Dead To A Dying World released one of our favorite albums of 2019 with Elegy, and they were supposed to tour in 2020 but you-know-what happened. Guitarist Sean Mehl did keep his ear to the ground for new music though, and he has now made us a list of his ten favorite albums of the year, including a variety of styles of music from Anna von Hausswolff, clipping., Liturgy, Moor Mother, Nine Inch Nails, Sault, Wayfarer, and more. He also included thoughtful commentary on each pick, and you can read on for what he had to say...

SEAN MEHL'S 10 FAVORITE ALBUMS OF 2020

Anna von Hausswolff - All Thoughts Fly
All Thoughts Fly is moving from start to finish, and all with only the instrumentation of an organ. There are not many artists who could pull that off, but Anna von Hausswolff does it with a magnificence rarely afforded to a listening ear.

clipping. - Visions of Bodies Being Burned
The raw talent of Daveed Diggs is vast and undeniable, and with the prowess of his bandmates as a driving undercurrent pulling you back in for more, clipping. have managed to put forth their most integral and poignant work to date. Oui oui, mon ami!

Lingua Ignota - The Caligula Demos
I know, this only just came out, but it caused me to immediately rework my list and I have not stopped listening since. Kristin Hayter captivated the world with Caligula, and for me these demos are just as profound and gut wrenching as their studio companion. In many ways, I prefer the raw, stripped down versions found within these demos.

Liturgy - Origin of Alimonies
Origin of Alimonies is one of those rare pieces of work that will stop you in your tracks. This album is one that is meant to be experienced, not merely heard. And it is an experience meant to be shared. Truly a transcendent and magnificent work in every way.

Luke Stewart Exposure Quintet - Luke Stewart Exposure Quintet
Free improvisation is more than a creative process. It is the freedom from perception. It is the unyielding and uninhibited drive that moves us to search for meaning and self-determination. In Luke Stewart's aim to challenge how we perceive music, he has fundamentally given the gift of collective experience.

Moor Mother - Circuit City
When Camae Ayewa speaks, we listen. Each offering from Moor Mother is a gift, and Circuit City is no exception. With uncompromising honesty, Ayewa uses theater and jazz to set the stage for an unfettered examination of systematic oppression.

Nine Inch Nails - Ghosts V: Together
Every night, my son insists on falling asleep to Ghosts V, and I really cannot complain. The simple beauty found within each passing note is otherworldly, and I could listen for days on end. If an out-of-body experience had a soundtrack, this would be it. An absolute must for fans of Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor's film scores and ambient works.

Open Mike Eagle - Anime, Trauma and Divorce
Aside from easily holding the prize for the best album title of the year, Anime, Trauma and Divorce is a personal and musical narrative to behold. Open Mike Eagle draws an infectious hook from the moment you press play. The ride is immediate, but never hesitates to draw you in for a deeper look.

Sault - Untitled (Black Is)
Untitled (Black Is) is deeply personal and internal in its reflection, while simultaneously externally radiant in its examination of Blackness. Musically palpable and politically fierce, Untitled (Black Is) breathes life in each passing phrase.

Wayfarer - A Romance With Violence
A Romance With Violence is a moving cinematic experience that slowly unveils the brilliance within. As soon as it's over, I find myself retracing my steps and reliving the journey with a newfound perspective and appreciation. A Romance With Violence is grand in scope and offers more with each listen.

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Browse our Best of 2020 tag for more year-end lists.