In what has been a terrible year, music from some incredible artists has provided a welcome escape from the world during the last 12 months

I think we can all agree that 2020 has been, to put it mildly, not great. Musicians, artists and performers have been deprived of the chance of performing live for the last 9 months or so and we miss seeing them perform more than we can say. Thankfully, they haven’t been totally quiet though and 2020 has seen some incredible new music being made by returning legends and first timers alike.

Before FORM head off for a Christmas break, we each came up with our top ten albums and top 5 tracks of the year and we’re super excited to share them with you. Hopefully you’ll discover something new or see some of your favourites in our lists below. Let us know what you think on Twitter!

Dan Monsell

Albums
Waxahatchee – Saint Cloud
Sault – Untitled (Black Is)
Julianna Barwck – Healing is a Miracle
Jay Electronica – A Written Testimony
Beatrice Dillon – Workaround
Bluenote re:imagined
Run The Jewels – RTJ4
Lido Pimienta – Miss Colombia
Soccer Mommy – Color Theory
Gia Margaret – Mia Gargaret

Honourable Mentions
Billy No Mates – Billy No Mates
US Girls – Heavy Light
Courtney Marie Andrews – Old Flowers
Kevin Morby – Sundowner
Westerman – Your Hero is Not Dead
Oneohtrix Point Never – Magic Never
Taylor Swift – Folklore
Dream Wife – So When you Gonna
Clipping – Visions of Bodies Being Burned

Tracks
1. Tierra Whack – Dora (or Peppers and Onions, both equally good)
2. Billy No Mates – No
3. Emma Jean Thackray – Movementt
4. US Girls – 4 Million Dollars
5. Waxahatchee – Fire

Honorable mentions
Megan Thee Stallion ft Young Thug – Dont Stop
Courtney Marie Andrews – Old flowers
Beverly Glenn Copeland – ‘River Dreams’
Helado Negro (ft Xenio Rubios) – I Fell in Love
Gia Margaret – Body
Sault – Wildfires

Chris Lowe

Albums
Envy – The Fallen Crimson
Record Setter – I Owe You Nothing
Taylor Swift – Folklore / Evermore
Emma Ruth Rundle / THOU – May Our Chambers Be Full
Kelly Lee Owens – Inner Song
Delmer Darion – Morning Pageants
Samia – The Baby
Bob Dylan – Rough and Rowdy Ways
Run The Jewels – RTJ4
HAIM – Women in Music III

Tracks
Hayley Williams – Dead Horse
Bicep – Apricots
Holy Fawn – Candy
Courtney Marie Andrews – Burlap String
The Killers – My Own Souls Warning

Elodie Godard

Albums
1. Sault – Untitled (Black is)
2. Perfum Genius – Set my Heart on Fire Immediately
3. Caribou – Suddenly
4. Waxahatchee – Saint Cloud
5. Dehd – Flower of Devotion
6. Pillow Queens – In Waiting
7. Rina Sawayanna – Sawayama
8. Arca – KiCk i
9. Kelly Lee Owens – Inner Song
10. Lido Pimienta – Miss Columbia

Tracks
1. SAULT – Rise
2. Christine and the Queens – People, I’ve Been Sad
3. Oneohtrix Point Never – Long Road Home
4. Deathcrash – People Thought My Windows Were Stars
5. Dehd – Loner

Milly Hinton

Albums
Jessie Ware – What’s Your Pleasure?
KeiyaA – forever ya girl
Lianne La Havas – Lianne La Havas
Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia
Joesef – Does It Make You Feel Good?
Mac Miller – Circles
Son Little – Aloha
Moses Sumney – græ
Taylor Swift – Evermore
Soccer Mommy – Colour Theory
Haim – Women In Music pt. III

Tracks
Nao (ft. Lianne La Havas) – Woman
The Japanese House (ft. Justin Vernon) – Dionne
Olivia Dean – Echo
Christine and the Queens – People I’ve Been Sad
Yebba – Distance

Paul Phillips

Albums
1. Phoxjaw – Royal Swan
2. Oranssi Pazuzu – Mestarin Kynsi
3. End – Splinters From and Ever Changing Face
4. Richard Skelton – These Charms May be Sung Over a Wound
5. Palm Reader – Sleepless
6. Bohren & Der Club of Gore – Patchouli Blue
7. Svalbard – When I Die Will I Get Better
8. A.A. Williams – Forever Blue
9. Moses Boyd – Dark Matter
10. Tricot – 10

Tracks
1. Bambara – Stay Cruel
2. Svalbard – Click Bait
3. Clipping – Say the Name
4. Palm Reader – A Bird and it’s Feathers
5. Yves Tumor – Gospel for a New Century

Elliot Callard

Albums
Bartees Strange – Live Forever
Falle Nioke – Youkounkoun EP
Other Lives – For Their Love
Sufjan Stevens – Ascension
Caroline Rose – Superstar
Pictish Trail – Thumb World
Oddisee – Odd Cure
Harkin – Harkin
Nadia Read – Out of My Province
Islet – Eyelet

Tracks
Bartees Strange – Mustang
Idles – Grounds
Nathaniel Rateliff – Rush On
Lapsley – Through Water
Falle Nioke – Fufafou

Grace O’Byrne

Albums
Luminous Bodies – Nah Nah Nah Yeh Yeh Yeh
Denise Chaila – ‘Go Bravely’
Aoife Nessa Frances – Land Of No Junction
Run the Jewels – RTJ4
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – Viscerals
Blóm – Flower Violence
UKAEA – Energy Is Forever
We Wild Blood – Vicious Virtues
Bruxa Maria – The Maddening
Casual Nun – Resorts for Dead Desires

Tracks
Denise Chaila – C H A I L A
Mhoal – Laundries
CMAT – I Wanna Be A Cowboy, Baby!
Run The Jewels  – Ooh LA LA
Luminous Bodies – Sykes

Hero of the Year

The Irish Music Industry in using this horrendous time for live performers to create some beautiful moments shared with the diaspora who couldn’t make it home. Some highlights were Songs From An Empty Room nationally televised event raising money for the backroom staff affected. As always Other Voicesprofessional and slick productions from throughout the country including the highly emotional OVHome gig from the Guinness Storehouse to Lankum present A National Disgrace at the Abbey Theatre. And on a much smaller and DIY scale the Live from Guerilla studios series to the Sheebeen ballad sessions of The Mary Wallopers.

Woody Woods

Albums
Beatrice Dillon – Workaround
Bing & Ruth – Species
Molero – Ficciones Del Tropico
Anne Margaret Hogan – Honeysuckle Burials
Beverly Glenn-Copland – Transmissions: The Music of Beverly Glenn-Copeland
Nightports w Betamax – Nightports w/Betamax
Kevin Morby – Sundowner
Courtney Marie Andrews – Old Flowers
Bent Arcana – Bent Arcana
Lake Turner – Videosphere

Tracks
India Jordan – I’m Waiting (Just 4 U)
Molero – Jaguar Capybaras
Nídia – Nik Com
Mary Lattimore – Pine Trees
Beverly Glenn-Copeland – Ever New

Rachel Hiley

Albums
Bambara – StrayCindy Lee – What’s Tonight to Eternity
Eartheater – Phoenix: Flames are Dew Upon My Skin
Dead Meat – The End of Their World is Coming!
Molchat Doma – Monument
Military Genius – Deep Web
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – Viscerals
Public Practice – Gentle Grip
Vestals – Holy Origin
Uniform – Shame

Tracks
Algiers – Cleveland 20/20
Ashnikko – Daisy
Bambara – Stay Cruel
Cardi b, Megan Thee Stallion – WAP
Yaeji – Waking Up Down

  • Introducing FORM20
    Indie / Rock / Punk
  • Class of ’21: Moa Moa
  • Class of ’21: Bartees Strange
  • Class of ’21: Deathcrash
  • FORM20: Electronic
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