Indie 102.3 Picks Their Favorite Music Of 2020

December 17, 2020

There have been a million adjectives used to describe this year and you've heard 'em all, so we won't be a repetitive drone of how (insert your adjective of choice) it has been. Instead we'll entertain you with our staff picks of best music. This year has provided a slew of awesome tunes, music videos, covers, EPs and albums despite the music industry suffering due to the pandemic. The music has kept our spirits up and kept us going in 2020 and we hope that's been the same for you.

Revisit some of the 2020 music favorites with us from national artists to local superstars and up-and-coming talents from all over the globe.

Listen to a Spotify playlist of Indie 102.3's staff member's favorite songs of 2020 below. 

Alisha Sweeney

Best National Albums:

  • Bully - Sugaregg
  • Fiona Apple - Fetch the Bolt Cutters
  • Man Man - Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between
  • Nap Eyes - Snapshot of a Beginner
  • Perfume Genius - Set My Heart On Fire Immediately
  • Phoebe Bridgers - Punisher
  • Porridge Radio - Every Bad
  • SAULT - Untitled (Black Is)
  • Thundercat - It Is What It Is
  • Waxahatchee - Saint Cloud

Best Local Albums:

  • Down Time - Hurts Being Alive
  • Esme Patterson - There Will Come Soft Rains
  • Inaiah Lujan - Do What You Want
  • Joseph Lamar - SIN [act I]
  • Kayla Marque - Brain Chemistry
  • Midwife - In / Heaven
  • Nathaniel Rateliff - And It's Still Alright
  • Ramakhandra - Ramakhandra
  • Schama Noel - Eternal Feels, Vol. 2
  • Tennis - Swimmer
  • The Still Tide - Between Skies
  • Wes Watkins - Dream Bigger
Inaiah Lujan - Do What You Want

Bruce Trujillo

Best Songs:

  • Alice Bag - "Spark"
  • Chicano Batman - "The Way"
  • The Grand Alliance - "Chakra Kahn"
  • La Dame Blanche - "Cogelo Con Calma"
  • Lido Pimienta - "Nada" (ft. Li Saumet)
  • Nelson D - "A Grande Revolta"
  • Schama Noel - "What’s Happening Now"
  • Orion Sun - "Coffee For Dinner"
  • Pink Hawks - "Elote"
  • Yves Tumor - "Gospel for a New Century"

Best Band Tee Shirts:

  • Erykah Badu
  • Black Belt Eagle Scout
  • Combo Chimbita
  • Devendra Banhart
  • Don Chicharron
  • Down Time
  • Hurray For the Riff Raff
  • Kid Astronaut
  • Ladama
  • Ramakhandra
Bruce's many band shirts

Demi Harvey

Best Songs:

  • KLLO - "Cursed"
  • Arlo Parks - "Eugene"
  • Myd, Mac DeMarco - "Moving Men"
  • Perfume Genius - "Jason"
  • ROSALIA - "TKN" feat. Travis Scott
  • Fleet Foxes - "Can I Believe You"
  • Q - "Take Me Where You're Heart Is"
  • Childish Gambino - "19.10"
  • Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion - "WAP"
  • Thundercat - "Funny Thing"

Best Music Videos

  • Dorian Electra - "F the World"
  • Sylvan Esso - "Ferris Wheel"
  • KAYTRANADA - "The Worst In Me" feat. Tinashe
  • Kali Uchis, Jhay Cortez – "la luz (Fín)"
  • Beyoncé, Blue Ivy, SAINt JHN, WizKid - "BROWN SKIN GIRL"
  • Phoebe Bridgers - "I Know The End"
  • Charli XCX - "claws"
  • Nilufer Yanya - "Same Damn Luck"
  • Arca - "Nonbinary"
  • FKA Twigs - "Sad Day"

Katie Bradley

Best Songs:

  • Bakar - "1st Time"
  • Gracie Abrams - "Friend"
  • Kenny Hoopla feat. Travis Barker - "ESTELLA"
  • Grumpster - "Growing Pains"
  • Evann Mcintosh feat. Lil Mop - "Wiyuld"
  • Gorillaz feat. slowthai & Slaves - "Momentary Bliss"
  • Dehd. - "Flood"
  • Viagra Boys - "Ain’t Nice"
  • Sweet Spirit - "Llorando"
  • The Unrighteous Brothers - "Unchained Melody"

Best Albums:

  • The Mountain Goats - Songs for Pierre Chuvin
  • Dominic Fike - What Could Possibly Go Wrong
  • Orville Peck - Show Pony
  • Perfume Genius - Set My Heart on Fire Immediately
  • Days N Daze - Show Me The Blueprints
  • X - Alphabetland
  • Tennis - Swimmer
  • Khruangbin - Mordechai
  • Fiona Apple - Fetch the Bolt Cutters
  • US Girls - Heavy Light
Orville Peck - Show Pony

Jason Thomas

Best Songs:

  • The 1975 - "If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know)"
  • Arlo Parks - "Black Dog"
  • The Avalanches - "Running Red Lights" feat. Rivers Cuomo & Pink Siifu
  • Beabadoobee - "Sorry"
  • Bruce Hornsby - "Bright Star Cast" feat. Jamila Woods & Vernon Reid
  • Haim - "The Steps"
  • Hum - "Waves"
  • The Killers - "My Own Soul’s Warning"
  • Michael Kiwanuka - "Hero"
  • THE NEVERLY BOYS - "Never Come Down"
  • Pottery - "Hot Heater"
  • Run The Jewels - "JU$T" feat. Pharrell Williams & Zack de la Rocha
  • Shame - "Alphabet"
  • Sleaford Mods - "Mork n Mindy" feat. Billy Nomates
  • Soccer Mommy - "Circle the Drain"
  • The Streets - "Call My Phone Thinking I’m Doing Nothing Better" feat. Tame Impala
  • Sufjan Stevens - "Video Game"
Beabadoobee - Fake It Flowers

Jeremy Petersen

Best Albums:

Best Cover Songs:

Jessi Whitten

Best Songs:

  • Phoebe Bridgers - “ICU”
  • Arlo Parks - “Green Eyes”
  • Derek Pope - “Us and Them”
  • Fiona Apple - “I Want You to Love Me”
  • Perfume Genius - “On the Floor”
  • Nilufer Yanya - “Crash”
  • PawPaw Rod - “HIT EM WHERE IT HURTS”
  • Curtis Waters - “Stunnin”
  • Waxahatchee - “Oxbow”
  • Janelle Monae - “TurnTables”

Best Quarantine Songs:

  • Mirah - “The Struggle”
  • Saintseneca - “Happy Alone”
  • Dyan - “Looking for Knives”
  • Cobra Man - “Bad Feeling”
  • Songs: Ohia - “Farewell Transmission”
  • Labrinth - “Still Don’t Know My Name”
  • Colin Stetson - “Red Horse (Judges II)
  • Tyler, The Creator - “NEW MAGIC WAND”
  • Phoebe Bridgers - “I Know the End”
  • Miriam Makeba - “Pata Pata”
CVR_6466-36 001Gilles Laurent
Perfume Genius

Willobee

Best Songs:

  • Bartees Strange - “Boomer”
  • Black Pumas - “Fire”
  • Gordi - “Sandwiches”
  • Elvis Costello - “No Flag”
  • Fontaines DC - “Televised Mind”
  • Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard - “Double Denim Hop”
  • Noga Erez - “Views” feat. Reo Cragun & ROUSSO
  • Eels - “Are We Alright Again”
  • Janelle Monae - “Turntables”
  • Psychedelic Porn Crumpets - “Tally-Ho”

Best Albums:

  • Gorillaz - Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez
  • EOB - Earth
  • Haim - Women In Music Pt. III
  • Sylvan Esso Free Love
  • Run The Jewels - RTJ4
  • The Strokes - The New Abnormal
  • Tame Impala - The Slow Rush
  • Khruangbin - Mordechai
  • The Avalanches - We Will Always Love You
  • Eels - Earth to Dora
SHA-11
The Strokes - The New Abnormal

Zach Gilltrap

Best Songs:

  • Black Honey - "I like the way you die"
  • Grandson - "Dirty or We Did It"
  • Still Woozy - "Window"
  • Car Seat Headrest - "Hollywood"
  • Gorillaz - "The Valley of the Pagans" feat. Beck
  • IDKHOW - "Leave Me Alone"
  • Sen Morimoto - "Woof"
  • Cannons - "Fire For You"
  • Shamir - "On My Own"
  • Phantogram - "In a Spiral"
Car Seat Headrest

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