the album’s strong songs are among the liveliest, most effortless music the band has made in over a decade, their bursting energy only modestly offsets the LP’s many sharp lows. The things we want and need are always changing, and trying to communicate that to other people often leads to confusion or frustration. —Andy Crump, Listening to an Andy Shauf album in full is akin to binging a particularly compelling TV show: Both pull you in with characters that feel just as real as you or me, who populate a world we’d like to escape to. Optimism led him astray. 59 votes, 42 comments. Hop Along actually began as a solo project in the mid-2000s, but by the time the band started to take off with 2012’s Get Disowned, it was a full outfit, complete with Quinlan’s brother Mark on drums, bassist Tyler Long and multi-instrumentalist Joe Reinhart, who has produced each of their records since. (See: The 50 Most Anticipated Albums of 2020) It’s important to note that denotations such as indie rock and alternative rock and pop-rock, etc. Not so with The Prettiest Curse. View reviews, ratings, news & more regarding your favorite band. Scott tumbled into self-doubt. On “Blinking Light,” a synth-pop ballad that flows like a gentle stream, Rose describes circling the drain and leaving texts unread, and though the image of a neglectful Rose is bleak, the song’s slow glide toward her belting away her agony is equally somber and invigorating. Rose pithily skewered the objectification women must put up with when they enter the limelight and further criticizes the music industry in the accompanying video. —Clare Martin, Some psychedelic albums reach a hypnotic end cheaply. Written about real individuals, some old friends and others strangers, the songs are as manifold as the human lives they encapsulate, with Leithauser often stepping aside to speak in his subjects’ own words. The intimacy of the story is bolstered by the album’s production and Shauf’s deft instrumentation. —Zach Schonfeld, Her sophomore album Punisher cements what may be Bridgers’ most understated gift of all: her seemingly innate ability to capture the mundanity of modern sadness in song. The best albums of 2020 so far. Follow our countdown of the 50 best albums of 2020 As Rose embraces her craft’s most hermit-like aspects, she consolidates her longtime fascinations with change and disconnectedness into grim portraits of whom she becomes when she doesn’t maintain her closest relationships and properly tend to (the ever-marketable art of) self-care. Dua Lipa's vivid, disco-infused "Future Nostalgia" is an instant pop classic. These kinds of details ground her work in the same way shading makes a still life painting pop. Our full range of studio equipment from all the leading equipment and software brands. Superstar tells a fictionalized, though autobiographically-inspired, story about an up-and-comer seeking a life of stardom, critiquing the protagonist’s self-centered aspirations. It’s not unusual for musicians to try updating their sound with outside influences and unexpected genres, but too often the experiment falls apart; the unfamiliar elements clang against the details that give the group character, like eating chocolate cake baked with carob. 2020 is going to be another exciting year for the indie music scene and the beginning of a new decade. Married duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley, better known as Tennis, have recently endured one of the most difficult stages of their life, but found solace in each other throughout. Probably, but maybe in a much different way than you were likely expecting from a Tame Impala record. Moore herself never learned to swim, just as most of us are not taught how to navigate the choppy waters of grief and strife. Most of life’s darkest days often occur after two people have committed themselves to one another: Loved ones fall ill or die, responsibilities mount and any number of unexpected catastrophes may land on your doorstep. It’s an extremely calming album until it isn’t—the guitar and synth fury on “Faces” is life-affirming, the guitar solo in “Exile” is painfully emotive and its subsequent outro track creates blistering, ambient havoc. In Fetch the Bolt Cutters’ case, these psalms beam clearer than ever before. It’s one thing for a band to capture a world in chaos, but it’s much more difficult to accurately capture a mind in chaos—Porridge Radio make it look like a cakewalk. Interpreting your own while trying to navigate the emotions of others is one of the hardest parts of being a human. Marigold also follows Skylight’s tendencies to aim for a softer, more delicate, more intimate sound than anything on Cardinal. It’s no wonder he titled his now classic sophomore record Lonerism: Those 12 songs document the internal anger, anxiety and social self-sabotage of a man who so badly wanted to be personable and in love, but was legitimately unable to even muster up the courage to talk to a woman he was interested in. Apple has never been one to deliver approachable melodies or catchy choruses—she repeatedly serves us the abnormal, in all its twisted glory, with minor chords and off-kilter rhythms, often constructed with everyday objects rather than musical instruments. As a concept album, it documented the titular event, exploring vignettes about all of the party’s various attendees. Following the commercial success of Yours Conditionally in 2017, Moore wound up in the hospital with a bad bout of the flu, Riley’s father Edward died of cancer and his mother Karen was hospitalized “on the brink of a stroke,” Moore recalls. 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