Every decade has its own set of trends that define it. It normally takes hindsight to see what will make a particular decade stand out but 2020 has already made a horrifyingly immediate distinction for itself. A pandemic-induced alteration of the scene itself has resulted in delayed releases, canceled tours, musicians at near equal ratios of inspiration and burnout, Zoom as a primary means of communication, and livestreams taking the place of proper concerts. All things considered, I am glad that a top albums list could still be made with a multitude of strong candidates. It’s been a shitty year with the light at the end of the tunnel still out of sight, but we still got tunes.
Tony Reed has certainly kept busy in 2020. In addition to putting out new releases with Big Scenic Nowhere and Mos Generator and unearthing old material with Constance Tomb, he’s also found the time to issue the first proper album under his own name. The second release in Ripple Music’s Blood And Strings series, Funeral Suit is a decidedly stripped-down affair with often minimalist instrumentation and a Folk backdrop. It’s already a well-worn set up with so many musicians trying their hand at it these days, but Reed always finds a way to apply his signature stamp to a given style.