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2020 | Best music albums

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

No doubt most of us are glad to see the back of 2020 but this does not mean we can't look back to check out some of the good things that came out. It has been a dreadful year for live entertainment but a pretty good one for enjoying music from the comfort of your own home. Here is a selection of 2020 releases that helped us get through the year, which you might have missed while you were busy trying to make sense of the latest social distancing rules in place.

Longoz, Ann O'Aro | Label Cobalt

Following her minimalist yet powerful self-titled debut album, Ann O'Aro returns with Longoz, an album bringing the same intensity but also more serenity to her music. Featuring percussion and trombone, the album offers a very personal take on Maloya, a genre originally played by slaves on the singer's native island of La Reunion. Her songs are akin to creole poetry, in which she tackles issues such as decolonisation, alcoholism and activism. As prominent as ever, her beautiful and emotionally charged voice will not fail to touch you.

🔊 Listen to the album on Culturetheque | Watch a video on Youtube

Méridiens, Chapelier Fou | Ici d'ailleurs

For just over ten years, Chapelier Fou has been carefully constructing his own kind of music with the precision of a craftsman. A unique blend of acoustic and electronic music, it incorporates strings, electronic sounds and beats in a seamless way. His latest album Méridiens does not depart from this territory but offers a slightly more upbeat and up-tempo set of songs than usual. This makes for a joyful album which will provide you with an exhilarating and rewarding listening experience.

📀 Borrow from the library | ▶️ Watch a video on Youtube

Environ(s), Rodolphe Burger | Dernière bande

One of the most original but under-rated French singers, Rodolphe Burger (of Kat Onoma fame) continues his musical exploration with Environ(s), his 8th solo album to date. Sometimes reminiscent of the music of his late friend Alain Bashung, Environ(s) is a slow-paced mesmerizing journey through an abstract, evanescent landscape. Consisting of 10 original songs and 4 covers of artists such as Can, Sam Cooke, Grant Lee Buffalo and The Jamaicans, it is also testament to Burger's versatility. This wonderful and poetic album will please fans and curious first-time listeners alike.

[Available soon from the library] | ▶️ Watch a video on Youtube

Primates, Baston | Howlin Banana Records

Primates is the first full-length album by Baston, a four-piece rock band from Rennes. Their music is a modern take on krautrock, with hints of psychedelic pop and a hypnotic shoegaze-like approach to rhythms and melody. The repetitive bass and drums form a solid backbone to their songs, with the guitar slowly building melody as a counterpoint and the seemingly distant voice cementing everything together. If you were ever into Neu!, The Jesus & Mary Chain or Sonic Youth, you will enjoy Baston's punchy 'krautpop' and come back for more.

📀 Borrow from the library | ▶️Watch a video on Youtube

Sexy Planet, Bonnie Banane | Péché Mignon-Grand Musique Management

After successful collaborations with the best of French independent music scene, Bonnie Banane releases her first full-length album. Combining hip-hop, electronics and experimental pop, she creates her own poetic and fanciful universe. Her eclectic sound and her singular storytelling can be either light or serious, dealing with love, desire and empowerment. Besides having the coolest stage name, Bonnie Banane is one of the most exciting French voices over the past few years!

🔊 Listen to the album on Culturetheque | ▶️ Watch a video on Youtube

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