Through the fog of weaponized political polarization, uncertain futures, and divisive social rhetoric, 2020 did, in fact, provide us with some good things. Here at Nanobot Rock 2020 saw the creation of our weekly podcast Nanobot Rock MixTape and some fantastic songs!

As the roaring 20s got underway, we also discovered some great albums shared with us by fellow fans of music, artists, and labels from around the world.

A sincere thank you to all those who shared their music, their love of music, or just gave Nanobot Rock a read in the last year, here are Nanobot Rock’s Top 10 discoveries of 2020:

#10 Golden Bear – Dear Texas

Being couped up had us all longing for the wide-open road once more. Golden Bear sonically captured just that with their album Dear Texas. Audibly picking us up off the couch and out to the fading, rolling roads and coastal byways, this album was a shining gem in a dark, dark year.

#9 The White Buffalo – On The Widow’s Walk

Not all feelings need to be happy go-lucky and bright. The gritty vocals and songwriting masterclass that is any White Buffalo album came up for air once more with his 2020 release.

#8 The Channel – Electronic Luck

To fully understand why The Channel is on this list is to experience Electronic Luck. Words don’t quite capture the entirety of this broad release. Electronic Luck is an experience in-and-of-itself, but more importantly, it is an experience we just couldn’t get enough of.

#7 Bahamas – Sad Hunk

Bahamas does what Bahamas does. The air of sunshine and light breeze, fed by ever-so-slight cynicism is the main-stay for Bahamas and Sad Hunk made 2020 feel a little brighter.  Bahamas gonna Bahama.

#6 Needle – The Long View

Climbing out of the past, Needle reemerged to bring their vivid sound to life once more. The Long View pierced the veil of the year and took us on a journey we didn’t know we needed.

#5 Derek Jordan – Last Man on Moon

Last Man on Moon was the highly anticipated release of 2020. LA’s Derek Jordan (of decoded) went back to his roots and emerged with a sweeping DIY rock album we ate by the pound.

#4 Aaron Golay & The Original Sin – Love, Lust and Heartache

Those who experienced Aaron Golay’s live set were likely perplexed when it came to his recorded tunes. The dynamic, the presence all felt lost on his previous release. Love, Lust and Heartache captured what makes Aaron Golay such a head-turning sound and elevated it to a must-hear!

#3 Overcoats – The Fight

There are those who try to harmonize and then there is Overcoats. You don’t know harmonies until you’ve experienced Overcoats and The Fight reminded us all why. Vivid, bearing teeth, and taking all the right chances, this record was another massive addition to an already profound sound.

#2 Céu – APKÁ!

It is commonly remarked music has its own language. It transcends one’s own language. Céu’s elegance, precise delivery, and warming sound emanates a light that knows no boarders. It is all too easy to get lost in this record (over and over) and it is an obvious choice for year-end lists.  

#1 Charlie Sutton – Primitive Songs for Modern Times

Early 2020 felt full of promise and change. We all know it wasn’t the change we were looking for. Charlie Sutton’s Primitive Songs for Modern Times lifted us up early in the year and helped us to find comfort and solace throughout. Sutton’s songwriting, mixed with the chances taken on this record are simply remarkable and enough to slide confidently into our favorite discovery of 2020.