Electronic music is a huge tent with many diverse approaches, and it's more international than ever with producers around the globe pushing music forward. The year's best albums featured returns from established talents, as well as ground-breaking newcomers.
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.
Here are six of the key jazz trends of the last 20 years, defined by 20 of the best 2020 recordings that made us see, again, why this music is in midst of such a thrilling patch of creativity.
One of the main vehicles helping us during these crazy times is music. Heavy, experimental, interesting you name it. Experimentalism is thankfully on the rise, as boundaries are still pushed and new realms are explored.
To overcome our collective dis-ease and ideological polarization, we must practice pluralism. We must continue to experiment, to oscillate between and beyond poles to find solutions.
The artists in this year's list all use their music to create a sense of unity. Whether it is the acknowledgment of shared oppression, or in contrast, the visibility of identity, Best of Folk Music 2020 is defined by its ability to form a musical common ground.
In 2020, Americana artists empathetically dealt with the things that bind us together and keep us apart. The albums on this list encourage hope for the future based on a belief in the human spirit.
Whether influenced by 1970s folk and soft rock, 1980s post-punk, 1990s alternative and grunge music, or indie rock from the 2000s, guitars are all over this list.