The 25 best albums of 2020

13 November 2023, 11:00

Some of the best albums of 2020 from Blossoms, Haim, Biffy Clyro, The Killers and DMA'S.
Some of the best albums of 2020 from Blossoms, Haim, Biffy Clyro, The Killers and DMA'S. Picture: Press

Radio X picks the best albums to be released in 2020: from the stadium filling sounds of Biffy Clyro and The Killers to great new music from Beabadoobee and DMA's.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic scuppering everyone's plans, some of Radio X's favourite artists released albums in 2020.

Seasoned campaigners like Biffy Clyro, The Killers and Green Day all unveiled new albums, while The Strokes and Doves made a welcome return. And there were plenty of great new artists too - Beabadoobee, Phoebe Bridgers, Declan McKenna and more.

  1. The Big Moon – Walking Like We Do: release date 10th January 2020

    The second album from the London quartet saw songwriter Jules Jackson head off into new, brighter areas of indie rock. Big tune: Your Light

    The Big Moon – Walking Like We Do
    The Big Moon – Walking Like We Do. Picture: Press
  2. Georgia – Seeking Thrills: release date 10th January 2020

    The London singer-songwriter's second studio album for Domino was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize and proved to be an accomplished spin on classic dance pop. Big Tune: About Work The Dancefloor

    Georgia – Seeking Thrills
    Georgia – Seeking Thrills. Picture: Press
  3. Courteeners - More. Again. Forever.: release date 17th January 2020

    Liam Fray continues to tell compelling stories and hooks them onto killer choruses. This sixth studio album refines his unique worldview. Big Tune: Hanging Off Your Cloud

    Courteeners - More. Again. Forever.
    Courteeners - More. Again. Forever. Picture: Press
  4. Blossoms - Foolish Loving Spaces: release date 31st January 2020

    Released just before lockdown, the Stockport band unveiled a richer sound on their third album and proved that they still have a unique connection with the Zoom generation. Big Tune: Your Girlfriend

    Blossoms - Foolish Loving Spaces
    Blossoms - Foolish Loving Spaces. Picture: Press
  5. Green Day - Father Of All...: release date 7th February 2020

    Thirteenth album from the pop-punk trio and they're in no mood for compromising just yet - as the confrontational title proves. Big tune: Father Of All...

    Green Day - Father Of All...
    Green Day - Father Of All... Picture: Press
  6. Tame Impala - The Slow Rush: release date 14th February 2020

    Kevin Parker continued his sonic explorations on this fourth album under the Tame Impala guise and it's as absorbing and irresistible as ever. Big Tune: Lost In Yesterday

    Tame Impala - The Slow Rush
    Tame Impala - The Slow Rush. Picture: Press
  7. The Strokes - The New Abnormal: release date 10th April 2020

    Has it really been seven years since Comedown Machine? No matter - this is their most cohesive album in a long time, while retaining that classic, eccentric Strokes style. Big Tune: Bad Decisions

    The Strokes - The New Abnormal
    The Strokes - The New Abnormal. Picture: Press
  8. Laura Marling – Song For Our Daughter: release date 10th April 2020

    The British singer-songwriter's seventh album is her most accomplished yet: the stripped down ambience gives the material an even more intimate feel. Big tune: Held Down

    Laura Marling – Song For Our Daughter cover art
    Laura Marling – Song For Our Daughter cover art. Picture: Press
  9. Gerry Cinnamon - The Bonny: release date 17th April 2020

    The enigmatic Glaswegian singer-songwriter continues to go his own way with the long-awaited follow-up to his 2017 debut Erratic Cinematic. Big tune: Where We're Going

    Gerry Cinnamon - The Bonny
    Gerry Cinnamon - The Bonny. Picture: Press
  10. The 1975 – Notes On A Conditional Form: release date 22nd May 2020

    The fourth album from the young Manchester-based band saw Matty Healy edge ever closer to becoming the spokesman for his generation - and included the "most important person in the world", Greta Thunberg. Big tune: Me & You Together Song

    The 1975 – Notes On A Conditional Form cover art
    The 1975 – Notes On A Conditional Form cover art. Picture: Press
  11. Liam Gallagher - MTV Unplugged (Live At Hull City Hall): release date 12th June 2020

    Mr Gallagher proved there's talent behind all that swagger as he performed for the long-running series with a choir and strings. You won't believe your ears. Big Tune: Once

    Liam Gallagher - MTV Unplugged (Live At Hull City Hall)
    Liam Gallagher - MTV Unplugged (Live At Hull City Hall). Picture: Press
  12. Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher: release date 18th June 2020

    Already a cult favourite in the US, the young Californian singer-songwriter has notched up four Grammy nominations with her impressive second album.

    Big tune: Kyoto

    Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher
    Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher. Picture: Press
  13. Haim - Women In Music Pt III: releas edate 26th June 2020

    Third album from the sisters Haim and the songs are as glorious and bittersweet as ever. Big Tune: Don't Wanna

    Haim - Women In Music Pt III
    Haim - Women In Music Pt III. Picture: Press
  14. DMA’s – The Glow: release date 10th July 2020

    The shimmering third album from the Sydneysiders proved why they've been Australia's best kept secret for years. Big Tune: Life Is A Game Of Changing

    DMA’s – The Glow
    DMA’s – The Glow. Picture: Press
  15. Fontaines DC – A Hero’s Death: release date 31st July 2020

    The second studio album from the Irish band was a powerful follow-up to their debut Dogrel, while expanding on their post-punk sound. Big tune: I Don't Belong

    Fontaines DC – A Hero’s Death cover art
    Fontaines DC – A Hero’s Death cover art. Picture: Press
  16. Biffy Clyro - A Celebration Of Endings: release date 14th August 2020

    Lockdown may have dented their plans but the Scottish trio's eighth studio album became a rallying cry for rock fans instead. A superb, confident record that shows even the most established bands can still push themselves. Big Tune: Instant History

    Biffy Clyro - A Celebration Of Endings
    Biffy Clyro - A Celebration Of Endings. Picture: Press
  17. Sea Girls – Open Up Your Head: release date 14th August 2020

    The London quartet make good on the promise of their early singles with an impressive debut of vibrant indie rock. Big Tune: All I Want To Hear You Say

    Sea Girls – Open Up Your Head
    Sea Girls – Open Up Your Head. Picture: Press
  18. The Killers - Imploding The Mirage: release date 21st August 2020

    Founding member Dave Keuning may have sat out this sixth album, but Brandon Flowers, Mark Stoermer and Ronnie Vannuci carry on the good work with impeccably slick tunes. Big Tune: My Own Soul's Warning

    The Killers - Imploding The Mirage
    The Killers - Imploding The Mirage. Picture: Press
  19. The Magic Gang – Death Of The Party: release date 28th August 2020

    Brighton's Magic Gang look to broader influences and more experimentation on their second album - and the gamble paid off. Big tune: Make Time For Change

    The Magic Gang – Death of The Party
    The Magic Gang – Death of The Party. Picture: Press
  20. Declan McKenna - Zeros: release date 4th September 2020

    It took three long years for the young singer-songwriter to follow up his debut album, but it was worth the wait - Zeros is thoughtful, committed and conscientious indie pop, that also shines brightly Big Tune: The Key To Life On Earth

    Declan McKenna - Zeros
    Declan McKenna - Zeros. Picture: Press
  21. Doves - The Universal Want: release date 11th September 2020

    After 11 years on hiatus, the trio of Jimi Goodwin and Jez and Andy Williams returned to pick up where they left off with more dark, emotive sounds. Big Tune: Prisoners

    Doves - The Universal Want
    Doves - The Universal Want. Picture: Press
  22. The Jaded Hearts Club – You've Always Been Here: release date 2nd October 2020

    A supergroup that includes Miles Kane, Matt Bellamy and Graham Coxon may sound like pure self-indulgence, but their genuine love of music shines through. Big Tune: Love's Gone Bad

    The Jaded Hearts Club – You've Always Been Here
    The Jaded Hearts Club – You've Always Been Here. Picture: Press
  23. Beabadoobee - Fake It Flowers: release date 16th October 2020

    Beatrice Laus recalls the spirit of 90s stoner rock, taking her from the lo-fi world of bedroom recordings to a wider audience, assisted by some painfully honest lyrics. Big tune: Care

    Beabadoobee - Fake It Flowers
    Beabadoobee - Fake It Flowers. Picture: Press
  24. Nothing But Thieves - Moral Panic: release date 23rd October 2020

    The Southend five-piece's dramatic, inspiring rock is just the thing the country needed during the troubling year of 2020. Big Tune: Real Love Song

    Nothing But Thieves - Moral Panic
    Nothing But Thieves - Moral Panic. Picture: Press
  25. The Cribs - Night Network: release date 20th November 2020

    After three years in the wilderness, the Jarmans took some advice from Dave Grohl, regrouped and came blasting back as defiant as ever. Big tune: Running Into You

    The Cribs - Night Network cover art
    The Cribs - Night Network cover art. Picture: Press

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