Wall of Sound Presents: “2020 YEAR IN REVIEW” – By Wall of Sound Writer Caitin MacDonald

There’s not much to say about this year other than, what the fuck?? Honestly…

Some good shit happened too though, especially music wise so here’s my rundown. Be warned, my obsession with PolarisThe Death of Me will be revealed.

TOP 5 RELEASES OF 2020?

5. Vilify – Clarity EP
4. Ocean Grove – Flip Phone Fantasy
3. alt.- dysfunctional
2. Make Them Suffer – How To Survive A Funeral
1. Polaris – The Death of Me

 TOP 10 SONGS OF 2020?

10. Make Them Suffer ‘The Attendant’
9. Polaris ‘Above My Head’
8. Movements ‘Skin To Skin’
7. Eskimo Callboy ‘Hypa Hypa’
6. Three Days Grace ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’

5. The Ghost Inside ‘Aftermath’
4. Polaris ‘Black Fingernails, Red Wine’ – Triple J Like A Version
3. alt. ‘Chasing Safety’
2. Make Them Suffer ‘How To Survive A Funeral’
1. Polaris ‘Vagabond’

BEST MUSIC VIDEOS OF 2020

Eskimo Callboy ‘Hypa Hypa’

The Atomic Beau Project ‘Cellar Door’

LAST GIG YOU CAUGHT BEFORE COVID

POLARIS!!! I was supposed to go to Jinjer in March, but I ended up sick with Bronchitis and moped in bed instead. Polaris was a fantastic time though, my obsession with The Death of Me was already pretty intense when I saw it live and I moshed with Ebony, Browny and Browny’s brother Jesse. Best people to see the best band with and even if it hadn’t ended up being the last gig for many months, it would still have been in the top 5 most memorable gigs list.

HOW DID COVID/LOCKDOWNS AFFECT YOU IN 2020?

Where do I start?? *laughs in trauma*

My day job is in travel, more specifically social media management for a large travel company. Overnight, I watched most international and domestic bookings cancel and suddenly the company went from booking travel to having to process hundreds of thousands of refunds. Then 40 or so of the 60ish people in my department were stood down to be eventually made redundant. Angry customers and job uncertainty made up most of my year, sometimes I secretly hoped I would be stood down, feeling guilty and wondering which stress would be worse- my job or not having a job. The plus side is that I am now part of a small marketing team doing incredible things to help a company stay afloat, and I am learning more than I ever did when there were 60 of us and I am proud to be part of the small tight-knit team.

I also solidified some incredible friendships, some with work people I hadn’t gotten the chance to know well in the broader team, Wall of Sound and music peeps and just in life in general. So it definitely wasn’t all bad.

Another thing that got me through was Tiktok; I would have lost my mind without it. I know that sounds crazy, but that app brings me so much joy, and at some times, the only happiness I was getting was from watching Tiktoks.

@cait_2tone

Another song I am obsessed with! #fyp #metal #metalcore #heavymetal #music #polaris #vagabond #ausmusic

♬ original sound – Cait 2tone

BIGGEST THING YOU LEARNED ABOUT YOURSELF THIS YEAR?

Lockdown itself was actually fun, and while I like socialising, not having the pressure to do so when I wasn’t feeling up to it helped my anxiety. I learned that I am very easily overstimulated and that I need to give myself a break and say no to more things when my brain isn’t up to it.

I am lucky to live with my sister, her partner and my fantastic partner so I have fond memories of doing puzzles, having some wild at-home party nights and dancing to SAINt JNH ‘Roses (Imanbek Remix)’ during lockdown.

I learned that what I thought was poor mental health due to uni was actually poor mental health in general and its heavy to say but this year I fought my brain more to stay alive than I have in a long time. As usual, music got me through, and I am damn proud of the reviews I wrote this year, and will never take being part of the WoS team for granted.

I also did a few interviews, which was a scary goal for me. I am finally getting more comfortable with them. Interviewing Wade and Dallas from Alexisonfire is getting closer and closer with every interview.

I knew this, but 2020 reiterated that no matter what, if you have rad people in your life, shit is always a bit easier.

FAV NEW BAND/MUSICAL DISCOVERED IN 2020

alt.! I have played their EP so many times this year. I feel like this band is so underrated and people will be sorry they slept on them. Please, I implore you, if you haven’t already- give their EP a listen!

NEXT BIG AUSSIE ACT TO WATCH IN 2021

Again alt. – mark my words! Also Vilify – their Clarity EP was a late release but definitely worth the wait and The Atomic Beau Project- such a fun, theatrical band who are doing something a bit different and got me excited when I was feeling burnt out by music.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2021?

Finally seeing alt. live and seeing Make Them Suffer- so keen to fangirl over Booka. Seeing Polaris again because I know The Death of Me even more now and seeing what wild theatrics The Atomic Beau Project bring to their live shows. Festivals will hopefully go ahead, and there are already so many great festivals and tours planned- it’s going to be a busy year! I am also looking forward to doing video and audio interviews because I feel that while I love writing, my personality (read weirdness) comes through much more in other mediums. I also started a little bit of a Tiktok account which I want to put more time into.

In my personal life- I am getting a life-changing surgery this month, and I will be standing with my best friends as a bridesmaid when they get married. So many amazing things ahead!

Words by Caitlin MacDonald. Insta: @cait_2tone

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