Written by Holly Aylward
Need to wash away the lockdown blues? Look no further, because these albums will take you far away from 2020.
- Blonde – Frank Ocean
Frank Ocean’s brilliant second album, released in summer 2016, still maintains a powerful transportive quality. Within his music Ocean creates a unique soundscape and listening to it has a similar feeling to watching a film. It offers a dreamy dive into an intimate recollection of memories and experiences.
2. Honey – Robyn
As an artist with the ability to write a seemingly endless amount of perfect pop songs, on Honey Robyn offers up another serving of bittersweet pop classics. For anyone missing nights out, this album’s club influences will transport you back to the dance floor. Dazzling and uplifting, listening to this album is a euphoric experience.
3. The Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd
Listening to The Dark Side of The Moon is like entering another world. First released in 1973, it still holds the record for the most weeks spent in the charts. The album provides an epic soundtrack to tackling the big ideas in life – mortality, money and madness. There simply isn’t another album quite like it.
4. Hounds of Love – Kate Bush
As one of the most unique artists out there, Kate Bush sits in a musical category of her own. Her timeless album Hounds of Love showcases her unparalleled ability to capture stories and emotions through perfectly crafted pop songs. Her songs are sure to capture your imagination with their theatrical and experimental sound.
5. Citizen of Glass – Agnes Obel
Citizen of Glass is an album with a real cinematic quality to it. With ethereal vocals and minimalist instrumentals, the album is a relaxing and beautiful listen. Obel manages to create an immersive atmosphere, achieving something which feels like music at its purest.
6. In Rainbows – Radiohead
A raw and nuanced album, Radiohead’s In Rainbows feels like a private gift. With rock, pop, and electronic influences, the album has a comforting presence. Exploring both the complete musical and emotional spectrum, this is an easy album to get lost in.
7. Strange Times – Gorillaz
The latest album from Gorillaz perfectly captures the current direction of music. As is tradition for the band, there are many features here, coming from a diverse range of artists including Elton John and Slowthai. As a result, the album explores a mixture of genres, bouncing effortlessly from punk-rock to hip-hop. This largely reflects the wider variety of music available to modern listeners through streaming. Whilst every song might not be for you, chances are at least one will be.
8. Heaven or Las Vegas – Cocteau Twins
Heaven or Las Vegas is a wonderfully strange and fantastical album. The vocals of lead singer Elizabeth Frazer are sometimes difficult to understand, often feeling as if she has made up a new language. Listening to the musical landscape created on the album feels like entering a new world – and a pretty good one too.
9. Visions of Life – Wolf Alice
The front cover of Wolf Alice’s second album features a picture of lead singer Ellie Rowsell’s aunt, who had dreams of becoming a dancer. This image captures the atmosphere of the album well – the songs shapeshift dreamily from synthpop to 90s grunge carried by a heartfelt core of honestly written lyrics.
10. Walking Like We Do – The Big Moon
Without a doubt, The Big Moon are one of the best bands around at the moment. Walking Like We Do was released in 2020 and is pure, unadulterated fun. It’s clear that they understand the joy music can bring. For anyone looking for escapism, this album is the perfect choice. They also win the award for having the most fun music videos of all time!
Holly Aylward is a second-year English student and the treasurer for Leicester Student Magazine.
Image by Eric Nopanen, from Unsplash.