In a year when concerts and festivals were canceled, album releases delayed, and much of the music industry felt on more financially shaky ground than ever, the music remained. Some turned to past favorites as a balm during these times, but largely it was the artists and industry figures that pivoted or adapted that provided warm comfort to the people that needed it.
It could have meant staying up until midnight on a Taylor Swift release night (which, somehow, happened TWICE this year) just to react in real-time with friends and strangers you couldn’t see in public. It could have been dancing in your own apartment to Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia or blasting Lil Uzi Vert’s long-delayed Eternal Atake, proving that event albums still felt like events in different circumstances. And it could have meant logging into unique streaming events, ranging from a new Travis Scott Fortnite concert, a Post Malone Nirvana covers set, or repurposed past footage from festivals big (Coachella, Rolling Loud) and small (Iceland Airwaves, Pickathon).
Resilience is impactful, and it can be contagious. And seeing artists like Megan Thee Stallion, Fiona Apple, and Phoebe Bridgers all thrive in their own release moments is nothing short of inspirational. Even during the summer, when thousands took to the streets in one of the biggest moments of protest in decades, musicians joined in both physical protest (Ariana Grande, Kehlani) and musical (Leon Bridges, Denzel Curry). Music was there when we needed it most in 2020, and bonds that form between artist and fan will be all the stronger because of it. – Philip Cosores, Music Editor