This week’s poll ended in a tie so the lovely Charlotte Young had the honour of breaking it. She chose best of british: the 2020 edition and trust me, it’s a good’un. I’ve been back and forth a few times over whether to make a ‘best of 2020’ playlist, because I’ve listened to more music this year than I have in my whole life (probably). I’ve discovered hundreds of new artists and listened to thousands of new songs. How on Earth would I narrow the scope enough to curate a playlist?!
Then, it hit me. I don’t share exclusively British country music here, but I’m thrilled and so humbled to be able to champion so many fantastic artists from my homeland. I’m excited beyond words to see that my favourite genre isn’t just existing but thriving despite the pandemic and lockdowns. And so, this week I’m sharing the first part of best of british: the 2020 edition. The only criteria for the playlist(s) is that UK artists released the song(s) in 2020. Naturally, there are hundreds of songs that didn’t make the cut, but of all those which did, read on for my weekly highlights.
My first highlight is the song I have been (probably) the most excited for all year – and that is Praying For Rain. I first heard this song when Charlotte played me a demo on her phone and I loved it immediately. It’s so on-brand for Charlotte and her performance of it is phenomenal – on this full-band recording and when you see her live with just an acoustic guitar. She never fails to put on a show, and this song is absolutely superb.
My second highlight is M.I.L.A. Emilia Quinn has been one of the best discoveries of the year for me. Her stage presence is fantastic – even on a live stream – but if you’re lucky enough to see her live, she will absolutely blow you away. This song absolutely floored me the first time I heard it and I can’t wait to be in the room when she plays this live someday.
My last highlight of the week is Heartbreak Cult. This hasn’t left my personal playlists since its release. It’s bright but mellow, uplifting with a quiet storm beneath the surface, and has shades of Belle & Sebastian and Ryan Adams that take me back to my teenage years. In short, it’s exactly the kind of song I wanted for the summer, and I’m still listening to it in December.
Thanks for joining me for the ride this year. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty more to come before the year is out – and a lot planned already for 2021. Come and join the conversation on our social media and let me know your highlights!