This year has truly been one that will go down in the history books forever. The population was shut away from all social stimulus and the society almost stopped existing. However music, art, dance and creatives continued to work away behind closed doors, in the garden or in a field near your house and some of it is amazing.
We wanted to find the best music made this year and it dawned on us that most of it was made in lockdown and in people's bedrooms and that's as DIY as it can truly get. You can listen to our list on our radio show with STEAM Radio, or head straight to our playlist to check it all out. From Hip-Hop to experimental drone, we have covered all bases with this list, let us begin.
Superlative X Mr Scruff - Read All About It
Part of the continuing Co-Lab Theory series we have this great hip-hop track from Superlative, who is a regular member of Mouse Outfit. This has been released on Rhythm Lab Records and has got a great response so far this year.
Interplanetary Criminal - Crazy?
Zach, co founder of ATW Records and integral part of the infamous Oi Polloi brings us this fantastic classic dance tune. Straight out of the 90's, but with a perfect modern twist to get new people onto the genre.
Anz - Loos In Twos
Anz making her Hessle Audio debut with a club-ready 3 track EP, this was our favourite tune from it. Renowned for ripping apart genres and putting them all back together from Electro, UK Garage, Jungle and more, underpinning a versatile take on UK club music that is as bright as it is unpredictable.
Luna - Ventus
Debut release from Shifting Spheres in support of Roshni, (a Birmingham based charity empowering BAME women) and UK Black Pride. Showcasing diverse women, trans and non-binary talent in electronic music. A great project and an amazing tune from Luna.
Yaang - Security Dave
Davey Moore and Oliver Duffy bringing dance music an alternative edge making songs about Davey's time as a security guard, listen to the song to see how they did. With a fantastic Street Fighter style video, this a duo to really keep an eye on.
Porij - Dirty Love
Coming straight out of RNCM and straight into stardom these 4 guys have really been making pop bangers from their bedroom. Each respective member of the band records all their parts in their room. The guardian described them as looking like a in house band on the show Sex Education.
Another; Country $$$$ - CH4
Sam Shorter, ex member of Strange Friends began this new project in lockdown due to not being able to get out. Out of that has come this lovely ethereal dance project and CH4 is our favourite song from that.
Mister Strange - Without a Warning
Manchester's answer to San Francisco's Thee Oh Sees, Mister Strange with members like Tom Walmsley (The Fruitones and Gulp Magazine) and Cal (Nile Marr's Man Made) they are a fuzzy garage band who have been making great videos with Wash FIlms and all the artwork done by Tom himself.
Blanketman - Beach Body
Voted by MIMR as the best song of the year we have Blanketman! You can see them playing at Neighbourhood Festival next year, they are an out right great indie band.
Henrietta Rolla Smith - Kamali
British born Ghanaian/Russian/German artists dipping their toe in Afrofuturisticdeutch/Techno/Classical/Detroit Legacy. A real confidence comes with this artist, being able to make 50 second piano based tracks. This particular song is part of a soundtrack to the film Kamali, all about a young female Indian skateboarder.
Friendly Whiskey - Texas
Part of the Whythenshawe collective One6Wave, this is the first single to come out from the band. They have really nailed that Manchester sound with this release, it sounds like a lost Oasis B-side.
Nuptse - Nepalensis
Improvised ambient drones made on the unpredictable synth, Lyra 8. All the sounds on the tune and the album had to be totally planned out because the Lyra 8 is so difficult to work with. Layered with more synthesisers and guitars, the whole album is a treat to the ears, sit in a dark room with some great headphone.
DJ Uchuu - UNIX Girl
25 Year old software developer from Macclesfield, this is one of 7 releases put out on Bandcamp this year and they all use different electronic sounds. The tune we are highlighting use classic Italo disco sounds.
Nat Birchall - Space Time Vortex
Described by Giles Peterson as "one of the best musicians in the UK right now". He is a hidden gem in the European Jazz circuit and has been doing it for ages. This is an album he did totally on his own, playing every single instrument and recording it at home, it's a masterpiece.
Julia Bardo - Never As Tired As When I'm Waking Up
Originally from Brascia in North Italy, Julia came to Manchester and quickly became part of the band Working Men's Club who have shot to fame since their album release earlier this year. We have picked this song from her latest album, which is actually a cover of an LCD Soundsystem tune and it truly takes hold of it and makes it it's own.
Lonelady - Groove It Out
ESG and James Chance have landed in Manchester with this perfect scratch No-Wave tune from Lonelady. Making music on their four track in their room has been the thing keeping them going this year and this is a fantastic song amongst a lot more on the album.
That's all folks! We hope you enjoy the tunes that we have pulled out for best of the year 2020. If there are other songs/bands/musicians you think should be on here then please tell us because we want to hear you!
Keep sweet Manchester.