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Timmy Awards

Timmy Awards- The Best Albums of 2020

You can get videos for them all in this YouTube playlist. If you click "play all," it will play them from 50 right on down to #1.

Here's an additional playlist of concerts and extras, from 50 on down to 1 whenever available.

Were that not enough, here's a Spotify playlist of three tracks from each entry

En Attendant Ana

50. En Attendant Ana - Juliet: Jangly guitars and bright female vocals, this French group recalls UK indie pop of the mid '80's.

St. South

49. St. South - Get Well Soon: Australian Olivia Gavranich is St. South and while this is a breakup album, it is also a nice collection of bedroom pop with great low-fi beats.

Teddy Thompson

48. Teddy Thompson  - Heartbreaker Please: Another breakup album, but full of catchy songs that melodically and vocally remind me of Paul Carrack's early solo albums.

Teenage Halloween

47. Teenage Halloween - Teenage Halloween: Punk pop in the same vein as Titus Andronicus with hooks galore.   


46. Overcoats - The Fight: A pair of women from New York who craft sparling electropop songs with great harmonies.           


45. Orgone - Connection: L.A. funk/sould band who has been at it for 20 years, this is a nice bunch of songs which sound ripped from early 70's cop shows and movies.. 

Jeff Parker

44. Jeff Parker - Suite for Max Brown: Chicago's International Anthem album is cranking out release after release of groundbreaking new jazz and guitarist Jeff Parker's tribute to his mother was my favorite of their 2020 output. A nice mix of cutting edge and classic jazz styles.

A Girl Called Eddy

43. A Girl Called Eddy - Been Around: A Girl Called Eddy a.k.a. Erin Moran made the Timmy Awards with her debut album in 2004; 16 years later her follow-up album of Burt Bacharach-style tunes is an excellent return.


42. Bananagun - The True Story of Bananagun: An Australian band creates a bright and sunny debut that sounds straight out of the Brazilian Tropicalia movement of the 60's. 

A. Swayze & The Ghosts

41. A.Swayze & The Ghosts - Paid Salvation: What a good year for Australian music 2020 was. Bratty, brash garage park not unlike Parquet Courts with hints of The Replacements and IDLES here and there.

Your Old Droog

40. Your Old Droog - Dump YOD: Krutoy Edition: Based in Brooklyn but born in Ukraine, Your Old Droog has been releasing albums since 2014. A rapper in a style similar to Nas and other 90's NY rappers, this collection focuses on his Ukrainian roots. 

Holy Fuck

40. Holy Fuck - Deleter: The fourth album from Toronto's Holy Fuck, I started listening to this and thought "This sounds a LOT like Hot Chip" Sure enough, that group's singer features on a track and is a good overall reference point for the diriving, dance-oriented electro being cranked out here.

The Koreatown Oddity

38. The Koreatown Oddity - Lil Dominique's Nosebleed: Another "new to me rapper" who has been around for several years. This group of songs is about The Koreatown Oddity's childhood, including two car accidents which shaped his early years. He's got a great rapping style and utilizes excellent samples and beats.     

Rose City Band

37. Rose City Band - Summerlong: San Franciscan Ripley Johnson already fronts two bands, Wooden Shjps and Moon Duo, what's one more? Although this project has band in its name, it's really just Ripley playing everything but drums. This is 70's country rock with warm melodies, a prefect match for the album's title.  


36. Negativland - The World Will Decide: I din't know these guys were still making music, and it truns out they had an album in 2019 as well. Electornics, samples, found sounds and a lot of humor mix together in this electornic music examination of security and technology. I'm not doing it justice. If you like your music or social commentary a little offbeat and you don't know Negativland, start with "Before I Ask" or the video for "don't Don't Get Freaked Out".

Once and Future Band

35. Once and Future Band - Deleted Scenes: Their second album and second time on the Timmys list. A quick description would be "alt-prog" - there's some trappings of prog rock, but maybe a little Steely Dan, ELO or maybe even Harry Nillson mixed in.   


34. Waxahatchee - Saint Cloud: This is the fifth Waxahatchee album and a bit more country influenced that her last. It chronicles her journey to sobriety and is a good indication that her best work may be right around the corner.   

Joel Plaskett

33. Joel Plaskett - 44: Joel's 2009 album 3 made the Timmys in 2009, and this 44 song collection debuted the day before Plaskett's 45th birthday. The Halifax singer-songwriter falls mostly in the power pop genre but branches out here and there. Over 44 songs, not all of them sparkle but Joel hits the mark more often than he misses.

The Allergies

32. The Allergies - Say The Word: Two UK turntablists gather a cast of guests for a non-stop funk and soul party with some good ol' fashioned scratching.   


31. EOB - Earth: Radiohead guitarist Ed O' Brien is EOB and his debut album is kind of like a dad rock version of Radiohead - echoes of his day job come across in a very accessible way.  


30. Onipa - We No Be Machine: Afrofuturism is alive and well as this London group blends African and electric msic with several guest musicians from Africa. 


29. clipping. - Visions of Bodies Being Burned: Daveed Diggs - known most for playing Lafayette and Jefferson in the Broadway cast of Hamilton - shows a lot of versatility as the voice of clipping., which mixes aalt rap beats and horror-related rhymes.  

Elvis Costello

28. Elvis Costello - Hey Clockface!: One of my all-time favorite musicians so I am very biased here, but this is a decent collection of songs - a few different styles going on, but Elvis' voice ties it all together.

Neptunian Maximalism

27. Neptunian Maximalism - Eons: From Belgium, 3 discs worth of psych/metal/jazz which imagines the world being taken over by super-intelligent elephants. Yeah, go ahead and read that sentence again.


26. Thundercat - It Is What It Is: Thundercat is back with another batch of noodly, jazzy funk and off-kilter R&B.  


25. Algiers - There Is No Year: Gospel-punk? Yes. And it works. Not all of the songs are amazing, but the ones that are really shine.

Spanish Love Songs

24. Spanish Love Songs - Brave Faces Everyone: Melodic punk from L.A. - this is their third album but the first I've heard of them. Intelligent and energetic.    

Badly Drawn Boy

23. Badly Drawn Boy - Banana Skin Shoes: Twenty (!) years ago, Badly Drawn Boy topped the Timmys with his debut album. His work since hasn't hit the same mark, but still worth a listen if quirky British singer-songwriters are your thing.  

Music Band

22. Music Band - Celebration: Not the best name for this Nashville combo, but the music thankfully stands out. Guitar based pop-rock - maybe a little Dr. Dog influence, some good driving riffs and hooks galore. 

Steve Gunn

21. Yves Tumor - Heaven To A Tortured Mind: R7B with psych underpinnings and on the "out there" side while still being very accessible, along with a a little adrogyny - reminds me of Prince while still being a lot different musically.

Kooba Tercu

20. Kooba Tercu - Proto Tekno: Driving, noisy post-punk from a band with members located in Greece, Crete and London, this album almost flies off the rails at points and finds a steady groove at others.  

Bob Dylan

19. Bob Dylan - Rough & Rowdy Ways: The first time on the Timmys for Bob. Like many acts who started in the 60's, I just assumed Bob's best work was long behind him. I gave this album a chance and was pleasantly surprised - not a top 10 contender among Dylan's albums, but really solid, especially the bluesier songs. 

Deep Sea Diver

18. Deep Sea Diver - Impossile Weight: Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist Jessica Dobson is the driving force behind Deep Sea Diver and these songs remind me of Sharon Van Etten's brand of tough but thoughtful alt rock.  

Laura Marling

17. Laura Marling - Songs For Our Daughter: Another artist returning to the Timmys - beautiful, folk-inspired songs, similar to Joni Mitchell in parts but Laura is definitely her own artist.  

Paul Weller

16. Paul Weller - On Sunset: Another veteran who never made the Timmys until now. A nice mix of new ideas and classic Weller, including a couple of moments that remind me of The Style Council.


15. HAIM - Women in Music, Pt. III: I have like some of HAIM's songs before, but I think they really nailed it across a whole album this time. The tirle is a good one, as I hear echoes of Sheryl Crow, Joni Mitchell and Chrissie Hynde to name just a few.    

The Cool Greenhouse

14. The Cool Greenhouse - The Cool Greenhouse: Post-punk guitar riffs with clever spken word over the top. Sounds like The Fall? You bet it does, but with a fresh spin.

Melt Yourself Down

13. Melt Yourself Down - 100% Yes: The third album from this jazz funk album smokes from start to finish, with vocal throughout where a lot of the bands in this genre are strictly instrumental. Reminiscent of Talking Heads at points.    

Kelly Lee Owens

12. Kelly Lee Owens - Inner Song: A great collection of electronic music - some made for the dancefloor, others are more introspective.

11. Fleet Foxes - Shore: More beautiful folk rock from these guys. Their previous albums landed at 1, 4 and 17 on the Timmys in order of release, so they are moving back up the charts.

10. Quakers - II - The Next Wave: Second awesome album from Quakers, a group of three producers working with over 30 rappers on 33 short tracks- moving on from one groove to the next before it gets stale.

9. The Avalanches - We Will Always Love You: Speaking of producers, The Avalanches are back. Their first album came out in 2000, their second in 2016 and number three only took four years to come out. Twenty five tracks of clever samples, inventive melodies and stellar guest stars.

8. Kiwi jr. - Football Money: A fine batch of indie rock heavily influenced by the poppier side of Pavement. Their second album is out already and I wouldn't be suprised if that one was on this list next year.     

7. Jerskin Fendricks - Winterreise: A wild and wacky collection of songs that gets pretty goofy at ponts. Dan Deacon is a reference point but Jerskin has his own, unique, howling voice.   

6. Man Man - Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between: Man Man has been making theatrical rock for a while now and they reall hit their stride here. There's some Frank Zappa, maybe a little Primus and some early 70's singer/songwriters like Randy Newman and Harry Nillson.

5. Fiona Apple - Fetch The Bolt Cutters : Fiona's fifth album and while I was never a huge fan, this album changed that. A really great album musically and lyrically - great use of arrangements and honest vocals.

4. Sports Team - Deep Down Happy: Bratty, melodic British indie alt-rock from Cambridge. A little Pulp, some Art Brut - and even some Vampire Weekend in their gift for off-beat melodies and humor.  

3. Run The Jewels - Run The Jewels 4: RTJ3 was number 5 on my 2017 list and Killer Mike and El-P rarely disappoint. Great guest appearances, samples and overall execution.

2. Sault - Untitled (Black Is) and Untitled (Rise)(@ albums): Could they have benefitted from editing this down to one album? You bet. But they didn't and these two albums mix various genres of black music and socially aware lyrics. Their next one will probably be even better.   


1. Phoebe Bridgers - Punisher: From first listen, I know this album would be in the top 3, and possibly even #1. It stayed near the top for the year and I kept coming back to this one. Inspiring, heartbreaking, lyrically and musically impressive. There are many strong women singer-somngwriters making music these days and Phoebe somehow quietly moved to the front of the pack in 2020.



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