Top Albums of 2020

Updated: Nov 21, 2020

This year has been a tough one for everyone, and I just want to thank each and every person who has released music, or played a livestream this year. Music has coddled and carried me through the last seven months, and with that, has continued to be my main source of escape, of hope, and of happiness.


Laura Jane Grace - Stay Alive

Release Date: October 1, 2020

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Label: Polyvinyl Records

Favorite Track: Old Friend (Stay Alive)

That's it - just Laura Jane Grace, a guitar and a drum machine - and you have one of the best records of the year. A surprise record release, filled with simplistic, yet, intricately beautiful tracks, helped cushion the blow from the remains of 2020.

Bad Cop/Bad Cop - The Ride

Release Date: June 19, 2020

Location: San Pedro, California

Label: Fat Wreck Chords

Favorite Track: Sing with Me

BC/BC's newest record takes a slightly different journey than their last previous releases. Stylistically speaking, we hear Bad Cop push themselves to the limit - producing jaw-dropping harmonies, riffs, and killer drumming. Each individual song on the record emotes something amazingly different from the last, while still coming together to form one cohesive unit.

The Bombpops - Death in Venice Beach

Release Date: March 13, 2020

Location: San Diego/Los Angeles, California

Label: Fat Wreck Chords

Favorite Track: House on Fire

One thing that I have noticed while listening to Death in Venice Beach? It's the way that I am able to transport myself to another dimension while listening. I have no clue how The Bombpops are able to do that, but I find myself drifting off to somewhere else. These songs are catchy as hell, and each member of the band brings something special to the table.

Hot Mulligan - You’ll be Fine

Release Date: March 6, 2020 Location: Lansing, Michigan

Label: No Sleep Records

Favorite Track: Dirty Office Bongos

Relatively new to the Hot Mulligan game, I gave this record a chance. This record was receiving so much praise, to which I wholeheartedly agree. This record fills me with nostalgia, reminiscent of summers at the Vans Warped Tour. With the strain in each vocal, on every song, to the heart-wrenching lyrics, lying over renewed pop-punk beats, Hot Mulligan have hit their stride.

Stand Atlantic - Pink Elephant

Release Date: September 16, 2020

Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Label: Hopeless Records

Favorite Track: Blurry

Stand Atlantic are quickly becoming one of my favorite bands. Pink Elephant is one of those records that is magically able to restore any positive outlooks I had for the time being. To describe these songs as catchy would be an understatement. I love the feel-good nature of each upbeat track, while still fitting in slower paced songs, such a "Drink to Drown."

Hayley Williams - Petals for Armor

Release Date: May 8, 2020

Location: Nashville, Tennessee

Label: Atlantic Records

Favorite Track: Crystal Clear

Hayley Williams's solo debut album - wow, I never thought I would say that. As a huge Paramore fan, I was not sure what to expect. This record is nothing like Paramore, and I am actually very pleased about that. With bass-heavy tracks, and massive indie influence, PFA has a unique sound that restores my faith in artist's creativity, all the while tugging at my heartstrings. Williams has proven herself yet again to be a multifaceted artist, with ideas and creative direction that can withstand the test of time.

Pity Party - Concrete

Release Date: May 29, 2020 Location: Oakland, CA Label: La Escalera Records

Favorite Track: Fester

I fell in love with Pity Party when I saw them support Bad Cop/Bad Cop on tour last summer. Their live performances are so energetic and captivating, and I was immediately fascinated. Concrete is a heavy album, full of addictive tracks that do not gloss over real issues. Real heavy human emotions, real-life scenarios and experiences, and the pain that encompasses them.

Jeff Rosenstock - No Dream

Release Date: May 20, 2020

Location: Long Island, New York

Label: Polyvinyl Records

Favorite Track: Nikes (Alt)

Jeff Rosenstock's new release is such a unique treat. There's a rampant mixture of many different sub-genres, but is definitely punk at heart. This record is a feel-good reminder of how versatile alternative and punk records can be, and that they do not have to stick to a somewhat rigid formula.

The Menzingers - From Exile

Release Date: September 25, 2020 Location: Scranton, Pennsylvania

Label: Epitaph Records

Favorite Track:

If you have listened to The Menzinger's album Hello Exile, which was released in October of 2019, then you may be familiar with these songs. All of the songs on From Exile are reworked and reimagined - each member recorded separately from one another, while isolated - and fans have now received this amazing gift. These "new" songs seem simpler, smoother, the arrangements and percussion prominent. The Menzingers have an extraordinary ability to take something that they've already done, and make it brand new again.

Touché Amoré - Lament

Release Date: October 9, 2020

Location: Los Angeles, California

Label: Epitaph Records

Favorite Track: Reminders

While I never declared myself "done" with post-hardcore, I have strayed from it over the past few years. Touché Amoré have pulled me back in with their newest LP, Lament. This record has a way of sucking listeners in from the get-go, emotionally and aggressively.

The Lawrence Arms - Skeleton Coast

Release Date: July 17, 2020

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Label: Epitaph Records

Favorite Track: (The) Demon

This long-awaited album from Chicago punks The Lawrence Arms finally dropped this year, and fans were stoked. This record has that classic Larry Arms feel, but with a more matured, refined edge. Brendan Kelly's voice is one of the most recognizable in the scene, with all the rasp and gritty undertones that nestle perfectly into these songs.

The Lippies - Pop 'n' Lockdown EP

Release Date: April, 17, 2020

Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Label: Red Scare Industries

Favorite Track: On Your Mind

I love this EP. The Lippies have crafted these three songs, so powerful and poignant, aggressively delicious in delivery and within the lyrics. I am so elated that The Lippies have reunited and are continuing to make music that I (and many, many others) love and relate to, so very much.