1.  Bob Dylan – Rough and Rowdy Ways

Spring 2020 for me meant so many fears, including wondering if we would ever see festivals or live music again. Perhaps not the greatest fear, but such a big part of my life that was suddenly missing.

Infra Violet is a collaboration between producer Toby Campen & guitarist singer-songwriter Bethany Munroe they were formed in early 2020. The duo's debut release 'Polaroid' with b-side 'Naïve' was released in the summer and followed by the single ‘Water’ on 27th November 2020. Here are their Top Ten albums of 2020

1.  Fleet Foxes - Shore

This album dropped on the world on the autumn equinox and on first listen brought an immediate smile to my face and an uplift in spirits. Somehow this album with its return to nature theme seems to have captured the emotions and mood swings of lockdown in a year where so many releases were delayed.

1.  Jens Kuross – The Man Nobody Can Touch

I have the Radcliffe and Maconie BBC6 Music show to thank for discovering Jens’ work. They have a slot called ‘Early Riser’ on their weekend show – it’s mainly ambient, some instrumental stuff but always intriguing and they really hit the motherlode with “Done With Dancing” – their chosen Jens Kuross track, and as it turns out, one of the strongest songs on the album.

1. Tiña - Positive Mental Health Music

This album was an accidental discovery for me - ordered purely on the strength of it being the first full LP release on the Speedy Wunderground label. It grabbed me from the first play and continues to deliver intriguing angles on each listen.

1. Good Souls Better Angels - Lucinda Williams

Whilst it took a lot of listening and deliberation to put albums 2 to 10 in order, I knew all along what my number one was going to be. For me 2020 was Lucinda's year. She was everywhere - Tiny Desk, on 'A Song For Joe' (Joe Strummer tribute), guesting on podcasts, guesting with Margo Price and finally starring in her own unprecedented livestream series 'Lu's Jukebox'. No dwelling on changed circumstances: Lucinda got on with a covers project she had long wanted to do, but could never find the time for (living in Nashville helps, of course).

1.  Christian Lee Hutson- Beginners

I’d been waiting for this album for a while, after discovering Christian Lee Hutson on a weekly Brooklyn Vegan playlist. It didn’t take me long to really appreciate the story telling within. Produced by Phoebe Bridges and featuring guest musicians such as Nathaniel Walcott of Bright Eyes, this album is not only very poetic, it’s also full of character. It’s a record that’s got it all, from Huston’s warm vocals to his graceful guitar work.


1.   Emily Barker - A Dark Murmuration of Words

I discovered the Strawberry fair in Cambridge around 2003. An annual free festival of the arts held on midsummer common on the first weekend of June each year. During those early years I discovered a band playing at the festival called The Low Country who were fronted by Emily Barker.

1. EOB - Earth

My album of the year, for me this set of tunes had everything to lift my spirits through the long spell of lockdown (including a guest appearance from Laura Marling). This album will make you want to dance (Olympik) Contemplate (Sail On) Get a bit angry (Banksters) and even cry it’s so beautiful (Cloak of the Night).

1. Ringo Deathstarr – Ringo Deathstarr

Like everyone, in this year of all years, comfort from music has never been so important, especially in it’s ability to create diversion and distraction. Ringo Deathstarr’s eponymous 6th album was released back in March just as we went into lockdown, and gripped me from first playing of the opening, swirling strains of Nagoya, and stayed with me regularly for the full 45 minutes.

1.  Native Harrow – Closeness

How many times have you scrolled through a list of new album releases, settled on a band with an unusual name hit Play and immediately bought the gold paint effect record from their website. That's what happened when I first heard Native Harrow's 'Closeness'.

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