2020 – The Writers View

Last week we gave you the records of the year chosen by our photographer, Martin Ward. This time it’s the writers choice, Adrian Bloxham. Who has been listening to anything and everything he could find. How else do you get through being confined to home and watching the world crumble..

The constant in this year of abject strife has been, for me, music. These are the best album’s I have listened to this year. Have a look and listen below.

UKAEA – Energy is Forever

A who’s who of Weird Britain, a collection of music that feels like techno has been turned inside out, a feeling like no other record I’ve heard this year. This is just outstanding.

Hen Ogledd – Free Humans

They say – ‘an album of seamless, glorious contradictions. Tackling themes of love, friendship, Gaia theory, sewers, the nature of time, human stench, and the thrills of wild swimming, Free Humans coheres into a marvellous whole.’

Colossloth – Plague Alone

We said – ‘this got me and held me for the length of the recording. I didn’t stop listening at all. A sonic creation for listening alone as the world lies still around you.’

Coriky – Coriky

This is the closest thing to the joy of hearing Fugazi I’ve had for many years. Right from the start the music calls to you like seeing a loved old friend again. Wonderful

Dorcha – Honey Badger

We said – ‘I imagine the band together in a room just adding more and more to the sound, it’s mischievous, delinquent and wonderful. I don’t understand it. But that, people, is the whole point. ‘

The Total Rejection – The Time Traveller’s 3rd Will and Testament

We said – Thank whatever Rock’n’roll Gods you look to that they keep on getting the music out because the world still needs records that sound like they’ve been made in a week by lunatics wearing pointy shoes and pebbles haircuts.

Drab City – Good Songs for Bad People

A long slow night time dark drive through shifting, oppressive landscapes, a beautiful record. They say – Well I guess that’s everything. Avoid the authorities, live free, then die when it’s cool 

Lucern Raze – International Breakdown

We said – It’s a lazy, sweaty, record. Across the sound there’s garage fuzz, a surf tinged wiped out mass of twang, a fantastic dirty bass line with an antagonistic teenage vocal. Smooth beats flowing into a fuzzed out groove and dense, hard hip hop jams.

Sigiriya – Maiden Mother Crone

We said – ‘This album has been made under the shadow of trauma but the music here is cathartic and whole, it’s an album to lift you up even in darkness and strife, it’s a proper Metal album. Epic and whole, we highly recommend it.’

Chicken Diamond – Bad Man

We said – ‘The music is crawling with attitude and swagger. It’s like blues flattened by rocks and gravel, punk beaten down or Rock as it was meant to be played but never was, all with a haze of cheap cigarette smoke and whiskey breath surrounding it. Don’t listen to it as you walk around, you’ll know that the hell hounds are at your heels.. ‘

Black Mekon – The Lumpiness of Demand

We said – ‘It’s Black Mekon and Black Mekon on drums and guitar and every fuzzed out distorting pedal in the universe and it’s wonderful. Primal rock’n’roll punk attitude distilled into songs barely around two minutes long. The sound of not caring, not wanting to do anything else and  wanting nothing. 

L.A. Witch – Play With Fire

We said – ‘It’s tight and hard, with an edge of seductive power and a blast of violent abandon. The songs aren’t long and the sun bleaches their bones as they move around your hips and head. Music for the soul, wild and free, crashing against the wall as you dance.’

Jetstream Pony – Jetstream Pony

We said – ‘an effortless slice of music, a dollop of sparkling, dense guitars and danceable bass and drums, it’s an indie triumph, it’s an album for sunny days and sitting alone. But the thing that sets this apart and makes the music so good is the vocal. Beth sounds like she’s not even trying, like this whole thing is just a breeze and something they threw together.

Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela – Rejoice

We said – ‘Unlike some posthumous releases this sparkles with life and resonates with light. This is a wonderful, exploration of two musicians feelings, captured in a moment and at last released to the world.

War On Women – Wonderful Hell

We Said – ‘This is a political record, an angry and aggrieved record, but it’s also about not giving up, about forging on, about resisting and fighting, it’s about raising some beautiful, wonderful hell.’

La Breiche – Le Rite

We Said – ‘It sounds like a sunrise over a huge dark forest, like the light dappling through ancient trees, like a fox catching a luckless rabbit and biting in. It’s light and it’s dark, it mixes the two and makes them dance together. It’s a reminder of past times and different beliefs. 

Gigs

We only got to two gigs in 2020, Wire and Damo Suzuki. But I have to add that the online Supersonic Festival events through the year have kept me going too, especially Anna Palmer and the three kids gigs we’ve had this year. Again, Highly recommended to all.

So there you, the best of the year according to our writer. What he thinks is of course totally subjective and open to argument. Hopefully see you at a gig this year.

Adrian Bloxham

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