Last week, I published my Top 50 Albums of 2020. The week before, Dennis published his. Time for the final AtW list of 2020: my Top 40 Singles and EP’s of year. There was a lot to choose from, and I am sure I overlooked and forgot several releases that would otherwise be included on this list. I opted out of the painstaking process of ranking these singles and EPs, so the bands are in alphabetical order. If I had to choose though, Romero probably would be my #1 pick, followed by Hard Action, Civic. Click below on read more to go to the list. I’ve included short explanations and my favorite song of each single/EP, either with a bandcamp embed or a video. If you like what you hear, just click on the title and AddToWantlist. There is an almost complete Spotify playlist of the releases at the bottom of this post – six are currently not on that platform.
Cavemen || Euthanize me
Cavemen blister through 4 classic punk tracks in less than 8 minutes. Wrote about this one here.
CB Radio Gorgeous || EP
Exciting and chaotic punk with excellent guitar work.
Cheekface || Emotional Rent Control
Great follow-up to their excellent 2019 debut. Both sides are fun, and the deadpan delivery of its singer (or should I say speaker) remains an unique selling point of this band.
Civic || Radiant Eye
Cosmit || Cosmit
Fast and poppy garage punk from Bristol (UK).
The Courettes || Want you! Like a Cigarette
Released on the infamous Damaged Goods label, this band plays garage pop with a strong ’60’s girl-group vibe.
Detroit Cobras || I Feel Good
Wild Honey Records probably thought: “do you really need two sides to a single, when you’ve got one that is this good?”
Ditch Boys || Dead Broke
Beats me why this powerpop band from Connecticut has only 23 monthly listeners on Spotify.
Enchanters || High Heel Roller Skates
There are some clear glam elements to the rock-‘n’-roll garagepop of Enchanters, and they are not afraid to engage in guitar solos. Now sing along HIGH! HEEL!
End It || One Way Track
Hardcore with plenty of groove. RIYL Turnstile.
Fixtures || Weak Automatic
From the band’s Bandcamp site: “Throw a beer soaked dart at a Venn diagram with circles for The Velvet Underground, Dinosaur Jr., Patti Smith, Archers of Loaf, Alice Coltrane, The Books, Reigning Sound & New Order and you’ll hit a Fixtures song on there somewhere.” That sounds about right.
The Floaties || Now In Colour
I am a huge fan of the first song on this single. It distantly reminds me of Sheer Mag. The Floaties have a more postpunk garage sound though. By the way, did you know this band is from Melbourne, Australia?
Gentlemen Rogues || Do the Resurrection!
Gentlemen Rogues play energetic powerpop with powerful guitars. The A-side is a goody, but the B-side is one of my most played songs of the last couple of weeks. They recreate a Lemonheads song by mashing it up with parts of Superdrag and My Bloody valentine songs.
Goldie Dawn || Goldie Dawn
Fast-paced powerpop/rock-’n-’roll release from Glasgow. Just listen to those guitars. Play it loud!
Grady Strange || Not Very Strange At All
All you need to know about Grady Strange is that he plays so-called “saltwater cowgirl rock-‘n’-roll,” and that his dog is called Dolly Parton.
Hard Action || Yours Truly / Walk Away
Awesome guitar work on this instant classic powerpop release from Finland.
Heavy Lag || Demo
Heavy Lag play fuzzy and punky powerpop. RIYL Radioactivity, Marked Men. Wrote about this one here.
Huevos II || III
Somewhere between 90’s indierock, kiwi pop, and jangle, this EP has some serious soul-soothing qualities. Reminds me in a way of the softer side of Purling Hiss.
Jeanines || Things Change
The DIY pop songs of Jeanines are short and tasty.
Jerry Lehane || Jerry Lehane
Recorded 29 years ago, but released for the first time in 2020. There is some great songwriting on this EP that has that early ’90’s guitar sound. Check out Feel Like Dying, which was inspired by the Gulf war.
Jiffy Marx || She’s My Witch
Wrote about this powerpop single here.
Karkki & the Car Keys || Big Ball Of Fire
Like their fellow Fins Hard Action, this sounds like a lost powerpop classic from the early eighties. RIYL: Nikki and the Corvettes.
The Leave Me Alones || Be Alone
The kind of EP that would have fit well on the now defunct Fortuna Pop! label. There is a Pains of Being Pure at Heart vibe to some of their songs as well.
Leon Bridges & Khruangbin || Texas Sun
I wasn’t sure to include this one. I mean, it has a million views on Youtube. But, let’s be honest, Texas Sun is a song for the ages.
Mikey Erg || Bon Voyage
Like Jeff Rosenstock, Mikey Erg is a goddamn punkrock treasure. This is his “love letter to pop punk.”
Great powerpop single from Sweden. These guys have a knack for writing huge hooks and choruses.
Neutrals || Personal Computing
This has the immediate appeal of those classic late ’70’s punk singles that are way overpriced on Discogs. Wrote about this one here.
The Pacifics || You Know You Make Me Wanna Stout!
Another collection of fine party platter hits by this R&B/beat/rock-‘n’-roll band form Ireland featuring members of the Number 1’s.
Parsnip || Adding Up
Just like a kazillion other great bands, Parsnip are from Melbourne, which makes me wonder if Melbourne even has non-musician inhabitants. No fillers on this postpunk indiepop single.
Pavid Vermin || The Beach Boys Never Surfed!
I surfed once and sucked at it, so this EP by one-man poppunk machine Pavid Vermin makes me feel good.
Pting || Boo (EP)
Pting are from Melbourne as well? Are you kidding me? Great jangly indiepop, great guitar work.
Romero || Honey
Sure, another Melbourne band, why not? But, the last time I was this hyped by a new band was when I first heard Sheer Mag. Romero is my favorite single of the year, but probably of the last couple of years as well.
Star Party || Demo 2020
There are several great pop tunes drowned in fuzz and noise on this demo, which they self-describe as “misty coastal rock.”
Teenage Woman || Teenage Woman
Thee Cha Cha Cha’s || It’s Coming After You
Four exciting garage rock-‘n’-roll tunes by this duo from…drum roll please…Melbourne (padum tsss).
Tommy And The Commies || Hurtin’ 4 Certain
If you like the Undertones, you should check out this band. And who doesn’t like the Undertones?
The Tubs || I Don’t Know How It Works
Perfect strummy and breezy guitarpop single.
The Uppers || Get Down With The Uppers
1-2-3-4, let’s go! Four garagepop hits to pogo your way through Covid-19.
Vanity || Rarely if Ever b/w We’re Friends
Vanity released not one, but two excellent singles this year. I am a big fan of their guitar driven high quality powerpop.
The Yearners || 2020 EP
I am not a fan of every Dirt Cult Records release, but almost all of their bands sound interesting. This three-song single by garage poppunk band The Yearners sounds interesting and made an instant fan. I can’t wait to hear new music from this band.
Missing on playlist: CB Radio Gorgeous, Detroit Cobras, Enchanters, Huevos II, Teenage Woman, Thee Cha Cha Cha’s.