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KPH Blog

KLC Top Picks for 2020

Happy New Year folks! We asked everyone on the KLC board to share their top 5 songs and top album released this year. Listen to the KLC top songs of 2020 playlist on Spotify and read the KLC board's picks below:


Mason Hill Kirkpatrick, General Manager:

Top 5 songs

  1. "Comet Face" - King Krule

  2. "allstar"- MIKE ft. Earl Sweatshirt

  3. "Claws"- Charli XCX

  4. "Kyoto"- Phoebe Bridgers

  5. "New N3on"- Playboi Carti

Album: MIKE- Weight of the World

In a year rich with sorrow, grief, and isolation MIKE’s Weight of the World finds the 21 year-old Bronx native exploring these emotions at his own pace, and in his own words. MIKE produced most of this record under his dj blackpower pseudonym. His sludgey jazz samples accompany his often monotone delivery perfectly. This record listens more like a conversation between close friends than anything else.

I have been a fan of MIKE’s since his 2017 effort May God Bless Your Hustle and each record he has put out since is as poignant and complete front to back as the last. Weight of the World is MIKE’s fifth full length effort since May God Bless Your Hustle and it is frankly astonishing that he manages to uphold this level of productivity without watering down his lyrical potency and beat-making capabilities. If you are new to MIKE I would start from the beginning with May God Bless Your Hustle and work your way chronologically through his discography.

The highlights of this record come with the last two tracks being “da screets” and “allstar” which feature London MC Jadasea and frequent collaborator Earl Sweatshirt respectively. But do not skip to these tracks. Just let the record bring you there.

Next to King Krule’s Man Alive!, Weight of the World was definitely my most listened to record that came out this year but it eclipses the former in consistency and longevity. When all else feels stale and played out I find mysel in f returning to this project and each listen offers more than the last. There is not a bad bar in the whole project and it runs front to back perfectly. So dim the lights, roll something up (if you’re into that type of thing), and let greatness unfold before your very eyes.

-Mason Hill Kirkpatrick

Lauren Arriola, co-Social Media Manager:

Top 5 Songs:

  1. "head sport full face"-no age

  2. "LENG"- Shygirl

  3. "loner"- dehd

  4. "LICK N SPLIT"-zebra katz

  5. "i'm a rock with legs"-hotbrothers

Album: Dehd- Flower of Devotion

This album will make you want to stick your head out of a moving car’s window and will fuel you to grab your friend’s face and scream the lyrics together. Flower of Devotion captures the highs and lows of early adulthood through catchy guitar riffs, uniquely powerful vocals, and emotion-packed lyrics. It is IMPOSSIBLE to listen to Emily Kempf’s raspy, raw, and wild voice without falling in love (or singing along at the very least).

Some of my favorite tracks from this album are “Loner”, “Moonlight”, and “Apart”. The lyrics on “Loner” are fun and relatable and the scratchy vocals and guitar make me dance and sing everytime. This song feels like freedom and moving on to better things and I can’t get enough. “Moonlight” is sung by Jason Balla, the band’s guitarist. This song is slower with a beautiful melody and his vocals are stretched out and sexy! The vocals are like a chilled out A. Savage/Lou Reed “I don’t give a fuck” type that it’s too perfect for the song. “Apart” is sung by the trio’s drummer, Eric McGrady, and his comforting deep vocals juxtaposed to the lyrics describing the realization of “growing old” is a perfect catchy yet melancholy culmination to the album.

This album is one of the best of 2020 because of its versatility, simplistic familiarity, raw energy, and the way it will make you feel. Screaming the lyrics in a ‘wannabe Emily Kempf style’, while jumping or driving will make you feel love and will give you the badass reassurance to be happy and hopeful about the future.

-Lauren Arriola

Ruby Gates, co-Social Media Manager:

Top 5 Songs:

  1. "Ik wil Dansen"- Froukje

  2. "Franklin's Tower- Devendra Barnhart

  3. "Kinky visitation"- Brad Stank

  4. "Attrape-rêve"- Polo & Pan

  5. "Campfire"- Kevin Morby

Album: Laura Marling- Song for Our Daughter

My favorite album of the year is a mellow one for my taste, and happens to be the one to

which I (and I’m sure many others) cried the most tears. Listening to Laura Marling’s 2020 album feels like a warm hug from a mom, while simultaneously recounting (in a silky, saccharine, delicate way) every hardship I’ve ever faced...and even the ones I haven’t, but she’d convinced me I had after listening a few times. This album is easy, uncluttered, and leaves just enough room for you to complete her stories with your own thoughts. It’s a folky collection of advice, not to her own daughter, but the people who “woke up in a country that refused to hold your hand”, the ones who “stay low, keep brave”, and those that“find diamonds in the drain”. So, go listen to this whole album at once, go cry, then find solace and feel soothed by Laura Marling’s motherly ring.

-Ruby Gates

Max Simon, co-Radio Manager:

Top 5 Songs:

  1. "Gentle" - Disq

  2. "Hey Jo" - the Districts

  3. "Gospel for a New Century" - Yves Tumor

  4. "Forced Convalescence" - Bright Eyes

  5. "Disappear" - Dehd

Album: Disq- Collector

From where I’m standing, you can hear the amps buzz before a single note is played. There are a few unapologetically Midwestern waves from the band, and I press myself against the barricade so I can hear the first chord before anyone else.

They don’t fuck around.

I’m immediately bombarded by the angular, triple guitar assault, but I’m thrown back towards the barricade by the time the drums come in. The push-pull between space noise bliss and PBR-soaked power chords turns the audience into the band’s own helpless, thrashing marionette doll. We spit back every syllable, collectively NAIL every air drum fill, and sweat enough to make my summers in Alabama seem like rookie business. We’ve got a way to feel good, and it’s right here at the Disq show.

That didn’t happen, though. This record came out a week before I drove across the country to flee a virus none of us knew anything about. A week later, every concert in the world was cancelled. With Collector at my side, though, I could close my eyes, listen, and be transported to the loudest club in America… even just for a moment..

- Max Simon

Freya Kargard, Artistic Director:

Top 5 Songs:

  1. "Superstar"- Pretty Sick

  2. "Can’t Go For That"- 2 Chainz, Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Duval

  3. "Slime"- Shygirl

  4. "Kerosine!"- Yves Tumor

  5. "Schemin"- Inner Wave

Album: Pretty Sick- Deep Divine

My favorite album this year is the EP Deep Divine by the band Pretty Sick. I don’t really know how to write about music but this EP is awesome. Pretty Sick is a NYC based rock band that was formed by lead singer and bassist Sabrina Fuentes when she was just 13. Sabrina is now 20 and this is the band's first release since being signed to indie label Dirty Hit.

The first time I listened to Deep Divine I immediately restarted it from the top as soon as the last song, "Angel Landing", was finished. It’s just that good. Pretty Sick’s music makes my punk dreams come true. I can only imagine how good the grittiness of these songs will sound live. Every song rocks, but my favorite songs off of Deep Divine are “Superstar”, “Allen Street”, and “Telephone”. With only 7 songs Deep Divine leaves you itching for more, in the best way possible. If you want to explore the rest of Pretty Sick’s discography make sure to check out “Dumb” and “Warm Hands”. I am really looking forward to Pretty Sick releasing a full album and I can't wait to see their success. For now I’ll have this EP on repeat.

-Freya Kargard

Jens Martin, Treasurer & Graphic Designer:

Top 5 Songs (n0 0rd3r):

  1. "King’s Disease"- Nas

  2. "Crime Stoppers"- Drakeo the Ruler ft 03 Greedo & Maxo Kream

  3. "Trapped"- Doze

  4. "Tweakin’ Together"- Bktharula

  5. "Sandlot"- ssgkobe

Album: Mall Grab - Worship Friendship (Compilation)

I don’t care what your favorite album of 2020 was because this one is mine! This is because this album can and should be played at all times. All I can imagine while listening to this album is sweating in a small club surrounded by people (sounds crazy huh). I am at a loss for words on the specifics for why this album is so damn good. I guess you’ll just have to listen to it, but, if you don’t want to commit the almost two hours to do that at least listen to BELIEVE - FESTIVAL MIX, you won’t be disappointed !

-Jens Martin

John Wallent, co-Chair/ co-Radio Manager:

Top 5 Songs:

  1. "Sunblind" - Fleet Foxes

  2. "Games of Luck (from Hansa Studios)" - Parcels

  3. "I Don’t Belong" - Fontaine’s D.C.

  4. "Nothing People" - Fuzz

  5. "Sunday Afternoon" - The True Loves

Album: Parcels - Live Vol. 1

How is it that a group of five white Australians can be so supremely funky? It doesn’t have to make sense, it just has to work; and it most certainly does. Parcels burst onto the scene in 2017 with their breakout single Overnight, recorded in collaboration with Daft Punk, but they truly made a name for themselves through the deep-pocketed metronomic electro-disco beats of their live performances. Live Vol. 1 does what it says on the tin and provides the listener with over an hour of impeccably groovy live studio performances of cuts from across the Parcels discography.

For me, the thing that takes this record from yet another self-indulgent live album to something truly transcendent is the fact that the entire project was recorded and filmed in a single take, live from Hansa Studios in Berlin. Being able to watch the sheer musicianship of the band as it was actually recorded adds a layer of spectacle and flair that takes these danceable tunes above and beyond any other release of 2020. Turn on some colored lights, crank up the bass, and allow yourself to be overcome with ecstatic dance as banger after banger assaults your ears. Standout tracks include Gamesofluck, Overnight, and Lightenup. PS: special shoutout to my main man Philip Skunk.

-John Wallent

Jackson Pond, Events Manager:

Top 5 Songs:

  1. “Pelota” –Khruangbin

  2. “Cowpoke” –Colter Wall

  3. “The Wind” –Babe Rainbow

  4. “Dragonball Durag” –Thundercat

  5. “Inside Friend” –Leon Bridges, John Mayer

Album: Mapache- From Liberty Street

My pick for my favorite album of the year is the second full length offering from the California based duo Mapache. From Liberty Street offers new originals and covers of classic folk songs. Mapache brings their rich harmonies that fans knew from their previous work in their vocals and acoustic guitar parts to the album. At the heart of Mapache is the interplay between Clay Finch and Sam Blasucci. These two musicians are able to collaborate on a level that seems reserved for folk giants of the past. My favorite part of their music is the interplay between the two guitars. Seamlessly trading beautiful melodic lines and rich colorful chords. Sam and Clay have similarly found a beautiful balance in their vocal

harmonies that remind me of the full sounds of the harmonies of Crosby, Stills, and Nash. A huge part of the Mapache sound comes form the musical influences that surround where they are from. On this record, Mapache included three songs in Spanish that pay tribute to the hispanic musical influence of Southern California. My favorite of the three is “Me Voy Pa’l Pueblo,” a classic Bolero tune popularized by Los Panchos. As strong as their Bolero influence is their Country and Western influence. On tracks like “Cowboy,” and “Coyote” the influence of classic western ballads shines clear through to 2020. Mapache also gives a nod to the world of Appalachia in their cover of the Bluegrass standard “I Just Steal Away and Pray.” In this new album, Mapache brings in a fuller sound with more accompaniment in the form of more shimmering pedal steel guitar, fiddle, and more bass on the tracks from their producer, and former roommate Dan Horne.

This album feels to me like a crisp spring morning flying down some back country highway blowing past fields of sagebrush and sandstone hills. It feels like a broken heart and grand western adventure. Their lyrics offered accompaniment to the lonely and frightening moments that this year brought to all of us. Sam and Clay’s simple yet incredibly full sound they cultivated on this album helped me escape this tumultuous year and spend time in the colorful landscape of an old western film. I know I got so much from their album this year and I wait with excited anticipation for the wonderful music these two will offer to the world in the coming years.

–Jackson Pond

Teresa Serra, Chief Executive of Vibe Modernization:

Top 5 Songs:

  1. “Below the clavicle”- Eartheater

  2. “Ya no Hay Verano"- Depresión Sonora

  3. “How she Stay Conflicted… i Hope He Understands”-Liv.e

  4. “Leaving Tokyo”- Mall Grab

  5. “Drama”- Bladee and Mechatok

Album: Jonotan Leandoer 96- Blodhundar & Lullabies

It is uncanny, but among all the bizarre things this year has brought to the world we were also blessed with a lot of good music. I warn you I am very biased when I say my favourite drop of the year was Blodhundar & Lullabies by jonatan leandoer 96 - yet another Yung Lean alter ego.

While it is not a unique quality in the repertoire of Leandoer, this was an emotional exploration of acoustic sounds with noisy twists. Featuring tracks in both English and Swedish!

In its entirety, this is an album best appreciated on a drive or a rainy day. However there are also tracks that can fit perfectly into your everyday playlists. I would recommend Vår Sång, Colours of Tomorrow and Som Du, those that stood out most to my ears.

On another note, I’d like to mention Croatian Amour’s album All in the Same Breath - a great electronic ambient collection released by the Danish label Posh Isolation. The mellow and comfortable sounds of the track entitled The River that Flows in You Also Flows in Me greatly accompanied the last few months of this year for me.

Looking forward to greater sounds for 2021!

-Teresa Serra


That's all folks! Thank you to everyone who supported us this year, we can't wait to share more good music & fun in 2021.

Love, KLC Radio


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