This category is for surf groups that don't feel like they need to closely imitate the sounds of yesteryear, who carve out their own sound and identity. I don't know if I've ever crammed this category with so many records as this year -- and this is after several difficult cuts. Maybe I need to be more ruthless, or maybe there was just so much to love. I like to think it's the latter. Here are what I consider to be the cream of the crop for 2020.
You know what they say about the eventual fate of good things, and in this case it's cool skulls on The Apaches album covers. It does not appear that this was their secret ingredient, however as this is my favorite record yet from them.
The Apaches hail from Arizona and a bit of open-air desert sound definitely creeps into this. Sure, it's definitely surf and not spaghetti western or anything, but it tends to deal in solitude more than it does in adrenaline. I believe all of these are original compositions and they have a good sense of when to play pretty ("Grim Fandango" is a good example) and when to punch ("Space Chase").
Based on their facebook presence, Arizona's The Apaches haven't been around for too long, but they've got one EP to show for it. This EP has 4 originals, pretty straight-ahead surf perhaps with a bit of a lonely desert vibe.