While their planned tour with Prince Daddy & The Hyena and Oso Oso was scrapped due to COVID, Sincere Engineer, the Chicago indie-punk project of Deanna Belos, had a busy year. They signed to Hopeless Records in October, sharing the catchy, anthemic "Trust Me," their first release for the label; you can watch the video for it below. They also appeared on Lawrence Arms' holiday livestream and The Front Bottoms' virtual Champagne Jam.

With the end of the year upon us, we've been asking artists about their favorite music of 2020, and Deanna gave us a list of her favorite releases, including Hot Mulligan, Laura Jane Grace, Polo G, Protomartyr, Phoebe Bridgers, The Lawrence Arms, and more, commentary included. Read their list below.

Sincere Engineer's Favorite Music of 2020

10. Hot Mulligan – you’ll be fine

I love this band. This record sounds huge and the songs make me feel nostalgic. Really great guitar tones.

9. Laura Jane Grace – Stay Alive

This record was a nice surprise solo release in early October. I love the writing and the vocals. It’s a raw and stripped down acoustic record, and the songs are catchy as hell.

8. Polo G – The GOAT

Super talented writing and rapping. This record has tons of hooks. Martin & Gina will probably be my most listened to song this year.

7. Protomartyr – Ultimate Success Today

This band has grown even more bizarre sounding over the years, and I love them for it. These songs are catchy, the lyrics and vocal delivery are on point, as always. And now there’s sax!

6. Machine Gun Kelly – Tickets To My Downfall

This record is just simply fun and poppy and I totally dig it. It brought me back to the pop punk bands I liked when I was young.

5. Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher

The songwriting on this is incredible and it drew me in right away.

4. Nos Da – S/T

This is a new band made up of members from The Arrivals and Toys That Kill. So I had to listen! And I loved it. All these songs are upbeat and easy to like and they get stuck in your head.

3. Into It. Over It. – Figure

I’m buds with Evan and SE’s drummer is in this band too, but this would be on my list even if that weren’t the case! Beautiful craftsmanship—lots of detail to listen to on this record. Seems like they know how to play their instruments pretty good lol ;)

2. Dominic Fike – What Could Possibly Go Wrong

Refreshing and interesting melodies that are super catchy. The guitar riffs are super cool, too. It’s dancy but also good for driving around. Makes me feel old, but I love it.

1. The Lawrence Arms – Skeleton Coast

My favorite band did it again. This record is full of that pretty classic Larry Arms sound. Lyrics are darker. Songs are as catchy as ever.


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

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