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Feature: The 40 Best Albums of 2020

So: that was 2020. Not one we’ll look back on especially fondly, to say the least, and yes, it’s arguably so obvious that it’s not worth mentioning, but in relation to end-of-year lists, it’s important to acknowledge the effect the pandemic has had on the way we’ve listened to music.

Unlike every other year in living memory, the overwhelming majority of music has been experienced at home, occasionally with friends, but more often than not alone. And while music produced as a direct result of covid didn’t start to appear until halfway though the year, what we chose the listen to has undoubtedly been shaped by our relative isolation.

There are albums on this list alone that probably would have been higher had live music been on the agenda, and others still that haven’t appeared at all. Not that quiet introspection was necessarily all we wanted by any means, but any list published should be done so with the caveat that some artists and their albums have suffered more than others without the visceral thrills of experiencing them live, loud and – most importantly – alongside other people.

Regardless, the year has seen the release of some truly sublime bodies of work. Here are my very favourites of an outrageously good bunch.

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Music

Feature: 20 Best Albums of 2020 So Far

For obvious reasons, 2020 is probably not a year that humanity will look back on especially fondly. But in musical term (aka the most important terms) there has already been a remarkable wealth of incredible albums.

It’s difficult to judge one year’s musical credentials against another, as often the enjoyment of the newly discovered can outweigh the importance of records that have been with you for a while, but I genuinely think 2020 has roundly trounced recent years in terms of the amount of quality albums… and it’s only June. At least 2020 has been good for something.

So in the time-honoured tradition of judging the unjudgeable, here are The Predatory Wasp’s best 20 albums of 2020 so far.

070 Shake – Modus Vivendi

Packed full of memorable hooks, slick production and a fierce energy that radiates throughout, Modus Vivendi is an astonishingly accomplished debut from the GOOD Music affiliated 070 Shake. Released back in mid January there’s a chance this will get a little lost when it comes to end of year lists, but I hope it doesn’t, as tracks like Morrow, Microdosing and Under The Moon are some of the most creative, urgent music I’ve heard in 2020.

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