2020 in Review // Favorite Albums by Paul Wright
2020 in Review // Favorite Albums by Paul Wright

2020 in Review // Favorite Albums by Paul Wright

Paul Wright

I like to play music! Have a radio show on IO Radio – you can follow me on Twitter.

I’ve created an expanded list now, in alphabetic not merit order. Every one of these is an absolute gem of an album. A mix of psych, stoner, indie, Americana, folk, electronic, shoegaze and prob a few other genres in between.

All Them Witches – Nothing as the Ideal (New West Records)

The global tone of the album is maybe their darkest yet. All Them Witches never was about happiness and joy, but this one is particularly somber, filled with nostalgia, sadness, and possibly regret. – More Fuzz

Arbouretum – Let It All In (Thrill Jockey)

Over a hammered lock-step beat the guitar grit of Dave Heumann finds its wings, stretching into the embrace of volume with little regard for where the winds might take him. – Raven Sings the Blues

Bdrmm – Bedroom (Sonic Cathedral Recordings)

Give a band a reverb pedal and they’ll make you a shoegaze album. But if you want to make it interesting, you’ll need the songwriting to go behind it. Luckily on this album both come in abundance. – Real Tasty Music

BC Camplight – Shortly After Takeoff (Bella Union)

Shortly After Takeoff is a really fantastically entertaining album. It’s witty, sarcastic, and caustic and then suddenly sad in turns. It’s musically playful too, with tiny drum machines and boxy synths set against broader piano and guitar tones, and then Brian’s delicate and often beautiful voice, itself quite moving (even when he’s singing about dreams of being in a mafiosa gang, outside a chip shop in Oldham). – Picky Bastards

Bonny Light Horseman – Bonny Light Horseman (37d03d)

Bonny Light Horseman excels in its simplicity, camaraderie and passion. The record is coolly grandiose and splendid, but never pompous. It’s an album for life on the ground level, with people doing their best through circumstances both difficult and wonderful. Those are the stories that will last forever, and these three artists have made a marvelous addition to that long lineage. – Spectrum Culture

Car Seat Headrest – Making a Door Less Open (Matador)

Each track is the result of an intense battle to bring out its natural colors and transform it into a complete work. The songs contain elements of EDM, hip hop, futurism, doo-wop, soul, and of course rock and roll. But underneath all these things I think these may be folk songs, because they can be played and sung in many different ways, and they’re about things that are important to a lot of people: anger with society, sickness, loneliness, love…the way this album plays out is just our own interpretation of the tracks, with Andrew, Ethan and I forming a sort of choir of contrasting natures.

Deeper – Auto Pain (Fire Talk)

The title, you’ll note, is Auto-Pain, in part a reference to Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, a suggestion of being able to feel every emotion at once and to see what happens when you come out the other side. They already were kind of there; anxiety permeates every corner of this record, the shared stresses and discomforts of the trio being funneled into a dozen tracks of streamlined, cold post-punk. – Treble

Disq – Collector (Saddle Creek)

Disq wears their influences on their sleeve, sure, but it’s wet to the shoulder with eclecticism because they’re not pulling from an overfished and shallow pool. – Post-Trash

Death Valley Girls – Under The Spell of Joy (Suicide Squeeze)

In these difficult times, we need albums like this, albums that get feet tapping and heads bobbing – Backseat Mafia

Frankie and the Witch Fingers – Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters (Greenway Records / The Reverberation Appreciation Society)

Bubbling up from the psychedelic tar pits of L.A., Frankie and the Witch Fingers have been a constant source of primordial groove for the better part of the last decade. Formed and incubated in Bloomington, IN before moving west to scrap with Los Angeles’ garage rock rabble, the band evolved from cavern-clawed echo merchants to architects of prog-infected psych epics that evoke a shift in reality.

Ghostlawns – Motorik (SUB Records)

KULK – Here Lies Kulk (Hot Fools Records)

The Left Outsides – Are you Sure I Was There (Cardinal Fuzz / Feeding Tube Records)

LA Witch – Play With Fire (Suicide Squeeze)

The Nude Party – Midnight Manor (New West Records)

Rose City Band – Summerlong (Thrill Jockey)

STRFKR – Future Past Life (Polyvinyl Record Company)

Widowspeak – Plum (Captured Tracks)

Working Men’s Club – Working Men’s Club (Heavenly)

Waxahatchee – Saint Cloud (Merge Records)


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