|We Love... Sneaky Sound System!|
Australian music reached new heights in 2011, with our local favourites (old and new) putting out a whole bunch of future classics throughout the year. Last year we clapped our hands as Sia took the crown. See what I did there? No. Ok. Well, who was the best of the best in the land of AUS this year?! There were eighteen potential nominees in my original list and I've cut it down to the ten acts that really delivered the goods in 2011. Let's meet them... now!
Architecture in Helsinki
2011 Release: Moment Bends
Architecture in Helsinki set the blogosphere alight with their new album, Moment Bends. Tracks like 'Contact High,' 'Escapee,' 'W.O.W' and 'Desert Island' have been on high rotation and hopefully a couple of them earn enough votes to make it big on the JJJ Hottest 100.
Art Vs. Science
2011 Release: The Experiment
These Sydney-based dance kings finally released their debut LP to almost universal acclaim and walked away ARIA Award winners in the Best Independent Release category. Their video for 'Higher' stands as one of the best of the year too!
Boy and Bear
2011 Release: Moonfire
Speaking of big-time ARIA Award winners, Boy and Bear went five for seven this year and took home the biggest award of the night for Album of the Year. They became the biggest new Australian act of the year, but would we really call them the best overall?
2011 Release: Making Mirrors
I feel like I spend half my time on here talking about how fantastic Gotye is. Not that I even have to, you would know about all of his accomplishments yourself. It's been pretty hard to avoid him, what with that song that shall not be named being played on every music channel and radio station. That little song topped the ARIA singles charts for eight weeks, the longest running #1 single by an Australian artist since Savage Garden's 'Truly, Madly, Deeply' held the pole position for seven weeks. Even better than that, it came in at #1 on the It's My Kind of Scene Top 111 Songs of 2011 countdown. ARIA Awards for Song of the Year, Producer of the Year and Best Male Artist would follow and new album Making Mirrors will end the year with at least double platinum sales. Personally, I think the world of Gotye for making everyone notice how awesome Kimbra is. Well done.
2011 Release: Prisoner
We need more bands like The Jezabels to maintain our image as one of the greatest hubs of incredible rock music. We also need to make sure we continue to support bands like The Jezabels, so they can keep making incredible rock music. Too many bands have faded into the sunset over the past couple of years, but if the response to Prisoner is anything to go off, The Jezabels will be in it for the long haul. They've created a whole heaps of buzz at home and overseas in 2011, been nominated for ARIA Awards, made the top 20 of the Hottest 100 (#16 - 'Mace Spray') and debuted at #2 on the Album charts with Prisoner. All in all, a pretty good year.
2011 Release: Farewell Youth
He's relatively unknown, highly underrated and someone you've likely never listened to before. He also released one of the best albums of 2011 and will undoubtedly become a household name in the next couple of years. Do yourselves a favour and go check out Matt Walters' debut LP, Farewell Youth.
2011 Release: Soft Universe
Australian dance act of the year? There's definitely an argument you can make for it. You could even argue that Pnau were the dance act of the year and the best dance duo to release an album this year. You could make those arguments...
Seeker Lover Keeper
2011 Release: Seeker Lover Keeper
What happens when three of Australia's most talented and beloved female singer-songwriters let their powers combine? Magic. Magic is what happens. Sarah Blasko, Holly Throsby and Sally Seltmann have had their individual successes over the years, making beautiful music along the way. Together as Seeker Lover Keeper they have an ability to make music that is more transfixing, haunting and, like I said, magical than any of their previous works. Seeker Lover Keeper is an album that is written and performed as if these singers know some of the most intimate details of your life. Every song is as relatable as it is unique and memorable and that's what separates amazing albums from the good or average ones. Music lovers seem to agree... the album went on to debut at #3 on the ARIA charts. Last month, the trio embarked on a well received national tour, selling out cathedrals around the country. Hopefully you had a chance to see them because they'll be taking some time to work on solo projects in 2012. And hopefully we'll get to hear from them as Seeker Lover Keeper again after that.
Sneaky Sound System
2011 Release: From Here To Anywhere
Did I say Pnau might be the best dance duo of the year? Sneaky Sound System have something to say about that. With third album, From Here To Anywhere, Miss Connie and Black Angus have given us their most satisfying, tight collection of songs yet. 'We Love,' 'Big' and 'Really Want To See You Again' have been wise choices as singles, but sadly haven't made the impact they should have on the charts. Ah well, screw the charts!
2011 Release: Insomnia EP
If Megan Washington had released a full-length record, she would have had a real shot at taking out today's award.
Australian Artist of the Year
WINNER: SEEKER LOVER KEEPER
It's hard to make Gotye a bridesmaid for the second day in a row, it really is. One perfect songs vs an entire album of them sways things in favour of Seeker Lover Keeper. By the end of next year we could see Sarah Blasko, Holly Throsby and Sally Seltmann competing again for this award... against each other. Now that would be awesome!