10 of the Most Notable Records of 2020 So Far...
Updated: Jul 25, 2020
We have just released the sixth full length edition of the Cathedral Music Podcast, and as we reach this half way point in the year, we wanted to take the time to reflect on ten of the records that have really caught our attention. The records are listed in alphabetical order.
17 April 2020
Chance the Rapper's longtime collaborator and producer Peter Cottontale (no, not the rabbit from the book) has now decided to step out of the shadows and release his first full-length record. On this 17 track record, Peter shows his impressive address book by roping in as many as 30 featured artists from the likes of Chance the Rapper, Rex Orange County, Kirk Franklin and Madison Ryan Ward. With the massive guestlist and the gospel feel of so many of the tracks, this is a praise party you do not want to miss out on.
Catch was awarded the Sit Down Record of the Month on the May edition of the Cathedral Music Podcast. Listen to our review here (starting at 1:21:54).
EVERYWHERE + NOWHERE
3 April 2020
There’s a real skill in the art of composing a record. If you can compile ten or twelve great tracks then hats off to you, but the masterpieces distinguish themselves above the rest by their ability to tell one continuous story throughout the record, with each track flowing seamlessly into the next. This is where you have to give full credit to Guvna B because ‘everywhere + nowhere’ is truly a complete (if not perfect) journey of an album that is both heartbreaking and upbeat, honest and fun and then mixing genres like 90’s two-step/garage, grime, gospel or R&B. Guvna B makes an album that you cannot easily forget.
24 April 2020
Yewande Isola, - better known as Wande - only a few years ago was an intern at the iconic Reach Records. She was then picked up for her incredible talents and rose through the ranks quickly to cement herself as a force to be reckoned with. EXIT is a powerful statement as a debut record, it's full of ear catching songs, heavy beats that feel like they will blow your speakers (just listen to WAKANDE if you think we’re wrong) and deep, honest lyrics. Wande has such a raw passion and maturity that gives this record the feeling as if Wande has been doing this all her life and you’ll go away wanting to return soon to listen again.
HOME ONE DAY
14 February 2020
Sobi released her debut EP Home One Day earlier this year and was our Horizon Artist in the April edition of the podcast. On it, she reinvents the genre of Singer/Songwriter to match her own unique style. By playing the majority of these songs on the electric guitar, she manages to take these songs where the usual Singer/Songwriter would not be able to. Her honest, almost vulnerable approach to each song really draws you, the listener, in as if she is giving you a peek into her life, her struggles, her battles and overcomings. In the interview we had with her, when asked about her musical journey, she said, ‘I’ve been recording and writing for about 10 years, but making very small steps, I’ve recorded a few EP’s, but this is the biggest step up, I’m very proud of it, the songs have taken a very long time to write and put together and it just felt like the right time to release this and I am very happy.’ And Sobi - we are very happy that you have released this too. There is a lot of music you have to be in the mood to listen to, but with this record and anything else from Sobi, you can put on and enjoy it no matter what mood you are in.
Listen to our interview with Sobi here, starting at 23:33.
1 May 2020
Before the release of ‘In Florescence’, Half Alive had nothing to prove - they have already cemented themselves as a popular indie band, with millions of Spotify streams and even getting one of their tracks onto FIFA20. But sitting back and relaxing with that is not Half Alive’s style, and they jumped straight back into the studio to record and reimagine some of their top tracks and called it ‘In Fluorescence’. They embraced this process wholeheartedly by changing a whole host of features including time signatures, tempos, hooks, melodic deliveries and genres. In doing so, they have breathed so much new and fresh air into their songs that they’ve become a life of their own. You can not ask any more from a record - boundary breaking, exciting and clever musicianship, partnered with delicate and poetic lyricism that points towards hope and faith.
You can read our full record review here.
NOT AN ISLAND
24 April 2020
Pyramid Park's third release ‘Not an Island’ is a bold and focused indie record, taking influence from bands like Death Cab For Cutie, Two Door Cinema Club and The Amazons. Fusing them together to create his identifiable blend, he steps forward with his strongest record to date. He boldly tackles such lyrical themes of envy, bitterness, jealousy and judgement, all the while keeping the album overall upbeat. We had the privilege of hosting Pyramid Park on our show back in May and he said, ‘It is all worship, it’s just a different process of worship… I really do believe that every one of these songs can carry the presence of God, it just may not be that obvious… Maybe that’s a bit of a heretical thing to say but my passion is to lead people in worship who don’t even know they’re being led in worship.’ A bold statement for a bold and brilliant album. Whether or not you are aware of it, it's so true that you can feel God’s presence woven throughout this record.
13 May 2020
Trulah’s debut record has the remarkable quality of not sounding like a debut record at all, but more like an artist that has been in the industry honing their craft for years. Trulah introduces Prologue with a jazzy chord progression that welcomes you into this record almost the same as if you are being welcomed into a noir jazz lounge in an underground club in New York City. Trulah’s blend of soul, jazz, string arrangements and playful horns show us she is an artist who has a lot more to come and we at cathedral are excited to hear what that is.
SUITE NO. 2; THE WORLD KEEPS SPINNING
10 January 2020
It almost feels like the Brilliance knew what was coming in 2020 before anyone else with the release of this record back in January. This record was Cathedral’s first ever ‘Sit Down Record’ upon its release. We then had the privilege to get them back on the podcast in June as our ‘Seminal Artist’. They said about their album: ‘We want to make music that inspires empathy and brings people together… our second suite that just came out, which [carries] the big idea, is this the end of the world? It deals with existentialism and chaos and I think that has been a large part of what 2020 has been.’
The themes and lyrical ideas on this record fit so much with where we find ourselves right now. Both lyrically and musically, this record truly tells one long story that takes you on a journey. Part of that is Biola University Orchestra being an idea, a concept and mood that you keep getting brought back to while listening to this fantastic record. The Brilliance manage to mix and mesh the sound and class of an orchestra with the sounds of today. Be it on a lo-fi drum kit, trappy hi hats or grungy guitars, not one of these songs have a moment that feels like an afterthought or doesn’t fit. The World Keeps Spinning is a journey that we think you’ll want to take.
THE NIGHT GOD SLEPT - REDUX
24 January 2020
Silent Planet’s album ‘The Night God Slept - Redux’ dropped in January 2020. It’s a re-tracked, re-mixed and re-mastered version of the their debut release back in 2014. However, this album is so much more than just production modernisation. The excellent craftsmanship and attention to detail of this band is fully on show as they reimagine their own roots. We get new grooves and riffs seasoned over an already fantastic foundational project. The highlight comes with the new vocal takes bringing a new energy, emotion and depth to the tracks, most notably in the fourth track ‘Native Blood’. This emotional, chaotic, and crisp reinterpretation has fully captured our attention.
24 January 2020
Front man/lead singer/songwriter from the band Rivers and Robots released his first full length this year, ‘Twenty Four’. Full length has never felt more true for a record than this beat tape, as it contains twenty four tracks, one for each hour of the day. From the very first moment of this project, the mood is captured perfectly. “07:00 the Morning Comes” opens the day, and it seems as though every intricacy has been noted and applied as the track kicks off with a gentle tick tock. This theme continues throughout the entirety of this record, so much so that each track feels like it is frozen in time for the hour that it was written for. Ogden ventures into Lofi, chilled electronica, dance-inspired beats, and minimal ambient pieces, depending on what time of day each track intended. There’s a song for everyone and every time of day.