The best albums of 2020

26 December 2020, 18:00

Radio X's Best Albums Of 2020
Radio X's Best Albums Of 2020. Picture: Radio X

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 have 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.

Radio X has picked the best albums of the past twelve months for you to add to your collection - if you haven't got them already.

Here, in strictly alphabetical order, are our Albums Of The Year.

  1. Beabadoobee - Fake It Flowers

    Beabadoobee - Fake It Flowers
    Beabadoobee - Fake It Flowers. Picture: Press

    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

  2. Biffy Clyro - A Celebration Of Endings

    Biffy Clyro - A Celebration Of Endings
    Biffy Clyro - A Celebration Of Endings. Picture: Press

    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

  3. The Big Moon – Walking Like We Do

    The Big Moon – Walking Like We Do
    The Big Moon – Walking Like We Do. Picture: Press

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

    Big tune: Your Light

  4. Blossoms - Foolish Loving Spaces

    Blossoms - Foolish Loving Spaces
    Blossoms - Foolish Loving Spaces. Picture: Press

    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

  5. Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher

    Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher
    Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher. Picture: Press

    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

  6. Gerry Cinnamon - The Bonny

    Gerry Cinnamon - The Bonny
    Gerry Cinnamon - The Bonny. Picture: Press

    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

  7. Courteeners - More. Again. Forever.

    Courteeners - More. Again. Forever.
    Courteeners - More. Again. Forever. Picture: Press

    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

  8. DMA’s – The Glow

    DMA’s – The Glow
    DMA’s – The Glow. Picture: Press

    The shimmering third album from the Sydneysiders proves why they've been Australia's best kept secret for years.

    Big Tune: Life Is A Game Of Changing

  9. Doves - The Universal Want

    Doves - The Universal Want
    Doves - The Universal Want. Picture: Press

    After 11 years on hiatus, the trio of Jimi Goodwin and Jez and Andy Williams return and pick up where they left off with more dark, emotive sounds.

    Big Tune: Prisoners

  10. Liam Gallagher - MTV Unplugged (Live At Hull City Hall)

    Liam Gallagher - MTV Unplugged (Live At Hull City Hall)
    Liam Gallagher - MTV Unplugged (Live At Hull City Hall). Picture: Press

    Mr Gallagher proves there's talent behind all that swagger as he performs for the long-running series with a choir and strings. You won't believe your ears.

    Big Tune: Once

  11. Georgia – Seeking Thrills

    Georgia – Seeking Thrills
    Georgia – Seeking Thrills. Picture: Press

    The London singer-songwriter's second studio album for Domino was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize and proves to be an accomplished spin on classic dance pop.

    Big Tune: About Work The Dancefloor

  12. Green Day - Father Of All...

    Green Day - Father Of All...
    Green Day - Father Of All... Picture: Press

    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...

  13. Haim - Women In Music Pt III

    Haim - Women In Music Pt III
    Haim - Women In Music Pt III. Picture: Press

    Third album from the sisters Haim and the songs are as glorious and bittersweet as ever.

    Big Tune: Don't Wanna

  14. The Jaded Hearts Club – You've Always Been Here

    The Jaded Hearts Club – You've Always Been Here
    The Jaded Hearts Club – You've Always Been Here. Picture: Press

    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

  15. The Killers - Imploding The Mirage

    The Killers - Imploding The Mirage
    The Killers - Imploding The Mirage. Picture: Press

    Founding member Dave Keuning may have bailed out for 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

  16. The Magic Gang – Death of The Party

    The Magic Gang – Death of The Party
    The Magic Gang – Death of The Party. Picture: Press

    Brighton's Magic Gang look to broader influences and more experimentation on their second album - and the gamble pays off.

    Big tune: Make Time For Change

  17. Declan McKenna - Zeros

    Declan McKenna - Zeros
    Declan McKenna - Zeros. Picture: Press

    It's taken three years for the young singer-songwriter to follow up his debut album, but it's been worth the wait - Zeros is thoughtful, committed and conscientious indie pop, that also shines brightly

    Big Tune: The Key To Life On Earth

  18. Nothing But Thieves - Moral Panic

    Nothing But Thieves - Moral Panic
    Nothing But Thieves - Moral Panic. Picture: Press

    The Southend five-piece's dramatic, inspiring rock is just the thing the country needs during the troubling year of 2020.

    Big Tune: Real Love Song

  19. Sea Girls – Open Up Your Head

    Sea Girls – Open Up Your Head
    Sea Girls – Open Up Your Head. Picture: Press

    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

  20. The Strokes - The New Abnormal

    The Strokes - The New Abnormal
    The Strokes - The New Abnormal. Picture: Press

    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

  21. Tame Impala - The Slow Rush

    Tame Impala - The Slow Rush
    Tame Impala - The Slow Rush. Picture: Press

    Kevin Parker continues 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