2020 has been rough in almost every way, but music has been the one exception. I’ve fallen in love with so many albums this year, so here would be my picks for Album of the Year (in order of release).
1. Fine Line — Harry Styles
Technically released in 2019, Fine Line still qualifies for the 2021 Grammys, and it 100% deserves to be nominated. Harry’s songwriting really shines on this album, and he’s able to throw in so many extreme emotions to make an album that’s perfect for any mood. From “Falling” to “Golden,” there is not one song that didn’t exceed my expectations. My personal favorite is “Canyon Moon,” but he also has plenty of hits like “Watermelon Sugar” and “Adore You.”
2. Walls — Louis Tomlinson
If it’s any indication of how much I love this album, I went from having never listened to Louis, to Walls becoming my most listened to album in a matter of weeks. To this day, my Apple Music stats are a little embarrassing, as I’ve played my favorite from this album, “Too Young,” 79 times. Louis deserves so much more recognition, and I recommend “Always You” or “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart” if you want to fall in love with his music as quickly I did.
3. Kid Krow — Conan Gray
This album is incredible. I only discovered it a few weeks ago, but it’s quickly become the soundtrack to just about everything I do. You’ve probably heard “Maniac” or “Heather,” but there are also some hidden gems, like “Little League” and “The Cut That Always Bleeds.” If you’re a sucker for upbeat songs with depressing lyrics, this one’s for you.
4. folklore — Taylor Swift
As a longtime Taylor Swift fan, I really mean it when I say this album is tied in first for my favorite Taylor Swift album of all time (Red being the other one). Soft and magical, folklore is a beautiful demonstration of Taylor’s creativity and songwriting. My favorite song is definitely “august” or “invisible string,” but “this is me trying,” “cardigan,” and “mirrorball” are all life-changing as well. As with all of her songs, Taylor’s lyrics take you away to somewhere you’ve never been. The beautiful thing about folklore is that she takes you to places and moments she’s never experienced either. The beach in that high school summer in “august,” St. Louis before she was even born in “the last great american dynasty,” and the front porch of Betty’s house. If you haven’t listened to this album yet, you’re missing out.
5. Only Child — Sasha Sloan
Sasha Sloan is criminally underrated. Her voice and lyrics are the perfect background for any dramatic walk around campus, and this album is just as soft and dreamy as her previous one. My favorites are “Santa’s Real” and “Is It Just Me?”, but if you’re listening to her for the first time, I highly recommend “Dancing With Your Ghost” or “Normal.” If you want to feel like the *main character*, pop on any of her songs and drift away.