This year has been… a year. While everyone seemed to have what we could collectively describe as a “shitty year,” everyone has had a very different 2020. This year, we couldn’t all meet up at festivals all over the country or the world. This year we couldn’t high five each other, chug cheap beer, and scream along to songs in a basement (or garage or sticky venue) on a Friday night. All the things that seemingly made us “us” were stripped away, leaving other facets of ourselves that we had long since forgotten or placed on an upper shelf to collect dust for some day when we would have more free time.
I’ve spoken to people who feel like they lost their hold on music and others who clung onto it for dear life like a life preserver. It’s been… a year. And while everyone has bravely faced 2020 with a different arsenal of supplies, this resulted in a variety different outcomes. That’s why, in addition to our contributors’ End of the Year Lists, we at Bad Copy have reached out to a handful of friends involved in music this year and asked them to share their top lists. Music, movies, photos, memories, new hobbies – much like 2020, nothing is off the table when it comes to these lists. Let’s find a little good in the bad, try to laugh at what we can’t control, and pray that we will be able to safely see each other soon. First round is on me. – Kendra Sheetz, Editor
This year has been… a lot. That’s a statement becoming so arbitrary that I yearn for it to be something you resent your out of touch buddies for leaning into at a party in the future. “Whoa, this bean dip is like 2020, right?” Sure, Mark.
That said, I would take a human life to be at that shitty party with stupid ole Mark and his bean dip bits right now. I would love to disagree with this fake Mark about their presumed shitty taste in music as I willingly poison my body to feel warm and confident. Well strap in ya doinks, cause you’re Mark in this stupid scenario and I’m screaming my tastes at you. No numbering system, just the stuff I liked.
Before we start… go check out Devon Kay & the Solutions new record, Limited Joy, that has yet to be featured on any of these lists (Editor’s Note: It’s on Kendra’s list as well as Krista’s, so there Mark… I mean, er, Devon).
– Tiny Stills – “Resting In Pieces” – Single
This song was not my introduction to Tiny Stills as a band but my introduction to my obsession with Tiny Stills. I very rarely gift the “Perfect Song” designation to a tune but “Resting in Pieces” hits a really cool place in my chart of good tuneage. It holds a rare familiarity in songwriting when you hear the song for the first time but are sure this is the 100th time all while you round your actual 100th listen and it still feels fresh as heck. The lyrics are thoughtful and devastating alluding to a part of relationships not touched on in lots of Pop tunes, the transition. I adore it. Listen to it. Remember it. 10 out of 10. The rest of the tunes launched this year by TS are amazing and deserve your ears but start here.
– Kill Lincoln – Can’t Complain – Album
Very few things I like are based solely on execution. I’m a feelings person. That said. Very few pieces of art make me feel the way Can’t Complain made me feel. From the very first track it felt like the very first time I heard Hello Rockview from Less Than Jake. Goosebumps from a Ska-Punk record you say? Yes. Quite a few. I almost feel the LTJ comparison may strip the record of its uniqueness. To me it doesn’t feel like a lost LTJ record it feels like a new and exciting chapter for the Ska-Punk genre opening. Go home. Listen to this record. 10 out of 10.
– Millington – Beatdown Generation – EP
Kick my ass. Do it. I’m a sucker for early 2000 emo. Millington waltzes the line between what Yellowcard would sound like with upstrokes and a pinpoint horn section. The angry nasally vocals, the tight as heck music breaks and the art of the long chorus all keep me playing this EP and humming those melodies for HOURS after consumption. Open your dipshit ears and consume this. 10 out of 10. Suck it.
– glass beach – “running” – single
I’m a glass beach Stan. I feel like this band does so many things I like. Lots of composition, lots of instrumentation, beautiful bedroom pop vocals and the feeling like the music could be inspired by anything from video games to future pop. This single is one of the few examples of a long song that keeps me interested the whole time. I love this band and you should to. 10 out of 10.
– Lo(u)ser – “Growing Up” – Single
This song is a really cool example of something I personally adore, the expansion of a long running sound. This song has the steady rhythms of a ska song, the blips and chits of a chiptune song all wonderfully culminating to an Atom & His Package style ending that just has me hitting “repeat.” The subject matter bums me out and I LOVE being bummed out deceptively by cheerful music. Listen to this gal dang song. 10 out of 10.
– The Jamons – “Jennifer Lawrence of Arabia” – Single
A groove that kills? Word play in the title? Bomb ass synth? Sign me up. Sign yourself up! I love this song. It has style. It oozes cool. Go listen to it right now. 10 out of 10.
– IDLES – Ultra Mono – Album
Shut the hell up and listen to Model Village. Cat heard me listening to this song ad nauseam upon its release and said, “This is what music must be like if you’re a wasp.” For some reason that was the apt description of the sheer pop brutality of Ultra Mono. Grow up and PEEP IT. 10 out of 10.
– Ongoing Issue – Less Than Jeff – EP
I found this on some subreddit this year. I don’t know who made this but I really like what their doing. Its bedroom pop that is so self deprecating whilst jamming ska and dreamy simplicity together and I think it works. The lyrics really hit home with this constant sense that what you make is pretty pointless. Go check it out. If you have more information on who this is lemme know! 10 out of 10.
– Frank Okay – Errors – Mini Album
Frank Okay is that of Chicago legend. An acclaimed artist with their hand in so many excellent projects that sometimes disappear as soon as they are birthed. This elusive nature of Frank has made me love their work and their new mini album Errors is like Punk Talking Heads and you need it. 10 out of 10.
– Dollar Signs – “Negative Blood” – Single
Dollar Signs continues to be the band I say, “You’ll be hearing more about this band soon.” to everyone I know. Their recent signing to Pure Noise is a solid indication of that but also this new tune speaks for itself. I DO sing the high notes on this but don’t let it strike you as bias, I didn’t write the song and I honestly wish I did. 10 out of 10.
– Moneyworms – Twitch.tv/Moneyworms – Twitch Channel
I’ve taken to twitch this year and it’s opened me up to a world of exciting new media. My favorite of that media is a streamer named Moneyworms. A call-in show that takes place in a cartoon 90’s landscape, or hell, or on a space toilet or anywhere the host can think up and animate. It’s hard to describe so you just have to tune in on Sundays and Wednesdays!
I’m positive I missed so much more and if I did and you are like, “aw crud you left me out” it was probably just out of mental fatigue. Some quickies before I go!
We Are the Union – 2020 Singles
Less Than Jake – Silver Linings
Noah Cyrus – “Young & Sad”
Hideki Naganuma – “Pumpin’ Jumpin’”
Punkband – “Kick it Up”
Pinkshift – “i’m gonna tell my therapist on you”
Pollyanna – Sugar Coat
Curtis Waters, Harm Franklin – “Stunnin’”