What a year! Leaving aside all the sad and unusual circumstances of what has made 2020 an exceptional year, my personal situation during the pandemic has been comfortable in an almost uncomfortable way. Amazingly, the restrictions of social mobility didn’t bother me much, and the year was even extremely successful professionally. As a consequence, in the seclusion of my privileged situation, I could do two things: lead a secure and pampered home office life and, as part of this, listen to a lot of new music.

In this regard, too, 2020 has brought some surprises with it. For example, there were expectedly strong (Little Barrie) as well as completely unexpected (The Strokes) comebacks. There were also some gems recovered from the underground (e.g., Knot, Savak), and my list of personal favorites contains an interesting number of bands whose name begins with a (5 out of 20). And even if the album titles testify to the gloomy mood of this year, I am full of hope that 2021 will lead us from the “New Abnormal” to a new form of normal.

  • All Souls: Songs for the End of the World
  • The Black Box Revelation: Suck on Light
  • Fake Names: Fake Names
  • Fontaines D.C.: A Hero’s Death
  • Grandson: Death of an Optimist
  • Jamie Lenman: King of Clubs
  • Kaskadeur: Uncanny Valley
  • Knot: Knot
  • Last Giant: Let the End Begin
  • Little Barrie (w/ Malcom Catto): Quatermass Seven
  • Patrón: Patrón
  • Pearl Jam: Gigaton
  • Pretty Buff: Angel Du$t
  • Protomartyr: Ultimate Success Today
  • Puppy: The Goat
  • RIDEAU: Soul and Dirt
  • Savak: Rotting Teeth in the Horses’s Mouth
  • Silverbacks: Fad
  • The Strokes: The New Abnormal
  • Vennart: In the Dead, Dead Wood