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Throughout December, CHIRP Radio presents its volunteers’ top albums of 2020.
As we get ready to turn another page, it’s time to present CHIRP Radio’s collective list of the Top Ten albums of the year. Of the 300+ records mentioned by our volunteers in their individual lists, these are the ones cited the most often.
In the summer of 2020, an enigmatic UK entity released one set of songs in June and then another in September, during the latest historic period in America’s struggle for equality. The powerful style and messages of these two releases resonated with many of our volunteers the rest of the year; Almost every reviewer who cited one of the albums on their year-end list mentioned the other one with equal praise. All things considered, it just doesn’t make sense to think of them as separate items.
Therefore, for the first time in the history of CHIRP Radio list-crafting, the same artist claims the #1 and #2 albums of the year, topping a list of new and veteran musicians who helped the rest of us keep it together during these savage times.
CHIRP Radio thanks all of the musicians, labels and venues who keep on making their art, because that’s what artists do. And a special Thank You to our listeners who never stopped supporting us through this year. It’s an honor and a joy to be part of your community.
Here’s to better days for all of us. See you in 2021.
Throughout December, CHIRP Radio presents its volunteers’ top albums of 2020. Our next list is from Founder and General Manager, DJ Shawn Campbell.
What a year, huh? When I caught two shows in a single day (The 45 in the afternoon, John Cale at night) at the end of January, I thought, "maybe 2020 will be a big live music year for me!" As I took in a triumphant, sold-out hometown show for Beach Bunny at Metro in late February, I thought my big question for the year was going to be, "is crowd surfing making a comeback?" rather than, "will this be the last show I see in person in 2020?"
Obviously, 2020 didn't turn out the way any of us planned. But I'm so glad we were able to bring you so much great music this year, and that we could raise up the voice of so many amazing independent artists.
Throughout December, CHIRP Radio presents its volunteers’ top albums of 2020. Our next list is from DJ Mick Reed.
I’ve decided against doing any year end lists for 2020. Partially because of how revolting it is to me that major music publications publish theirs earlier and earlier each year, and partially because of how tedious I find them to read (and write!).
So I’m doing something different. This year I’ve picked out ten records that joined CHIRP’s extensive library this year that I really enjoyed in the hopes that I can encourage people to either check them out or keep them in their personal rotation in 2021.
The list has three criteria: 1) the album has to contain mostly original songs, 2) the has to have been released this year, and 3) I either had to have discovered the album through my work with the station, or otherwise first listened to the album while at the station’s office. My recommendations are listed in alphabetical order by artist below. Enjoy and Happy New Year!
Throughout December, CHIRP Radio presents its volunteers’ top albums of 2020. Our next list is from DJ and Record Fair Director Jenny West.
This was a weird year. There was a ton of music. I did not get to all of it. A lot of it I crammed in the last two weeks of the year. With so much new content and time and so few ways to access it (RIP live shows, record stores, and pretty much everything but Bandcamp being garbage) we are somehow living in abundance and restriction simultaneously.
And of course, the weirdness and horribleness colored my tastes and preferences for what I want to hear (look, Radiohead's Amnesiac remains one of my favorite albums of all time but you're kidding yourself if you think I could survive a thorough play of that this year). So here's my best effort to summarize 2020 in music.
Throughout December, CHIRP Radio presents its volunteers’ top albums of 2020. Our next list is from Assistant Music Director Libby Wait.
At some point in December every year, I typically give up on finalizing my best-of-the-year list, finding myself unable to actually choose my 10-20 favorite albums. This year, I listened to more music than ever before. Out of all of those hours of music, it was more obvious to me which albums stuck with me or affected me the most. Whether it was for a distraction and sense of escape, or for a moment of comfort and calm, these are the ones that I kept coming back to.