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2020 Albums That Made For Uneasy Listening Early In The Pandemic

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> 2020 Albums That Made For Uneasy Listening Early In The Pandemic

Whether intentionally or not, artists produced lots of music in 2020 that was difficult to handle with the onset of the pandemic. Many had already written and recorded most or all of the music on their 2020 record, but the listening experience at the time was undeniably bleak. Since these records are all of substantial quality, it’s time to revisit them!

Steve Earle - ‘Ghosts of West Virginia’

Steve Earle - ‘Ghosts of West Virginia’

Detailing the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster in 2010, Steve Earle even goes far enough as to name the tragic victims of this event.

Bob Mould - ‘Blue Hearts’

Bob Mould - ‘Blue Hearts’

Though Blue Hearts received critical acclaim, his modern protest songs received some hatred from fans online because of Mould’s raw bluntness on the album.

Bright Eyes - ‘Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was’

Bright Eyes - ‘Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was’

Conor Oberst’s band made a welcome return after a decade with this album, but his anguished, angsty songwriting combined with the continued evolution of his sound was not the approach everyone wanted to hear in 2020.

Woods - ‘Strange to Explain’

Woods - ‘Strange to Explain’

The difficulty surrounding the lives of the bandmembers of Woods is readily apparent in Strange to Explain. This record is so cautiously put together, so precisely yet precariously formed as if everything is on the verge of snapping.

Phoebe Bridgers - ‘Punisher’

Phoebe Bridgers - ‘Punisher’

Punisher marks a gripping upgrade to Phoebe Bridgers’ sound, which intensely weaves in topics like heartbreak into an even gloomier emotional outpouring.

Laura Veirs - ‘My Echo’

Laura Veirs - ‘My Echo’

This divorce-centric record showed off all the uncertainties in Veirs’ life (her ex-husband was the producer, surely making for an intense recording session), unintentionally highlighting all the uncertainty in everyone else’s life at the time as well.

Margo Price - ‘That's How Rumors Get Started’

Margo Price - ‘That's How Rumors Get Started’

Margo Price is unafraid to bring some grit into her music to match the alt-country image, a genre that did not match the more popular musical outlets of fostering happiness or anger at the state of the world.

AA Williams - ‘Forever Blue’

AA Williams - ‘Forever Blue’

Fusing gloomy indie ambient with touches of heavy metal, this melds the two genres most indulging in their depressive qualities.

Soccer Mommy - ‘color theory’

Soccer Mommy - ‘color theory’

The music ranges the spectrum of indie rock’s sonic palette, but the lyrics of Soccer Mommy’s Sophie Allison on Color Theory are a saddening reminder of living in the wake of death.

All albums are available for streaming, and all are worth a revisit for their significance in developing a complex mood for a hard year.

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