Attempting to wrap up 2020 isn’t easy. It’s not fun to be a downer, but no one needs to hear more of the hackneyed inspirational phrases like “in these unprecedented times” or “now more than ever” that plagued this year either. But the fact still remains, the myriad of challenges 2020 presented didn’t tie-off into a neat little bow when the clock struck midnight on December 31st.
No one knows what the future of Atlanta’s musical community will hold; especially with the recent closures of numerous beloved local venues. But in spite of it all, Atlanta musicians still showed out this year. Not only did we see a diverse range of local releases in 2020, Atlanta artists protested, livestreamed, crowdfunded for artists in need, and donated their album sales to worthy causes. The spirit of Atlanta music is still very much alive, even if it doesn’t look like it once did.
So, here’s our favorite tracks from 2020. We hope you sift through this list, discover something new, and support Atlanta music in any way you can. Stay safe.
— Autumn James, Mainline Zine Senior Music Editor
“In My Pantry” by Paradise Montage
“In My Pantry” feels so joyful. I would even go as far to say this was one of my happiest listening experiences of the year. Paradise Montage pairs keyboard and drum machine with soothing backing vocals to create a space for us to think about…groceries. Its simplicity is something to admire. “In My Pantry” focuses on what normally blends into your home environment, serving as a reminder to be more observant and appreciative of the things around you. It’s easy to be excited about the obviously desirable; it’s another thing entirely to take the mundane and make it fun. — Justin Ford
If you’re trying to become better acquainted with Atlanta’s burgeoning electronic artists, Virtual World Luxury: ONE is the definitive compilation to get you familiarized. Curated by artist and producer Dylan Elliott, the electronic sampler includes work from King Nappa, Fit of Body, and Stemlines. VWL: ONE opens with “Flex” by Doud, an ever-evolving dance track from the solo-project of Safari Williams percussionist Anthony Doud. “Flex” is a disorienting rollercoaster ride through an array of squeaky samples and chunky synths. — Autumn James