Uke Hunt’s 2020 Ukulele Favourites

It’s award season and time to hand out the most coveted of them all The UkeHunties.

Ukulele Record of 2020: Hula Hi-Fi – The Isle of Forgotten Dreams

I love the mix of sounds on this “Hawaiian noir” album. Ukuleles and steal guitars are masterfully blended with dark electronica, moody vocals and lush orchestration from the Brno Philharmonic. It’s a real treat for the ears. And be sure to check out the covers they’ve been posting on Bandcamp recently.

Runners Up
Jake Shimabukuro – Trio
George Elmes – Soprano Ukulele
João Tostes – Live Ukulele Here, There & Everywhere

Ukulele Song of 2020: Charming Disaster – Baba Yaga

I’ve long been a fan of Charming Disaster’s darkly humorous songs and they knocked it out the park with this one.

Runners Up
Clem Snide & Scott Avett – Roger Ebert
Desirée Dawson – Hey Brother
Hula Hi-Fi – Crooked Hearts
B.S Roberts – Fairytale
Dani Joy & Daniel Ho – Strange World
Ukulele Death Squad – Let Me Down

Instrumental Performance of 2020: Vivian Kim – Sibelius Etude op.76 No.2

I don’t know anything about Vivian Kim but she’s been killing it with the classical ukulele covers this year. I highly recommend giving her YouTube channel a sub and listening to her version of Vivaldi’s Concerto For Lute in D Major.

Runners Up
Jake Shimabukuro – When The Masks Come Down
Annier Trio – Bistro Fada
Nicolas Fingerstyle Ukulele – Wave
U Can Uke & Vinícius Vivas – The Reason
Vinícius Vivas and Friends – There Will Be Some Changes Made
Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain – Limehouse Blues

Ukulele Cover 2020: Zoë Bestel – Teardrop

Zoe’s weekly live streams on her YouTube channel have been an oasis of loveliness in the grimness of lockdown. And her cover of Massive Attack’s Teardrop is a regular favourite.

Runners Up
Tricity Vogue & All Girl Swing Band – Rasputin
Claire Hastings and Grant Dinwoodie – Wild Mountain Thyme
Dani Joy – There, There
Bobby Alu – Lavalava Samoa
Walk off the Earth – Thunderstruck

Favourite Song Tabbed: The Beach Boys – God Only Knows

With the very generous support of the Uke Hunt Patreons, I’ve been able to more than double the amount of tabs I’ve been putting out. And this one was a Patreon request. Which made me wonder why I hadn’t done it earlier becsause it’s undoubtedly one of the greatest songs of all time.

Runners Up

Pixies – Where Is My Mind?
Gustavo Santaolalla – The Last of Us Part II Theme
Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine
Dua Lipa – Don’t Start Now
Tiny Tim – Tiptoe Through the Tulips
Kanye West – All of the Lights/Violent Crimes
The Parting Glass

Best Non-Ukulele Record of 2020: Sylvan Esso – Free Love

I have been in floods of tears over this album multiple times this year. It’s so beautiful and poignant I can’t handle it. You can check out my uke arrangement of Rooftop Dancing here.

And if you’re more into folky stuff than electro-pop, check out (Sylvan Esso vocalist) Amelia Meath’s other band Mountain Man.

Runners Up
Waxahatchee – Saint Cloud
Andrianne Lenker – songs
The Strokes – The New Abnormal

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