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2020 Music Recap

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We listen to a lot of music at White Shirt Design and Development. It helps us focus and create. We’re kicking off the new year with a regular column featuring the music that we listen to while we work:

The first post is our 2020 recap:

2020 was quite a year. Yes, we had the excitement associated with starting our brand new studio, but 2020 will always be associated with a devastating personal loss, followed by COVID and all the repercussions that came with that. Music has always been important in our lives, but became a lifeline to sanity in 2020. So here is a quick summary of the music that helped us get through the year, and helped us create the work we did…or that we just kept going back to (we listen to a LOT of music, but for the purpose of this post, we focused on music that was released in 2020):

Hawskley Workman – Less Rage More Tears

The studio has been a long-time fan of this under-valued Canadian singer/songwriter, but this latest release might be our favourite yet. Great production combined with original/fun songwriting makes for an amazing listen, and these lyrics struck a chord this year:

“Whatever happened to good old fashioned acid rain?
I miss those simpler times i’d give anything to have them back again
To those handmade years backed up by a laugh track
I’d sure like to have that back”

Taylor Swift – Folklore/Evermore

We admit that we first started to listen to Folklore because of The National connection, but after repeated listens to both of her releases this year (that’s right…TWO!), there is no denying that she is a talent to be reckoned with. Plus it also made us revisit some of her older albums.

Josiah Johnson – Every Feeling on a Loop

There’s nothing like finding an album by someone you’d never heard of, and for it to become one of your favourite listens of 2020. We’d never of Josiah Johnson (from The Head and the Heart) but his debut solo album sure struck a chord with our studio.

Miley Cyrus – Plastic Hearts

Yes, a surprise to use also. But the positive reviews, the presence of Billy Idol and Joan Jett, and her cover of Zombie (originally by the Cranberries) convinced us to give it a try. We weren’t disappointed.

Bridget Kearney & Benjamin Lazar Davis – Still Flying

This collaboration between Bridget Kearney (Lake Street Dive) and Benjamin Lazar Davis (Okkervil River) that was recorded in Ghana in 2019 is unique and full of surprises. Such original music can only help inspire the design process.

Arkells – Campfire Chords

Apparently this Canadian band had to cancel a new album because of COVID, so they decided to re-record some of their songs as if they were sung around a campfire. It works surprisingly well, and makes for a perfect listen to try and forget 2020.

Prince – Sign O’ the Times Reissue

Always our favourite album by Prince, the Super Deluxe version of this reissue is over 8hrs of music that we can listen to over and over again…and we did. It doesn’t get much better than this.

So this is some of what we were listening to last year. What about all you folks? Any recommendations? What have you been listening to?

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