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Best of 2020 So Far: Staff and Contributor Picks

As we get to the middle of 2020, many of us are still adjusting to a new normal. Bridge staff have spent the last four months broadcasting and bringing you music discovery from our home offices, basements and closets.

We've also been watching the landscape of music change. In the midst of uncertainty and growing public health concerns, artists have had to postpone tours, delay the release of new music, and explore new, socially distanced ways to their reach fans. 

As listeners, we've had to consume our music a little differently as well — finding new songs to make sense of or even escape the times we're living in. Empowering and educating ourselves by listening to the experiences of dynamic musical voices. Healing and connecting through words and melodies.

Our staff and contributors put together a few of the albums and songs that have resonated with them this year. Check out their picks of 2020 so far, along with selected features and interviews:

Michael Atchison

Listen to Revival, Sundays at 10 a.m.

Drive–By Truckers – “The Unraveling”
Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela – “Rejoice”
Nadine Shah – “Kitchen Sink”
Run the Jewels – “RTJ4”
Paul Weller – “On Sunset”
Bob Dylan – “Rough And Rowdy Ways”
Les Amazones d’Afrique – “Amazones Power”
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – “Reunions”
Fiona Apple – “Fetch The Bolt Cutters”
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – “Sideways To New Italy”
Khruangbin – “Mordechai”

Bridge Album Spotlight: Run the Jewels - 'RTJ4'

The fiercely visionary hip-hop duo Run the Jewels surprised fans by dropping its new album, "RTJ4," two days early. "The world is infested with b*******... so here's something raw to listen to while you deal with it all," the band announced.

Michelle Bacon

Run the Jewels – “RTJ4”
Phoebe Bridgers – “Punisher”
Thundercat – “It Is What It Is”
Shiner – “Schadenfreude”
Ebony Tusks – "HDF" (single)
Fiona Apple – “Fetch the Bolt Cutters”
The Strokes – “The New Abnormal”
Hi-Lux – “Revolution” / “Get What You Give” (single)
Blackstarkids – “Surf”
Chicano Batman – “Invisible People”
Caroline Rose – “Superstar”
Bridget Kearney & Benjamin Lazar Davis – “Still Flying”
Khruangbin – “Mordechai”
Kadesh Flow – ”Motivated”
Brent Windler – “Around the Bend” (single)

Sarah Bradshaw

Make a Freeform Friday  request (7 to 10 p.m.)

Blackstarkids – “Surf”
Car Seat Headrest – “Making A Door Less Open”
Christine and the Queens – “La vita nuova” (EP)
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – “Reunions”
Laura Marling – “Song For Our Daughter”
Lava Dreams – “Good Energy + Focus” (EP)
Moses Boyd – “Dark Matter”
Moses Sumney – “Græ”
Pearl Jam – “Gigaton”
Phoebe Bridgers – “Punisher”
Run The Jewels – “RTJ4”
The Sluts – “Enjoy The Show” (EP)
Soccer Mommy – “color theory”
The Strokes – “The New Abnormal”
Una Walkenhorst – “Woman of the Year” (EP)
Waxahatchee – “Saint Cloud”

Chris Haghirian

Listen to Eight One Sixty, Tuesdays at 6 p.m.

Blackstarkids – “Surf”
Christine and the Queens – “La vita nuova” (EP)
HAIM – “Women In Music Pt. III”
Hermon Mehari – “A Change For The Dreamlike”
Katy Guillen and the Drive – “Dream Girl” (EP)
Lava Dreams – “Good Energy + Focus” (EP)
Phoebe Bridgers – “Punisher”
The MGDs – “Midtown”
Una Walkenhorst – “Woman Of The Year” (EP)
Waxahatchee – “Saint Cloud”

Jon Hart

Christine and the Queens – “La vita nuova” (EP)
EOB – “Earth”
Hermon Mehari – “A Change for the Dreamlike”
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – “Reunions”
Laura Marling – “Song For Our Daughter”
Lianne La Havas – “Lianne La Havas”
Rufus Wainwright – “Unfollow the Rules”
Songhoy Blues – “Worry”
Una Walkenhorst – “Woman of the Year” (EP)
Waxahatchee – “Saint Cloud”

An Interview with Ed O'Brien

"You find your purpose on this planet and you lock in on that, and that becomes the most important thing. I was really blessed that, for whatever reason, music was my purpose." A founding member of Radiohead, Ed O'Brien is an acclaimed guitarist who is set to release his debut solo album, "Earth," under the name EOB on Friday, April 17.

Chris Lester 

Bob Dylan – “Rough and Rowdy Ways”
Fiona Apple – “Fetch the Bolt Cutters”
Pearl Jam – “Gigaton”
Run the Jewels – “RTJ4”
Neil Young – “Homegrown”
Waxahatchee – “Saint Cloud”
Drive-By Truckers – “The Unraveling”
HAIM – “Women in Music Pt. III”
Hayley Williams – “Petals for Armor"
Soccer Mommy – “color theory”
Lucinda Williams – “Good Souls Better Angels”
Steve Earle – “Ghosts of West Virginia”
Real Estate – “The Main Thing”
Isobell Campbell – “There is No Other”
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – “Sideways to New Italy”

Misti Mundae

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – "Reunions"
Fritz Hutchison – "Wide Wild Acres"
Car Seat Headreat –"Making a Door Less Open"
Phoebe Bridgers – "Punisher"
Fiona Apple – "Fetch the Bolt Cutters"
Blackstarkids – "Surf"
Run the Jewels – "RTJ4"
Waxahatchee – "Saint Cloud"
Pearl Jam – "Gigaton"
Drive-by Truckers – "The Unraveling"

Skylar Rochelle

Listen to The Z Show, Saturdays at 7 p.m.

Blackstarkids – “Surf”
Fiona Apple – “Fetch the Bolt Cutters”
Khruangbin – “Mordechai”
Phoebe Bridgers – “Punisher”
Squirrel Flower – “I Was Born Swimming”
Fullbloods – “Soft and Virtual Touch”
Dogbite – “At the Park” (EP)
Perfume Genius – “Set My Heart On Fire Immediately”
Andy Shauf – “The Neon Skyline”
Thundercat – “It Is What It Is”
U.S. Girls – “Heavy Light”
Kevin Krauter – “Full Hand”
Dougie Poole – “The Freelancer’s Blues”
Bigfatcat – “The Nice Thing About Being Alone”

Bridge Artist of the Week: Fiona Apple

Our Bridge Artist of the Week has one of the most acclaimed albums of 2020 so far. On April 17, Fiona Apple released "Fetch the Bolt Cutters," her first studio album in eight years.

Bryan Truta

Listen to Mornings With Bryan Truta, weekdays from 5 to 10 a.m.

Fiona Apple – “Fetch the Bolt Cutters”
Childish Gambino – “3.15.20”
Perfume Genius – “Set My Heart On Fire Immediately”
HAIM – “Women in Music Pt III”
Run the Jewels – “RTJ4”
The Strokes – “The New Abnormal”
Thundercat – “It Is What It Is”
Ultimate Fakebook – “The Preserving Machine”
Margaret Glaspy – “Devotion”
Khruangbin – “Mordechai”
Thao and the Get Down Stay Down – “Temple”
Random Likes:
Hi-Lux – “Get What You Give” / “Revolution” 
They Call Me Sauce – “Be Real Black For Me,” “Expensive Dessert” 
Anderson .Paak – “Lockdown” 

Visit our socials at @909thebridge and text us at 816-777-0909 to give us your picks for Best of 2020 So Far!

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