Typically, I would write a Top 10 List of the past year’s music releases, but there was nothing typical about this past year. So instead I wanted to highlight not just my top but also a variety of 50 different musical artists that released new music in 2020 that we at Shanty Town Design have enjoyed.
If all you want is to check out some of those delicious tunes, I have curated a Spotify playlist that includes one song from each of the albums.
Listen below or click here to enjoy on Spotify. Music can be a fantastic source of motivation and encouragement to get through a day.
Make sure to support these musicians and all of the arts. It’s because of artists’ continuous contributions to our life that we are able to find joy, even if it’s just 2 minutes and 30 seconds at a time.
If you are interested in sticking around for a bit more than just the music I wanted to share some thoughts on a select few releases.
Bring Me The Horizon – Post Human: Survival Horror – 10/30/2020 – 9 Songs – 32mins
This is the first release of four under the “Post Human” Title and it delivers with 9 hits. BMTH has evolved and found its stride with everything that has lead to this release. I have been a fan of BMTH since their first EP “This Is What The Edge Of Your Seat Was Made For” in which they were a bit messy and young. When we got to 2010, “There is a Hell…” had taken a maturing turn and focused on the overall sound. To be honest I stayed in the past until 2020 with BMTH, not listening to anything from them that came after 2008’s “Suicide Season”. But then the song “Parasite Eve” came out in June 2020 and I was obsessed! The design of the song, the timing of the release, and evident care in production struck a nerve. The aesthetic in the music video was everything I wanted at that moment. You can see it here, and check out their other content, including a Live recording at Royal Albert Hall.
The Bombpops – Death in Venice Beach – 2/13/2020 – 12 Songs – 29mins
The Bombpops is a band that I had heard about but hadn’t given a listen to until October 2020. “Death in Venice Beach” gives me that throwback to my high school years listening to Tsunami Bomb, Rufio, and Home Grown. It is a fun and easy listen while they talk about some darker themes such as suicide or abuse. This is a band that I wish I would have listened to before 2020 and had an opportunity to see them perform, but now I have a new item on the bucket list. Here is a taste of the fun they have in their video for Double Arrows Down.
Liquid Death – Greatest Hates, Vol. 2 – 11/17/2020 – 14 Songs – 21mins
Liquid Death, the canned water brand. I love this concept! They sell water, but their brand is unbelievable, “Greatest Hates, Vol. 2” as the name implies is the 2nd release of a concept album that takes some of their most satisfying negative reviews and turns them into pure satirical art. “Vol. 2” is a mix of punk musicians giving life to these negative reviews. You can find “Vol. 1” full of music with the same concept but is brought to life by some heavy hitters from the metal scene. My personal favorite standout track is “Your Product is Dumb” which also happens to feature Jen from The Bombpops.
The Menzingers – From Exile – 9/25/2020 – 12 Songs – 44mins
This one is simple, “From Exile” is a reimagining of their 2019 release “Hello Exile”. Due to the 2020 quarantine we, the fans, never got a chance to see The Menzingers bring “Hello Exile” to our stages across the country. But they didn’t let it just sit. The band took some of that pent up energy to give us more content. While separated in their own homes, they took all of the hits on “Hello Exile” and gave us alternate acoustic versions of the songs. I am glad that we now have these songs to listen to, but I cannot wait until we have the opportunity to see them bring the music to life on stage. To hold us over, here is their video for America (You’re Freaking Me Out).
Elizabeth Moen – Creature of Habit -12/11/2020 – 6 Songs – 22mins
Elizabeth Moen is another artist that I was just introduced to in 2020. “Creature of Habit” is a bit more ethereal than some of her previous releases but I think that’s why I really enjoy it. Her versatile jazzy/bluesy voice gives a clear emphasis on the beauty of her songs. What draws me most to her music is how she and her band make it seem so easy to make good music. For further reference on what I mean watch their performance for their 2019 NPR Tiny Desk Submission.
Shanty Town Top 50 Musical Releases of 2020 (in no particular order)
- Milk Teeth – Milk Teeth
- Wes Borland – The Astral Hand
- Puscifier – Existential Reckoning
- Bring Me the Horizon – Post Human: Survival Horror
- The Used – Heartwork
- Asking Alexandria – Like a House on Fire
- Marilyn Manson – We Are Chaos
- The Hell – Joris ( A Hardcore Opera ) pt. 1
- Liquid Death – Greatest Hates Vol. 2
- The Bombpops – Death in Venice Beach
- Pears – Pears
- Masked Intruder – III Turbo
- Hot Mulligan – You’ll Be Fine
- Seether – Is Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
- The Smashing Pumpkins – Cyr
- Mondo Cozmo – New Medicine
- Young Culture – Young Culture
- Marsicians – Ursa Major
- August Burns Red – Guardians
- Breakdowns at Tiffany’s – Eternal Gods
- Belmont – Reflections
- Elizabeth Moen – Creature of Habit
- Can’t Swim – Someone Who Isn’t Me
- Elder Brother – I Won’t Fade on You
- Dryjacket – Going Out of Business
- Blue Stahli – Copper
- Into It. Over It. – Figure
- Missio – Can You Feel the Sun
- Red City Radio – Paradise
- Rich People – Harmony
- Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher
- Saint Phnx – DDMN
- The Menzingers – From Exile
- Circa Waves – Happy
- Wilmette – Wilmette
- Chief State – Tough Love
- Goalkeeper – Life in Slow Motion
- Vant – Conceived in the Sky
- Foreign Air – Good Morning Stranger
- Driveways – October Forever
- The Struts – Strange Days
- The Federal Empire – Road Through Hell
- Sea Girls – Open Up Your Head
- The Magic Gang – Death of the Party
- Vistas – Everything Changes in the End
- Fiona Apple – Fetch the Bolt Cutters
- Nathaniel Rateliff – And It’s Still Alright
- Super Whatevr – Don’t You Wanna Be Glad?
- The Midnight – Monsters
- Misery Signals – Ultraviolet