Just some rambling notes…….
I have never compiled as many best-of mixes as I have done this year. Given that I have been based at home since the middle of February and listened to tons of music I should not really be surprised. This has meant a record (no pun intended) number of blog posts in 2020, double the number of views and distinct visitors whilst there is also a 189% increase in Twitter followers. So a big thanks to everyone who visits these pages and streams the Mixcloud mixes. You are a quiet bunch though with next to no comments made. Must be all that music to listen to eh?
So 2020? A bad year for planet earth but a good one for music being made despite the severe constraints of the COVID pandemic. Of course, the lack of live gigs has had a considerable impact on musicians livelihoods but at least Bandcamp rolled out it’s Bandcamp Friday fundraising initiative. And the good news for musicians is that it will continue into next year. A doth of the cap in Bandcamp’s direction. And before anyone asks I still have not got used to Soundcloud so that was a wasted resolution back in January!
Contrast that initiative to Spotify’s pitiful response which they termed the Artists Fundraising Pick – tips to you and me. Just a thought? What if Spotify paid a decent rate per stream instead. Hmmm. No chance of that so I cancelled my subscription and then this news saw me even delete my free accounts.
We do have some thanks to give to Covid-19 mind. In March Spanish label Pretty Olivia Records finally released the Violet Hours track Alone With Everyone. Originally recorded in 2013 it finally saw the light of day as part of the Music For Gloves project. The song is worth more than the 12m the British Government paid for an excel xls (97-2003) spreadsheet used to monitor the country’s track and trace system!
At least I got to a couple of gigs before the pandemic struck the UK. Otoboke Beavers annual show was a blast as ever but sadly I did not get to see The Jeanines as they were one of many shows to be cancelled. The same fate befell the cracking line up that was Even As We Speak, Jetstream Pony and The Hannah Barberas at the Lexington in March.
I have really enjoyed the output of both Shiny Happy Records and Howlin’ Banana Records this year. I have started to subscribe to the latter on Bandcamp (where else?) and would do so for the former if they implemented it. I mentioned Mixcloud earlier and some of the shows I can recommend come from Emma’s House, Grrrls Like Us and TheCosmas. And people of a certain age (or younger) may enjoy the EverythingIndieOver40 community.
In November 2019 I asked on Twitter about the state of indie-pop in the UK. I got a flurry of replies and there is even a youtube playlist I created dedicated to that theme. I asked the same question a year on and I got no responses and just one on the follow-up post. The effects of Covid? Who knows. I have an idea around this so stayed tuned and if it comes off I will announce it on this blog as and when.
So on to the best of 2020, part three and the final selection of highlights from this year for me.
What were your musical highlights of 2020? Reply in the comments below. Oh. You won’t will you? ;o) Happy new year!
Full Track Listing:
Fawns of Love – Someday (Robin Guthrie Version) (Taken from the single Someday (Robin Guthrie Version))
No Suits in Miami – What We Have (Taken from the single What We Have)
Pastel Coast – Dial (Taken from the single Dial)
Telecom Falls – Apart (Taken from the single Apart)
Mo Dotti – Inverted Skies (Taken from the Blurring EP)
Jetstream Pony – If Not Now, When? (Taken from the single If Not Now, When? / Yellow Pills)
Nausea – Sun For You (Taken from A Split Tape: Gingerlys/Nausea)
The Reds, Pinks & Purples – Mountain Lake Park (Taken from the now unavailable single, Upside Down in an Empty Room)
Loca Polka – Surrender (Taken from Shiny Happy Fanzine 04 – Please Rain Fall Compilation)
Arista Fiera – Tu Familia (Taken from the album Cromatismo Doméstico)
The Slow Summits – Safe and Sorry (Taken from the single Safe and Sorry)
Stomp Talk Modstone – Hurt (Taken from the single Hurt)
Boy With Apple – Green Eyes (Taken from the Walk in the Park EP)
Lorelei – Pale (Taken from the single Pale)
Relay Tapes – Dream Colour (Taken from the Early Morning Abstract EP)
Peach Gardens – Wintry (Taken from the Peach Gardens EP)
Mashmellow – Share It (Taken from the Someday Club EP)
Terry vs. Tori – Psychic Reader (Taken from the album Heathers)
Latitude – Thursday is the New Sunday (Taken from the album Mystic Hotline)
Love Tan – Why Why Why Why (Taken from the Love Tan cassette)
The Hannah Barberas – Every Beat of My Heart (taken from the Fallow Days EP)
The Churchhill Garden – Light (Taken from the single Light)
Tapeworms – Safety Crash (Taken from the album Funtastic)
Flowerbed – For You (Taken from the Hollow EP)
bdrmm – A Reason To Celebrate (GLOK Remix) (Taken from The Bedroom Tapes EP)