2020: Favorite Albums of the Year

Worriers – You or Someone You Know: The record that truly accompanied me through this year. Every song could be my song of the year – and I plan on playing Grand Closing at midnight. Happy fucking new year.

Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher: Probably the best album of the year (though I haven’t given Fiona Apple’s new album enough time yet) From lyrics to production to artwork, a nearly perfect record.

Dream Wife – So When You’re Gonna…: My new discovery of the year. Rock’n’roll! Dream Wife are the kind of band that makes you look forward to the future with more excitement. If I could choose a first show to go to after this pandemic, it would be either Dream Wife or ..

Touche Amore – Lament: A great, almost positive postcore album. Touche Amore is the best hardcore band atm and I’d drive far to see them live. And Reminders is oddly life-affirming (especially if you combine it with the video.) Don’t have the physical vinyl, yet.. 

NOFX/Frank Turner – West Coast vs. Wessex: The album my wife and I listened to the most together. I can’t believe Thatcher Fucked the Kids isn’t actually by NOFX, or Eat the Meek actually by Frank Turner. 

Also amazing:

Bright Eyes – Down in the weeds, where the world once was

Algiers – There Is No Year

Laura Jane Grace – Stay Alive

I’m Glad It’s You – Every Sun, Every Moon

Porridge Radio – Every Bad

Fiona Apple – Fetch the Bolt Cutters

Bruce Springsteen – Letter to You

Run the Jewels – RTJ4

What are your faves of the year?

You or Someone You Know

I’m just going to go out on a limb here: You or Someone You Know by Worriers is my favorite record of the year. Such a perfect punk/power pop record – I listen to it when I’m happy, when I’m sad, when I’m sitting in the sun on my balcony, when I have to work too long once again. Headphones, speakers, smartphone – it always sounds great. The production is flawless. So warm, so smart, so great.
The opening track, “End of the World” is the song of 2020:

Set my sights on the life that you get when you put the hard work in.
Only to be told, keep your fingers crossed that they vote you a person.
I apologize; you’ve been trying to go with the safer bet.
It’s true I didn’t think that far, but how do you plan for the death of a safety net?

What can I possibly say, is it me or the end of the world?
Cover your eyes and ears and hope I don’t notice and nothing hurts.
It must weigh on you a bit, but it’s not me that has to fix it.
Could you just hold on to me for now?

And their account is one of my favorites on Instagram, too.

You or Someone You Know is out on 6131 Records.

All Songs +1: Laura Jane Grace And Lauren Denitzio On Surviving In Punk

This All Songs Considered +1 podcast is a really great conversation with Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!) and Lauren Denitzio (Worriers) about punk, art, touring-as-real-life and gender identity. 

The Worriers’ first LP Imaginary Life, produced by Laura Jane Grace and featuring the song They/Them/Theirs, is amazing, too

All Songs +1: Laura Jane Grace And Lauren Denitzio On Surviving In Punk