How did you spend 2020? With more with 70 million songs on Spotify alone and approximately 70 billion hours' worth of bingeable TV and movies available to stream – just a rough estimate – it would be safe to guess the answer is: at home, with your faves. Indeed, as many of us turned to what we know and love to stay warm and comforted in this most turbulent year, it was especially hard to keep up with what was new.
But we've got you covered. Much like MTV News does each week with Bop Shop, we've rounded up a good crop of 2020 music here to add to your next playlist – recordings that might've not have been on your radar this year, but that'll be sure to make 2021 worth every second.
As we put this year to bed, let's celebrate the albums we love that you might've missed in 2020. Maybe you'll come to love them, too.
Westerman: Your Hero Is Not Dead
Will Westerman's world is insular, but his music feels universal. For his debut, the London sound architect built a folk album from sparse parts: wiggly guitar lines, blinking electronics, and his ever-ascending croon, which takes flight with no warning. It's all on display on the skyward title track, where Westerman honors late post-rock icon Mark Hollis with a simple slogan committed to hope, even amid loss: "I will try to hold this / If you don't see where hope is." At the end of the most hellacious year in recent memory and in the face of unfathomable grief, those words double as a dedication to positivity, grace, and love in 2021. More of that, please. – Patrick Hosken
Wizkid: Made in Lagos
Four years after Drake's "One Dance" brought Afrobeats maestro Wizkid to the global pop stage, the Nigerian superstar's second major-label album found him once again blazing through a series of expert collaborations. Burna Boy, Ella Mai, H.E.R., Skepta, and more dip in and out of Made in Lagos, filling its runtime with energy and genres from quite literally all over the world. But it's Wizkid's standout solo moments, like the sexy "Sweet One" and breezy, confident opener "Reckless," that make the album yet another force to be reckoned with. – Patrick Hosken
Caveboy: Night in the Park, Kiss in the Dark
Caveboy deserved better from 2020. The Montreal-based indie-pop trio dropped Night in the Park, Kiss in the Dark — their years-in-the-making debut album — on January 31. Between one bandmate falling ill at the start of their 2020 tour and the global COVID-19 pandemic, the group had barely a month to promote the record IRL. And it's a damn shame. Infused with lush, '80s-inspired synths and infectious beats, Night in the Park dazzles from first note to last. Its tracklist has everything: introspective ballads ("Find Me," "Guess I've Changed"), sex-positive anthems ("Silk for Gold," "Landslide"), and dance floor-ready bangers ("Obsessed," "Hide Your Love"). In an alternate timeline, I'm knocking back tequila sodas at a dimly lit nightclub and shrieking in delight when the DJ plays "Obsessed." – Sam Manzella
JoJo: Good to Know
I don't know how JoJo managed to release three versions of her latest album and have it still remain so slept on. Clocking in at just under 30 minutes, Good to Know, her first release since her 2018 re-recordings is a solid and concise look at how much she's grown as a songwriter, storyteller, and vocalist. While she traverses typical subject matter – alcoholic indulgence, no-good men, immaculate vibes – it's also clear that she's crafted her own slice of R&B sound that's so patently unique that the oft-repeated "Wait, JoJo is back?" jokes simply hold no ground anymore. She's here to stay. – Carson Mlnarik
The disrespect of 2020 on the year's best dance-floor albums, from Future Nostalgia to What's Your Pleasure, will only make the inevitable return to the nightlife that much more thrilling. The entirety of Duckwrth's most audacious album yet, SuperGood, should feel just as betrayed: It's a sprawling effort across rhythms, concoctions of electronic, disco-funk, and soul that deserved strobe lights. "World on Wheels" is simply one of the year's most freely feel-good jams, begging for you to head to the skating rink – you know, once they're open. – Terron Moore
Elysia Crampton: ORCARARA 2010
While many of this year's leading experimental musicians veered at times towards legible genrefication – Arca's distorted reggaeton-pop on KiCk i, Yves Tumor's glam-rock turn with Heaven to a Tortured Mind – Elysia Crampton's output remained ever formless and fragementary. The producer's fifth album, ORCARARA 2010, was originally crafted to accompany an installation at the 2018 Biennale de l'Image en Mouvement in Geneva, trading narrative frameworks for sparse soundscapes that envelop and overwhelm. There are few times where a beat appears, and when it does, it rages as a thunderous maelstrom of drums ("Secret Ravine," "Spring of Wound"), giving way to sparkling expanses of burbling synths and piano keys ("Homeless") that refuse to hold any true shape until eventually dissolving into nothingness. For Crampton, who is Aymara (a tribe indigenous to present-day Bolivia) and dedicates her album to an inmate firefighter named Paul Sousas, ORCARARA 2010 is a delicate, personal reckoning with intergenerational trauma and the deeply ingrained systems that continue to oppress people in the United States and abroad. – Coco Romack
Sault: Untitled (Black Is) & Untitled (Rise)
Here's what we know about Sault, the mysterious British music collective with millions of streams on their nocturnal, rhythmic, and bewitching assortment of tunes. On Juneteenth, the group – purportedly based around U.K. producer Inflo – released its first untitled album, (Black Is), via a name-your-price model, with proceeds going to charity, and with a clear message: "We present our first 'Untitled' album to mark a moment in time where we as Black People, and of Black Origin are fighting for our lives." Musically moving between funk, soul, subterranean R&B, and more, the 20 tracks comprise a powerful statement – one Sault followed up three months later with yet another untitled album, (Rise). Taken together, the pair of recordings mark a crucial year characterised by protests against racial injustice and frank, long-overdue conversations about equity. "Maybe you're uncomfortable / With the fact we're waking up," goes the haunting "Uncomfortable." "Why do you keep shooting us? / How do you turn hate to love?" – Patrick Hosken
The Ivy: We Move Faster at Night
Armani Caesar: The Liz
Ryan Beatty: Dreaming of David
Boldy James & The Alchemist: The Price of Tea in China
A.G. Cook: Apple
The Avalanches: We Will Always Love You
This article originally appeared on MTV.com. It's been edited for local eyes.