I received an email from Modern Sky UK yesterday morning celebrating their triumphs from 2020! Yes, their triumphs! Over the course of the last 24 hours it got me thinking. During these uncertain, worrying times, over the next few weeks I really want to highlight the positive and encouraging things that have happened this year, because believe it or not like Modern Sky have pointed out, there has being triumphs! The Covid impact on the music industry this year may seem like the bleakest picture, but it’s not being a completely hopeless one.
Research has proven that music is incredibly important to our well-being and over the past year, despite adversity, we’ve seen some truly amazing and inspiring instances where people have come together to keep the music scene going. Good things have continued to flourish including releases, social distanced shows and online performances, all of which of course should be celebrated and shared because lets face it, it hasn’t being easy!
Who are Modern Sky?
Modern Sky UK is a company now operating across records, publishing, live, video and management. Modern Sky was founded by LiHui Shen in 1997 and is one of the largest independent record labels in China. It also promotes music festivals in the territory under the banner of Strawberry Festivals and MDSK. In 2016, Modern Sky struck a partnership deal with Sound City, the company, founded by Dave Pichilingi, behind music conference and showcase festivals such as Liverpool Sound City, New York Sound City and, most recently, Sound City Korea. LiHui Shen and Pichilingi launched Modern Sky UK as part of that global deal and partnership. Modern Sky UK are home to some of the biggest emerging talent to come out of the UK including Red Rum Club, The Blinders, The Lathums and many more.
MODERN SKYS 2020 TRIUMPHS – JANUARY
Kicking off 2020 with a bang, the brilliant quintet, Paris Youth Foundation, released their single ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’.
In February, the Wigan four-piece The Lathum’s embarked on their first-ever UK tour; the same tour they managed to sell out in just two minutes the previous autumn. The bands live reputation has won over bands such as Blossoms, who invited the band as tour support for their 2020 arena tour. Because of Coronavirus the band now have rearranged dates with Blossoms and Paul Weller after lockdown. The band have also made the BBC Sounds #SoundsOf2021 long list.
One of Liverpool’s most exciting breakthroughs, Red Rum Club released ‘Live In Liverpool’ on vinyl only, immortalising their hometown headline show from the previous September.
March was a big release month for Modern Sky, The Lottery Winners released their self-titled debut album.
Catholic Action brought their 2nd album ‘Celebrated By Strangers’.
The Slow Readers Club received a label-high chart position of #9 with ‘The Joy Of The Return’.
Modern Sky Management artist The Lathums also released ‘Fight On’ EP as well as signing with Island Records!
Following the release of ‘Crocodile Tears’ in February, Abbie Ozard returned in April with energetic single ‘Pink Sky (Endless Summer)’.
Jamie Webster graced our ears with his 3rd original single ‘Grinding The Gears’.
Recorded at home during lockdown, Okiro released debut single ‘Newse’ and announced his debut album ‘City Pets’.
A year after their debut album, summer lockdown was brightened in June with the highly anticipated return of SPINN releasing their new single ‘Stuck On A Feeling’.
The Lathums release ‘The Memories We Make’ also reached the Top 20 Albums Chart despite only being released on vinyl.
The Blinders unleashed their aptly-titled second studio album ‘Fantasies Of A Stay At Home Psychopath’.
The end of summer brought around Jamie Webster’s debut album ‘We Get By’. Securing Modern Sky’s second Top 10 Album of the year by peaking at #6, the album also reached #1 in both the Official Folk Charts and iTunes Chart.
Torquay quintet Tourists announced their highly anticipated psych-tinged debut album ‘Another State’.
The Sway made the end of lockdown just that bit sweeter with ‘Don’t You Wanna Be (Happy)’.
With the an album title and artwork to match the spooky season, Red Rum Club released their second album ‘The Hollow of Humdrum’!
The Lathums also performed a landmark livestream from the iconic Blackpool Tower.
The Jacques unveiled their post-punk full-length masterpiece ‘The Four Five Three’.
Disco-funk pioneers Patawawa released their latest bop ‘Disco Video’.
Kicking off the festive season, not one but two of our artists released Christmas singles! Holly Macve brought her original Christmas track ‘Wonder’ to the masses.
Red Rum Club covered WHAM’s iconic ‘Last Christmas’.
The main man Dirty Freud treated us with hard-hitting EP ‘Love In The Backwater’.
To wrap up 2020 Modern Sky have created two playlists over on Modern Sky Spotify: ‘Staff Picks 2020’ which includes all our favourite songs from both inside and outside the label this year.
‘2020 Releases’ packed with all the releases from across Modern Sky’s roster this year!
In 2020, Modern Sky also partnered with Run On Records and have gained some amazing artists at the label, including; The Coral, Cobain Jones, Rianne Downey and Jamie Pollock.
We wish Modern Sky and all their artists all the best for 2021 and thank them for continuing to churn out some of the best new music the UK has to offer in such difficult circumstances.
Keep up-to-date with them here:
JAN/DEC TAKEN FROM THE MODERN SKY ROUND UP