The tidal wave of garbage that is 2020 continues to wash over us, keeping everyone masked and nervous. (And if you’re not masked, seriously, get on that, this isn’t hectoring, it’s trying to save lives.) Luckily, the one thing there might be more of this year than bad news is good music. As always, it’s impossible to keep up with the constant stream of amazing new singles, EPs, albums, mix tapes, reissues, remixes, and on and on—but some new music is simply too compelling to not call attention to itself. While this shouldn’t be considered a comprehensive assemblage of everything good coming out of speakers in the first half of 2020, it’s a solid place to start if you’re looking to check out the collections of musical work that moved us, inspired us, and sometimes pushed us to pump our fists in the air, bang our heads, or just smile a bit more widely under that mask.
For more of The A.V. Club’s favorite music, check out our list of the 25 best songs of 2020 so far. (To highlight as many artists as possible, we made sure there is no overlap between the two lists.)