A show of music appreciation from artists unknown to artists well-known.
Playboi Carti Whole Lotta Red
Atlanta rapper Playboi Carti debuted with a repetitive and catchy flow like contemporaries Lil Uzi Vert and Young Thug, gaining recognition in the mid-2010s as an affiliate of A$AP Mob. A steady succession of viral singles helped Carti's first proper album, 2018's Die Lit, debut at number three on the Billboard charts, and he moved into a new phase of his artistry with the riskier and more aggressive Whole Lotta Red in 2020.
ZEAL & ARDOR Wake of a Nation
The black metal, blues, and African American fusion of Zeal & Ardor's music is the brainchild of musician Manuel Gagneux. He moved from his native Switzerland to New York, and took up the moniker Zeal & Ardor, having previously released music under the name Bird mask.
After a tumultuous start to the year 2020, Gagneux could not hold his tongue and released the crushing EP titled 'Wake of a Nation'.
This EP and episode are the results of atrocities that were committed earlier in the year 2020. Please consider donating to https://www.joincampaignzero.org/ or your charity of choice.
Any and all proceeds from this episode will go directly to this cause.
Aesop Rock Spirit World Field Guide
Rapper, producer, and poet Aesop Rock has received widespread acclaim and amassed a loyal following for his complex, literate rhymes. Aesop's first solo album in four years, the typically heady Spirit World Field Guide appeared in November.
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Taylor Swift Evermore
Taylor Swift is that rarest of pop phenomena: a superstar who managed to completely cross over from country to the mainstream. Swift's plans to support Lover with a tour in 2020 were scrapped due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With some unexpected time on her hands, she wrote and recorded a new set of songs, many in collaboration with Aaron Dessner of the National; Bon Iver and longtime Swift associate Jack Antonoff also contributed. The resulting album, folklore, was released on July 24, 2020, and went straight to the top of the Billboard 200.
Less than five months later, Swift released a companion album to folklore called Evermore. Featuring many of the same collaborators as its predecessor, Evermore debuted at number one upon its December 11, 2020 release.
Dinosaur Jr. Bug
Dinosaur Jr. was largely responsible for returning the lead guitar to indie rock and, along with their peers the Pixies, they injected late-'80s alternative rock with monumental levels of pure guitar noise. As the group's career progressed, they broke into three distinctive acts: the indie years of the original trio, the '90s spent on major labels where the band was mostly a solo vehicle for J Mascis' songwriting and guitar wizardry, and a surprisingly strong reunion of the original lineup beginning in 2006.
Early in 1988 they released the seminal single "Freak Scene," a song that captured the feeling and tone of the emerging American post-punk underground. "Freak Scene" became a college radio hit, and it led the way for their acclaimed 1988 album, Bug.
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Best Songs of 2020
This year has been a rollercoaster. We took the time to compile our absolute favorite songs of the year (20 from Tyler and 25 from Ian) and hope that you find some in common and discover something new that you may have missed. We love you all endlessly and thank you for your devotion to listening and supporting us.
Here is to another year in music.
- Tyler and Ian