It may feel like there isn’t a lot to celebrate in 2020, but thanks to the creativity and perseverance of those in the music community we still experienced an incredible year of new music and ideas. This piece is dedicated to EVERYONE in the industry. Music has saved us before, and it will save us again.

Jessi Mckee
  • Song: Hot Mulligan – “*Equip Sunglasses*”
  • EP: PUP – This Place Sucks Ass
  • Vinyl: Spanish Love Songs – Brave Faces Everyone (white/clear w/ heavy blood red)
  • Livestream: Shane Sweeney
  • Record Label: Hopeless Records
  • Band: Two Cow Garage
  • Comfort Album: The Donnas – Spend the Night
  • Album: Forgetting January – Passengers

Two Cow Garage inspired me to be a music photographer and then eventually to start writing about music. They create incredible music, both lyrically and from a performance aspect, while being kind and considerate humans.

Jessi McKee
Hannah Clough
  • Song: Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness – “Get On My Wave”
  • EP: State Champs – Unplugged
  • Vinyl: Seaway – Big Vibe (royal blue and black pinwheel)
  • Livestream: Jack’s Mannequin – “Everything In Transit 15-Year Anniversary”
  • Record Label: Pure Noise Records
  • Band: Seaway
  • Comfort Album: State Champs – The Finer Things
  • Album: Seaway – Big Vibe

My favorite band this year is Seaway because they took the hand 2020 dealt them and ran with it.

Hannah Clough
Ian Thompson
  • Song: Brent Faiyaz – “Lost Kids Get Money”
  • EP: Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats – Unlocked
  • Vinyl: J Dilla – Donuts (Jelly edition)
  • Livestream: The Roots – “Live at the Apollo Theater”
  • Record Label: Fueled By Ramen
  • Band: All Time Low
  • Comfort Album: The Roots – Do You Want More?!!!??!
  • Album: Soccer Mommy – Color Theory

In a year as awful as 2020, the fun atmosphere of The Roots‘ major label debut definitely helped take my mind off everything that went on this year.

Ian Thompson
Sammi Mika
  • Song: Machine Gun Kelly – “Forget Me Too” (feat. Halsey)
  • EP: HAWK – Tolerance’s Paradox
  • Vinyl: Black Veil Brides – Re-Stitch These Wounds (splatter)
  • Livestream: Black Veil Brides – “Re-Stitch These Wounds” album release
  • Record Label: Sumerian Records
  • Band: Palaye Royale
  • Album: Palaye Royale – The Bastards

Sumerian Records has a lot of my favorite bands on their label and are doing more than just music

Sammi Mika
Taylor Wells
  • Song: Silverstein – “Shapeshift”
  • EP: Mayday Parade – Out of Here
  • Vinyl: Neck Deep – All Distortions Are Intentional (limited edition, yellow w/ purple splatter)
  • Livestream: Mayday Parade – “Anywhere But Here”
  • Record Label: Hopeless Records
  • Band: This Wild Life
  • Comfort Album: Taking Back Sunday – Tell All Your Friends
  • Album: Enter Shikari – Nothing is True & Everything is Possible

‘Tell All Your Friends’ has always been a comfort album growing up, and even with the craziness of 2020 it came through just like it did every other year.

Taylor Wells
Dawn Anna Trout
  • Song: Machine Gun Kelly – “Concert for Aliens”
  • EP: Gabbie Hanna – Bad Karma
  • Vinyl: Neck Deep – Life’s Not Out to Get You (Newbury Comics 2020 exclusive)
  • Record Label: Hopeless Records
  • Band: Neck Deep
  • Comfort Album: Sleep On It – Overexposed
  • Album: All Time Low – Wake Up Sunshine

They house(d) a lot of my favorite artists and changed their Twitter name to ‘Ho Ho Hopeless Records‘ so that’s pretty great.

Dawn Anna Trout
Elliott Spagat
  • Song: Jakery B – “The Sun Will Come Out Again”
  • EP: Wolf Culture – Dying in the Living Room
  • Vinyl: Cola Wars – Cola Wars (Coke brown)
  • Record Label: Dine Alone Records
  • Band: Anti-Flag
  • Comfort Album: REM – Automatic for the People
  • Album: American Television – Watch It Burn

‘Automatic for the People’ is a beautifully crafted album where each song has the strength to stand on its own.  Listening to it is like putting on a comfy old sweatshirt.

Elliott Spagat
Tyra Brunz

  • Song: Hot Mulligan – “*Equip Sunglasses*”
  • EP: Hands Like Houses – Hands Like Houses
  • Vinyl: Spanish Love Songs – Brave Faces Everyone (Limited first press red/black/bone)
  • Livestream: Boston Manor – “Live at Blackpool Tower”
  • Record Label: Take This To Heart Records
  • Band: Free Throw
  • Comfort Album: Neck Deep – Life’s Not Out to Get You
  • Album: Hot Mulligan – You’ll Be Fine

Free Throw is my favorite band of 2020 because their range never ceases to impress me. Not only do I connect to the style and lyrics of their art, but I’ve never had more fun than when I am at their shows (PS: pls wear a mask and wash your hands so I can see them live again soon 🥺 ).

Tyra Brunz
Dan Bowyer
  • Song: Meet Me @ The Altar – “Garden”
  • EP: Chief State – Tough Love
  • Vinyl: New Found Glory – Forever + Ever x Infinity (purple/yellow)
  • Livestream: Knuckle Puck – “20/20 Album Release”
  • Record Label: Polyvinyl Records
  • Band: Knuckle Puck
  • Comfort Album: Saves The Day – Through Being Cool
  • Album: Knuckle Puck – 20/20

Saves The Day always take me back to simpler days.  ‘Through Being Cool’ is a record that defined my youth.  The show I saw them play when they were touring on this record brought me pure joy. Never gets old.

Dan Bowyer
Kalie Tomlinson
  • Song: Meet Me @ The Altar – “Garden”
  • EP: Rematch – Do It All Again
  • Vinyl: My Chemical Romance – Life on the Murder Scene (RSD exclusive, clear w/ red splatter)
  • Livestream: The Maine – “Flowers on the Grave”
  • Record Label: Pure Noise Records
  • Band: The Wonder Years
  • Comfort Album: Fall Out Boy – Infinity On High
  • Album: Neck Deep – All Distortions Are Intentional

The Wonder Years is a band that consistently makes me feel – whether it’s crying to “Cigarettes & Saints” or daydreaming about time spent with my best friends to “Summers in PA,” this band has really helped me through the darkest days of 2020.

Kalie Tomlinson
Jay Matthey
  • Song: Foo Fighters – “Shame, Shame”
  • EP: Bring Me The Horizon – Post Human: Survival Horror
  • Vinyl: I Prevail – Post Traumatic (blue)
  • Livestream: Foo Fighters – “Live from the Roxy”
  • Record Label: Roadrunner
  • Band: Kill The Lights
  • Comfort Album: Tom Petty – Wildflowers
  • Album: In This Moment – Mother

2020 was a huge year for Kill The Lights with a powerful debut album from a band that really grinded to get their music the spotlight it deserves.

Jay Matthey
Angelo Gargaro
  • Song: City Mouth – “Sanity for Summer”
  • EP: Valley – sucks to see you doing better
  • Vinyl: Sundressed – Home Remedy (gold splatter)
  • Livestream: Knuckle Puck – “20/20 Album Release”
  • Record Label: Take This To Heart Records
  • Band: Meet Me @ The Altar
  • Comfort Album: Vacationer – Relief
  • Album: Knuckle Puck – 20/20

Take This To Heart Records constantly supports diverse up-and-coming bands that express inclusive views and is overall one of the most supportive labels in the community.

Angelo Gargaro

From all of us here at Spinning Thoughts, have a healthy and happy Holiday and New Year!

Help support Spinning Thoughts by clicking on the link below!
Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Angelo Gargaro

Email: spinningthoughts@outlook.com
Twitter: @SpinThoughts

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