Riffs & Rhymes Albums of the Year 2020

This year, artists, record labels, and adjacent personnel faced unprecedented challenges in their creative endeavors and working lives. Despite this adversity, they kept the vibrations coming, bravely sharing their art with the world during a time of great uncertainty. This week, Riffs & Rhymes is spotlighting several of this year’s great releases in list format as a way to recommend projects we feel are significant and essential to have in your 2020 collection.

Today, we’re highlighting our favorite albums of the year, each of which offers its own kind of magic. Some have been years in the making, while others came as a result of a mid-pandemic creative outburst. Either way, we’re grateful all of them exist.

Check out the Riffs & Rhymes Albums of the Year and stream a curated playlist with tracks from each selection below.

Adrianne Lenker – songs

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Alabaster DePlume – To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals, Vol. I

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Anne Malin – Waiting Song

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Barry Walker Jr. – Shoulda Zenith

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Blu & Exile – Miles

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Bonny Light Horseman – Bonny Light Horseman

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Brendan Eder Ensemble – To Mix With Time

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Cactus Lee – Live from the Dry Creek Cafe

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Cave Flowers – Cave Flowers

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Charley Crockett – Welcome to Hard Times

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Charli XCX – how i’m feeling now

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Colter Wall – Western Swing & Waltzes and Other Punchy Songs

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Cut Worms – Nobody Lives Here Anymore

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Dinner Party – Dinner Party

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Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia

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Fleet Foxes – Shore

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Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist – Alfredo

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HAIM – Women In Music Pt. III

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Jay Electronica – A Written Testimony

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Jeffrey Silverstein – You Become The Mountain

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Jess Williamson – Sorceress

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Jesse Daniel – Rollin’ On

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Kevin Morby – Sundowner

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The Killers – Imploding the Mirage

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Khruangbin – Mordechai

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Lady Gaga – Chromatica

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Laura Marling – Songs For Our Daughter

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Liv.e – Couldn’t Wait to Tell You…

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Mac Miller – Circles

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Mapache – From Liberty Street

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Marcus King – El Dorado

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Mary Lattimore – Silver Ladders

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Matt LaJoie – Everlasting Spring

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Mike Polizze – Long Lost Solace Find

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Neil Young – Homegrown

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North Americans – Roped In

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numün – Voyage au Soleil

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Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher

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Quelle Chris & Chris Keys – Innocent Country 2

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R.A.P. Ferreira – Purple Moonlight Pages

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Rich Jones & Montana Macks – How do you sleep at night?

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Rose City Band – Summerlong

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Run the Jewels – RTJ4

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Sam Burton – I Can Go With You

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Sturgill Simpson – Cuttin’ Grass – Vol. 1 (Butcher Shoppe Sessions)

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Tame Impala – The Slow Rush

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Tan Cologne – Cave Vaults On The Moon In New Mexico

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Tim Heidecker – Fear of Death

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Vanilla – Into the Dream

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Waxahatchee – Saint Cloud

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William Tyler – New Vanitas

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ZZZWalk – Holy Royal Casino

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