Manda’s Best Music of 2020

I think I can I speak for everyone when I say that 2020 was a total shitshow of a year. Aside from the obvious tragedies and disasters, the world was basically put on the longest pause I think we have ever felt. Live events were all canceled and postponed, including tours and festivals. And if you’re a music fan, you pretty much felt like your world had ended with that news. One good thing to come out of our favorite musicians being forced to stay home and not out on the road was it resulted in new music and artists getting to know their fans a little bit better through impromptu mini concerts and Q&A sessions on social media and live streams. Believe me, I know it was not the same as seeing your favorite band or artist up close at your favorite small venue or from the lawn or nosebleed seats at your nearest amphitheater or stadium, but if 2020 taught us anything, it was we will take what we can get.

Even though we did not get to hear it live in person, 2020 still delivered when it came to new music releases. We got new albums from bands we had not heard from in a while and some new songs from some of our favorite up and coming artists as well. Though, I will admit, there may not have been much that was outstanding in a “HOLY CRAP, this is lifechanging!” kind of way, the music in 2020 did not disappoint and there was plenty to choose from when it came to deciding what to include on my end of the year list for 2020’s best releases. So, without further wait (because after this year why should we drag anything out any longer), below are my picks for the best music released in what has easily been the longest year of our lives.  I hope you enjoy, and as always, happy listening friends.



01)Bush – The Kingdom

02)All Time Low – Wake Up, Sunshine

03)Silverstein – A Beautiful Place to Die

04)Seether – Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

05)10 Years – Violent Allies

06)Little Big Town – Nightfall

07)Ruston Kelly – Shape & Destroy

08)Smith & Myers – Volume 1

09)Smith & Myers – Volume 2


10)Machine Gun Kelly – Tickets to My Downfall

11)Stitched Up Heart – Darkness

12)Lee Brice – Hey World

13)Maddie & Tae – The Way It Feels

14)Kelsea Ballerini – ballerina

15)Gone West – Canyons

16)Brett Eldredge – Sunday Drive

17)Fame On Fire – Levels

18)Hardy – A Rock

19)Lindsay Ell – heart theory

20) Breaking Benjamin – Aurora

21) Tyler Rich – Two Thousand Miles

22) Taylor Swift – Evermore

23) Taylor Swift – Folklore

24) Russell Dickerson – Southern Symphony

25) blackbear – everything means nothing

26) Chase Rice – The Album Pt 1

27) Adelitas Way – Shine On


29)Eric Ethridge – Good With Me

30)Filmore – State I’m In



01)Sam Grow – Me and Mine EP

02)Jordan Davis – Jordan David EP

03)Jordan Rager – Habits and Hearts EP

04)Matt Stell – Better Than That EP

05)Riley Green – If It Wasn’t for Trucks EP

06) Ryan Hurd – EOM EP

07)Midnight Canyon – Midnight Canyon

08) Tyler Farr – Only Truck in Town EP

09)Travis Denning – Beer’s Better Cold EP

10)Patrick Droney – State of the Heart EP


Singles Not Included on an EP or Album

01)Lauren Duski – “The Broken Kind”

02)Kevin McAllister (feat Ryan Kinder) – “We Will Survive”

03)Carly Pearce – “Show Me Around”

04)Brantley Gilbert – “Hard Days”

05)Jacob Bryant – “Tell Me”

06)Josh Kerr – “Make You Stay”

07)Ed Sheeran – “Afterglow”

08)Ryan Kinder & Sykamore – “Doing Fine”

09)Thomas Rhett – “What’s Your Country Song?”

10)Walker County – “Drag It Out”

11)Waterloo Revival – “Something You Ain’t Ever Had”

12)Six:A.M. (feat Corey Taylor, Joe Elliot, Brantley Gilbert, Ivan Moody, Slash, Awolnation, Tommy Vext) – “Maybe It’s Time”

13)Blake Shelton (feat Gwen Stefani) – “Happy Anywhere”

14)Kylie Morgan – ”Break Things”

15)Ryan Shaw (feat Rob Thomas & Derek Trucks) – “Love in Pain”

16)Abby Anderson – “We Go Together Like”

17)Jacob Bryant – “Good Ole Boy”

18)Charlotte Sands & James Droll – “I Don’t Care”

19)Church of Roswell – “Rocketeer”

20)Tyler Braden – “Secret”

21)Murphy Elmore – “Everywhere is You”

22)Nikita Karmen (feat Walker Hayes) – “Then Some”

23)Daughtry – “World On Fire”

24)Apocalyptica (feat Lzzy Hale) – “Talk to Me”

25)Eric Church – “Hell of a View”

26)Jacob Bryant – “Can’t Say No to You”

27)Page Mackenzie – “F.U.”

28)Cole Swindell – “Single Saturday Night”

29)Michael Ray – “Whiskey and Rain”

30)Kygo & Tina Turner – “What’s Love Got to Do with It?”

31)Tyler Hammond – “Back Home Boys”

32)Tiera – “Found It In You”

33)Dierks Bentley – “Gone”

34)Ian McConnell & Kalie Shorr – “How Do We Do This?”

35)Thomas Rhett (feat Reba McEntire, Hillary Scott, Chris Tomlin, Keith Urban) – “Be a Light”

36)Rose – “Are You Tired?”

37)Jordan Davis – “Lose You”

38)Kenny Foster & Mae Estes – “Love You Now”

39)Clay Walker – “Need a Bar Sometimes”

40)Leaving Austin (feat Cassadee Pope) – “American Avenue”

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"MADD" Manda Walsh
Chicago native and Saint Xavier University alum (class of 2007), Amanda Walsh is an aspiring journalist with a strong passion for music and longtime love of writing. While in college, she spent her time volunteering as a radio DJ, working as the station’s Music Director, and serving as a regular contributing writer for the campus newspaper where she combined her love for music and writing. Between attending multiple concerts a month all over the city, interviewing various bands both in and out of the studio, and introducing her friends and show listeners to new artists (both local and national acts), it was during this time that Amanda really discovered her niche. Whether listening alone with her headphones or experiencing it live in person, music has always been Amanda’s safe haven and more like a religion, with concerts feeling more like going to church. Today the number of artist interviews under her belt continues to grow, as she strives to break new and up and coming artists before other outlets. She also continues to attend as many concerts as her bank account will allow. Her musical tastes range from “OMG you have to hear this” to “please don’t judge me,” and she is the person you want on your team in music trivia. She is also an avid enthusiast of the paranormal and anything in the realm of horror or the creepy and unnerving. With that said, she loves Halloween more than a normal person probably should and has a fascination with cemeteries. Aside from music and concerts, Amanda also enjoys reading, shopping and epic adventures. She's a sucker for a good mystery and anything acoustic. When she was a kid she wanted to be Nancy Drew when she grew up. At the end of the day, if she had to describe herself with a song lyric it would be this – “I’m somewhere in between what is real and just a dream.”
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