December’s playlist and newsletter bring two monumental things to a close:
- This hugely shittastic year.
- The conclusion of the first year of Downbeat.fm.
I don’t want to dwell on the first point, because we all know what has happened. What I will say is I hope you and your families are safe and continue to be safe as the vaccine rolls out next year.
The second point, however, I do want to focus on just a bit.
This idea for this project hit me out of nowhere one day. I love music, and I love sharing music with people. Creating a monthly playlist and newsletter was the perfect delivery mechanism for that – plus it gave me the ability to play with new technologies which I always jump at.
This newsletter and playlist has evolved over 2020, switched email providers, introduced a website, and I have no clue where this will go in 2021 which is very exciting to me.
Thank you friends for coming on this journey with me. If you’ve liked what I’ve written and the playlists I’ve created here please consider forwarding this email to some friends or sharing the Downbeat.fm website. I’d very much appreciate any support and the ability to reach a wider audience. You can even share this newsletter using the social icons below.
One last note before we get to December’s playlist – and that is a write up of my top 10 favorite albums of 2020. All of the artists have been featured in these playlists in 2020, so there really aren’t any surprises, but it’s still a good list if I don’t say so myself. Down below in the links section I’ll be linking to some other lists from some larger music sites.
Also, don’t forget to follow me on Apple Music or Spotify where I curate more playlists than the ones I send out here. And if you are interested in one long playlist of all of the 2020 playlists combined I’m here to serve! Listen to Downbeat.fm Vol. 1 on Apple Music or Spotify.
With all that said, on to the music!
This month’s playlist features Mat Kerekes, Widowspeak, The Sonder Bombs, Deftones, and much more.
Listen to this month’s playlist on:
Diamonds by Mat Kerekes – (Apple Music / Spotify)
The first thing that grabbed me in this song was the horns (naturally), but the more I listened to it the more I loved it. The song has a big Queen vibe to it with the lead vocal styles, piano, and backing harmonies. It’s really good.
Sorry Bro by SALES – (Apple Music / Spotify)
This is a really chill song. It has a constant beat, soft lyrics, and really grooves. It’s great for a nighttime playlist, or possibly one to put on get some work done.
Other Listening & Quick Links
I’ve talked about my long love for the Deftones, probably one of the groups I’ve been listening to the longest in my life (not counting music introduced to me by my parents). UPROXX celebrated the release of Deftones’ newest album by ranking all of their songs.
Just before Christmas President Obama tweeted out his favorite songs of 2020. A lot of the songs on this list aren’t my style, but he did call out Phoebe Bridgers’ Koyoto – which is one of my favorite songs of the year. He also called out Ghosts off of Bruce Springsteen’s latest album, though I think Janey Needs a Shooter is better.
As mentioned at the top of the newsletter here are some other best albums of 2020 lists. I’m happy to say that a lot of the albums that appear on my list appear on many of these lists, but only one has my top album of the year on their list. Many of these lists also feature albums while not in my top ten have had songs appear on this playlist over 2020.
- Pitchfork: The 50 Best Albums of 2020
- Stereogum: The 50 Best Albums of 2020
- BrooklynVegan: Top Albums of 2020
- NME: Albums of the Year 2020
- UPROXX: The Best Albums of 2020
- AV Club: The 20 Best Albums of 2020
- Fader: The 50 Best Albums of 2020
- The Alternative: The 75 Best Releases of 2020
- Rolling Stone: The 50 Best Albums of 2020
- NPR: The 50 Best Albums
- New York Times: The Best Albums of 2020
- Vinyl Me Please: The 50 Best Albums of 2020
- NJ.com: The 50 Albums That Saved Us from 2020 (not a huge publication, but this is my hometown paper and the only list to include Brave Faces Everyone by Spanish Love Songs which was my top album of the year).