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Hidden Gems 2020

| Hidden Gems

By Russell Miller

Published Friday, 01 January 2021 10:46

If you find yourself reading this, then congratulations are in order; you have survived 2020. In a year that found itself swallowed whole by a worldwide pandemic, one would be well within their right mind to want to jettison all three-hundred and sixty-six days into the humanity’s collective trash bin of “nope”. That said, it also stands to reason that some music might have gone unnoticed…and what a shame would that be for us here at Underground Press to let that stand. Fret not, we’ve collected a few bits of happiness that you can bring with you into 2021 so shall we begin?

Debut Gem


Sinatra once said about New York City, NY that if you can make it there you can make it anywhere. PANCE PONY might not have “made it” in the sense Sinatra meant it, but if her debut EP Metamorphosized is any indication the music world should prepare itself some room in the stable…get it? Do not let that horrible pun distract you from the fact that this New Yorker packed a ton of songwriting prowess into their 2020 offering. Each song springs to life with an eruption of infectious vocal flourishes and uplifting instrumentation that would uplift anyone in the lowest of lows. The EP is only six tracks in length but it punches about its weight class in execution and cohesiveness in a way only an award-winning songwriter could so keep an ear out going forward!

Single Gem

Usually to have a “signature sound” there would be a wealth of content in an artist’s discography, all of which bearing some consistent musical or sonic character that within the first couple of bars you know whose song is playing. EMERGER has patented their sound with a modest cache of releases, and their 2020 single ‘State of Mind’ is no exception. The South African duo have a jazzy sound with a futuristic pop sheen with a little bit of a bop to it as well. Emma de Goede’s vocal performance is always sharp and teams effortlessly with Gerry Mathee’s lush compositions displaying a degree of mastery over a melody so distinct you would swear both of these immensely creative souls went to school for it.

Album Gem

Don’t call it a comeback…well, ok you can call it a comeback. Hiatuses are always difficult for fans of artists, but they’re no walk in the park for the artist’s themselves. Some try to reinvent themselves in an effort to chase musical trends, some chase ghosts of their past success, and some wind up not knowing how they should return and end up releasing a mess. SILENTIUM did none of the above with their 2020 return to action in the form of Motiva. Clocking in at a modest nine tracks of sensational symphonic metal, there is zero evidence that this band took twelve years off between releases. This was a statement release in more ways than one as it showcases the band’s maturation musically and lyrically. Where past releases might have been one-note or cliché for the genre, Motiva pushes boundaries and erases any doubt fans might have had in what the band had left in the tank.

Honourable Mentions

This year we’re going to spread the love with some honourable mentions. Below are some other artists we think are worth checking out!

CECE VEE: (South Africa) Why pick one instrument when you can play them all and sing your heart out with a voice so full of emotion that even tears cry? Listen to her reinvent pop as only she can! 

MEDICINE BOY: (Germany/South Africa) These veterans of psychedelic rock released their final album as a duo back in in the spring and it was everything their fans could ever hope for. Listen to the smoky-intimate ‘Alina’ here!

DÖ: (Finland) Metal does not get much darker, or more massive than this. There are some delicious riffs out there in space so let these galactic metallers showed you the way earlier this year!

THE FISMITS: (South Africa) Rumours of indie rock’s demise were premature. These guys bring it back to the garage with some seriously rocking tunes…listen for yourself!

Updated on:
>> Saturday, 24 September 2022 09:32

Various Artists, Hidden Gems


Want more Hidden Gems? Check out our essential articles below...


Emerger 'State of Mind' - Single Gem

Silentium 'Motiva' - Album Gem

Pance Pony 'Metamorphosized' - Debut

Hidden Gems' - Honourable Mentions


Hidden Gems 2019

Hidden Gems 2018

Hidden Gems - 2017