Under the Radars Top 100 Albums of 2020 Part 2 | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Under the Radars Top 100 Albums of 2020 Part 2

Jan 15, 2021
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This is part 2 of our Top 100 Albums of 2020 list, with numbers 61-100. Click here for part 1, with the Top 60 albums.

So, 2020 was quite an uneventful year wasn’t it? Nothing much of note happened. It was pretty boring. But at least there were some decent records to liven things up. This is the intro to our Best Albums of 2020 list I wish I could be writing. Well… who wants life to be completely boring, but living through actual future history all the time has gotten quite exhausting. Depending on your age, you may have already experienced some living history, such as 9/11, but 2020 will go down as a particularly troubling year. You don’t need me to spell out why, but the two pillars were the COVID-19 pandemic and the most divisive presidential election in our lifetime. Many were financially affected by the coronavirus and the necessary lockdown that followed, but few more so than touring musicians, as venues across the world were forced to shut down most of the year (and some will never reopen their doors). At the outset of COVID-19 several notable albums were postponed a few months in hopes that things would improve, but it quickly became clear that touring wasn’t coming back any time soon and they were released anyway. There are probably some amazing finished albums that were going to come out in 2020, but were never announced and have been shelved until live music returns (hopefully later this year, now that the vaccines are very slowly rolling out). And yet 2020 was still filled with aural delights, including some creative full-lengths written and recorded while under quarantine.

Before I present Under the Radar’s favorite albums of 2020, I will fully acknowledge that we are late to the year-end party. While I don’t totally understand why some websites insist on posting their best of the year lists prematurely in late-November or very early in December—simply to be first and get more clicks, but without being able to consider any albums that might be surprise-released later in December—I’m aware that mid-January is also a bit too tardy. We have actually been working on this list since November and had intentions of getting it up by late-December, but various factors and other projects derailed those plans. And we also take great care to get our best albums ranking right each year, so it does take a lot of time to finalize everything and get new blurbs written for each of the Top 50 albums.

For list nerds, here’s how it’s done: Each of our writers and editors are encouraged to turn in a list of their favorite 45 albums of the year. Each person’s number one album counts for 45 points, with their number two getting 44 points, and so on down to their number 45 getting one point. They are also allowed to submit up to 15 honorable mentions that count for one point each. In order for an album to make the final list it’s got to be picked by at least three different writers, to give a true consensus, and each album also gets extra points for the number of people who voted on it. Almost all of the albums in the Top 50 were picked by at least four or five people, each of the Top 10 were all picked by 12 or more people, and our number one album was chosen by 17 different contributors. Overall, 22 of our writers and editors (including myself and my Co-Publisher/wife Wendy Lynch Redfern) weighed in. Our Top 100 Albums of 2020 represents Under the Radar’s 2020 coverage very well, with many being artists we interviewed and/or reviewed favorably last year and our Top 2 being the two artists who appeared on the cover of our last print issue (it was not engineered that way, that’s just how the vote played out).

Here’s hoping that my intro to the Best Albums of 2021 list will be more mundane, although based on the political events of the last two weeks and the continued pandemic that seems unlikely. By Mark Redfern (Senior Editor/Co-Publisher of Under the Radar)

Again, click here for part 1.

61

This Is the Kit

Off Off On

Rough Trade

62

Nadine Shah

Kitchen Sink

Infectious

63

Madeline Kenney

Sucker's Lunch

Carpark

64

Lomelda

Hannah

Double Double Whammy

65

Blake Mills

Mutable Set

Verve

66

Oneohtrix Point Never

Magic Oneohtrix Point Never

Warp

67

Matt Berninger

Serpentine Prison

Book/Concord

68

I LIKE TRAINS

KOMPROMAT

Atlantic Curve

69

Tim Heidecker

Fear of Death

Spacebomb

70

Working Men's Club

Working Men's Club

Heavenly

71

Jeff Rosenstock

NO DREAM

Quote Unquote/Polyvinyl

72

Hinds

The Prettiest Curse

Mom + Pop

73

Tunng

Dead Club

Full Time Hobby

74

Rina Sawayama

SAWAYAMA

Dirty Hit

75

Baxter Dury

The Night Chancers

Heavenly

76

Bill Callahan

Gold Record

Drag City

77

The Orielles

Disco Volador

Heavenly

78

Field Music

Making a New World

Memphis Industries

79

Vundabar

Either Light

Gawk

80

Yumi Zouma

Truth or Consequences

Polyvinyl

81

Hayley Williams

Petals For Armor

Atlantic

82

Moaning

Uneasy Laughter

Sub Pop

83

Tim Burgess

I Love the New Sky

Bella Union

84

Deradoorian

Find the Sun

ANTI-

85

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down

Temple

Ribbon

86

IDLES

Ultra Mono

Partisan

87

Shamir

Shamir

Self-Released

88

Ellis

Born Again

Fat Possum

89

Travis

10 Songs

BMG

90

Charli XCX

how i'm feeling now

Atlantic

91

Nation of Language

Introduction, Presence

Self-Released

92

Sad13

Haunted Painting

Carpark

93

Silverbacks

Fad

Central Tones

94

Thundercat

It Is What It Is

Brainfeeder

95

Jehnny Beth

To Love Is to Live

Caroline

96

Hamilton Leithauser

The Loves of Your Life

Glassnote

97

Lianne La Havas

Lianne La Havas

Nonesuch

98

The Avalanches

We Will Always Love You

Astralwerks

99

Ela Minus

acts of rebellion

Domino

100

Little Dragon

New Me Same Us

Ninja Tune

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Moli
January 29th 2021
12:01pm

No Ryan Adams? Really??