It’s been a year of many endings, but Beats Per Minute’s is one of re-birth. For those many of you who probably don’t know our history, BPM was run as a passion project between 2008 and 2013, and then went dormant when ‘real life’ caught up and other responsibilities took priority.

Nonetheless, many of us continued writing about music elsewhere, just because that’s what we love to do. A few of us spent some happy years at The 405, but when that website met the same fate as BPM at the end of 2019, we were left homeless again.

At this point, the buried dream of rebooting BPM started sprouting once again. This time, however, we actually did it, re-launching in March just as the world was going into lockdown. It wasn’t planned, but boy has BPM turned out to be a great solace and distraction this year.

Perhaps because of the amount of extra time we’ve been able to commit to it – but also because of the ever-growing team – it has blossomed into something much greater and something that makes us more proud than we could have imagined. This culminated last week with our Best of 2020 lists, which were an extremely rewarding group collaboration that we hoped you enjoyed.

But no individual is fully represented by a publication’s overall lists, and since BPM is all about the team effort, we wanted to cede some space to our writers to give their own personal round-ups of 2020 – musically, and beyond.

You can see the contents and contributors below. You may notice – and this is something that is always in the back of our minds – our lack of diversity, something we hope to tackle going forward. Perhaps you reading this right now might want to join our team, and help us grow in the new year. We’d love to hear from you, no matter who you are. Shoot an email to and and say hello!

Now, on with the show.


Chase McMullen’s 2020 Roundup
Rob’s 20 albums and 20 performances that made 2020 manageable
Kyle Kohner’s Top 35 Albums of 2020
Todd Dedman’s 2020 Round-up
Happy Hiking: My Musical Landscapes From 2020, by Ray Finlayson
Tim Sentz’s 20-for-20
Jeremy J. Fisette’s 2020 Round-up
To The End of the World Together, by Gareth O’Malley
Ana Leorne’s 2020 Round-up
John Wohlamcher’s 2020 Nutshell
“People, I’ve been listening to music”: Andy Johnston’s Best Albums of 2020
Microphones in 2020: Aleksandr Smirnov reflects on his Album of the Year