Each year, as the previous year’s albums that I’ve listened to for the first time pile up, I’m reminded of how little time any of us really have. All of the newsletters, E-mail blasts, magazines, music writers, YouTubers, TikTokers, and personal recommendations continue to sit impatiently as the never-ending newer releases take precedent. As those at the bottom get pushed farther down, it becomes harder and harder to justify digging down, nor does the mess accruing at the surface always allow for it. But sometimes, those trips back are rewarded, rendering what I thought were iron-clad lists totally moot. As always, I welcome the reminder that best-of lists, even personal ones like these, are only relative to the music we were exposed to and able to hear. In no particular order, here are ten of the best albums released in 2020 that I didn’t discover until 2021, and in some other better, alternate universe, might have made last year’s lists.
Sachika Misawa: I AM ME // Benjamin Grosvenor: Chopin Piano Concertos
NINA: Synthian // Marc Timon Barcelo: San Mao: The Desert Bride (Original Soundtrack)
Neon Nox: Last Stand // Robert Parker: Club 707
IVVY: Awake // Marvel83′: Metropolis
Natsu Amano: Across The Great Divide // Ryusenkei/Hitomitoi: Talio