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Hunty Bear

REYCISM: Hunty Bear's 2020 Year-End

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Despite being a fan of Jessie Ware’s for a near-decade, it seemed like she was starting to hit a lull in the past couple of years — both commercially and creatively — with the tedious and driveling Glasshouse. What’s Your Pleasure? is the resuscitation that we needed, an electric, lush, and relentless nu-disco masterpiece that pulls no punches. With the unapologetic assertion to make “music for people to have sex to,” Jessie somehow managed to deliver on all fronts, mustering up her strongest album to date and serving an album that’s equal parts visceral as it is lucrative. What’s Your Pleasure? is a harvest of interests, taking heed from Donna Summer (“Spotlight”), Bob Fosse (“Step Into My Life”), and Vanity 6 (“Read My Lips”) and synthesizing these influences into something that feels communal and dancefloor-filling, a physical energy that was lost this year but fortunately salvaged in the linings of this album. The album conjures up feeling and imagery that’s so evocative that it transports you, compacting the sensational highs and gritty lows of an ideal night out uninhibited by a world-stopping pandemic and unmitigated mental and emotional trauma. If 2020 was the year of the disco revival, then What’s Your Pleasure? is undoubtedly the best the year had to offer and the closest thing we got to true dancefloor magic.

laIGQVp.png?1 "What's Your Pleasure?", "Spotlight", "Soul Control", "Remember Where You Are", "Ooh La La", "Step Into My Life", "Save A Kiss", "In Your Eyes"

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As an LA kid born-and-raised, I’ve always felt kinship with the HAIM sisters and their adroit expertise in capturing the vibrance of our little valley. With their third album, Women In Music Pt. III, they polish their tried-and-true sound to perfection, delivering their strongest album to date and closing their trilogy of sunkissed alternative pop. Whereas their sophomore album tested the robustness of their sound, Women In Music Pt. III explores the quirkier and more idiosyncratic pockets of their aesthetic, culminating in something that’s just as R&B-inclined and psychedelic as it is grounded in their signature rock sound. Also released during one of the weirdest summers of our lives, the album is guided by a framework that’s best described as the indelible smog of depression, touching on themes of isolation, regret, heartache, and misogyny that were not only accentuated by lockdown, but even substantially transformed. Gritty, whimsical, and emotionally-potent, this album is everything at once and served as the perfect soundtrack for the strange malaise that offset our summer plans.

laIGQVp.png?1 "Gasoline", "Los Angeles", "The Steps", "3 AM", "I Know Alone"

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Though Arca’s sound never quite gripped me the same way it did when supplemented by other artists (i.e. FKA twigs, Björk, etc.), KiCk I proved to be the album that transformed my opinion of her style. With the mission of crafting an album that represented every facet of her identity, Arca made something that’s so elastic and volatile that it can’t quite be articulated into words. KiCk I is an experimental odyssey, melding shrill violin, arrhythmic percussion, operatic vocals, and clanking electronics into a cacophony of sounds that can best be described as organized musical chaos. Still, lurking underneath this album is a beaming sense of optimism and pride, complementing the discordant nature of the album with a quality so resoundingly beautiful it’s hard to characterize. “Time” is a microcosm of this strange and invigorating dichotomy, breathing life, warmth, and serenity into an album that would otherwise feel mechanic.

laIGQVp.png?1 "Time", "Mequetrefe", "KLK", "Rip the Slit", "Nonbinary"

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4 hours ago, Hunty Bear said:

unfortunately I didn't really like Apolonio (even though he performed at my school lol) and while It Is What It Is has some of my favorite songs of the year (Fair Chance, Dragonball Durag, Black Qualls, etc.) it also had a bit of filler imo jj3 didn't listen to Fuck the World but Ungodly Hour is great! lowkey didn't make the list because the second half did not engage me as much as the first half, but it's very replayable 

Hey Boy, Bi Fren, Kamikaze ... all collapses oprah15 

Fair Chance one of my favourite songs of 2020 - taste came through clap3 No love for Funny Thing though? 
FTW is a whole ass vibe. A bit dark, murky but chill rnb with some 90s influences. I thought the same about UH but second half has grown on me a lot

4 hours ago, Hunty Bear said:

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laIGQVp.png?1 "Garden Song", "Punisher", "Kyoto", "Savior Complex"

No love for I Know The End? oprah2 

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10 hours ago, Urbi said:

Hey Boy, Bi Fren, Kamikaze ... all collapses oprah15 

Fair Chance one of my favourite songs of 2020 - taste came through clap3 No love for Funny Thing though? 
FTW is a whole ass vibe. A bit dark, murky but chill rnb with some 90s influences. I thought the same about UH but second half has grown on me a lot

No love for I Know The End? oprah2 

Fair Chance is also one of my faves, honestly probably in my top 15 songs of the year! I kinda feel that I Know The End is a mood-specific song and I haven't really been in the mood for it jj4 but I'm sure it'll resonate with my next breakdown lmao

10 hours ago, Urbi said:

Can’t get into this album and I tried too many times jj4 

it was pretty instant for me! it's definitely a driving album jj2 maybe it's just because I've been a fan since DAG but I truly think it's their best album to date

4 hours ago, Teenage Wet Dream said:

Wow great list and I absolutely love your writing style! Putting my list to shame dead2 

Love Perfume Genius, Jessie Ware, HAIM, and Phoebe and glad to see them getting some love here too antm1 

thank you sis!! I still have like 8 more albums + honorable mentions too and after checking your list I think we still have some more albums in common jj2 great minds think alike!

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28 minutes ago, Hunty Bear said:

it was pretty instant for me! it's definitely a driving album jj2 maybe it's just because I've been a fan since DAG but I truly think it's their best album to date

Well I don’t drive (I have a license just don’t need a car lol) so there goes my love for this album dead1 

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43 minutes ago, Lachlan said:

Pretty excellent choices all round. clap3 Except for the way you mentioned 0 of my faves from Punisher. dead2 

well we'll see them in your list clap3 no love for Garden Song though? I thought it's hands down the best song on the album lol

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Though branded as a "breakup album," Lianne La Havas' self-titled album is a glorious and diaristic musical reawakening. Though her previous album, Blood, was intended to provide a potent reflection of herself and her heritage, that thesis didn’t fully resonate through the overworked, albeit exceptional, songwriting and production. On Lianne La Havas, we get exactly what we were supposed to get from Blood: a muted and raw concept album timelining the rise and fall of a relationship, hinged around a conceit of a delicate flower that blossoms and wilts with every ebb and flow. Though the album is built on the same foundations that made her previous music so special — elegant acoustic production, mesmerizing lyricism, and vibrant vocal performances — the homespun and intimate nature of the album accentuates her style perfectly, helping make for a self-assured, timeless, and empowering listening experience.  

laIGQVp.png?1 "Weird Fishes", "Can't Fight", "Green Papaya", "Read My Mind", "Bittersweet"

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Teeming with creativity, heart, and color, the vibrant and eclectic Cumbia Siglo XXI by the Meridian Brothers is one of the craziest listening experiences I’ve had all year. Sung entirely in Spanish with lyrics satirizing global politics and colonial strangleholds, this album is one of the most volatile and invigorating political statement pieces I’ve heard all year. The music almost feels whimsical, adorned by arrhythmic percussion and forward-thinking cumbia-infused electronics, climaxing in a kaleidoscopic and undeniably unique experimental opus. Most importantly, Cumbia Siglo XXI is fun and beaming with energy, so even if you aren’t willing to explore the lyrical contents of the album, you’ll still find much to take away from this album. 

laIGQVp.png?1 "Puya del empresario", "Los Golpeadores de la cumbia", "Cumbia de la fuente", "Cumbia del Pichamán"

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Despite being the more visible and charismatic half of lucrative synthpop duo AlunaGeorge, I was initially skeptical of how Aluna’s solo debut, Renaissance, would pan out. Thankfully, the album is just as colorful and diverse as I had hoped, a kitschy no-frills dance album aided by an ensemble of collaborators but always centering Aluna’s creative vision. This album is an assertion of space for Aluna and a tribute to the "recent Black Renaissance" of music and culture, carving her own unique niche in the electronic scene while staying reverent to the roots of dance music. Though the album weaves together many styles, ranging from emo-pop (album opener “I’ve Been Starting to Love All the Things I Hate”) to dancehall (single “Get Paid”), it never yields, delivering hit after hit and proving that Aluna is versatile and innovative enough to stand on her own.

laIGQVp.png?1 "Sneak", "The Recipe", "Pressure", "Body Pump", "Envious"

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Kelly Lee Owens’ Inner Song is probably one of the most enchanting electronic albums I’ve heard all year. With not a hair out of place, every single song on here is clean, precise, and mesmerizing, a cathartic and disorienting musical meditation on loneliness and isolation (clearly a 2020 trend). Kelly Lee Owens is a master of the slow-build, with each song on the album being carefully configured to erupt at any moment — and it does often, especially on the propulsive house and techno-infused singles "On" and "Night." The end result is euphoric and meticulous dance music and something that served as a therapeutic palette-cleanser of sorts for me when I needed it most. 

laIGQVp.png?1 "On", "Night", "L.I.N.E.", "Corner of My Sky"

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24 minutes ago, Hunty Bear said:

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laIGQVp.png?1 "Sneak", "The Recipe", "Pressure", "Body Pump", "Envious"

not on mine but I still really enjoyed it! jj2 surprised the opener isn't suggested since it might be my fave overall(?)

4 minutes ago, Hunty Bear said:

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laIGQVp.png?1 "On", "Night", "L.I.N.E.", "Corner of My Sky"

wendy williams yup yup yup.mp4

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