Over the course of 2020, our team at EDMTunes dove into an array of new tunes across our favorite electronic music genres, and saw all kinds of new releases from some of our favorite artists. Though this year has undoubtedly been strange and chaotic, we’ve gathered a list of our favorite albums that have been released this year.
This has been a weird 2020 – almost an entire year without much of any live events, and a disease that has detrimentally affected our society in so many ways (and, of course, killed any festival hopes we had). This was a year unlike any other, to say the least.
But not everything was about pandemics, protests, or sad situations that heavily impacted 2021. There were some positives, some silver linings, that have made their impact on our music scene and are here to stay. For one, we saw a huge movement towards the continued growth of house and techno with numerous artists’ alter egos, and a new creative outlet with sets from paradisaical places – livestreams.
Of course, there was no point this year in which music ever lacked. So we got our team together, and voted on our top 10 albums of the year. Dive in below – these are albums that we consider incredible for all kinds of reasons, and made 2020 a (somewhat) better year for us in the face of such challenges.
10. Layton Giordani – New Generation
We open this count with one of the most anticipated albums of a major techno prodigy: Layton Giordani. In this LP, the artist from New York crosses borders between rhythms and shows once again his versatility as a music producer.
The tracks on the album include futuristic techno, ambient techno, soul, disco, jazz, funk, and progressive overtones. There’s quite a few collaborators here, too – including Green Velvet, Cevin Fisher, Avision, and Bart Skils.
9. Shallou – Magical Thinking
This album from Shallou expands on the soaring melodic tracks with collaborations that push the envelope into pop and House territory. It works on this album for mellow pop records but remains to the ambient and downtempo sound he has cultivated. At the same time, there are house-vibe tracks like his collaboration with The Knocks titled ‘Endless‘.
8. Mat Zo – Illusion Of Depth
This year, Anjunabeats welcomed the return of one of its most prolific and mysterious producers of all time. GRAMMY-nominated producer Mat Zo was back with a brand-new artist album set in October: Illusion Of Depth.
The album introduces Atlanta-based Olan, a singer and producer that Mat has worked with for a number of years. There’s a nod to classic rave culture and the Chemical Brothers with her vocals on ‘Problems’, while the closing track ‘Paralysis’ is a cinematic rock crescendo.
7. ATTLAS – Out Here With You
In February 2020, ATTLAS released his long-awaited debut album entitled Lavender God. Just nine months later, he returned with his second full-length album, Out Here With You. What a year to release two albums.
The Canadian producer described his second album as a “reassuring and hopeful piece that tackles the little good things we can control and take pride in.”
6. Four Tet – Sixteen Oceans
Four Tet is one of those unmistakable artists who whenever they release something it is innovative, full of pure art musically speaking. His touch is unmistakable, and Sixteen Oceans is frequently gorgeous and gripping.
Sixteen Oceans is 16 tracks long, with five tracks serving as basically interludes. Strangely, most of them fall toward the end of the album. This is a masterful piece of art, without a doubt.
5. Kygo – Golden Hour
Kygo‘s third studio album, released on May 29th, is packed with amazing vocal collaborations. Some fan-favorite tracks on the album are ‘Higher Love‘ with Whitney Houston and ‘Lose Somebody‘ alongside One Republic. The album also was part of our Top 12 First Half of the Year Dance Music Albums.
4. Camelphat – Dark Matter
The British duo’s long-awaited debut album, Dark Matter, showcases a diverse range of other-worldly sounds. This project includes collaborations with artists like Noel Gallagher, Yanina Philipakkis, Jake Bugg, Will Easton and other producers such as Skream and Eli & Fur.
Tracks on the album include ‘Cola’, ‘Breathe’ and ‘Panic Room‘.
3. Tchami – Year Zero
Tchami is one of the most prolific DJs and producers in recent years. Naturally, he could not close out 2020 without some impressive studio work. As a result, he has blessed us with the release of his debut album, Year Zero. This album showcases Tchami’s range as an artist, and presents itself as a dynamic smorgasbord of house-flavored tracks.
2. Duke Dumont – Duality
The UK house producer’s debut album presents a generation-defining dance sound with emotional, electronic flare. Duality refers to the two artistic edges of Duke, the hitmaker and his experimentation-loving side. This project is a wholesome, all encompassing example of Dumont’s talent, as he sticks to his signature house sound.
1. Lane 8 – Brightest Lights
Lane 8 is the artist taking home the EDMTunes title for best album of 2020. Brightest Lights album is the perfect example as to why his music so beloved by many fans around the world.
The 13-track LP is a winning formula, combining soothing and hypnotic melodies. The vocal accompaniments add an emotional element to each track. Check it out down below!
Wrapping Up 2020
2020 has been a strange year to say the least. Although live performances were absent for the majority of the year, many artists across all genres took to the studio and released some incredible music. This was certainly a year for experimentation and adaptation in the electronic music world.
During these difficult times, show some extra love to your favorite artists. Buckle up, because 2021 is just around the corner!