By Staff Writers Stephanie De Jesus and Munia Kamal
As summer approaches, we hope that most of this last year fades into memory. Now that we can finally see the sun, though, we recognize that not everything in 2020 and the winter of 2021 was bad. To prove it, we compiled a list of our favorite artists from 2020 for you to check out. This list mostly consists of indie, pop, rock, and alternative music. If that isn’t your style, we still encourage you to either give it a try or find some music at your own pace: discover a new artist or two!
All Time Low:
To start, the band All Time Low is one of our favorite finds. Generally, their music style has been described as a mix of pop, punk, rock, emo, and alternative. As of December 2020, the four band members have released nine albums, the most popular being Wake Up, Sunshine from April of 2020. Any one of their songs could be something you could easily dance and sing along to; our two favorites are “Dear Maria, Count Me In” (So Wrong, It’s Right) and “Backseat Serenade” (Don’t Panic). Listener warning: the vast majority of their songs would be categorized as explicit.
If you like All Time Low, then you’ll love Waterparks. Recently gaining popularity for their album FANDOM, Waterpark’s discography is full of great songs, all with amazing beats. The American pop-punk/rock band has three remaining members as of 2020, and they have released a total of five albums. Some songs to check out are “Easy To Hate” (FANDOM), “Turbulent” (FANDOM), and “Stupid For You” (Double Dare). However, just like All Time Low, many of their songs are explicit.
I DONT KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME:
If you like Panic At The Disco, we bet I DONT KNOW HOW BUT THEY FOUND ME will find its place in your new playlist. Formed by former PATD member, Dallon Weekes, this alternative duo has songs with fantastic bass lines. Their recent album Razzmattaz was released just a few months ago, but we suggest you check out some of their old tracks such as “Choke” (1981 Extended Play) and “Absinthe” (1981 Extended Play).
TikTok has been a large factor in Conan Gray’s popularization as his song “Heather” (Kid Krow) became widely known through a TikTok trend. He is an indie-pop artist, and his latest album is called Kid Krow. One song we would highly recommend is “Idle Town” (Sunset Season) from 2018. The young artist’s music is best for rainy days, and we’re sure to see much more music from him as we follow the exponential growth of his music career.
Ricky Montgomery, another artist who gained popularity through TikTok with his songs “Line Without A Hook” and “Mr. Loverman,” is similar to Conan Gray, but his music would seem more alternative and indie than pop. As of right now, he has one album titled Montgomery Ricky with ten songs, our favorite being “California.” If those ten songs aren’t enough for you, he is also a member and songwriter of the three-person band The Honeysticks; some of their best songs are “Out Like a Light” (single) and “I Don’t Love You Anymore” (The Honeysticks).
Cavetown, aka Robin Skinner, is an English songwriter and singer. The 22-year-old artist had been writing and releasing music since 2013. His genre would be considered indie rock and indie pop. He, just like Montgomery and Gray, has wholesome and soothing tunes that will leave you with feels of joy, sadness, and hope. A few of his most notable songs are “Boys Will Be Bugs” (Animal Kingdom) and “Devil Town” (Cavetown). Some of his songs are explicit.
Having gained popularity on TikTok for their song “Cops / Dogs,” punk band Destructo Disk doesn’t shy away from making political statements in their music. If this doesn’t turn you off and you’re into the genre, a place to start would be “I Wish I Was A Riot Girl” (Punk Rock For Kids Who Can’t Skate), “Sockhead” (Punk Rock For Kids Who Can’t Skate), and “Goth Queen (Reign Supreme)” (Punk Rock for Kids Who Can’t Relate). Their music is explicit.
Canadian art-rock band Palaye Royale has a raw energy that is bound to catch your attention. Palaye released an album in late 2020 titled “The Bastards”' and have been in the scene since 2013. If interested, be sure to check out “Mr. Doctor Man” (Boom Boom Room), “Dying in A Hot Tub” (Boom Boom Room), and “Massacre, The New American Dream” (The Bastards). Some of their music is explicit.
FUR’s blend of indie and rock leaves the seemingly modern band sounding wonderfully vintage. Many have said that they have a sound reminiscent of the 1960s. The quartet is not as well-known as many others on this list, but we highly recommend them. Our favorites are “If You Know That I’m Lonely” (single) and "Not Enough” (single).
Led by 18-year-old Lydia Night, this band has racked 643,283 monthly Spotify listeners since their first album release in 2017. If you have any interest in The Regrettes, be sure to check out “Seashore” (Feel Your Feelings Fool!) and “I Dare You” (How Do You Love?).
Originally formed in 2005, Mother Mother has recently gained popularity on TikTok for their songs “Hayloft” (O My Heart) and “Verbatim” (Touch Up). They may be an alternative rock band, but they have a unique sound that’s worth listening to. Once you check out their most streamed songs, listen to “Wrecking Ball” (O My Heart) and “Body” (O My Heart).
An American indie rock band formed in 2006, Vampire Weekend’s 2019 album Father of the Bride includes songs like “Unbearably White,” “Harmony Hall,” and “This Life,” which are guaranteed to put you in a good mood. Other bangers from Vampire Weekend are “Campus” (Vampire Weekend) and “A-Punk” (Vampire Weekend).
Influenced by various genres, Thai singer Viphurit Siritip’s discography has a contagious energy that is bound to brighten your day. Check out his most recent single “Wings,” along with “Hello Anxiety” (single) and his most streamed song “Lover Boy” (single).
Although the past year has had its ups and downs, we are glad that the music industry has not been hurt. While we are all glad to see the pandemic start to calm down, one good thing to come out of it was the chance to explore interests and new hobbies ranging from building that new patio to finally getting to some of those books in the corner of your room. It has also been a great time to venture out and drive yourself to listen to music that you would never listen to before.