2020 started off looking incredibly bright for the Portsmouth music scene off the back of a very promising 2019. Gigs were popping up left, right and centre with it often being hard to choose between which gigs to go to as so many overlapped. This was prematurely halted mid-March, but that thankfully didn’t stop Portsmouth’s musicians from releasing some brilliant music across the course of the year.
The Portsmouth music scene has so much potential and is one of the most overlooked in the country. In my opinion, the city boasts one of the best/thriving underground music scenes on the South Coast (outside of Brighton anyway) and the amount of exciting, emerging new talent coming out of Portsmouth is unparalleled. If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that Portsmouth’s music scene won’t be defeated by a lack of live performances, there’s always going to be a forward-looking determination and a need to create.
So based upon this, it was very hard to create this list as there are many tracks that could’ve made the cut, the standard of music coming out of Portsmouth is very high. However, when reading this, please bear in mind that we are a blog that covers alternative, post-punk, indie-rock, dream-pop, psychedelic and experimental music. This definitely isn’t a be all and end all list.
First up on our list is Mix It All Up’s readers choice track of the year! We ran a poll for 25 days from the end of November to 19th December that invited people to vote for their favourite Portsmouth track of 2020. It was just for a bit of fun to see what the public thought as there was so much brilliant music released across the Portsmouth music scene. It was neck and neck for a while, but the winners took the lead across the last 48 hours by just 4 votes!
*drumroll* Here is the winner! *drumroll*
Hallan – Modern England
Congratulations to Hallan for winning the public vote with their track ‘Modern England’. The track was released back in August as their first single since being signed to Nice Swan Records and the track also received national airplay on BBC6 Music, BBC Radio 1 and beyond!
The other top four bands that were voted for were already on my list and still appear at some point on this list. But the following are our personal top picks/favourite tracks that were released by Portsmouth bands/artists this year! (The rest of this list is in no order, whatsoever.)
Web – Intimidation and Shame
The Stone Birds – Nothing Ever Changes
Megan Linford – Lessons
Tom Bryan – Strange Undone
Sienas – Closure
Ban Summers – Quite Right
Capital Fuzz – Buzzkiller
Mammalia Blue – Satori Street
Fast Trains – Sea Change
Fake Empire – The Arena of the Unwell
Samuel Lee Diaper – Something Turns Into Nothing
Barbudo – Magnolia Mansion
Drusila – KLU
High on Neon – Lisbon
Here is a Spotify playlist featuring all of the above tracks (apart from Fast Trains – Sea Change, which is available over on Youtube)!