While we were away: 2020 Highlights

Photo via YouTube

So, It's been a over a year.

A pandemic hit, without shows and the world ultimately shutting down, it was difficult to feel creative. We're back now, so let's talk about the releases and experiences of 2020.

All Time Low started the year off with a bang.

Baltimore's pop-punk band, All Time Low, came in swinging with "Some Kind Of Disaster." Which followed with a short run of shows to celebrate the track's release, playing 5 dollar shows in small bars. Who got to attend? Yours truly here, grabbing a can of Beer Maria, we took a trip to Baltimore ourselves. Watching the band play a set full of fan-favorites and crowd bullying them into playing "Coffee Shop Soundtrack," it was quite the way to kick off a new release. Following the short round of shows came an album announcement for Wake Up Sunshine. The record dropped on April 3, feeling like a hug and bringing fans back together again. We deep dove into the record over at All Punked Up, read it now.

Morning In May Unveiled Somewhere In Slumber

Cleveland band, Morning In May release their 2020 EP Somewhere In Slumber. Showcasing a wide range in dynamics compared to their 2016 pop-punk induced EP, I Can't Even (now celebrating it's 5 year birthday) MIM brought stories alive through music, laced with melodic screams. Tracks like "Stacking Limbs (Because They Made Me Do It)" take the air out of the room with a waltz submerged bridge, really taking fans into this new era of Morning In May. You can find a deep dive of this EP here.

Hot Mulligan released you'll be fine.

Pop-punk band Hot Mulligan released you'll be fine on March 6. The record oozes passion through raspy vocals while tackling an array of topics. Tracks put pressure on honest lyrics in a full way. [TW] "Digging In." covers tough subjects as rape the band told Alternative Press in a track-by-track interview. Other songs like "Green Squirrel In Pretty Bad Shape" unveils a layer of vulnerability accompanied with stressful vocals. The record leans on a relatable note with “Feal Like Crab.” Taking a listener back to when they first heard it, gracing over their specific feelings in the lines "how bad could it hurt to sell my blood till I'm withered and bruised?" making the wounds on your own body tingle.

Elbow Room dropped Now That Your Away

Pop-rock band, Elbow Room dropped their EP Now That You're Away on June 5 of 2020. The record takes a fans on a maturation journey of the band as they progress through their career. Songs like "At The Bottom" highlight the band's capability of writing soothing transitions between versus and pre-choruses leaving new and old listeners wanting more.

100 Gecs released 1000 Gecs and The Tree of Clues

On July 10, 100 Gecs released 1000 Gecs and The Tree of Clues, a remix album of 1000 Gecs, released in 2019. The album features some familiar names, Fall Out Boy meets Craig Owens (Chiodos/D.R.U.G.S) and Nicole Dollanganger in "hand crushed by a mallet (remix.) The track embodies emo music at it's highest point while blending perfectly with 100 Gecs initial electronic sound.

Grayscale re-worked some Nella Vita favorites on Live From The Barber Shop Studios and released single, "Diamond."

Grayscale took an interesting route when re-working some fan-favorite tracks off Nella Vita. "Baby Blue," "Painkiller Weather" and "What's On Your Mind" were on Live From The Barber Shop Studios, exuding a graceful and unique side to them. Following up on Oct. 15, the band released fun-loving track, "Diamond," reliving some of those quarantine blues.

Stand Atlantic dropped Pink Elephant

Pop-punk band Stand Atlantic released Pink Elephant on Aug. 7. The album glides from track to track, submerging listeners ears in powerful, hook-filled choruses. "Blurry" shows a simplistic side to the band with rock-driven undertones. The chorus feels relatable honing in on words like "So you like to hurt me? Could you cut me dirty," sung effortlessly, making fans feel connected.

Point North release their full-length album, Brand New Vision.

2020 looked like a promising year for pop-punk band Point North. Coming off the heels of a tour with Sleeping With Sirens and releasing well-received track, "Into The Dark" (feat. Kellin Quinn,) fans could wait to see what the band had in store. Point North released Brand New Vision on Aug. 21. The album showcases a new direction for the band, with spacious tracks filled with hard-hitting choruses. The band made sure they were ones to watch for.

Waterparks released single, "Lowkey As Hell," with music video.

Waterparks released "Lowkey As Hell" on Sept. 25. The track leans on simplicity, filling the empty spaces of the track with melodies that provide easy listening. The lyrics feel light hearted but seem to be tackling darker meaning. We'll leave it up to interpretation for now.

Machine Gun Kelly put out Tickets To My Down Fall

Tickets To My Down Fall was released on Sept. 25. The record flies by, almost like being swept away. Song's like "concert for aliens" and "my ex's best friend" (Feat. blackbear)" best highlight Kelly's background and his drive to make a dent in the alternative music scene.

Seaway Dropped Big Vibe

Pop-punk band, Seaway dropped Big Vibe on Oct. 16. The record is filled to brim with fresh-aired carefree tracks. "Mrs. David," pulls on vintage heartstrings, the song is full of smooth transitions and a gut-gripping chorus. Seaway showcases their ability to evolve musically while still creating a fun and energetic atmosphere.

Yungblud released weird!

To highlight the month of December, Yungblud dropped his album, weird! on Dec. 4, 2020. The album really bring the year of madness to a close. Emphasizing and embracing individuality at its best.

2020 made us realize how easy it is to take things for granted, such as shows or just being able to gather in groups larger than 10. Our favorite bands have tried their best to give us a live show experience from the comfort of our own homes. Now as the chaos comes to an end, go to a show and hug your friends.