2020 was a year, honestly. In terms of music releases, it has to be one of the best. Even though artists were not able to do an enormous amount of live performances and tours, they made the best of it by releasing albums, singles, music videos, and so much more. There are just so many releases and proud moments to talk about.
Here at For The Punks, we are breaking it down by our contributors who submitted their favorites. We even created a playlist of these favorites for easy access. From favorite albums, songs, to artists, live performances, and music videos, this is For The Punks’ Best Of 2020: Music Edition.
Favorite Album of the Year: No Good Left to Give by Movements
Recommended songs: “Skin to Skin,” “Don’t Give Up Your Ghost,” and “Tunnel Vision”
Movements is one of my favorite bands, and I think this album was such an amazing follow up to their previous record. And, these songs specifically are really deep emotionally, which is one of my favorite things about the band’s style. They are able to write songs that are really emotional, and about difficult topics, but they write it so poetically. Each song really strikes a nerve and is so relatable.
The music video for “Don’t Give Up Your Ghost” by Movements was wonderful and one of my favorites from this year.
Along with Movements, I have to give a special shoutout to Seahaven, Elder Brother, and No Pressure for wonderful releases as well.
Watch the music video for “Don’t Give Up Your Ghost” here:
Favorite Album of the Year: Post Human: Survival Horror by Bring Me The Horizon
Recommended songs: “Ludens,” “Dear Diary,” and “Parasite Eve”
Bring Me The Horizon is a band who I think has evolved their career in the best possible way. They stay true to their metalcore roots, while still exploring an extensive realm of other popular genres. Their new album is a perfect medium of all their styles into one masterpiece. Further, I love how they address the complicated political and cultural climate in the world today. The album gives me hope that a new message for change is being heard by the world.
I’m going to plug my own band here, Eerie Shores, for our “Cover Me” music video. It was our first music video and we wanted to do something unique to really develop a story. It’s low-budget and DIY for sure, but I’m extremely proud of the creativity we were able to express.
Watch the official music video for “Cover Me” here:
Along with my own band and the wonderful album by Bring Me The Horizon, I have to give shoutouts to a handful of bands and their 2020 releases. I love Architects’ single “Animals”, The 1975’s single “If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know)” the EP All That I’ve Lost by Coasting On Potential, the single “Beyond Belief” by Holding Absence, “Déjá Vu” by The Dead Tongues, and “Dying to Live” by Sevendust. I also enjoyed Story of the Year’s full album live stream of In the Wake of Determination.
I love seeing how the music industry has been challenged across 2020. Artists, businesses, and creators everywhere have been thrown into a tornado. However, there are so many creative ways people have found to stay afloat. The ability to evolve in the music industry is beyond exciting to see.
Favorite EP of the Year: A State Of Living In An Objective Reality by Eliza & The Delusionals
Recommended songs: “Just Exist,” “ALIVE,” and “Feel It All (And Nothing)”
I don’t think I have ever fallen in love with an EP as fast as that one. When I first heard it, I knew it would be something special. I spent most my days in lockdown, blasting it as loud as ever and screaming along to the lyrics as it’s so incredible and perfect in my eyes.
Along with Eliza & The Delusionals I have been loving the newest releases from Tired Lion, Tia Gostelow, Wallows, Vera Blue, and The Midnight. Tired Lion’s music video for “Lie To Me” has to be one of my favorites of the year. It’s fun and it really grabbed my attention.
Watch the official music video for Tired Lion’s “Lie To Me” here:
Favorite Album of the Year: Use Me by PVRIS
Recommended songs: “Loveless,” “Gimme A Minute,” and “Stay Gold”
I have been anticipating this LP since PVRIS dropped Hallucinations. PVRIS’ new sound is phenomenal. The mixing and production on the whole album is phenomenal, but it stood out to me a lot on my recommended songs specifically. Along with their album, I loved their feature on Guardin’s song “Alive”. I fell in love with that song as soon as I heard it.
A Greater Danger’s music video for “Sycophants” is very near and dear to me. I joined the AGD boys in the studio while they recorded this, so seeing it go from nothing to seeing the complete video makes my heart mush.
If I had to add something else, it would be that I miss taking pictures at shows and living in the live music environment so much. I can’t wait to get back to it hopefully one day.
Watch the music video for “Sycophants” here:
Favorite Album of the Year: Post Human: Survival Horror by Bring Me The Horizon
Recommended songs: “Teardrops,” “1×1,” and “One Day The Only Butterflies Left Will Be In Your Chest As You March Towards Your Death”
I love Bring Me The Horizon’s evolution as a band. They steadily push the envelope and continue to fearlessly experiment with their sound. They’ve ultimately established themselves as their own genre with their versatility as musicians. Survival Horror is a radiant cyberpunk gem – blending together all of the Bring Me components, and delivering blunt honesty, fused with heaviness and a sharp experimental edge – bleeding through with raw authenticity. Survival Horror presents social commentary that reflects on the decay and corruption of our society and government, our dying planet, and the degenerative conditions that we find ourselves suffering from within.
I love the entire record, but my recommended tracks resonate with me the most, lyrically and thematically.
I always find myself obsessed with music videos that contain water elements and consist of band members being drenched in H2O. Haha. I just love the aesthetic and the creative narratives that can be told by utilizing this natural resource.
The “Teardrops” video holds significant truth regarding the effects of crippling depression — that feeling of being trapped and dragged down. The dark visuals don’t shy away from tackling this difficult subject and strongly resonates with viewers who battle with mental health.
Watch the official music video for “Teardrops” here:
On top of Bring Me The Horizon, I enjoyed Manic by Halsey, Mother by In This Moment, Use Me by PVRIS, and Petals for Armor by Hayley Williams.
There was also a BMTH and Amy Lee collaboration. Enough said.
Motionless In White released so many things this year that I enjoyed! Along with these releases, I love the artwork for their 10th anniversary of their debut album ‘Creatures’ by Dan Mumford.
My favorite live event of the year was Motionless In White’s ‘Creatures’ deadstream event. I had the opportunity to see my favorite band ‘live’ for the first time amidst a global pandemic and do a write-up on the show. It was an experience I’ll never forget and my personal highlight of 2020. I look forward to the return of live shows, so I can finally go see Motionless In White perform their songs in the flesh. Despite being a virtual event, this was an enthralling gem of a performance that vividly showcases the power of music and instills hope for our industry.
Motionless In White put their heart and soul into every aspect of their work, and this virtual event was no exception. It truly encapsulated what makes a MIW show such a memorable occurrence.
Watch a video for their new song “Creatures X: To The Grave” from the stream:
Favorite Album of the Year: Young Culture by Young Culture
Recommended songs: “Anywhere I Go, I’m Taking You With Me,” “I’ll Be There,” and “American Idle”
Young Culture, with this being their debut self-titled album, have proved that they are one the top New York bands to be watching right now. Not only is their branding and artwork with dear friend Danny DeRusso inspiring, Young Culture always strives for love and kindness in and out of their music. They are truly one of the best bands of 2020 and this album proves it.
Speaking of artwork, I have to shout out Seaway and their visuals for their album “Big Vibe.” Truly amazing work by the band and their team.
Courtnie’s music video for her song “What’s Up” has to be one of the best music videos I watched this year. I first found the video after it went viral on Twitter and I’ve loved it ever since. It’s based in a hair salon. It’s nostalgic. It’s full 90s vibes. It’s cultural. The song itself is great but when you watch it with the video it’s even better.
Watch it here:
Other favorites of mine include Soccer Mommy, DRAIN, Year Of The Knife, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, Chloe x Halle, Poppy, and Gus Dapperton. I fell in love with Pinkshift and their sound. I love Spiritbox. I’m also so proud of Meet Me @ The Altar.
In February, I was lucky enough to attend the LDB festival in Louisville, Kentucky. Not only am I glad I went with such great friends, each band that performed was fantastic. I really think Magnitude had one of the best live sets of the weekend, if not the best, and I am sure many others would agree.
Watch the full set here thanks to 197 Media:
Overall, I really took the time to discover new artists this year. This year was such a wonderful year for music, despite everything that has happened.
Let me tell you, we wanted to include so many more artists on our list this year. There were just so many releases that blew us away. We hope that you can find something new and inspiring within our list.
Listen to our complete Spotify playlist here: