For the next few weeks, we'll be spotlighting our KEXP DJs Top Albums of 2020, leading up to our 2020 Top 90.3 Album Countdown. TODAY is your last chance to vote for your favorite albums of the year, and then tune in on Friday, December 18th to hear if they make the list! Voting ends at 6:00 PM PST on Friday, December 11th.
I have a love/hate relationship with ‘Best of” lists. As a general principle, I have an aversion to them — they’re reductive, never definitive. It’s impossible to “rank” art; to assign a metric of value is arbitrary and demeaning to all the creators of art, and to art lovers. As music lovers and curators we bring our implicit biases into the mix and one's relationship to music and art is constantly changing and evolving, just as we as individuals evolve. That said, I understand the utilitarian value of End Of Year lists. They can be a great source of music discovery. I look at other’s lists obsessively — to see if I missed anything. And, I have found amazing music I might have overlooked that way. I religiously review Wire, the Quietus, the Vinyl Factory, and Mojo’s Best of Year lists. With so many lists out there, the key is finding trusted sources/curators — people who will help you discover something new.
Over the course of the year, in lockdown and quarantine, I listened to a lot of music — more than ever. Music was a savior. A constant companion. And while 2020 was a crazy-ass shit year overall, it was a great year for music! Thank goddess! With my list, I do not claim any aesthetic supremacy or definitive statement of judgement. My Best of 2020 list is simply a list of the records I enjoyed repeatedly over the course of the year. Knowing full well I’m missing some great records, or simply, at this point in time, do not understand someone else's masterpiece. With that, I bring you my favorites of 2020 with the hope that reviewing this list will inspire and/or motivate you to check out some music you might not have heard, and that in doing so, you’ll find something you love that changes your life. These records changed mine... — Kevin Cole
|2||SAULT||UNTITLED (Black is)||Forever Living Originals|
|3||SAULT||UNTITLED (Rise)||Forever Living Originals|
|4||Deep Sea Diver||Impossible Weight||High Beam|
|5||Jessica Winter||Sad Music||Ruya|
|6||Songhoy Blues||Optimisme||Fat Possum|
|7||Ólafur Arnalds||Some Kind of Peace||Mercury KX|
|10||Derek Carr||Pursuit Part 1 and 2||Pariter|
|11||Working Men's Club||Working Men's Club||Heavenly|
|12||Bob Dylan||Rough and Rowdy Ways||Columbia|
|13||Fontaines D.C.||A Hero's Death||Partisan|
|14||Taylor Swift||folklore||Republic Records|
|15||Lido Pimienta||Miss Colombia||Anti|
|16||Laura Marling||Song for our Daughter||Chrysalis|
|17||Run The Jewels||Run The Jewels 4||BMG|
|18||Fiona Apple||Fetch the Bolt Cutters||Epic|
|19||Pillow Queens||In Waiting||Pillow Queens Records|
|20||Kelly Lee Owens||Inner Song||Smalltown Supersounds|
|22||Bob Mould||Blue Hearts||Merge|
|23||RVG||Feral||Our Golden Friend|
|24||Phoebe Bridgers||Punisher||Dead Oceans|
|2||John K. Samson||Fantasy Baseball At The End Of The World|
|3||Brandi Carlile||Black Hole Sun|
|4||John Prine||I Remember Everything|
|6||Adia Victoria||South Gotta Change|
|10||Æ MAK||i dance in the kitchen ( feat. seba safe )|
|11||India Jordan||For You|
|12||Jayda G||Both of Us|
|13||Benin City||Hold Them Close|
|1||Prince||Sign o' the Times|
|2||Replacements||Pleased to Meet Me|
|3||Tom Petty||Wildflowers & All The Rest|
|4||PJ Harvey||Dry, Rid Of Me, To Bring You My Love + Demos|
|5||Delano Smith||An Odyssey|
Kevin Cole is the host of Drive Time, on the air Tuesday through Friday from 4-7 PM.
Evie shares her Top Ten Albums of 2020; be sure to vote for your favorites today for KEXP's Top 90.3 Album Countdown on Friday, December 18th!
Reeves Richards shares his Top Ten Albums of 2020; be sure to vote for your favorites today for KEXP's Top 90.3 Album Countdown on Friday, December 18th!
Greg Vandy shares his Top Ten Albums and Songs of 2020; be sure to vote for your favorites today for KEXP's Top 90.3 Album Countdown on Friday, December 18th!