While everyone is sharing their top 10 albums of 2020, in true Libra fashion, I can’t just limit it to only 10 when 2020 gave us one of the best years of music! Seriously, if you slip on your rose colored Airpods, 2020 kicked ass with its new music and set the tone for the rest of the decade.
If you missed my first article “Best Albums of the First half of 2020,” from July you can read the full article and album descriptions here. Since there are so many amazing albums in the second half too, I’ll give a short recap.
Brightest Lights – Lane 8
January 10, 2020
Lavender God – ATTLAS
January 31, 2020
Desert Trash – Mija
February 26, 2020
Suddenly – Caribou
February 28, 2020
Ecstasy EP– Disclosure
February 28, 2020
The Universal Groove – Lubelski
March 13, 2020
Sixteen Oceans – Four Tet
March 18, 2020
Oddyssey – Amtrac
April 3, 2020
Brave – Joyrde
April 3, 2020
Duality –Duke Dumont
April 17, 2020
Chromatica – Lady Gaga
May 29, 2020
WOW! The first half of 2020 was insane for new music, and the second half delivered even more amazing albums. COVID aside, we truly were blessed this year. Not only did we receive new albums from Lane 8, Disclosure, Odesza, The Avalanches, and Duke Dumont, but we also received multiple remix albums in the second half to carry
BRONSON – Bronson
August 7, 2020
Amidst the media chaos this year came an announcement that shook Odesza fans to their core. With one single image the electronic duo announced the release of No. Sleep 12 one month into lockdown. I personally screamed for about 5 minutes and my roommates had to ask if someone died. While the new mix was a welcomed surprise, an even bigger one shortly followed with the announcement that Odesza and Golden Features had finished an entire album under their new project Bronson. Now, you can’t listen to this album as Odesza or a follow up to A Moment Apart, but instead an entirely new sound. Delivering heavier and darker sounds, Bronson fits the theme of this year.
Energy – Disclosure
August 28, 2020
During one of their many livestreams this year, Disclosure let slip that they were sitting on over 100 tracks. While they may not have release every single one of them, they have dropped an insane amount of new numbers between their Esctacy EP, Energy, Energy Deluxe, and finally Energy Special Edition. The third studio album from Disclosure takes listeners on a cultural safari with energetic collaborations from Kelis, Chanel Tres, Common. and Fatoumata Diawara.
Club Future Nostalgia – Dua Lipa, The Blessed Madonna
August 28, 2020
Mentally I live at Club Future Nostalgia. Its the only way I was able to get through 2020 where the only place I visited outside my bedroom was the gym. Dua Lipa teamed up with electronic producer The Blessed Madonna for perhaps one for one of the most advantageous remix albums ever. Featuring a wide range of talented and multi-genre artists from Jamiroquai, Missy Elliot, Yaeji, Paul Woolford, BLACKPINK, and even Gwen Stefani, each artist brought something unique and special to their track. From start to finish the album delivers a euphoric club feeling of laced with the nostalgia of the 80’s when disco ruled the dancefloor right up to the turn of the millennium with Madonna.
Brightest Lights Remixed – Lane 8
September 24, 2020
Okay but seriously, what is better than a Lane 8 album? TWO LANE 8 albums. He jumpstarted 2020 with his Brightest Lights album which not only made my list for the first half of 2020, but saved my mental sanity. Then, in the second half of the longest year ever, he delivers an equally as stunning remix album sprinkled with goodness from This Never Happened artists Ben Bohmer, Jerro, Le Youth , Massane and a surprise CloZee remix. DAMN DANIEL chill. But also thank you so much for providing the soundtrack to my 2020. The original album was on repeat and then had to compete on Spotify for listens when the Remixed album came out.
Year Zero – Tchami
October 23, 2020
Based on the album’s title Year Zero, maybe Tchami knew something we? As in this year marks ‘year zero’ for both music and the world; then we all start fresh and rebuild in 2021. I mean he does have friends in higher places and our prayers were answered with its release. Its hard to believe that this album is the debut album from the father of future house who has set the blueprint for so many others. 2 years in the making, the 16-track album is a true testament to Tchami‘s versatility as he carefully meshes bass house bangers like “All on Me” with Zhu and “Praise” featuring Gunna with feel good tracks “The Light” and “Born Again.”
Dark Matter – Camelphat
October 30, 2020
Who hasn’t been sipping on Camelphats’s cola the last few years? Since their breakout hit, this house duo has proven that any track they touch is going to be phat. With the release of Dark Matter, they solidified their position as not only dancefloor DJ, but as true artists masterful in their craft. The album gave a home to some of their previous hits “Panic Room,” “Be Someone”, “Breathe”, and even included a special Dark Matter edit of “Cola” as well as introducing us to new favorites “Easier” and ” Inbetween the Lines”. The timing of Dark Matter’s release the day before Halloween, seems appropriate as we transitioned from the darkness of club dancefloors into the pensiveness of our homes.
Second Nature – Netsky
October 30, 2020
The year is 2020 and I am crying to drum and bass? YES. After a four year hiatus the king of drum and bass, Netsky has returned with his album Second Nature on his label “Hospital Records”. The 18 track album features fellow drum and bass icon Sub Focus, Rudimental, and Hybrid Minds. Each track on the album is incredible in its own right, but all come together like second nature for a easy listening experience. Standout tracks include “Hold On” with Becky Hill, “Mixed Emotions”, “Destiny”, “Broken Bottles”, and “Let Me Hold You”. Had this album come out earlier in the year it would have easily made my Spotify wrapped. Everything from the lyrics to production, even to Netskys special album showcase from Antwerp Zoo were certainly worth the four year wait.
Out Here With You – ATTLAS
November 6, 2020
Like many other artists this year, ATTLAS released two albums. His debut album Lavender God was released in January and showcased his talents at mood music curator. Unlike other artists on this list, instead of a remixing his album he gifted us with an entirely new album and concept complete with stunning 3D visuals from friend iamcyclo. ATTLAS describes the album as
“a chance to catch my breath amidst this all. Calmer and more hopeful; it is the result of the small areas of positivity we can still control this year…”
I truly love how each album both compliments and contrasts each other. Out Here With You was a lovely surprise release at the end of the year to carry us through to the next.
Mr. Good The Remixes – Ardalan
November 20, 2020
Perhaps one of the saddest event cancellations I received this year was the postponement of West Coast Campout. Dirybird would be celebrating its 15th anniversary and I’m sure were preparing for an incredible weekend to celebrate. While campout was greatly missed, the Mr. Good Remixes filled in for the legendary family set with remixes from fellow Dirtybirds Justin Jay, Kill Frenzy, OMNOM, The Martin Brothers and more. Each artist brought their own signature flare and take to their respective tracks, while maintain the weirdness of the original. It brought a tear to my eye to hear everyone come together to remix Ardy’s album. I hope that we can all be together for a family set soon.
We Will Always Love You – The Avalanches
December 20, 2020
Can you believe its been 20 years since their debut album Since I Left You? After missing the note on their sophomore album Wildflower, Australian group The Avalanches are back in business with their third studio album. The 25 track album tackles the bittersweet emotions of life, death, and the in between as told through famous samples all wrapped up with a heartwarming message. For this interstellar record, The Avalanches tapped influential artists MGMT, Leon Bridges, and Jamie XX to help tell its story. Overall the album tugs on your nostalgia with its older sample use, while allowing the listeners to feel present and hopeful for the future.