Beat’s Writer’s Wrap-up 2020: Our inquisitive music critics tell us their favourite releases of the year
21.12.2020

Beat’s Writer’s Wrap-up 2020: Our inquisitive music critics tell us their favourite releases of the year

From left to right - Phoebe Bridgers, Perfume Genius and Tame Impala

We spotlight the best releases of the year through the eyes of our writers.

2020… what a disaster. Thank fuck we can say goodbye to the absolute slime ball that’s been the last 12 months and look towards 2021 through a positive lens. Fingers crossed ol’ mate COVID decides to take a backseat and then we’re off to the races with gigs, festivals and events allowed to operate freely enough.

Before we get to 2021, we thought we’d take a look back at the year that was but through the eyes of our wisest investigators – our writers. Spotlighting their top ten albums, top five songs and a few other interesting miscellanea, this is the traditional Beat’s Writer’s Wrap-up but in digital form.

Tom Parker – Editor

Top Ten Albums of the Year:

1. Andras – Joyful
2. Blake Scott – Niscitam
3. Sweet Whirl – How Much Works
4. The Avalanches – We Will Always Love You
5. Mouche – Live From The Bubble
6. Traffik Island – Sweat Kollecta’s Peanut Butter Traffik Jam
7. SAULT – Untitled (Rise)
8. Pop Filter – Donkey Gully Road
9. Romare – Home
10. Art Feynman – Half Price at 3:30

Top Five Songs of the Year:

1. Jayda G – ‘Both of Us’
2. Khruangbin – ‘Time (You and I)’
3. Traffik Island – ‘Ulla Dulla’
4. Viagra Boys – ‘Ain’t Nice’
5. Pop Filter – ‘Waiting To Be Now’

Top movie/TV show of 2020: The Mandalorian
A random activity you did in lockdown:
Honed my basketball skills
Cancelled tour/festival you missed in 2020: 
Meredith
Crazy prediction for 2021: Collingwood for the AFL premiership

Kate Streader – Digital Editor

Top Ten Albums of the Year:

1. The Avalanches – We Will Always Love You
2. Rico Nasty – Nightmare Vacation
3. Princess Nokia – Everything Is Beautiful
4. Fiona Apple – Fetch The Bolt Cutters
5. King Krule – Man, Alive!
6. TOPS – I Feel Alive
7. Adrianne Lenker – Songs
8. Princess Nokia – Everything Sucks
9. Tkay Maidza – Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 2
10. Junglepussy – JP4

Top Five Songs of the Year:

1. Cardi B ft Megan Thee Stallion – ‘WAP’
2. Noname – ‘Song 33’
3. Tank and The Bangas ft Jamie Woods, Orleans Big, Anjelika ‘Jelly’ Joseph – ‘Self Care’
4. Anderson .Paak ft JID, Noname & Jay Rock – ‘Lockdown (Remix)’
5. Julia Jacklin – ‘Cry’

Top movie/TV show of 2020: High Fidelity
A random activity you did in lockdown:
Took up hooping
Cancelled tour/festival you missed in 2020: 
Patti Smith and Her Band at The Forum
Crazy prediction for 2021: COVID-19 is eradicated and the world returns to normal

Talia Rinaldo – Editor, Forte Magazine

Top Ten Albums of the Year:

1. Nothing But Thieves – Moral Panic
2. Tame Impala – The Slow Rush
3. Lime Cordiale – 14 Steps To A Better You
4. Cub Sport – Like Nirvana
5. Spacey Jane – Sunlight
6. Ball Park Music – Ball Park Music
7. Ivey – love + miscellanea
8. Kingswood – Juveniles
9. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Sideways to New Italy
10. The Strokes – The New Abnormal
 
Top Five Songs of the Year:

1. Glass Animals – ‘Heat Waves’
2. Spacey Jane – ‘Booster Seat’
3. The Dreggs – ‘Keepsake’
4. Boo Seeka – ‘Never Enough’
5. Nothing But Thieves – ‘Impossible’

A random activity you did in lockdown: Learned to play a ukulele
Cancelled tour/festival you missed in 2020: 
Beyond The Valley!
Crazy prediction for 2021: Eddie McGuire runs for PM

Will Brewster – Digital Editor, Mixdown Magazine

Top Ten Albums of the Year:

1. SAULT – Untitled (Rise)
2. Jay Electronica – A Written Testimony
3. Jessie Ware – What’s Your Pleasure?
4. Caribou – Suddenly
5. Lianne La Havas – Lianne La Havas
6. Run The Jewels – RTJ4
7. Kelly Lee Owens – Inner Song
8. Tame Impala – The Slow Rush
9. J Hus – Big Conspiracy
10. Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher
 
Top Five Songs of the Year:

1. Thundercat – ‘Dragonball Durag’
2. Tame Impala – ‘Breathe Deeper’
3. Moses Sumney – ‘Cut Me’
4. SAULT – ‘Free’
5. Little Dragon – ‘Another Lover’

Top movie/TV show of 2020: Years and Years, although I enjoyed it a lot more before the world went to shit
A random activity you did in lockdown: I got really, really into ambient music. And DJing. And craft beers!
Cancelled tour/festival you missed in 2020: Missing New Order at The Forum back when the pandemic hit in March definitely hit me where it hurt
Crazy prediction for 2021: Brisbane Lions for AFL premiers!

Andrew Brassington

Top Ten Albums of the Year:

1. Crack Cloud – Pain Olympics 
2. Fontaines D.C. – A Hero’s Death
3. Choir Boy – Gathering Swans
4. Beabadoobee – Fake It Flowers
5. Stiff Richards – State of Mind
6. Bambara – Stray
7. Bedroom – Bdrmm
8. Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Sideways to New Italy
9. Idles – Ultra Mono
10. dave the band – Slob Stories

Top Five Songs of the Year:

1. RAT!hammock – ‘Easy’
2. OK Hotel – ‘Life is Crazy (Like That)’
3. Choir Boy – ‘Sweet Candy’
4. Fontaines DC – ‘A Lucid Dream’
5. Beabadoobee – ‘Worth It’

Top movie/TV show of 2020: Hollywood
A random activity you did in lockdown: Made a zine
Cancelled tour/festival you missed in 2020: DIIV and Fontaines DC
Crazy prediction for 2021: free band live streams with solid production value

August Billy

Top Ten Albums of the Year:

1. Nubya Garcia – Source
2. Mary Lattimore – Silver Ladders
3. Lyra Pramuk – Fountain
4. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – The Mosaic of Transformation
5. Good Sad Happy Bad – Shades
6. U.S. Girls – Heavy Light
7. Actress – Karma & Desire
8. Emma Donovan & The Putbacks – Crossover
9. Alabaster DePlume – To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals Vol. 1
10. Chloe Alison Escott – Stars Under Contract
 
Top Five Songs of the Year

1. Perfume Genius – ‘Nothing At All’
2. Kelly Lee Owns ft. John Cale – ‘Corner of My Sky’
3. Beverly Glenn-Copeland – ‘River Dreams’
4. Lotic – ‘Burn a Print’
5. Roisin Murphy – ‘Murphy’s Law’

Top movie/TV show of 2020: Joe Pera Talks With You
A random activity you did in lockdown:
Started a podcast
Cancelled tour/festival you missed in 2020: 
Patti Smith and Her Band
Crazy prediction for 2021: Tasmanian devil comes back, is really good at pottery

Greta Brereton

Top Ten Albums of the Year:

1. Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher
2. Run The Jewels – RTJ4
3. Taylor Swift – folklore
4. Tkay Maidza – Last Year Was Weird, Vol.2
5. Ziggy Ramo – Black Thoughts
6. Glass Animals – Dreamland
7. Ball Park Music – Ball Park Music
8. Spacey Jane – Sunlight
9. Peach Pit – You and Your Friends
10. Fleet Foxes – Shore

Top Five Songs of the Year:

1. Remi Wolf – ‘Photo ID’
2. Slum Sociable – ‘Explain Myself’
3. Overcoats – ‘Fire & Fury’
4. Arlo Parks – ‘Hurt’
5. Sycco – ‘Dribble’

Top movie/TV show of 2020: Normal People
A random activity you did in lockdown: Fractured my knee lol
Cancelled tour/festival you missed in 2020: Everything
Crazy prediction for 2021: A successful vaccine, no more COVID and we can travel again (wishful thinking…)

Jonathan Reynoso

Top Ten Albums of the Year:

1. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – K.G.
2. Khruangbin – Mordechai
3. Lianna La Havas – Lianna La Havas
4. Thundercat – It Is What It Is
5. Fiona Apple – Fetch The Bolt Cutters
6. Mac Miller – Circles
7. Habibi – Anywhere But Here
8. Little Dragon – New Me, Same Us
9. Tame Impala – The Slow Rush
10. Chicano Batman – Invisible People
 
Top Five Songs of the Year:

1. Khruangbin – ‘Pelota’
2. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – ‘Automation’
3. Natalia Lafourcade – ‘Veracruz’
4. Tame Impala – ‘Breathe Deeper’
5. Lianne La Havas – ‘Bittersweet’

Top movie/TV show of 2020: The Trial of the Chicago 7/The Queen’s Gambit
A random activity you did in lockdown:
Play the drums!
Cancelled tour/festival you missed in 2020:
Desert Daze 2020
Crazy prediction for 2021: King Gizzard releases five more albums

Leland Tan

Top Ten Albums of the Year:

1. Yaeji – What We Drew
2. Four Tet – Sixteen Oceans
3. Moses Sumney – græ
4. Perfume Genius – Set My Heart On Fire Immediately
5. Christian Löffler – Lys
6. Rival Consoles – Night Melody/Articulation
7. Andy Shauf – The Neon Skyline
8. Kelly Lee Owens – Inner Song
9. Bombay Bicycle Club – Everything Else Has Gone Wrong
10. Parcels – Live Vol. 1

Top Five Songs of the Year:

1. Willaris. K – ‘Chapel ft. WaveIQ’ (Boys Noize remix)
2. Mac Miller – ‘Circles’
3. Frank Ocean – ‘Dear April’ (Justice remix)
4. Max Cooper – ‘Reflect’
5. Tourist – ‘Siren’

Top movie/TV show of 2020: Sound of Metal/BoJack Horseman – Season 6
A random activity you did in lockdown: Boiling water in kettles to shower with. True (sad) story
Cancelled tour/festival you missed in 2020:
Tame Impala
Crazy prediction for 2021: Wild reproduction rates

Scott Hudson

Top Ten Albums of the Year:

1. Mac Miller – Circles  
2. Moses Sumney – Græ
3. Run The Jewels – RTJ4 
4. Tasman Keith – To Whom It May Concern
5. Didirri – Sold for Sale
6. Thundercat – It Is What It Is
7. Perfume Genius – Set My Heart on Fire Immediately
8. Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher 
9. The Avalanches – We Will Always Love You 
10. Gengahr – Sanctuary 
 
Top Five Songs of the Year:

1. Mac Miller – ‘Good News’
2. Moses Sumney – ‘Me in 20 Years’
3. seeyousoon – ‘Steamy’
4. Jay Electronica – ‘Fruits of the Spirit’
5. Gengahr – ‘Heavenly Maybe’

Top movie/TV show of 2020: Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun
A random activity you did in lockdown:
Did the MoMA Modern Art course
Cancelled tour/festival you missed in 2020:
Moses Sumney was about to announce!
Crazy prediction for 2021: Queen Elizabeth abdicates

Tammy Walters

Top Ten Albums of the Year:

1. Fiona Apple – Fetch The Bolt Cutters
2. Phoebe Bridges – Punisher
3. Hayley Williams – Petals For Armor
4. Perfume Genius – Set My Heart on Fire Immediately
5. Yours Truly – Self Care
6. The Killers – Imploding the Mirage
7. Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
8. The Strokes – The New Abnormal
9. HAIM – Women In Music Pt. III
10. Tame Impala – The Slow Rush
 
Top Five Songs of the Year:

1. VV – ‘Saturnine Saturnalia’
2. Hayley Williams – ‘Why We Ever’
3. The Strokes – ‘Selfless’
4. The Killers – ‘My Own Soul’s Warning’
5. The 1975 – ‘If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know)’

Top movie/TV show of 2020: Schitt’s Creek
A random activity you did in lockdown:
Painted the interior of my house
Cancelled tour/festival you missed in 2020: 
Splendour In The Grass specifically for my boys The Strokes!
Crazy prediction for 2021: Since The Simpsons seem to know what’s up, I’ve got my bets on humans discovering a tentacled cyclopic alien race run by Kang and Kodos

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