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Albums of the Year 2020

the final countdown (as voted by is this music?'s writers)

By • Dec 31st, 2020 • Category: Feature

Just in under the wire, here’s our writers favourite albums of 2020.

Each writer ranked their favourite five long-players of the past year with close to 100 albums receiving at least one vote, but – unusually for our diverse writing team – there were several albums which featured in multiple charts, and with the #1 getting a nod from nearly half of those who submitted their choices.

Previously itm? has stood somewhat alone in its writers’ choices with the likes of A New International, Marnie, Minor Victories, Stoor and The Phantom Band toping the poll in recent times.

This year, however, it seems that everyone and his scabby dug has proclaimed our number 1 – from a band who reached #11 in 2019 with their debut, ‘Dogrel’ – their favourite long player of the year as well. Maybe we’ve hit the mainstream, or maybe everyone else has got with the programme.

Either way, Fontaines DC’s sophomore effort, ‘A Hero’s Death’, is a worthy winner.



1. Fontaines DCA Hero’s Death (Partisan)


2. I Like TrainsKompromat (Atlantic Curve)


3. Mt. Doubt Doubtlands (Last Night From Glasgow)


4. Taylor Swift Folklore (TS)


5. Wire Mind Hive (pinkflag)


6. Bob Mould Blue Hearts (Merge)


7. Phoebe Bridgers Punisher (Dead Oceans)


8. Martha Ffion Nights To Forget (Lost Map)


9. Man of Moon Dark Seas (Cosmic Pool)


10. Protomartyr Ultimate Success Today (Domino)


11. Bruce Springsteen Letter to You (Columbia)

12. Deftones Ohms (Reprise)

13. Slift Ummon (label)

14. Macaroom Kodomono Odoriko (Stolen Body)

15. Sons of Southern Ulster Sinners and Lost Souls (Hanging Tree)

16. Hector Gannet Big Harcar (Guga)

17. Bob Dylan Rough and Rowdy Ways (BMG)

18. Paper Rifles Traitor’s Hill (Anti-Manifesto)

19. BC Camplight Shortly After Takeoff (Bella Union)

20. Robin Adams One Day (RA)


21. Roisin Murphy Roisin Machine (Skint)

22. Soccer Mommy Color Theory (Lorna Vista)

23. Biffy Clyro A Celebration of Endings (14th Floor)

24. Mogwai Zerozerozero (Rock Action)

25. Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks Traditional Techniques (Domino)

26. Check Masses Nightlife (Triassic Tusk)

27. Surfjan Stevens The Ascension (Asthmatic Kitty)

28. IdlesUltra Mono (Partisan)

29. Mitchell Museum Skinny Tricks (Scottish Fiction)

30. Tony Allen and Hugh Masekela Rejoice (World Circuit Limited)

31. Thomas LeerEmotional Hardware (Smitten Kitten)

32. Savage Mansion Weird Country (Lost Map)

33. Laura Marling Song for our Daughter (Chrysalis)

34. Marika HackmanCovers (MK)

35. James Dean Bradfield Even in Exile (Montyrae)

36. Pictish TrailThumb World (Lost Map)

37. Snowgoose The Making of You (Glass Modern)

38. Beerjacket Health Hour (?)

39. Baxter Dury The Night Chancers (Heavenly)

40. Limo CunninghamShort Cuts (Bandcamp)

41. King of the SlumsEncrypted Contemporary Narratives (SLR 007)

42. Morphamish & Tryptamines Adventures in Anywhen (Anywhen)

43. Jarv IsBeyond The Pale (Rough Trade)

44. Army of MothsBy Word of Moth (Bandcamp)

45. John MOuseThe Goat (kmlyh)

46. Caribou Suddenly (City Slang)

47. Hen Ogledd Free Humans (Weird World)

48. Callum Easter Green Door Sessions (Moshi Moshi)

49. Charli XCXHow I’m Feeling Now (Atlantic)

50. Michael J Sheehy Distance is the Soul of Beauty (Lightning Archive)

*Apologies for the lack of a playlist, but that would kind of defeat the purpose of trying to support new music… #boycottspotify! (You can follow the song titles for Amazon ‘buy’ links or a google search should take you to a bandcamp page for the acts in many cases).

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