kites can’t jive 2020 recap
kites can’t jive: the playlist is the soundtrack to kites can’t fly. Here’s a look back at 2020.
I wrote this back in June that I wanted to spend more time listening to black artists, writers and thinkers. Looking back at my year in music, I did that.
I also wrote that educating yourself is a small part of instituting systemic change. I likely didn’t rise up to my own challenge of doing more and doing better in the world outside of content consumption. I made a few changes but there’s always more to do.
Here’s my year in music all the same.
All album links head to Apple Music.
- Black thoughts by Ziggy Ramo. A stunning debut album that explores Australia’s history of racism, colonialism, and trauma.
- Palimpsest by Protest the Hero. Protest the Hero are back with their fifth album, exploring and reimagining some of the USA’s founding stories. It might be their best.
- Expected the unexpected by 79ers Gang. Impossibly cool. The album looks to bring “New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian culture… to dance floors and block parties around the world” and it does.
- Wake of a Nation - EP by Zeal & Ardor. Holy shit.
- On dark horses by Emma Ruth Rundle. Perfect for driving too fast down a highway in the middle of the night.
- Afraid of heights by Billy Talent. I haven’t listened to Billy Talent for a decade but Afraid of heights is the most energising, infectious album I’ve heard in months.
- A crow looked at me by Mount Eerie. A perfect album about loss and grief.
- Patchouli blue by Bohren & der Club of Gore. They call it “doom jazz” for a reason.
- Life on other planets by Moon Hooch. May the horns move you.
- Sweet princess EP and Boundary Road snacks and drinks EP by Dry Cleaning. Post-punk for the 21st century.
- Sisters by Spinifex Gum. Soulful, joyous pop music, with vocals provided by the talented Marliya Choir.
- Birth of violence by Chelsea Wolfe. Perfect for walking too slowly in a forest in the middle of the night.
- Electric Lady sessions by LCD Soundsystem. Some great tracks get even better.
- Boiler room on Beats1, episode 13 by Bicep. An absolute banger of a DJ set.
- Simulcast by Tycho. Tycho can do no wrong, as far as I’m concerned, and this companion album to Weather is just further proof of that.
- Homework by Daft Punk. One of the best dance albums ever released.
- GREY area by Little Sims. A talented rapper puts it all together.
- To Iceland! To Iceland! by Antelodic. Three-piece jazz to drink coffee to.
- The impossible kid by Aesop Rock. The king of underground hip-hop’s most approachable work to date.
- Yoch! Bangers, vol. 1 by dave the band. Catchy indie rock with an Aussie pub rock twist.
- Temper – EP by Suss Cunts. “Vaxxer” is an anthem for the misinformation age.
- Mess – EP by Molly Payton. Payton is going to be a big deal.
- Stranger fruit by Zeal & Ardor. Combine old school blues and black metal but make it work.
- I laughed, u cried, we swapped. by cbakl. Stylish instrumental hip-hop for when you want people to think you’re cooler than you really are.
- Nyaaringu by Miiesha. A collection of powerful songs about the lives of Indigenous Australians from a young woman with an amazing voice, punctuated with spoken-word interludes from Mieesha’s late grandmother.
- Rosetta - EP by Dua Salah. Soulful, hypnotic hip-hop about everything from race, to gender, to identity, and more.
- ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADASS by Joey Badass. Badass takes his golden-age-of-hip-hop sound, pushes it forward, and uses it tell listeners what it’s like to live in the US as a young black man.
- The return by Sampa The Great. Fantastic storytelling, tight flows, and a real statement of intent in Sampa The Great’s fantastic debut album.
- Abandoned language by dälek. “Turn that page muthafucka cause our story’s all scripted. 600 years, ain’t a fuckin’ thing different. Don’t speak to us about strength and upliftment. The closest thing to paradise is mad distant.”
- The light pack by Joey Badass. Joey cannot be stopped.
- Staying power by Emma Ruth Rundle. I love everything Rundle’s released and this is no different.
- Drop 6 by Little Simz. Simz is on fire. One of my favourite rappers in the game right now.
- Joy as an act of resistance by IDLES. Rock music (don’t call it punk) at it’s most vibrant and vital.
- Jump rope gazers by The Beths. I adore The Beths. Their second albums expands on their fantastic debut without losing all the charm and personality that made it such a rush. Frontwoman Elizabeth Stokes has a real gift for humour and deft phrasing; there’s something new to fall in love with on every listen.
- Super natural by Jonnie. A solo EP from one of the members of HTRK. Can’t go wrong.
- ENERGY by Disclosure. Want some bangers? Have some bangers.
- 1000 gecs and The Tree of Clues by 100 gecs. More bangers but now they’re angry.
- Always was by Briggs. A deadly EP from Senator Briggs.
- Porcupine - EP by Molly Payton. Payton is one of my artists of 2020 and this EP just cements that.
- Ultra mono by IDLES. More urgent, vibrant rock from one of the best bands going today.
- Haiku hands by Haiku Hands. “You can be my man bitch / (I will be your man bitch)” is the anthem the world needs right now.
- Freak show by Silverchair. I was about due for a grunge relapse and Silverchair may as well be the band that pushes me over the edge.
- Outland by Ital Tek. Cold, dark, and hypnotic: this will get a lot of play during my working hours. (Even if that does make it sound like I’m a professional serial killer. Close: I do content marketing.)
- Spirit world field guide by Aesop Rock. One of Rock’s best albums (and that’s saying something): it’s skittering, clever, anxious, animal-obsessed quality throughout.
- Metal galaxy by Baby Metal. I moved house in November and this album’s fun, bouncing metal got me through a lot.
- CHOMP - EP by Russ. “Stockholm Syndrome” feat. KXNG Crooked just slays.
- We will always love you by The Avalanches. The Avalanches’ previous album, Wildflower, didn’t really hit for me but this one didn’t miss.
- Funky Christmas by Too Many Zooz feat. Big Freedia. Just a dope Christmas song.
- FeelMyBicep Radio by Bicep. I’ve been running the playlists from Bicep’s Apple Music 1 radio show in the background a lot lately and they’re all great. Hit the link for volume three.