Best Albums of 2020 Artist Edition: GUM
This year, in addition to our own Best Songs of 2020 and Best Albums of 2020, we asked some of our favourite artists to tell us about their favourite releases of this year as well. Throughout a confusing and isolated year, music in particular has been a place of refuge for many, with the communities that surround this music becoming more important than ever. Here, we ask artists from various communities whom we love and admire to engage in the very reason we exist: sharing music.
From emerging artists to living legends, acts with cult followings to artists on the verge of truly breaking through, this series includes so many different people. Hip hop, dance, psych, rock, pop, electronic and much more, the genres and sounds in this series are as varied as the metaphorical pages of Purple Sneakers itself, and offer something for everyone no matter what your taste might be. We’re so thankful to all the artists who provided their own lists, and to the extensive communities we’re grateful to tell the stories of every day.
Jay Watson released his fifth album, Out In The World, under his GUM moniker in 2020, doubling as his most ambitious release yet. Having been apart of the touring band for good friend Kevin Parker‘s Tame Impala for a decade now, Watson has also been steadily carving out his own lane as GUM, and his own peculiar brand of one-man-band in the studio and penchant for synth-laden psych-pop-rock hybrids reached new heights on Out In The World. Written after a period of living in California, Watson’s DIY approach and commitment to creating authentic and genuine music makes for an immersive, expansive and fittingly introspective record for strange times.
Quakers – Supa K: Heavy Tremors
This is a beat tape collaboration between Geoff Barrow or Portishead, Portishead’s Engineer Stu and Katalyst from Sydney. It’s definitely one of the coolest things I’ve heard this year. I love the mix of hard rock, almost heavy metal samples, old soul stuff, and the more futuristic/modern beats.
Yves Tumor – Heaven To A Tortured Mind
This record took me a while to fully appreciate. Their music sounds like it was inspired by lots of classic touchstones, but I’ve never heard anything quite like it before, it’s super modern sounding. A lot of the album reminds me of Royal Trux in the way it’s chaotic like a fever dream or something, but hooks and great lines still fly out at you.
LA Priest – Gene
I loved the first LA Priest record, and this one is just as good. I love that the music is really warped sounding but the vocals are so clear and dry, it’s twisted pop. Check out the Soulwax remix of ‘It Moves’ too, so good.
Thundercat – It Is What It Is
Thundercat never misses, his stuff is always a great mix of technique and artistry mixed with humour.
Traffik Island – Sweat Kollecta’s Peanut Butter Traffik Jam
Zak is a mate, we first played with his band Frowning Clouds probably 12 years ago now. I love that he’s always trying new things and styles. The whole record is sick but Ulla Dulla is the jam. Check out the amazing clip too.
Fave Track: Ulla Dulla