by Camden Westendorf | October 5, 2020
For many people around the world, this year has been a year full of sadness and distance, both physical and emotional. I have found that I have had to replace sources of happiness I normally depend on heavily, like seeing friends and playing sports. At first, I tried yoga. After a valiant seven-day effort, I gave up. I also tried tennis, but my lack of hand-eye coordination got the best of me. I could not figure out how to stay balanced when times were uncertain, and I think a lot of other kids my age felt the same. I cannot speak for every teenager on the planet, but turning to music in times of adversity has helped many of us cope with our problems. In my case, late at night and deep into quarantine, I immersed myself into the world of Spotify. I started by making simple, ten-song playlists that would get boring within a week, but with each sleepless night, the connection I felt with music grew more and more intense. I explored all types of music, ranging from rock to electronic house music to make the most diverse playlists for my Spotify account. So, after months of scrolling through Spotify’s various “Best New…” pages, I have decided on a selection of the best music from 2020.
In third place, Tame Impala’s The Slow Rush would sound perfect playing in a beachside cafe. Impala’s psychedelic pop style of music is different from many other artists in the best way possible. Each track on this album differs from its predecessor in some remarkable way. While his music is typically produced without long, storytelling lyrics, he makes up for it with the hypnotic, captivating chords that are featured on this album.
Stealing both second place and the hearts of people around the world, Taylor Swift’s Folklore is full of tearful lyrics and stories of whirlwind romances with heart-wrenching endings for Taylor. “My Tears Ricochet” made me want to hate an ex-lover I don’t even have with the lyric “if I’m on fire/You’ll be made of ashes, too,” while “Invisible String” incited feelings of hope for a better future for Swift. Overall, Taylor Swift’s album is much different than her past few. It was bold, emotional, and captivating, and I loved every second.
Clinching the title of “Best Album of 2020,” The Weeknd’s After Hours blessed all of our ears with his techno-electric beats and mysterious lyrics featured on this fourteen track album. From start to finish, it’s nothing short of perfection. After Hours dance undertones and ethereal sound would fit perfectly in season four of Stranger Things. This album makes me feel like I am driving a getaway car in an action movie when in reality, I’m sitting in traffic on 280. All in all, After Hours is a fantastic collection of mesmerizing songs that win the award of “Best Album of 2020.”