• Jesse Stowe

My Favorite Album of 2020 - Jesse


(Photo Credit - Jeffrey LaTour)


Jesse’s choice of Album of the Year: Between Poliça When We Stay Alive, Rituals of Mine Hype Nostalgia, and Sault Untitled (Rise)


I’ve been wading through the music of 2020, trying to find my take on Album of the Year.

Although I am a big fan of Kehlani and thoroughly love her new album, It Was Good Until It Wasn’t, I haven’t been able to delve into it the way I would like to. The same is true about The Avalanche’s We Will Always Love You. Possibly an unfair mark of elimination, but I have to start somewhere, right? I thought Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia was a fun album; EOB’s Earth was a great surprise, and Tame Impala’s The Slow Rush made me appreciate them a little more. However, these albums did not continue to call me back the way Poliça’s When We Stay Alive, Rituals of Mine’s Hype Nostalgia, and Sault’s Untitled (Rise) did.

Calling me back is an important standard because I can listen to an album, love it, but never pull it up again. Maybe because of the timing of the release. Maybe because I am going through a period when I do not listen to much music. Or maybe I am stuck on LCD Soundsystem, Radiohead, or Phish. Whatever the case, I kept going back to my top three albums. Sault even fell under the unfortunate situation of bad release timing. It came out one week before Rituals of Mine’s Hype Nostalgia. However, I was running a lot and going through a period in which I was loving music, so the albums took turns in rotation. Poliça was released near the beginning of the year, while I was working on a lot of writing projects. I have listened to it many, many times and may check it out again, later today.

All three albums give a huge range of ability and style. The musicians are talented; they address society in their own way, and the music makes me move, even while I am typing. Plus, I will defend my choice of top three albums to anyone, but you have to listen to them. You have to give them your time. Maybe not as much as I have—look at my top 100 songs; three are from the Poliça album—but give them a chance. You may be surprised.

I’ve stalled enough.

My favorite album of 2020 is…

Rituals of Mine’s Hype Nostalgia!!!

Ok. There it is. I said it. Rituals of Mine Hype Nostalgia. Maybe because it is a Libra, like me. Maybe because I just love the album so much. And not to take away from the other two albums, because they will continue to be on rotation. However, even before I started writing this, I was leaning towards Hype Nostalgia. It just worked for me.

Now go check it out. And all the albums I mentioned.

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