It’s 2020 everyone. You know what that means: Optometrists everywhere have a year’s worth of killer material. Also, it’s a whole new year of me telling you what songs I like. Here are the ones from the month that was…
1. Andy Shauf – “Neon Skyline”
As this Saskatchewanian soft rock virtuoso describes two friends meeting up at a bar, his syllables tumble like jukebox quarters. Bringing the scene to life with such guileless ease, I can practically taste the Molson.
2. Caroline Rose – “Feel the Way I Want”
On her first single in three years, former folkie Caroline Rose abandons the smirking power pop of her last album, in favor of a neon-bright synth groove. In case you’re wondering why she’d make yet another genre shift so early in her career, just take another look at that song title.
3. Kvelertak (ft. Troy Sanders) – “Crack of Doom”
One of the most blisteringly fun heavy metal bands on earth return with a fiery new singer and a bit of garage rock grit added to their arena thrash formula. My neck aches just thinking about it.
4. Rosalia – “Juro Que”
5. TOPS – “I Feel Alive”
Serious ’80s Fleetwood Mac vibes abound on this lovestruck air balloon ride of a song.
6. Thundercat (ft. Steve Lacy & Steve Arrington) – “Black Qualls”
Bass virtuoso, session legend and yacht rock crooner Thundercat is finally dropping is third LP this year. And judging by this lead single, it’s going to be funky as fucking hell.
7. Soakie – “Boys On Stage”
The next time you hear a Democratic candidate talk about the value of pragmatism, drown him out with this ferocious neo-riot-grrrl assault.
8. R.A.P. Ferreira – “DOLDRUMS”
The artist formerly known as Milo (and the pride of Biddeford, Maine), raps about getting kicked out of a Wegmans over mesmerizing eddies of piano jazz.
9. Terry Allen & The Panhandle Mystery Band – “Houdini Didn’t Like the Spiritualists”
As outlaw country legend Terry Allen sings wistfully about Harry Houdini’s efforts to expose the hoaxes of spiritual mediums in the 1920s, one can’t help but feel bad for ol’ Harry. Despite his best efforts, cheaters are prospering now more than ever.
10. 070 Shake – “Morrow”
The best part of Kanye West’s uneven 2018 album ye was the Brooklyn vocalist 070 Shake, who took control of an unstable narrative with unique gravitas. “Morrow” underlines her strengths even further, its sinuous new age atmosphere giving her recounting of a breakup the spiritual clarity it deserves.