Kevin Curtin's Top 100 Austin Albums of 2020

COVID couldn’t stop hundreds of Austin releases

No tours, no festivals, few concerts, music retailers operating at minimum capacity, and yet ... several hundred albums emerged from Austin artists in 2020. One of COVID-19's undisputed truths is that art matters – on both sides of the fence: maker and consumer. Here roll my 100 favorite full-lengths, EPs, SoundCloud mixes, and even a conceptual visual LP – but strictly no singles – that came out locally over the last 12 months.

1) David Ramirez, My Love Is a Hurricane (Sweetworld/Thirty Tigers)

2) Seth Gibbs, We Are All Connected

3) Botany, End the Summertime F(or)ever (Western Vinyl)

4) Deezie Brown & EC Mayne, Candy Blue Like Screw (5th Wheel Fairytale)

5) Caroline Rose, Superstar (New West)

6) Sweet Spirit, Trinidad (Merge)

7) Bill Callahan, Gold Record (Drag City)

8) Skeleton (20 Buck Spin)

9) RG Lowe, Life of the Body (Western Vinyl)

10) Mobley & various artists, A Home Unfamiliar

11) Eternal Champion, Ravening Iron (No Remorse)

12) Malik, Spectrum (Artium)

13) Spirit Adrift, Enlightened in Eternity (20 Buck Spin)

14) Ley Line, We Saw Blue

15) White Denim, World as a Waiting Room (Radio Milk)

16) Jake Lloyd, Lloyd Pack (Kicks & Khords)

17) Wilson Marks, True Beauty Is in the Random (Furry Chords)

18) .dani, 19

19) Why Bonnie, Voice Box (Fat Possum)

20) BoomBaptist, Boom Shakalaka ((iN)Sect)

21) Jonathan Terrell, Westward

22) Gina Chavez, La Que Manda

23) Drakulas, Terminal Amusements (Dine Alone)

24) Alex Maas, Luca (Innovative Leisure)

25) ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Dine Alone)

26) JaRon Marshall, The Black Power Tape (Cascade)

27) Exhalants, Atonement (Hex)

28) Jay Wile, Better Times

29) Kay Odyssey, Knock Out! (Pecan Crazy)

30) Churchwood, Plenty Wrong to Go Awry (Saustex)

31) Star Parks, The New Sounds of Late Capitalism (Modern Outsider)

32) Monte Warden & the Dangerous Few (Break a Leg)

33) Will Johnson, El Capitán (Keeled Scales)

34) Click-Clack, Songs I Don't Hate (Ballteam)

35) We Are the Asteroid, WATA Wonderful World (Bad Rope)

36) Nevil, Having Fun for Once

37) Shakey Graves, Look Alive

38) Tender Things, How You Make a Fool (Spaceflight)

39) Royal Forest, Waiting Drum (King Electric)

40) Jana Horn, Optimism

41) Night Glitter (Nine Mile)

42) Bird Peterson, I Am What You Am I Am

43) Tia Carrera, Tried and True (Small Stone)

44) Dallas Acid, Bubble Club Vol. 1 (Odeon Broadcasting)

45) PR Newman, Private Lives

46) Scott H. Biram, Fever Dreams (Bloodshot)

47) Saliyah, Sanctification (Growth in Decay)

48) Devin James Fry & Sari Andoni, Radicans (Old Faithful)

49) Charley Crockett, Welcome to Hard Times (Son of Davy/Thirty Tigers)

50) Holy Wave, Interloper (Reverberation Appreciation Society)

51) Jackie Venson, Vintage Machine

52) Wood & Wire, No Matter Where It Goes From Here (Blue Corn Music)

53) Greyhounds, Primates (Nine Mile)

54) Ringo Deathstarr (Reverberation Appreciation Society)

55) Israel Nash, Topaz (Desert Folklore/Soundly)

56) Pocket Sounds, The Way Home (Mr. Pink)

57) McPullish, Lone Wolf McDub (Charlie's)

58) Black Vice, The Alchemist's Vision (Crown and Throne Ltd.)

59) A. Sinclair, In the Middle of the Night (Nine Mile)

60) Nemegata, Hycha Wy (Sonorama Discos)

61) Aaron Parks, Parks & Wreck

62) Lord Buffalo, Tohu Wa Bohu (Blues Funeral)

63) The Teeta, Quarantine (Netherfriends)

64) Ryan Sambol & the Interstate Group, Rail Sing

65) Jonas Wilson, Science Fiction Post Blues (Mr. Pink)

66) Future Museums, Damo's Dream (Aural Canyon)

67) Chucky Blk, A Scathing Critique of Current Affairs

68) Glasshealer, Cranberry Stream

69) Rickshaw Billie's Burger Patrol, Burger Babes ... From Outer Space

70) Cactus Lee, Tarantula (709)

71) Flobama, Warp Mode ((iN)Sect)

72) Ruthie Foster, Live at the Paramount (Blue Corn)

73) Dewey Ivy, Water Tower (Mr. Pink)

74) Michael C. Sharp, Trip Further (Aural Canyon)

75) Clarence James, Fucked Me Up

76) Daniel Fears, Canopy (Locknkey)

77) Ben Buck, Kilroy

78) The Midgetmen, It Is Now Recursive

79) Krista Van Liew, Born

80) Black Mercy, For the Man That Has Everything ((iN)Sect)

81) Chief Cleopatra

82) The Boomswagglers, Heartbreaking Places in My Mind (Hillgrass Bluebilly)

83) Sex Pümp

84) Hey Cowboy!, Get in My Fanny Pack and Let's Go

85) Starving Wolves, True Fire

86) Stiletto Feels, Push Back (GTZ)

87) New Druids, Making Love to Make Music to Make Love To (Mr. Pink)

88) KindKeith, Phone

89) The Bright Light Social Hour, Jude Vol. II

90) Sailor Poon, Sailor Poon's First Album

91) Nayome, Personal

92) Cold Jackets, Affairs of the Heart (Mr. Pink)

93) US Weekly, Peace Network

94) Jesse Dayton, Gulf Coast Sessions (Blue Élan)

95) Billy King & the Bad Bad Bad, Stealing Your Potential

96) Njune, I Hope You're Happy

97) Pelvis Wrestley, Vortexas Vorever (Austin Town Hall)

98) Strahan & the Good Neighbors, Sadie (Blood Chili)

99) The Sideshow Tragedy, After the Fall (Spaceflight)

100) Sheverb, Once Upon a Time in Bombay Beach

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Kevin Curtin
Music Industry Hall of Fame: Poster Visionary Jim Franklin
Music Industry Hall of Fame: Poster Visionary Jim Franklin
The iconic artist reflects on armadillos, self-unemployment, and his influence on Austin culture

Feb. 23, 2024

The Austin Music Awards, a Black Rock Maverick, and More Crucial Concerts
The Austin Music Awards, a Black Rock Maverick, and More Crucial Concerts
Our recommended shows for the week ahead

Feb. 23, 2024


Top 10 2020

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle