This year has been an odd year in music. Live venues, festivals, tours shut down. Since I was about 10 years old, I’ve never had a year without a festival, without live music; an open air summer stage, a crowded bar or sticky club night. But, arguably, it’s been a year where I’ve listened to music more than any other. I had a week in August where I listened to Elvis’ Live in Las Vegas album on repeat and not much else, I was energised by the pop Queendom’s – Gaga, Kylie, Ariana and Little Mix – latest releases, obsessed over Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion multiple times, listened to almost every episode of Lauren Laverne, Maryann Hobbs and Nemone on BBC 6 Music, and fell in love with new songs from D Smoke, The Orielles, Loyle Carner, Kojey Radical, and Solange. I’ve scarcely had a moment when music wasn’t on my mind, in my conversations or blasting through my speakers.
For my birthday I asked my loved ones to get me an LP they thought I needed to own (and yes, I am one of those millennials who fell in love with vinyl). I came away with a record collection that had doubled in size and a smile on my face that had tripled. An array of personal favourites and all time classics including; an original pressing of The Raw & the Cooked by Fine Young Cannibals, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band picture disc, Hunky Dory by David Bowie, Music from the Big Pink, Electric Ladyland by Jimi Hendrix, LCD Soundsystem’s namesake album, and Elvis’ A Boy From Tupelo and a golden 30 #1 Hits record (I really love Elvis).
But what surprised me most this year was the amount of playlists I listened to – when I was cooking, running, walking around the supermarket or cleaning my flat. So I thought to make one for you: the tracks – old and new – that filled my Spotify lists this year. An incomplete list – unfortunately Dolly Parton’s new yet already beloved Christmas album didn’t make the cut – but, a playlist I hope you enjoy as you do all the 2020 activities we’ve become accustomed to: taking a stroll around your local park, sitting at your make-shift home office space or lying on your sofa with a cuppa.
#NowPlaying Music to my ears: 2020