2020 in new records — First quarter

2020 has been a crazy year so far, to say the least. While the entire world has shut down these and most of us are living under stay-at-home orders, new music is thankfully still being released and helping us get through these bizarre times. In this review, we go through some of the records that caught our attention this first quarter of the year. Here is the first installment of “2020 in new records”!

 

Spanish Love Songs – Brave Faces Everyone

This record was one of our most anticipated release of the year and it definitely came through, confirming that Spanish Love Songs are a major force of nature no one can sleep on. With what might be the most relatable intro of the decade (“On any given day, I’m a six of ten – bed to desk to bar, eyes on the floor. Still apologizing for the way I’ve been, each breath more full of shit than the one before”), Spanish Love Songs strike back two years after their sophomore – dare we say breakthrough? – record “Schmaltz”.
Brave Faces Everyone is exactly what its title defines it to be, relating the everyday struggle everyone faces while still having to put on a brave face and go on with life. It’s made of gut-wrenching songs with profound lyrics, engaging, powerful music and the must-needed choruses for great sing alongs. The kind of records that you get easily passionate about and addicted to! Recommended tracks: Routine Pain, Beach Front Property – GP/YF


Billy Raffoul – A Few More Hours At YYZ

“A Few More Hours at YYZ” has been an amazing soundtrack to these lockdown days; it is heart-warming and mind-freeing, to say the least. Billy Raffoul‘s lyrics are meant to take us on a journey, a quest for love, it seems. There is a fine balance in this record to be found, creating sort of a rollercoaster, between low key, stripped down, acoustic tracks and more upbeat and powerful others. With uplifting instrumentals, a soulful, yet captivating voice and, at times, beautiful backing vocals, the charm fully operates. So yes, give us more hours in Toronto, please. Recommended tracks: Swimming at the Deep End, Without Falling in Love, A Few More Hours at YYZ– YF

 

Loathe – I Let It In And It Took Everything

If you were alive in the 90’s, this one might hit you in the face with nostalgia. Personally, it instantly takes me back to being a little kid and going to my older brother’s room to jump and yell to bands like Deftones or Slipknot before bed. But I’m not saying that Loathe isn’t its own band, because if you’ve heard the record or if you’ve seen them live, you know how unique these guys are. They are definitely one of these upcoming bands that I can see getting huge really fast, and it seems like Chino Moreno feels the same. Recommended tracks: Two-Way Mirror, Screaming – GP

 

 

Hot Mulligan – you’ll be fine

Hot Mulligan are back with some well-needed vitamin D ! True to their emo-pop-punk catchy sound, the band managed to release an album about depression and anxiety that might make you forget about your own for a little while. Somehow, there is something soothing about this vibrant guitar work and uncomfortably honest lyrics. More specifically, *Equip Sunglasses* will definitely urge you to put on your dancing shoes and feel as cool as that song title is. Recommended tracks*Equip Sunglasses*, We’re Gonna Make It To Kilby! – GP

 

:

Higher Power – 27 Miles Underwater

If you have been to a hardcore show in Europe these last couple of years, chances are you already have run into Higher Power. While it seems like the Brits have been touring non stop lately, they still managed to record this second album and release it through no other than Roadrunner Records. The band surprises us once again with a heavy focus on melodies mixed with raw energy, also reminiscent of something we would jam to in the 90’s. 27 Miles Underwater is unlike anything we heard lately – and if you close your eyes and imagine it hard enough, you can make yourself believe you’re in the pit in a smelly basement. Recommended tracks: Rewire (101), Shredding Skin – GP

.

All Time Low – Wake Up, Sunshine

We’re so happy to have All Time Low back, and this record was able to remind us why this band mattered and still does on a scene where they paved the road for so many bands after them – It’s less poppy than your average pop/punk album, more mature and grounded than some of their previous material, but not lacking any of the fun bits. So if you feel like reconnecting with old memories, give “Wake Up, Sunshine” a listen.  Recommended tracks: Monsters, Melancholy Kaleidoscope, Sleeping In – YF

.

Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia

You might wonder how did this record end up here. Well, it didn’t seem accurate to leave this powerhouse out of the list of records that made an impact on the beginning of this year and new decade. Dua Lipa is always ready to break the rules, continuously pushing forward. As she sings in her opening and title track, she’s bound to “change the game”. The energetic vibes and the sass make for a great deal of fun. But make no mistake, this isn’t just a light and fun record for your disco nights, it’s also a clear statement for gender equality and women empowerment. The fierce record all the womxn need by their side. Recommended tracks: Hallucinate, Pretty Please, Don’t Start Now– YF

.

Nova Twins – Who Are The Girls?

At the crossroads between genres, Nova Twins have been making waves since their early days, with highly energetic and memorable performances to the biggest crowds of the heavy musical landscapes. Amy Love and Georgia South have gained their experience in the London underground scene, before being propelled to big stages, with opening slots for the likes of Prophets of Rage (Tom Morello took them under his wing) and big festival appearances such as Hellfest and AfroPunk.
Now signed to 333 Wreckords Crew (Co founded by FEVER333’s Jason Butler), Nova Twins have released their much awaited debut album “Who Are The Girls” in March 2020.  Through their characteristic raw live sound, mostly consisting of heavy bass lines and distorted peddleboards, the two women champion inclusivity and their refusal to conform to categorization. This is overall an empowering album that shall not be overlooked! Recommended tracks: Vortex, Not My Day, Athena – MB
.
.

Ocean Grove – Flip Phone Fantasy

Ocean Grove haven’t been resting on their laurels, since the release of their breakthrough album “The Rhapsody Tapes” in 2017. They went through some line up changes and subsequent adjustments within the band in the meantime. In fact, bass player Dale Tanner took over lead vocal duties; proving to be an impressive frontman, whereas the eccentric Twiggy Hunter joined band on bass and vocals. Ocean Grove didn’t lose any of their signature ardor and it’s with great pleasure that we reconnect with their wacky universe in this new album, “Flip Phone Fantasy”, referring rightly to a time that seems far behind us now. The Australians have chosen to time-travel to it, through nu-metal like sounds and corresponding ultra-colored visuals. It really is a trip! Recommended tracks: Ask for the Anthem, GUYS FROM THE GORDSuperstar. – MB
.
.

Conan Gray – Kid Krow

If there’s one album I’ve ben consistently going back to these past fées montes, it is this one.
Singer-songwriter Conan Gray made this solid, uplifting body of work that not only is relatable, but also extremely contagious. It was only a matter of minutes until I found myself singing along to the catchy melodies and soon an urge to dance to the tasty hooks of tracks such as Wish You Were Sober took over my body. Overall, “Kid Krow“ is the ideal companion to those of us who are actively trying to figure out how to navigate life as indépendant, young grown ups. As for everyone else…well it’s just another great way to enjoy your life to the fullest every time you have a spare 33min and 33 seconds. Recommended tracks: Maniac, Checkmate, (Can We Be Friends?) – MB
.

.

Also worth a mention (aka, listen to these, too!): 

  • Milk Teeth – Milk Teeth
  • Anti-Flag – 20/20 Vision
  • Downswing – Good Intentions
  • Good Boy – It takes a Lot of Skill to Milk a Mare
  • The Chats – High Risk Behaviour
  • Four Year Strong – Brain Pain
  • Polaris – The Death Of Me
  • Code Orange – Underneath
  • Saviour – A Lunar Rose
  • Slowly, Slowly – Race Car Blues
  • Waxahatchee – St. Cloud

 

_________________________

Leave a Reply