Top 10 Albums of 2020

2020 has been a year of exceptions. There will forever be an asterisk marked next to the year in any textbook we read. But damn were there a lot of great albums this year. Some were years in the making (A Written Testimony, Fetch the Bolt Cutters), some started and completed all in quarantine (Folklore, McCartney III). And wow was music our saving grace this year – whether it was refrigerator buzz noise just to have on in the background to keep us company, or in depth, reflective epics that required us to study. Despite the feeling that making an album and needing to share it with the world is so self-indulgent, these albums were here to remind us that, we don’t have to make anything during this time. We don’t have to be productive. But rather, sit in and feel these feelings that we’ve suppressed and never had to feel before. Here are Era of Good Feeling’s top 10 albums of 2020.

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How Do We Separate an Artist’s Sound from Whence it Came?

Radiohead’s Kid A turned 20 last month, which, at the time of its release, was considered polarizing: was it groundbreaking, or a letdown? It’s been regarded as the former, but upon its anniversary, a common response was: “I remember how game changing it was, but I can’t seem to recall a single song on there.” Kid A was, in fact, deemed a gamechanger – the first album of its kind to not only effectively use the internet, but also sound like it. They were a rock band that was not afraid to take a left turn.

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Thief of Hearts: Adrianne Lenker’s Empathy

On a rainy night last February, Adrianne Lenker played a show at Pico Union Project, touring for her excellent solo record, abysskiss. Half way through the set a woman started to have a seizure. Lenker immediately called for the crowd to give her space, and after a few tough minutes, it passed and they were able to recover. “I’m sorry,” the woman mustered on her way out. Lenker sweetly, and yet also seriously reassured her, “We’re all in this boat together.” 

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Arcade Fire’s ‘The Suburbs’ at 10

Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs turns ten years old this summer, and for many people, it wasn’t worth batting an eye. But to others, if it feels like it’s been longer than ten years, than the album has done its job. Having released not one, but two (!!) era defining records within a decade of each other, The Suburbs solidified the band as one of the biggest and best in the world.

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Yes, We’re Writing About Taylor Swift’s ‘Folklore,’ Because It’s that Relevant

The last time I listened to an entire Taylor Swift album was 2008. My family was spending the summer in Chicago and Fearless was the only CD in my sister’s car. So, naturally, it wore many repeats on its sleeve. I don’t listen to Taylor Swift, and I never have. I have heard her music, but never gone out of my way to do so. But this, more importantly, meant that she’s simply always been “there” in my life, always lurking, much like any sitting U.S. President or Kanye West. (Although we see who’s having the last laugh now.)

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For the past few weeks, we at Era of Good Feeling have been struggling to put into words our thoughts regarding society’s status. To be honest, we’ve never taken any sort of political stance and often times have avoided doing so. It has never been our nature to side with political viewpoints. But the silence from us has lasted far too long, and the public dissolution going right now is only fueled by it. That being said, we stand with our black and LGBTQ friends who have made us better people and the world a better place, and who continue to fight for their lives and what they believe. We are here for you.

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Meet Vern Matz: “Not Cool Enough for Brooklyn” – The Six Feet Apart Interview

In the next wave of Brooklyn bands to break out of the borough, Vern Matz will be neither the ones following, nor leading. By way of Yale University, they’ll be off to the side, observing the patterns and tropes that come with such a scene and turning them inside out. Their music surfs on rhythm supported melodies, where the percussion is merely a vessel to carry such. They do not give philosophical credence between their music, videos or live shows, because they are all one and the same. It’s the content that is king. Everything they output has been imbued inside of them since their formation, thus defining a signature, unified aesthetic.

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Top 10 Concert Films of All Time

Last week, we published an article about what the world was missing in the void of live music. Immediately following that, Coachella released their 20 Years in the Desert documentary featuring never before seen footage, thus adding to the stress unalleviated by the only outlet that could relieve such a thing. The twenty-first installment of the Coachella Music and Arts Festival would have taken place these past two weekends, and just earlier this week, it was announced that live music events probably won’t return until Fall 2021 “at the earliest.” Well fuck us then. Sadly, it is not merely a switch that we can flip on and off at our convenience, much to our dismay. As a result, we’ve compiled a list of the best concert films ever made to watch from quarantine. Surely this won’t last you until Fall 2021, but it’s a start. Here are our top 10 concert films of all time.

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What Can We Look Forward to in a World Without Live Music?

I have never seen a shooting star. I have never been to the Grand Canyon, nor the Great Wall of China. I have never heard a lick of Swahili spoken, nor have I eaten shark. I have, however, seen Nick Cave run across an audience held up by their hands. I’ve seen Jonny Greenwood tear up a violin bow on a guitar Jimmy Page-style, and Kanye abduct an entire audience like a UFO atop of a floating pillar. These are all monolithic markers for which we attribute our universality to. You may not have seen them, but maybe your best friend has, or your teacher, or your parents. They are landmarks and sights we recognize, a single universal point we all focus on in awe.

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