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🎵 Illustrated Tapes: Rewind 2020
🗓 18.12.19

Mixcloud / Spotify

Well... that was was a stressful year. Luckily amidst all the weirdness there was also a ton of lovely music to distract us (a bit) from a world in chaos. We asked our 2020 contributors to share some musical projects which tickled both their ears and eyes from the past twelve months. Enjoy and stay safe!

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“Donuts Mind If I Do” / “Plastic Love” [single] – Chai
6 November, Sub Pop
Artwork: Yuuki

Selected by Honey Parast

Donuts Mind If I Do” – Chai. This single’s a lovely blend of city pop and etherealism. The music video’s wonderfully charming and as well as the artwork accompanying the track. It’s a triple threat and I haven’t stopped listening to it!

 IT058: Rhythmic Stabbing | Honey Parast

Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez – Gorillaz
23 Oct, Parlophone
Artwork: Jaime Hewlett / Stars Redmond

Selected by Chloe Blair

Gorillaz Song Machine Season One. This project is very ambitious and the animation is otherworldly.

“Moving Men” - Myd & Mac DeMarco
28 October, Ed Banger Records
Artwork: Alexandre Nart

Selected by Molly Saunders

I stumbled upon this particular track due to a small series of adverts on my social media. It just kept popping up again and again and I thought ‘this must be a sign’ and checked it out. This song just radiates ultimate good vibes. It’s so upbeat and catchy and was fantastic to groove to on my daily lockdown 2 walks. The music video is silly and fantastic. It absolutely matches the same good vibe energy and portrays the artists getting up to all kinds of hijinks as Moving Men, and upon further watches and research, there are so many little references and easter eggs, it’s a gift that keeps giving!

 IT064: Instant Good Vibes | Molly Saunders

Shore - Fleet Foxes
22 September, Anti-
Design: Benjamin Tousley
Photography: Hiroshi Hamaya

Selected by Susan de Boer

Fleet Foxes with their latest album Shore is definitely on my list of favourites for 2020. I first found out about this release from their one-hour movie, (recommended) depicting Northwest American landscapes and the people and animals that inhabit them. This album brings the familiar folk-rock sound that Fleet Foxes are known and loved for. Personally, this album feels like a breath of fresh air, giving you a feeling that everything’s going to turn out fine.

 IT081: Flight Mode | Susan de Boer

“Human Nature” [single] - Babeheaven
7 May, Self-published
Artwork: Mikey Burey / River Cousin

Selected by Shaun Miller

Babeheaven's “Human Nature” single really caught my ear and eye. Between Nancy Anderson’s voice and the trip-hop instrumentation, it’s a track I can listen to over and over. Great for late night moods or spacing out to while working on a design project. The artwork was done by River Cousin, who also did the album cover. I’m choosing the single though because there’s something delightful about the dancing devils. The moon, the stars, the sparks in the back – it’s a perfect illustration to go with a perfect song

 IT085: Honky Tonk Hayride | Shaun Miller

“Amanhã O Tempo Muda” - Lincoln
Taken from Mr Bongo Record Club Volume 4
20 November, Mr Bongo
Artwork: Nicholas Burrows

Selected by Sean O’Brien

For me, it's Mr Bongo Record Club Vol. 4 that looks and sounds great. Their music has definitely helped with everything going on this year. The artwork is by Nicolas Burrows, who does a great job of capturing the mood of the record.

 IT087: Race to the Sun! | Sean O’Brien

SUGUNGGA - 수궁가 [Sea Palace Songs] – LEENALCHI
29 May, Machang Music & Pictures Co., Ltd.
Artwork: 오래오 스튜디오 oreohstudio

Selected by Chester Holme

My girlfriend and I have gotten a bit obsessed with these "Feel the Rhythm of Korea" adverts that keep popping up on YouTube — a group of people dancing in really fun costumes to weird, wonky, slightly psych-y tunes in various locations around South Korea. Turns out, all the songs come from one album — Sugungga by LEENALCHI, and I've found myself listening to it quite a lot in the last few months. “You know Who I Am” is my top pick off the album, but it’s a great listen top to bottom. The adverts are genuinely such a great combo of music and visuals that I don’t even feel embarrassed about shilling for the South Korean tourist board. I’ve also got to give an honourable mention to Kid Nomad’s album Monster Boy which is an absolute banger and has great cover art made by Jacob Read (aka Jerkcurb).

 IT069: B.N.E (Big Night-time Energy) | Chester Holme

“Dragonball Durag” [Music Video] - Thundercat
27 February
Dir: Zack Fox

Selected by Toni Dal

Possibly one of the funkiest things released this year. Full of energy and humour, Thundercat hit us with this gorgeous single before dropping the album It Is What It Is. What made the release of this track even sweeter was the ridiculous, low budget, student-film-like music video. It somehow perfectly encapsulates Thundercats humour and energy.


It Is What It Is - Thundercat
31 March, Brainfeeder
Photography: Eddie Alcazar
Design: Adam Stover

Selected by Hot Yoghurt

Thundercat's It Is What It Is album is great, and “Dragonball Durag” is FUNKY AS SHIT and has an excellent video.

 IT078: 80s Graveyard | Hot Yoghurt


Ordunun Dereleri - Altin Gün
18 November, Glitterbeat
Artwork: Anne Caesar

Selected by Vanessa Farano

My choice is Ordu’nun Dereleri from Altın Gün, they are a Turkish Psych Folk band from Amsterdam and everything they do is magical. I discovered them one day by virtual zapping and discovering their performance at KEXP. This group elegantly creates psychedelic atmospheres with a nod to the 80s. I have never been a person who loves to dance but they make me want to move with their flow! The visual perfectly reflects the mood.

IT088: Goodfuckingbye | Vanessa Farano

“To S.” / “To R.” [single] - Father John Misty
17 August, Sub Pop
Artwork: Gabriel Alcala

Selected by Ewan Brock

I've struggled to pick one release but I think the songs on Father John Misty's “To S.” / “To R.” will always take me back to this moment in time. Both tracks floor me and feel so... contemplative? I don't know, I just feel this year has been a mixture of all sorts of emotions - not all of them good, but there's a mixture of happy and sad. I honestly can't think of any other release that better convey how I feel at this stage in my life. They're confident, beautiful, bold and yet there's just this huge wall of emotion hidden behind both songs. I'm really quite fond of the artwork too. I miss hugs.

 IT059: Moving On | Ewan Brock

The Archer - Alexandra Savior
7 February, 30th Century Records
Photography: Dana Trippe

Selected by Hollie Fuller

I love the kind of album that looks how it sounds, and I feel like that’s what you get with The Archer. I’ve built a bit of a strange connection to it. A lot of the songs seem to capture some of the feelings that I’ve had this year, like I wrote them myself. It’s soft and smooth and smoky, even a bit spooky in places. Sort of dream-like. The ultimate cool girl album with a cover to match.

IT091: Hollie Fuller | (30th December)

Sixteen Oceans - Four Tet
13 March, Text Records
Design: Jason Evans, Matthew Cooper
Photography: Jason Evans 

Selected by Dan Button

There were a few great albums this year but the covers didn't do them justice. Whereas Sixteen Oceans by Four Tet had a beautiful abstract photograph with mellow and dreamy colours that fit the music so well.

“Murphy's Law (Cosmodelica Remix) (Live @ Home)” - Róisín Murphy
10 May

Selected by Scottie Gillespie

In May, Homoelectric, a club night in Manchester created a online music festival via live stream and zoom. They got Roisin Murphy to perform via her living room on zoom, using the green screen option to create these great music videos. Even though it wasn't a live IRL concert, you just had to be there to experience it. It was Magic.

IT072: Turn It Up – Music to pretend you’re in a music video.

“WAP (feat. Megan Thee Stallion)” [Music video] - Cardi B
7 August, Atlantic Records
Dir: Colin Tilley
Prod: Boy in the Castle

Selected by Edie Woolf

What is 2020 without some Wet Ass Pussy? The video is a sexy, decadent, slippery antithesis to this shithole of a year!

♫ IT090: Edie Woolf | (22 December)

My Agenda - Dorian Electra
 16 October, Supernature

Selected by Parallel Teeth

Dorian Electra’s new album My Agenda is great. I love how the energy of music and themes of toxic masculinity and incels comes through in the album artwork with its blurry sword, leather coat and a splash of neon Mountain Dew green.

 IT067: In the Garden / Up the Hill | Parallel Teeth

Unlocked - Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats
07 February, PH Recordings
Artwork: Chris M. Wildon

Selected by Robin Golbach

17 minutes of absolutely beautiful high energy music, bundled with a great high energy rapping

Sex, Death and the Infinite Void - Creeper
 31 July, Roadrunner Records

Selected by Catriona Sheppard

Sex, Death and the Infinite Void by Creeper overall has an amazing aesthetic concept. Such an interesting mash up of influences both sonically and visually

 IT062: This Unrest | Catriona Sheppard

“Garden” [Music video] - Meet Me @ The Altar
9 October, Fueled By Ramen
Dir: Alex Zarek

Selected by Sam Ailey

Seeing three young women of colour fully rocking out and having fun in a scene historically dominated by angsty white dudes was a real highlight for me this year. 2020 has inundated with imagery of black pain, so I’m immensely greatful to this band for bursting on to the scene and putting black joy front and centre. Showing the struggles of the black/POC experience through art is so crucial, but we also deserve and need moments of pure exultation.

Plus it’s just a really catchy pop punk power jam. Really looking forward to following this band’s journey.

 IT001: Quiet | Sam Ailey

I Disagree - Poppy
9 October, Fueled By Ramen
Dir: Alex Zarek

Selected by Kieran Blakey

Hyperpop vocals interspersed with crushing synths and heavy metal is an unusual combination but one that appeals to both my pop and emo roots. The album cover is rad as well. Weird and hyperbolic, pushing pop tropes to an almost parodic extreme. Perfect for 2020. I love this album because it makes me feel like I’m gunning through hordes of demons in Doom whilst applying nail varnish to my excessively large and impractical acrylics. Escapism in its finest form and a real lollipop chainsaw.

 IT074: Bubblegum Storm | Kieran Blakey

I Am Moron - The Lovely Eggs
 3 April, Egg
Artwork: Casey Raymond

Selected by ArtHole

I Am Moron by The Lovely Eggs really nailed the mood that came in as lockdown kicked off, helped by Casey Raymond's lowbrow artwork of bog roll, vape pens and microwave meals. The mundane day to day of life in Britain fully encapsulated with punk songs about buying Happy Meals, and it was hilarious. The special edition had a genius handmade mirrored cover so you could stare at yourself as you listened and confirm that, yes, you are also a moron.

 IT063: Ffyrdd Gefn | ArtHole

CHAI - Donuts Mind If I Do / Gorillaz - The Lost Chord (feat. Leee John) / Myd - Moving Men (feat. Mac DeMarco) / Fleet Foxes - Can I Believe You / Babeheaven - Human Nature / Lincoln - Amanhã o Tempo Muda / LEENALCHI - A Fish Map / Thundercat - Dragonball Durag / Altin Gün - Ordunun Dereleri / Father John Misty - To R. / Alexandra Savior - Saving Grace /Four Tet - Teenage Birdsong / Róisín Murphy - Shellfish Mademoiselle / Cardi B - WAP (feat. Megan Thee Stallion) / Dorian Electra - Gentleman / Denzel Curry - ꞌCosmicꞌ.m4a / Creeper - Napalm Girls / Meet Me @ The Altar - Garden / Poppy - I Disagree / The Lovely Eggs - Bear Pit ︎