In a year beset by the most horrid and unusual circumstances, leave it to the hip-hop community to challenge our beliefs and voice our activism. The best records of the year served as rallying cries and made us reconsider the very genre itself.
In a year that felt lonelier than ever, some expected ambient music to be a soothing balm. Yet ambient artists capture the sadness, the bliss, the hurt, and the healing of this wild year better than most.
Growing up listening to sludge-metal and goth-rock, drag queen Katya rose from complete obscurity to become a multi-hyphenate comedy icon. With the release of an album deeply indebted to industrial metal, guided meditations, and Russian dance-pop, she finds solace in giving us the truly unexpected.
Third Man Records offers a generous overview of Michigan's burgeoning space-rock scene from the 1990s. It covers a wide swath of genres while offering a bunch of largely-unheard rarities.
On their morbid new record, London's ever-experimental Tunng explore new sonic contours in their pursuit of all things grief. They mark the occasion by talking about their favorite songs about death.
While UK anxiety-pop auteurs the Wombats are currently hibernating, frontman Matthew "Murph" Murphy goes it alone with a new band, a mess of deprecating new earworms, and revived energy.
German synthpop wunderkid Roosevelt continues to tease out new singles from a potential third album, but this "Five Favorite Synth Sounds in a Song" is an electronic history lesson in and of itself.
A moody new record reflecting our times, an instrumental fundraiser for charity, and cycling escapes to Rockaway Beach. Brothertiger is back with his first new studio full-length in years, and he can't wait for us to share in his emotional journey.