Given the Grammys are a little more than a month away, I thought it would be fitting to talk about the music that has continued to get me through months of isolation, fifteen weeks of grad school and a year of my bedroom being my world.
Here’s a list of my top 5 favorite albums of 2020 (a celebration of Black female artists):
- Ungodly Hour by Chloe X Halle
Chloe X Halle’s second album came out in June, and so far it’s been my soundtrack of my 2020—likely to fall into 2021. The sisters sing about doing what they do for other girls, loving themselves at the “ungodly hour” and even imagine what it’s like to be the other woman in a relationship. It’s a perfect R&B album filled with enough romantic and dance-y bops to keep it on a loop.
Also, have you seen their Tiny Desk concert? It’s incredible.
- Black is King by Beyoncé
I know the music technically came out in 2019, but the visuals in Black is King is the reason I pay for Disney+. “Brown Skin Girl” is my anthem. Nothing has ever made me feel as seen or represented since this film came out.
- Alicia by Alicia Keys
Alicia Keys has been one of my favorite artists since I was in elementary school with songs like Fallin’ and If I Ain’t Got You filling the background of much of my childhood.
Her latest self-titled album is a beautifully written project largely about what Keys has learned about herself, and it specifically highlights those who are struggling during this time with songs like “Underdog” and “Good Job.”
- Lianne La Havas by Lianne La Havas
The neo-soul singer took a five year hiatus before gifting us this in July. La Havas discusses how the world seems to be aggressively changing while remaining unmoving at the same time. Her single “Bittersweet” is a reminder of how loss will not hurt forever. I may have ugly cried to it a few times during a lonesome wine night.
- Suga by Megan Thee Stallion
2020’s Hot Girl Summer turned out to be a bust, but at least we have Megan Thee Stallion to thank for giving us something to twerk to in the living room. In all fairness though, Megan’s hits are overtly sexual (which I love) but Suga has tracks like “B.I.T.C.H.” where she opens up about double-standards. Like all of us, Megan contains multitudes and should be applauded for her versatility and for generally making me feel more confident by way of her confidence.