Thundercat

Rob Vera's Favorite 20 Albums of 2020

Dec 17, 2020

Turn of the Century host Rob Vera shares his 20 favorite albums of 2020.

To celebrate the end of this godforsaken year, we are publishing a special edition of Heavy Rotation — our popular, monthly series that features songs public radio can't stop playing. This list of songs is ranked by total plays across various NPR Member stations across the country. Even in a pandemic, public radio endures: Here are the most popular 30 songs from 2020.

The Best Music Of 2020: NPR Staff Picks

Dec 4, 2020

This week we shared NPR Music's best songs and albums of 2020, lists voted on, politely argued over and presented by our staff, station partners and contributors. Today we're featuring the good stuff from the private reserves. Below you'll find lists of top 10 albums and songs from the members of NPR Music's staff.

The 100 Best Songs Of 2020

Dec 3, 2020

Welcome to a whopper of a mixtape. If you've been living under the rock 2020 dropped on all of us back in March and spent the last nine months finding comfort in the sounds of your childhood (hell, even 2019), we have some good news for you: As crappy as this year has been for anyone with a shred of empathy, the jams were ample. When the news cycle had us at a loss for words, we found quiet songs to speak for us. When we wanted to smile without looking at our phones, buoyant distractions abounded.

The 50 Best Albums Of 2020

Dec 2, 2020

At certain moments, 2020 felt like a year that might not ever come to an end. Now that it's mostly in our rear view, can a retrospective give a shape to that swarm of weeks and months? Can we make sense of layer upon layer of fear, anger, frustration, confusion, exhilaration and exhaustion that piled up like soil falling over our heads? Sometimes art breaks through. Better to think of the best music of 2020 as an urgent cacophony of distinct voices rather than a chorus with a single melody. Many voices, with many stories to tell.

The Recording Academy announced its 2021 Grammy nominations on Tuesday, with Beyonce, rising pop star Dua Lipa and stoner superstar Post Malone leading a diffuse field.

Beyonce features on two songs in the record of the year category, which essentially rewards the year's best single: the remix of Megan Thee Stallion's "Savage" and her own "Black Parade." The latter was also nominated for song of the year, which is awarded to the winner's songwriters.

On the last edition of Play It Forward, All Things Considered's chain of musical gratitude, Los Angeles singer-songwriter Mia Doi Todd spoke about Grammy Award-winning multi-instrumentalist Thundercat.

All around the country, NPR member stations are not only a vital source of news but music, arts and culture, too. We are grateful that music stations never stopped providing their unique blend of programming for listeners during this ongoing pandemic. They also provided critical support for their local music economies.

We usually ask our stations to pick songs that are in heavy rotation on their broadcast logs for this series. But given that we're halfway through 2020, we wanted to know our station's favorite songs of the year so far.

Stephen Bruner, better known as Thundercat, is one of the music industry's most eclectic and prolific collaborators. Over the past five years, the virtuosic bass player has worked with everyone from Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar to Michael McDonald. His latest album, It Is What It Is, was released on Friday and it features the same expansive range of genres and styles.

Every month, we ask radio stations around the country one critical question: What's the one song you can't stop listening to? March's lineup brings you a comeback track from The Strokes, a jazz-tinged rendition of "Jolene," a new tune from the ever-innovative Thundercat and more.

All songs from this month's Heavy Rotation are available to stream on Apple Music and the Spotify playlist at the bottom of this page.

Pages