Jonathan's Favorite Records of 2020
Deerhoof "Future Teenage Cave Artists" (Joyful Noise Recordings)
Deerhoof have been inspiring avenues for completely original rock based music for over 25 years. Their first release for 2020 is a frightening concept album for trying times. It's a very bold and creatively ambitious statement from a group that never shies away from challenges.
Jana Horn "Optimism" (Self-released)
This record slows down time, and surrounds you with devastatingly intelligent, well-crafted lyrics. Instead of trying to describe how this record makes me feel, I'll just admire it. And it sounds wonderful anytime, day or night.
LISTEN: https://janahorn.bandcamp.com/album/optimism BUY: https://www.bluebonnet-records.com/product-page/jana-horn-optimism BUY: Jana Horn - Optimism: LP, Album For Sale | Discogs Sun Ra "Celestial Love" (Modern Harmonic)
This 2020 reissue of a particularly well recorded 1982 Sun Ra session date is a gem amongst his massive legacy. This is one of the more inviting of all the Sun Ra recordings. There's no mistaking this for the work of any other artist, but when you put on his version of Duke Ellington's "Sophisticated Lady," you might be able to convince your grandparents Sun Ra knew what he was doing.
Thor & Friends "3" & "4" (Joyful Noise Recordings)
International guardian angel Thor Harris' latest two offerings from his Joyful Noise residency are brimming with gorgeous tones, melodies, and focus that marks this group's signature. Guest appearances from members of Low, GY!BE, Neutral Milk Hotel, Bill Callahan, and many others contribute to the incredible flow of these two records.