I’ve been checking out several 2020 AOTY lists in the past couple of weeks and have to admit: I missed a few. It happens, right? Perfection is overrated anyway. Here are 20+ releases from all kinds of musical directions that I either overlooked or was too quick to dismiss in 2020. They are on my wantlist now, that is all that matters. Click below to check them out. As always, I’ve included links to the purchasing locations for these releases. ICYMI also check out my favorite 2020 albums, singles and EPs, 2020 playlists and Dennis’ 2020 AOTY list. Happy new year!
1-800-Mikey || 1-800-Mikey
Four songs of lo-fi bedroom garagepunk from Australia.
Accidente || Canibal
Technically, this is not an overlooked record but a late release. This is the fourth full-length of these Spanish political punks.
All Hits || Men And Their Work
I was too quick to dismiss this thrilling record. Don’t make the same mistake. RIYL early Sleater-Kinney.
Bandet Ellington || Hajen 4
Bandet Ellington are from Sweden and I absolutely have no idea what these catchy and melodic punk tunes are about. I like them a lot though!
Cathedrale || Houses Are Built The Same
I am intrigued by this postpunk record from France.
Change || Closer Still
Passionate old school straight edge hardcore that will fit nicely between my collection of Insted, Uniform Choice, and In My Eyes (etc…) records .
Charlie Duda || Making Friends
If you like Fountains of Wayne and Nada Surf, keep an eye out for Charlie Duda.
Degurutieni || Dark Mondo
And now for something completely different… “One Man Band music made with broken cassette desks and fucked up record players.” Discovered this fascinating collection of songs through Dennis on the Add To Wantlist blog. It’s perfect background music while working. RIYL Tom Waits.
Headsparks || Working Parts
Melodic punkrock that will also appeal to fans of indierock. I really like the sound on this record. RIYL Hüsker Dü, Bob Mould, ’90’s indie rock.
Honey Joy || II
Honey Joy offer an interesting mix of punk rock and garage on this short yet sweet album.
Itchy Self || Here’s The Rub
Wow, nice one. If your are into garage, punk and rock-‘n’-roll, but also into Velvet Underground and Alex Chilton, make sure to check this one out!
Malavista || Western Beef
Malavista are from New York and offer three excellent punkrock’n’roll nuggets on this single.
Mäsh || I Don’t Want You
German rock-‘n’- roll counterparts of bands like Giuda and Faz Waltz. They released a second single recently that is also worth your time.
Morningwhim || Talking to Myself/Smoke From Cigarettes
Dreamy indiepop from Japan. RIYL Pains From Being Pure At Heart, Say Sue Me, Slumberland Records.
Only God Forgives || Power And Prowess
Interesting experimental punk record by this duo from Toronto.
Puhelinseksi || Sydänkohtaus Tanssilattialla
Bittersweet and melancholic mix of punkrock and power pop from Rovaniemi, Finland.
Reverse || Empty Spaces
This record is easy to dismiss if you limit yourself to the first couple of seconds of each song. Been there, heard it… right? But this is not your average poppunk(rock) record. Reverse write a mean chorus, and built their songs better than most. Give them a chance, you won’t regret it.
The Suitesixteen || Mine Would Be the Sun
I feel bad about this one, because I did listen to this when it came out and recall loving it instantly. The only plausible explanation why I didn’t listen to it more often is that the record is not on Spotify. That’s no excuse though, this record that was 16 years in the making deserves to be heard and would definitely have ended up in my AOTY list. What a mighty fine powerpop/poppunk record.
Teen Angst || Let (Pull Through) / Cheeseburger
Catchy lo-fi jangly indiepop from Australia.
Truth Cult || Off Fire
Shiiiiiiiiitttttttttt, how did I miss this one? Truth Cult plays melodic hardcore in the vein of Dag Nasty and Embrace and execute it well. Absolutely thrilled with this discovery.
The Umbrellas || Maritime E.P.
Four hit-EP by this jangle indiepop quartet from San Francisco. Not surprised Slumberland Records has signed this band, but kind of shocked that I missed this one. Full-length debut coming in 2021!
Uni Boys || Heavy-Hearted / Rock ‘N’ Roll Music
Uni Boys clearly made the best of 2020 by recording 25 of their songs on a Tascam 488 MkII cassette recorder in a bedroom and releasing them on two digital albums. I recall listening to and enjoying the first one (Heavy-Hearted), but I kind of lost track of the band. That won’t happen again. Uni Boys play an interesting and catchy lo-fi version of power pop and rock ‘n’ roll.
The Well Wishers || Shelf Life
Melodic and hook-filled guitar driven poprocksongs inspired by the COVID-19 lockdowns.
3 thoughts on “Looking Back || Niek’s Overlooked Records of 2020”
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