It’s that time of the year. The obligatory feature of favourite music releases of 2020 so far. Over the past couple of months, we’ve searched through Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and Spotify and discovered a load of fabulous gems and marvellous masterpieces. Now we’re here to share our findings. Here’s part one of many. Kiss.




All you psychedelic rock lovers need to get on this. Based in Florida, JAIALAI’s latest effort, Say So, is a blend of instrumental jams, whimsical and literary-inspired lyrics, and dreamy guitar effects. Technically released in 2019, Public Works Records recently reissued the album on red vinyl to celebrate its one year anniversary. We bought it, and it’s been on repeat in the Independent Music News office for the past couple of weeks. Grab a copy here.  

Bdrmm – Bedroom


We’re loving the music coming out of Hull in 2020. There’s post-punk band Autosuggestion with Live At Dark Daze, punk rockers Spilt Milk, and IMN faves Bdrmm with their belter of a record, Bedroom. The ten-track album was recorded late last year at The Nave Studio in Leeds by Alex Greaves (Working Men’s Club, Bo Ningen) and mastered in Brooklyn by Heba Kadry (Slowdive, Beach House), and is a deep dive into the trials and tribulations of a twenty-something. Expect echoes of krautrock and post-punk, shoegaze stylings, and an unintentional concept album full of sadness, oppression and grief. 


SWEARS – Say Nothing


Listening to SWEARS’ Say Nothing is comparable to robbing a bank; the adrenaline will take over your mind and induce mischievous thoughts. Taken from their most recent EP, Seersucker, this is a band drenched in grunge, punk, doom, and pop sounds, and they won’t be putting on a coat anytime soon. The future’s bright for this act. 

Mandown – We Want Blood


We’ve been a massive fan of Mandown since they formed in 2020, and have featured their music on IMN numerous times. Pairing up with producer Chris Coulter (IDLES, Arcane Roots), We Want Blood is the band’s debut EP, and it’s one hell of a ride. From the turbulent rollercoaster of heavy rock on Try Or Die to the emotionally driven Kiss, this is an act full of energy and a lot to say. We can’t wait to see them live, and will headbanging in the front row when gigs are back up and running. 

Dirty Mike – Debra Deborah

Dirty Mike

Another band fresh out the oven is Glasgow-based Dirty Mike. Drawing inspiration from ’90s and early ’00s punk rock and pop-punk, their latest single, Debra Deborah, is an infectious mix of catchy lyrics, addictive guitar riffs, and rebellious tones. Their music will slap you round the face, and you’ll like it. Kinky.  

The Velvet Hands – When This Is Over

The Velvet Hands

When This Is Over by The Velvet Hands is a song we urge you to buy and cherish. Raising money for the Music Venue Trust to help maintain pubs, clubs and venues up and down the UK during the pandemic, this is such a noble cause by the Cornwall-based outfit, and the track is fantastic too. The lyrics speak of better times, celebrating the end of COVID-19 with a nice haircut, a trip to the pub with friends and family, and gigs. Brit-pop isn’t dead! It’s reemerging in the form of The Velvet Hands. 

Yowl – Sunken Boy


If Chris Isaak somehow had a child with Adam Green, Sunken Boy would the result, and he’d be sitting in his room listening to Yowl. Taken from their latest EP, Atrophy, poet and frontman Gabriel Byrde captures the frustration of everyday folk in a dreamy soundscape of guitar effects and drum patter, while the accompanying video is a bastardised hybrid of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia and South Park. We attempted a fan parody in the office and ended up in A&E with glue burns. Not good. 

Rowan – Moonlight


Another fan favourite here at IMN, Rowan are an indie band with bags of potential. Released just last month, their newest single, Moonlight, is four minutes and thirteen seconds too short. Press play, and you’ll understand why. It’s one of those songs that brightens up even the worst of days. Rowan, we love you! 

Henry And The Waiter – Little Paradise

Henry And The Waiter

Put your shorts and favourite band shirt on, and slap on a little sun lotion, it’s time to enjoy the beautifully uplifting electronic folk song Little Paradise by Henry And The Waiter. It might be gloomy outside, but Henry presents an enriching slice of joy and offers hope in these uncertain times. 


Fast Friends – HI T LO IQ

Fast Friends

To end this feature on a high, we have Fast Friends and their debut EP, HI T LO IQ. If you’re a fan of Weezer on cocaine, Pavement on acid, and rock that will blow your socks off, then sell them on eBay, these lads are for you. We’ll do anything to see them perform live; sell our soul, eat slime, even punch Boris Johnson or Donald Trump in the face. Definitely worth the jail time to get tinnitus listening to Everybody Will Be Forgotten from two large speakers. Peace out. 

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