Monday, 31 December 2012

2012 Scene Awards - Album of the Year


by Santigold


Read about Santigold's 2012 on It's My Kind of Scene:

What we said about Master of My Make Believe:
"Overall, Master of My Make-Believe is a worthy successor to Santogold. It's far more cohesive, showcases a songwriter who's only grown stronger and is full of tracks designed to grow on you over time. I'm giving it four out of five now, but I'm pretty sure my tune will change throughout the course of the year. For the better of course." (Matt Bond)

"It’s funky, it’s fresh, and it passes the nod test. You’re nodding too, right?" (Katie Langley)

"The thing is, [This Isn't Our Parade] isn’t even my favourite track from Master Of My Make Believe, but whenever the song finishes I’m left with that “and I say hey hey hey hey” for a long while. If this isn’t even my favourite and it’s this good, imagine just how good she gets. Awesome." (Jo Michelmore)

by Tame Impala

Read about Tame Impala's 2012 on It's My Kind of Scene:

What we said about Lonerism:
"Equal parts psychedelic rock, dream pop and indie delight; Tame Impala's Lonerism comfortably stands as one of the finest releases of the year. If you've heard and loved the ridiculously catchy single 'Elephant,' you're sure to get a kick out of their entire new collection of tracks that place these Perth lads in the upper echelons of not just Australia's music scene, but the music scene. Period." (Matt Bond)

"A bluesier alternative to the rest of the J Award winning album, Lonerism, 'Elephant' made me see Perth's most intriguing band in a whole new light. Kevin Parker's trippy vocal performance gets you right in the mood for a righteous singalong, while the bass guitar has you shaking around the tiny space in your living room that you've just decided is a dance floor... like an elephant." (Matt Bond) 

"Admit it... when you hear a song from Lonerism you are overcome with a feeling to dust off your old tie-dye tees and hippie pants and party like it's 1969. While there are many Australian acts capturing the sounds of days gone by, Tame Impala's signature brand of psychedelia can be so authentic you actually have to remind yourself you're listening to an album released in 2012." (Matt Bond)

by Garbage

Read about Garbage's 2012 on It's My Kind of Scene:

What we said about Not Your Kind of People:
"Just before they released their fifth album ‘Not Your Kind Of People’ in the middle of this year, I had that crazy little feeling in my stomach, such a feeling of anticipation it almost made me sick. When I first heard that album, from the very first note, the pounding of ‘Automatic Systematic Habit’ took my breath away and I don’t care what kind of critical reviews it received, I don’t care what number it reached on the charts, I don’t care what anyone else thought of it, for me, this is an album that will define part of 2012." (Jo Michelmore) 

"Shirley Manson has developed to the point that she can truly be named as one of the greatest front-women of all time. Scratch that, one of the greatest fronts for a band, female or male, of all time. Vig, Erikson and Marker match their leading lady every step of the way. They're not focused on creating the pop sound of BeautifulGarbage, they're not focused on making a statement like Bleed Like Me... they're just three great rock musicians that are focused on making an incredible album. Combine that with Manson's return to a lyrical style that leaves a lot of interpretation to the listener and you've got a winning LP on your hands." (Matt Bond) 

by Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra

Read about Amanda Palmer's 2012 on It's My Kind of Scene:

What we said about Theatre Is Evil:
"Any music lover will have experienced it. That moment when you listen to an album for the first time and you just know. You know that this is an album you will be listening to for the rest of your life. It will not be sitting on the sidelines waiting to be rediscovered. There is no possibility you'll get sick of it. You know that this is an album that you will love, learn from and listen to for the rest of your life. Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra's Theatre Is Evil gave me that moment and I couldn't be happier. Or more excited. And incredibly heartbroken in the way that you can only forgive the most indescribably breathtaking music. Amanda Palmer takes you on a journey of epic proportions. She reaches for dizzying heights and takes you down to crushing lows." (Matt Bond)

"I’ve listened to it countless times and countless times I’ve been astounded by it, I’ve sung along, I’ve bounced around, I’ve cried and I’ve known exactly that what music means to me, it means to someone else as well." (Jo Michelmore) 

" expectations for Theatre Is Evil were so high, I don't think I've ever anticipated the release of an album more. Palmer took my expectations, shoved them in a rocket ship and launched them into space. Destination? A galaxy far, far away. She exceeded my very high expectations, ok? I am an Amanda Palmer fan, but this album doesn't even need me to look for reasons to defend it. The music speaks for itself." (Matt Bond)  

The 2012 Anti-Scene Awards

Because for every action there is a reaction (or something), it only seems right to take a breather from celebrating the awesome and remind us that just like every year, 2012 wasn't all sunshine and roses. Later today we'll be handing out our final Scene Award of the year, Album of the Year! For now, let's get all snobby and address music's biggest dumps of 2012.



Just As Shit: Will.I.Am ft. Jennifer Lopez and Mick Jagger - THE (The Hardest Ever)

Will.I.Am's never-ending crusade to murder taste and trick the world into thinking he has worth as a solo artist continued this year. To the shock and horror of absolutely no one, he still manages to suck and blow harder than anyone else. Maybe that's why he's selling himself as 'The Hardest Ever.' His greatest crime in 2012 was destroying Britney's semi-decent post-breakdown run with the steaming pile of crap that is 'Scream and Shout.' You will scream. You will shout. You will want to pour Drano down your ears. If you think it can only get better from here, think again. The Black Eyed Peas head back to the studio in 2013. Live in fear. 



Just As Shit: Justice Crew

As offensive as songs like 'Rock Star,' 'Shut Up And Kiss Me' and 'Shout It Out' were, it was Mastin's version of 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' destroying my love for what's meant to be THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR (!) that earns him the nod here. And Reece, please don't mention someone of Eddie Vedder's caliber in your songs. I know, he's awesome. You... you are not. 



Just As Shit: Christina Aguilera - Your Body

While there's still hope for Xtina, Nickelback are just too far gone. What am I talking about? They always sucked this bad. The video for 'Trying Not To Love Me' has old mate George creeping on a younger hottie and then things get extra lame when there's a fight for said hottie between George and his equally unattractive, slightly more Italian looking twin. Who wins the girl? Whoever makes the best coffee. Fuck that.



Just As Shit: N/A

You'll always be the biggest loser to me, Chris. No one else is at his level of shitness.




Hey, Madonna... we're still fighting. Your album was the biggest disappointment of the year, your inability to remove yourself from that post 2000s mid-life crisis has gone way beyond boring and your mission to piss off the remaining Australian fans you have is a joke. And no one wants to see your nipples. You old now. Accept it.         

Sunday, 30 December 2012

2012 Scene Awards - Woman of the Year


10. Azealia Banks

With one profanity riddled certified hit, Azealia Banks commanded the attention of the music loving world in 2012. '212' was the party anthem of the year and it left you squealing with delight each time Banks dropped another c-bomb on you. In less than three-and-a-half mintues, the world of rap became a much brighter, crazier and funner place to love. Oh, and a slightly more threatening place. What, she's the one that said the end of your life is near... bitch. Subsequent releases have ranged from good to great, but nothing has matched that incredible debut single. 2013 will see Azealia Banks drop her anticipated debut album, Broke With Expensive Taste, which will determine just how much staying power she has in the industry. What are you 'gon do when she appears again? Hopefully go just as crazy as you did the first time you listened to '212', but it's still too early to call. Either way it goes, she made a huge impact in 2012 and stands as one of the finest women of the year. (Matt Bond)  

9. Missy Higgins

Almost five years away from the music industry and Missy Higgins hasn't lost any of the magic that made her Australia's favourite female artist. Third album, The 'Ol Razzle Dazzle went straight to #1, making her three for three on the ARIA charts and was met with even greater critical acclaim than sophomore album, On A Clear Night. Razzle stayed true to Missy's signature sound for the most part; singer-songwriter excellence, beautiful ballads like 'Everyone's Waiting' and 'Cooling of the Embers' showing why it's so easy to fall for her. But then there was the first single, 'Unashamed Desire,' which marked a huge departure from her usual fare. It certainly brought the razzle and the dazzle and started Missy's 2012 in a perfectly memorable way. Here's hoping she doesn't take five years to return again. (Matt Bond)

8. Alice Glass 

I’ve been a fan of Crystal Castles for a little while now, but my love for Alice Glass bloomed when I saw them play at The Tivoli earlier in the year. Maybe it's all of the drugs but she manages to totally rock “effortlessly chic” and has the punk rock attitude to match. Just to clarify, I’m calling Alice a drug user – I’m just high on life! Sure, Crystal Castles is more than Alice Glass and Ethan Kath is most certainly worthy of kudos, however Alice plays the role of front woman perfectly and brings their electronic dabblings to life! (Katie Langley)

Saturday, 29 December 2012

2012 Scene Awards - Man of the Year




Some might say it can all be put down to that one little song and if you don’t know the one I mean you may have been asleep for the last twelve months. That song was and still is a very, very good song but what has to be remembered is that Gotye has been kicking around the Australian music scene for over ten years now; it’s just that it wasn’t until this year that he really made a large impact on both Australia’s musical landscape as well as a lot of the rest of the world, with a little help from the delightfully cute Kimbra. You don’t write a song like ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ accidentally, it takes some serious talent to write it, perform it and then be able to take it to audiences around the world. It takes some serious talent to turn your once slightly self-indulgent-arts-based-musician’s-musician-self into a pop star, a celebrity and most importantly an entertainer. It has been an absolute pleasure watching Gotye grow and develop as an artist this year, he’s taken his awesome third album ‘Making Mirrors’ places I’m sure he never dreamed of it going and he’s learnt a lot along the way about every aspect of being an artist. That one little song’s success gave him the confidence he needed to know how wonderful he actually is, something a lot of us knew already. If this is who Gotye has become after a little over a year of major mainstream commercial musical success, I look forward to seeing what he has in store for us in the future. Surely it can only be amazing, like he is.  (Jo Michelmore)

Jack White

If you’ve been reading anything I’ve written on this blog this year, you may know how this is going to start and how it’s going to end so let’s just take a moment and get the first one out of the way. Deep breath; oh Jack, oh sigh. Now, let’s talk about Jack White. We’ve always known he’s a bit weird, hugely talented, extremely guarded, incredibly intelligent, an astute businessman, an enormously gifted guitarist and I’m just going to say it, strangely a little bit hot; but it wasn’t until this year and the release of his solo album Blunderbuss that I fell totally and completely in love with the artist that is Jack White. From first listen, that album wrapped its blues-roots-rock-jazz-country self around me like a warm, incredibly strong hug and eight months later it hasn’t let go. His song writing is mind blowing, his guitar playing is breathtaking, his lyrics are heartbreaking. His live performance was one of my favourites of the year and the memory of seeing both his all boy and all girl bands while he caressed and abused his guitar in the most goose bump inducing way will stay with me for a long time. ‘Blunderbuss’ ends with a pleading lyric “take me anywhere you go…” and it’s a sentence I’m happy to hear from him over and over again, because it’s an album that has already seen me through so many different times, so many different places. This year, Jack White put himself right at the top of my favourite artists list and it’s a spot I suspect he won’t be leaving anytime soon, which means exactly what I said at the start….oh Jack, oh sigh. (Jo Michelmore) 

Frank Ocean

The Grammy Awards have made some pretty shady choices over the past couple of years, but with the 2013 nominations recently announced it looks like they're ready to get back on track. Exhibit A - Frank Ocean's leading six Grammy nominations, including nods for Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Album of the Year. You don't just come out of nowhere (get it? Sorry... bad joke) and land yourself a heap of Grammy nominations without having released something incredible. Channel Orange is the definition of incredible. Ocean's words and voice leave you breathless throughout and it's been lauded by many publications as the best album of the year. This is one buzz artist that's been able to live up to the hype with quality music. As for his big reveal in the lead-up to Channel Orange's release... good for him. Sure, it could have just been a big attention seeking move to get people talking about the album, but is that really such a bad thing? I say nay. Bring on the next album! (Matt Bond) 


My pick for man of the year is worthy because of his beautiful baby blue tuxedo, devilish grin and cowboy like moves. Oh yeah, and he had one of the biggest songs of 2012! PSY made his transition from Korean pop prince to international sensation thanks to “Gangnam Style”. For the most part, this song seems to annoy the shit out of people. This only makes me like it, and him, even more. Call me crazy, but I’d hazard a guess that ole PSY has just about used up his 15 minutes of fame, and that by March next year we’ll say “PSY? Who?”. But until then, let’s honour the man with the invisible horse. (Katie Langley)

Calvin Harris

I could go on about Calvin Harris' US break since the release of Rihanna's 'We Found Love' and his subsequent hit collaborations with Ellie Goulding, Kelis, Example and Florence Welch; the latter of which ended up in our top ten songs of the year. I could attempt to do some sort of review of his album 18 Months. Released towards the end of the year it housed all of the aforementioned collaborations... including 'We Found Love.' Um, ok. Anyway, I could try to do a lot of things here, but I won't. Instead, I'm just going to say in a slow year for solo male artists, we needed someone to fill the required fifth nomination slot and old mate was the least offensive contender. Congratulations? (Matt Bond)


Winner: Jack White
Runner-Up: Frank Ocean

2011 Winner: Gotye
Runner-Up: Justin Vernon (Bon Iver)

2010 Winner: Kanye West

Friday, 28 December 2012

2012 Scene Awards - Best Group

Garbage's Shirley Manson!


The xx

The xx are one of those bands, critics love them, their fans love them, fellow artists love them, they’re musicians playing for musicians. It’s easy to jump on a bandwagon and claim a love of a band that are darlings of their scene, everyone who is anyone loves a Mercury Music Prize winner, right? What is it that actually makes them special though? For me, it’s a combination of a little bit of dark and a tiny bit of light, it’s not what they do but what they don’t say that counts and there’s some real skill in knowing where to create the spaces and where to fill the spaces in a song. A thousand critics and blog writers and fans have said it before, but that’s because Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim and Jamie Smith do it so well; in music there are places to scream and there are places to whisper and bands like The xx know how to make the whispers sound like screams. Tell me you don’t get a shiver up your spine during the opener of Sunset “I saw you again, it felt like we never met” or you can’t quite believe you’re swaying to a steel drum during Reunion. Perhaps though, the biggest indicator of what an incredible group The xx are is not the number of records sold this year, not the number of festivals played or the countries visited or the number of TV appearances; quite simply the proof of what an incredible band The xx are can be found in the tears that are formed during Angels, the opening track of their album Co-exist; “the end is unknown, but I think I'm ready, as long as you're with me, being as in love with you as I am”. Goosebumps, tears, a breath taken away with every single listen. Only a group like The xx can manage that. (Jo Michelmore)


In May this year, when Matt asked me to compose a little list of my favourite Garbage songs for our Top 20 Garbage countdown, I was excited, but it wasn’t an easy task. How could I narrow it down to only twenty favourites? When he asked me to write about some of those songs, I was excited, but it wasn’t an easy task. What could I say about some of the songs that defined parts of my life? When we started compiling the Scene Award nominations and he asked me to write about Garbage, I was excited, but it’s not been an easy task. The thing is, it’s difficult to know what to say about one of your favourite, ever, bands. They have featured in the soundtrack of my life for over fifteen years, I can’t imagine some of my days without them. Just before they released their fifth album ‘Not Your Kind Of People’ in the middle of this year, I had that crazy little feeling in my stomach, such a feeling of anticipation it almost made me sick. When I first heard that album, from the very first note, the pounding of ‘Automatic Systematic Habit’ took my breath away and I don’t care what kind of critical reviews it received, I don’t care what number it reached on the charts, I don’t care what anyone else thought of it, for me, this is an album that will define part of 2012. When they first appeared in 1995, Garbage were harsh, they were brutal, they were sexy, they were angry, they were strong and they were amazing. In 2012 they proved themselves to continue to be all of those things and more. None of Shirley’s venom has been lost and none of the bands awesome has been tainted, this year they proved themselves to be a band who know who they are and are comfortable with that. Not your kind of people? They don’t care. It’s all there in the lyrics; “little boy, it takes a lot to shake me, it’s the battle in me” or maybe you prefer the simplicity of “I hate love, I hate love” or the pleading of “give me something sweet I've spent a lifetime feeling incomplete”; they’re all classic Garbage and whatever the year, classic Garbage is amazing Garbage. They managed to write an album that flows perfectly, the end of every song invites the beginning of the next and when I get to that lyric at the very end; “this little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine…. there you stand, beloved freak, let it shine” I’m reminded of what music means to me. It’s my friend, it’s my support, it’s my everything and really, only bands like Garbage can truly remind me of that. (Jo Michelmore) 

The Beards

2012 was a big year for The Beards as they visited this great nation on their “End Of The World (For Beardless People)” tour encouraging clean shaven men to become the ‘beards of tomorrow’ or face death on 21 December 2012. Luckily for us, this premonition didn’t come to fruition and they can continue to spread their hairy messages into 2013. (Katie Langley) 

Texas Tea

There are groups you like, groups you love and then there's a group like Texas Tea; one that you can't seem to find words strong enough for how deeply you've fallen for their music. At the start of this year I sadly had no idea who Texas Tea's Benjamin Dougherty and Kate Jacobson were. Now we're at the end of the year and I can't imagine a music landscape without them. 2012 release Sad Summer Hits certainly lives up to its title. Twelve tunes of the finest alt-country persuasion that range from bouncy singalong goodness to devastating tales of domestic abuse and professional brides. Each a 'hit' in its own right, a hundred listens just isn't enough. Jacobson's beautiful voice soars on tracks like 'Lily' while Dougherty proves himself one of the new quintessential men of rock on 'I Don't Write No Sad Songs.' His brand of speak-singing alongside that guitar line? What's not to love? A song like 'I Love You Like I Love This Black Eye' truly separates them from the pack. It's a little bit confronting and yet so beautifully performed. There's no resisting its dark charms. The only thing better than hearing the recorded version is experiencing it live. You've also got 'Heart Says Yes (Head Says No).' Remember that song? You know, the one that came in at #1 on our Top 112 Songs of 2012 countdown? Yeah, you remember it. We more than loved that song and we definitely more than loved Texas Tea in 2012 (, not in a creepy way... maybe a little). (Matt Bond)      

The Presets

They seemed destined for superstardom following the massive commercial success of Apocalypso, but somewhere along the way The Presets decided to literally say, "fuck you, Nova crowd" and make the just as good, but more concept-based Pacifica. So they didn't set the charts on fire and they lost a lot of fans that just really, really, really liked 'My People' and 'Talk Like That.' Who cares? Do you think they care? I don't think they care and I don't care and you shouldn't care either, because the music on Pacifica is deserving of a slow clap in a teen movie by the poolside at the party at the rich bitch's house. They didn't rest on their laurels and make Apocalyso version 2.0. They grew, their sound matured and it's still very, very good. Substance with cooler than cool style... that's The Presets in 2012. (Matt Bond)   


WINNER: Texas Tea
Runner-Up: Garbage

2011 Winner: Seeker Lover Keeper
Runner-Up: Little Dragon

2010 Winner: Arcade Fire

Thursday, 27 December 2012

2012 Scene Awards - Best New Artist

Kira Puru and The Bruise!



Sometimes you hear a song and you know, straight away, you know from that first note you’re hearing something that’s not going to let go, it’s going to grab on to you, it’s going to hold you by the throat, it’s going to make itself known and you know the best part? You know you’re going to love it. From that first little note of ‘Haunted Gold’ I heard early this year, for a minute I felt like I hadn’t heard music before and anything I had listened to previously was completely passé. I patiently waited, searching the internet for more and was rewarded with another track ‘Spectre’ in the middle of the year. The second track had a similar effect; it took my breath away, it was dark, it was moody and it was extraordinary. Roberta Fidora’s vocal is totally out of this world, she has the ability to punch you in the face in the most pleasant way and Macaulay Hopwood’s willingness to experiment with all sorts of sounds pays off; the synths, the beats and the production is flawless. It’s an indication of just how good these songs are that an independent band of two, with only two singles released this year, are featuring in our best new artist list. They’re not just good, they’re amazing and they’re almost indescribable. When I interviewed Curxes over a cup of tea, via the magic of the internet earlier this year, I asked them a question about travelling backward in time and what songs they would take with them. Even though the time travel thing hasn’t been sorted out yet, one thing is for sure; if I was to travel in time, backward or forward, there’s one band I’d be taking with me, because whatever the definition of music is, at any time, Curxes should be involved. (Jo Michelmore)

Kira Puru and The Bruise

I remember the first time I listened to Kira Puru and The Bruise's single 'When All Your Love Is Not Enough.' From the delicious opening line, "lord save me, just take me," I found myself lost in the incredibly soulful voice housed within Kira Puru. There's a dangerous edge to the song that you find yourself loving just a little too much. I remember the first time I saw Kira Puru and The Bruise live. Taking to the Black Bear Lodge's stage for their BigSound Live set, Puru and The Bruise (Jamieson Shaw, David Pearce and Geordie Malone) had the crowd eating out of the palms of their hands. Again, from the opening line. It was their performance of 'The Liar' that night which held me in an inescapable trance. "Don't ask me what I'm feeling, I've got answers up my sleeve, and you and your denial ain't worth my while." This is the new sexy; a femme fatale with a killer sneer, a deep growl, a glass of red wine and the best new Australian voice I've heard in a long time. This is Kira Puru. Don't think the lads just slack off in the background. You have to see Jamieson Shaw do his thing live, Pearce is one drummer who's name you'll want to remember and Malone shakes it around the stage while killing it on the guitar. They're not just good live, they're unforgettable. It's only a matter of time before Kira Puru and The Bruise are sitting on top of the world. (Matt Bond)   


Earlier this year I heard a snippet of a song that just wouldn’t let go. It was some simple words and a swaying beat that got me hooked, “love is a devil…and the devil wants more”. I did that thing where as soon as I had the opportunity I jumped on the net and searched and searched until I found what I needed, except when I found it, like the devil in that song, I wanted more. I found a little band called Laneway and found that little song I first heard is one of a bunch of beautifully told stories on Laneway’s second LP ‘Turn Your Love Up’ which was released in August this year. Even though they released their first album ‘If You Don’t Need It Let It Go’ in 2009, they were a discovery I made this year, and one I’m so glad I made. After hearing more of their back catalogue, I made it my mission to see them play live and had the absolute pleasure of seeing them at the Powerhouse, where the intensity of emotion on their album was only amplified, there was such joy in seeing them play, singing their sweet words; “please don’t catch my eye, instead let’s turn our heads and pass each other by” and I remember I couldn’t help but sway during ‘Fading Away’. I was so excited when I heard Louise O’Reilly and Paul Hannan had won this year’s Grant McLennan Memorial Fellowship Award; as awesome song writing talent should be applauded and hopefully more and more people will make the same fabulous discovery we here at It’s My Kind Of Scene did this year. When they featured in our New To The Scene earlier this year I offered a piece of advice and I’ll offer it again now. You need to support independent musicians like Laneway now so you can seem like the cool kid that liked them before the rest of the world discovers them as well.  (Jo Michelmore)

Azealia Banks

Best new artist? It’s got to be Azealia Banks! She has a certain sweetness about her, but in between those big grins she manages to spit venom – sort of like Lily Allen, but with street cred and dance moves. Who knows what 2013 will bring for Azealia? I just hope it’s not a membership to the pant-less posse. P.S. You should know that I may just be giving this award out of fear. She might ruin me, c**t. (Katie Langley)

Nick and Liesl


I'm really not down with calling people 'cute' but I'm going to have to do it here because Nick and Liesl are just too fucking cute. Have you seen that video for 'Most of My Life'? Yeah. Cute. They're perfect together, the way their voices find such awesome harmonies is perfect and they're both pretty darn perfect as songwriters. They're also perfectly underrated, but their extensive touring schedule and 2013 EP, Friend and Lover (to be released February 1) will hopefully get that sorted. Their debut LP Feather has been on high rotation around the office (my car?) since I first heard it in August and it's going to stay there until I replace it with Friend and Lover. I'm genuinely excited to hear more from this talented twosome. If that doesn't make you a strong contender for Best New Artist, I don't know what does. (Matt Bond)  

Clairy Browne and The Bangin' Rackettes

There are artists who like to think they’re cool, who like to pay tribute to the past and 2012 has certainly been a year where vintage sounds have reigned supreme, but no musicians seem to have made as much of an impact this year as the delightfully delicious Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes. Where some have taken vintage sounds and played with them, Clairy and her Rackettes know the old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”; after all, soul music was amazing, is amazing and will remain amazing years from now, because it lives up to its name, it’s all about the heart and soul. Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes sing soul, they live soul, they are soul music. Tell me you don’t want to dance when you hear those words “I’m gonna write what I want you to do to me in a letter”. No? You’ve no soul. Tell me you don’t sing along when Clairy’s voice is ringing; “I wanna get on with you, up in an aeroplane….up in the sky, up in the sky….” No? You’ve no soul. I don’t care who’s done covers of ‘Bang Bang’, no one does it better than the Bangin’ Rackettes; “bang bang, that awful sound…my baby, my baby shot me down”. No, don’t agree? You’ve no soul. While we first heard whispers of the incredible show of this group late last year, it wasn’t until May this year where I truly experienced the fabulousness that their live show is, seeing them perform will remain one of my fave live music memories of 2012. I left their show with a slightly lighter wallet and an autographed LP under my arm, which is the sign of a really, really good gig. These are musicians who were born to play soul, to perform soul, to dance, to tease and to break hearts over and over again. They do it so darn well I’m hoping they continue to do it for a long, long time. There are artists who think they’re cool and then there are artists who just are. Clairy Browne and the Bangin Rackettes? Yep, they just are. (Jo Michelmore) 



Runners-Up: Nick and Liesl/Laneway

2011 Winners: James Blake/Lana Del Rey
Runner-Up: Emma Louise

2010 Winner: Ellie Goulding

Sunday, 23 December 2012

2012 Scene Awards - EP of the Year


by Rachael Yamagata

Pleasantly surprised. That's how I felt when I saw Rachael Yamagata was releasing an EP so soon after 2011 LP, Chesapeake. Moving away from the intense sound of that album to a piano/string heavy EP was a bold move and one that definitely paid off. Her writing remains top notch; the kind that drags your heart into your throat with a direct and honest approach. She continues to grow in leaps and bounds and continues to be incredibly unappreciated by too many listeners. Get on your Spotify and listen to this now. Better yet... get on iTunes and buy it! (Matt Bond) 

EP 2
by Crosses

Crosses ††† January release “EP 2” is my pick for EP of the year. Yes, there was 1, and now there’s 2. Sure, there hasn’t been a lot of creative thought put into the names of their EP’s, but that couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to their sound. Crosses ††† is the love child of Deftones singer Chino Moreno, Far guitarist Shaun Lopez and Scott Chuck. And what a beautiful child it is. EP 2 will pierce right through you. Chino’s vocals are the real drawcard, although the keys play an important role in the storytelling.
If you liked Chino’s other baby Team Sleep, then you’ll love love love Crosses †††. (Katie Langley)

Told You So
by Cub Scouts

The future of Australian indie-pop? I hope so. You should hope so too because Brisbane's own Cub Scouts prove that they can mix the right amounts upbeat singalongs ('Evie'), radio ready summer anthems ('Told You So'), engrossing quiet moments ('Light Me Up'), highs ('Do You Hear') and lows ('Scream'). Then they can just be trippy, cute and most definitely the brightest act to emerge from Australia in 2012. We can't wait to hear their debut full-length album. (Matt Bond)

by Azealia Banks

It’s indicative of how impressive a rapper is when a four track EP can create as much hype as Azealia Banks’ 1991 did this year. While I might be getting more and more suspicious that she is ever going to actually release a full length album, the amazing that 1991 is cannot be denied. Bouncy, sharp, energetic, innovative, constant key changing fun and full of sass, Azaelia takes her listeners on a four track journey that is more Missy than Nicki but totally Azaelia’s own. A chat about 1991 can’t be had without mentioning ‘that’ track, the unbelievably catchy 212 with the now infamous/controversial/provocative lyrics involving eating and words beginning with c, and then there’s my personal favourite “I’m a ruin you, c**t”. However, without those lyrics the song and EP is incredibly infectious and set the rap world on fire for a minute or two there, which is more than her contemporaries have done lately. With this release, the expectations of Azaelia are incredibly high; can she follow up with something just as good? With this EP she asked that question and answered it at the same time in one song “Hey, I can be the answer…. this shit been mine, mine”. (Jo Michelmore) 

Love Lost In Design
by Neon Wolf 


Well if it isn't our favourite little Irish-indie act, Neon Wolf. Their Love Lost In Design EP was released in the first half of 2012 and remains my favourite of the year. All five of its tracks send me on this 90s-nostalgic wave of awesome. It's catchy fun, minus the pretentiousness that plagues so many new bands. You've got your money singles in the triumphant 'We Own The Sky' and infectious 'All of It's Yours,' but the other tracks all stand on their own as great tracks, not filler. Unlike some of the other awesome EP's released in 2012. Want a full review? Head on over here! (Matt Bond)


Runner-Up: Neon Wolf - Love Lost In Design EP 

Saturday, 22 December 2012

2012 Scene Awards - Australian Artist of the Year

Lanie Lane!


Tame Impala

2012 Release: Lonerism 

Admit it... when you hear a song from Lonerism you are overcome with a feeling to dust off your old tie-dye tees and hippie pants and party like it's 1969. While there are many Australian acts capturing the sounds of days gone by, Tame Impala's signature brand of psychedelia can be so authentic you actually have to remind yourself you're listening to an album released in 2012. With Tame Impala's debut, Innerspeaker, they commanded Australia's attention, winning the J Award for Album of the Year. With Lonerism, they've captured the attention of the world, walking away with the J Award once more, as well as top honours form NME and Filter Magazine. These crazy kids from Perth have done us proud. (Matt Bond)   

Lanie Lane


2012 Release: (Oh Well) That's What You Get (Falling In Love With A Cowboy) - Single

A little bit country, a little bit rock, a little bit blues, a whole lot of adorable; Lanie Lane has had an impressive year. Released late last year, her album To The Horses really began to receive the attention it deserves this year, she played her own national tour as well as numerous festivals, was nominated for awards at both the ARIA’s and APRA’s and now, her most impressive nomination for our Scene Awards. To The Horses has been an album I’ve played time and time again this year, I get that lyric “oh well, that’s what you get for falling in love with a cowboy” stuck in my head all the time (even though that’s something I haven’t done) she’s got a style that’s all her own and as well as all of that she’s totally delightful and engaging at her gigs, which I’ve been lucky to see a couple of times this year. She’s catchy, she’s cute and I’ve got to adore someone who can write a ballad to their guitar. Oh, did I mention she’s worked with Jack White? You know in my world that makes everything a thousand times better, but ok, even without that, she’s awesome anyway. Lanie Lane love. (Jo Michelmore) 

Gay Paris

2012 Release: The Demarcation of Joseph Hollybone - Single

Gay Paris get my vote for Australian artist of the year for three important reasons:
1. Making music to thrust to. Seriously. You just can’t help but move your hips.
2. Front man Luke’s skill of being able to de-pant without removing his shoes. This is even more impressive when you consider that these pants are skinny leg jeans.
3. Amazing live shows. Have you seen them live? If not, there’s your New Year’s resolution! Be prepared for crowd interaction and capes. (Katie Langley)

Sarah Blasko

2012 Release: I Awake

Representing Seeker Lover Keeper as defending champion in this category, Sarah Blasko earned her nomination with an album that is certain to define the career of Australia's most fascinating female artist. The funny thing is, the same was said about her second release, What the Sea Wants, the Sea Will Have. And third albums As Day Follows Night. Blasko sets the bar higher with each release and then smashes through your expectations with a collection of songs even better than the last. Album number four, I Awake, takes you on an unforgettable journey that speaks to your heart, mind and soul. It has moments that will kick you down and moments that will lift you right back up. It can be just as mysterious as it is dangerously honest, telling an unfamiliar story one second and then your own the next. Her brilliant and mature songwriting is matched in the sounds created by Bulgaria's New Symphony Orchestra; a move that you can't help but applaud. Not once does Blasko seem lost alongside the 52 piece orchestra, with her words and sweet voice somehow finding even greater resonance amongst the beautiful strings and thundering percussion. I'm not sure how she's going to top I Awake, but I know she will. I can't wait to hear what comes next. (Matt Bond)   

Texas Tea

2012 Release: Sad Summer Hits

If I was to write a list of all the things I’d loved about 2012, there would be a whole lot of loving for this little band I’m so glad to have found this year. Calling them indie/country just doesn’t seem to do them justice, because there should be other words added with that label; words like ‘fabulous indie country’ or ‘amazing indie country’ or ‘heartbreaking indie country’ or ‘can’t get enough of them indie country’. Their third album released this year, Sad Summer Hits, has become part of my everyday existence, Heart Says Yes (Head Says No) is a song that quickly made it to the top of my most played list, The Alphabet Song is one I quickly learnt all the words to and I Don’t Write No Sad Songs is indescribable, Kate and Ben’s vocals entwined around each other’s is spine tingling and having seen them play live a couple of times I’m desperately waiting to see that magic again and again. There are some musicians that are made for each other and Kate Jacobson and Ben Dougherty have this incredible ability to complement each other’s talents perfectly, their impeccable song writing skills are a testament to that. When I first heard Sad Summer Hits in October I said that it would be an album that would define a season for me, and I was right, it has. Two months on, I’m totally and wholeheartedly in love, Texas Tea have become one of my favourite Australian artists and hopefully one that the rest of the world will fall in love with soon enough too. (Jo Michelmore) 


2012 Release: Making Mirrors (International Release)

The biggest song of the year in the United States, the most streamed song on Spotify in 2012, #1 on the JJJ Hottest 100, an ARIA Award win for Album of the Year (plus five more wins on the night), three Grammy nominations and over 358 million YouTube views for 'Somebody That I Used To Know.' You tell me... did Gotye have a good year? The other songs he released in 2012 may not have set the world on fire, but what he's achieved with 'Somebody That I Used To Know' in international markets is unimaginable for a local act. The best thing is, you feel that he's deserving of the overwhelming success that's come his way. (Matt Bond)  


Runner-Up: Sarah Blasko

2011 Winner:
Seeker Lover Keeper
Runner-Up: Gotye

2010 Winner:

Friday, 21 December 2012

2012 Scene Awards - Video of the Year

Jack White, Sixteen Saltines.

Boys and girls, welcome to the third annual Scene Awards! Until the end of the year, we'll be handing out awards to our favourite acts of 2012 in the following categories; Video of the Year, Australian Artist of the Year, EP of the Year, Best New Artist, Group of the Year, Man of the Year, Woman of the Year and Album of the Year. It's just like the Grammys, but not as boring. It's just like the ARIA Awards, but slightly more relevant. It's the 2012 Scene Awards... and they start now!


Sixteen Saltines
by Jack White
Director: AG Rojas

I loved this clip when I first saw it in April this year. I loved the imagery, the nasty kids, the blueberry milkshake face, the ceiling sandwiches, the post-apocalyptic suburbia, the impromptu mid-air dancing, the gas mask, the face tattoo and I loved Jack White tied up with rope. Oh Jack. Oh sigh. I loved the mis-match of film types and I loved the abruptness of image upon image. When I watch it now? I still love it, I love it all. I especially love the bits I didn’t notice the first time around, like the severed finger hopscotch, but I’ll let you discover the rest for yourself. Directed by a guy (who has great things ahead of him if he keeps making clips like this one) AG Rojas understood the need for a sharp song needing a sharp clip and mostly leaving Jack White out of a Jack White clip was a brave move, but one that paid off. The image of Jack writhing around the back of a car is more than enough because really, we all know we’re spending a couple of minutes wishing we were runaway kids, smoking, drinking and destroying things. Yes? Oh, sorry, is that just me? (Jo Michelmore)

by P!nk
Director: Floria Sigismondi

How do you make a nice enough but easily forgettable track a memorable one? You head out to the desert, throw some paint bombs around and have the Golden Boyz choreograph a performance that won't let you look away. I mean that in a good way... not like the train-wreck 'can't look away' variation. The contemporary dance by P!nk and Colt Prattes is passionate, violent and so unconventional for a pop music video that you can't help loving it. Credit has to be given where credit is due and P!nk more than deserves a butt-load of it for pushing herself further and further to deliver memorable performances for her fans. And she chokeslammed a dude through a table. What a badass. (Matt Bond)       

You Should Consider Having Sex With A Bearded Man
by The Beards
Directors/Producers: Nima Nabili Rad and Daniel Principe

You knew I was going to say that, right? This film clip takes us on a journey, the journey of a woman on the prowl for a deliciously hairy fellow. Why don’t we call the woman Katie? We see Katie getting ready for a night on the town – washing her face, going to the toilet, agonising over what to wear and over indulging in Passion Pop. Katie heads out to see her favourite band – The Beards. She drinks a lot, picks fights with non-beardy folk, but then the sly seductress manages to lock eyes with the lead singer. I think you all know what’s happens next. Let’s just say that Katie more than considered it. Yes, she had a beard all over her mammary glands. This film clip ticks all the boxes for me. Okay, so there are only two boxes – funny and beards. But that’s beside the point. It’s my pick for video of the year! (Katie Langley)

Bad Girls
by M.I.A
Director: Romain Gavras

When you think of the best music videos, you think of clips that enhance the overall experience of listening to one of your favourite songs. They don't detract from the quality of the music and they don't become the star attraction, making you forget about what you're actually listening to. The best music videos sell the song to you; they take the themes of the track and amplify them, they provide imagery that burns into your mind along with the song itself and they literally make you go, "wow." Like WOW. M.I.A's 'Bad Girls' clip is one of the best music videos I've ever seen. Romain Gavras (who directed the mind-blowing/ranga hatin' video for 'Born Free) and M.I.A throw so many 'wow' moments at you, it's hard to believe they fitted so many amazing ideas into four minutes. From the first moment M.I.A appears in the desert with the fire burning in the background you know you're about to watch something cooler than cool. Flashy outfits, drifting drag races, horse vs car, the stunt driving, a see through GLOW-IN-THE-DARK car (!) and my absolute favourite moment - M.I.A casually sitting on top of the car filing her nails. Oh, I'm sorry, I should repeat that. She is sitting on top of the car filing her nails and singing along like it's something you just do everyday!! Seriously?! Freaking. Wow. (Matt Bond)

Hey Jane
by Spiritualized
Director: AG Rojas

Music video clips can be an interesting beast. Much like music itself, they can be throw away promotion and pure record selling advertisement, or they can be statements, political views and life changing imagery. Much like music itself, while I love the pretty pictures of candy coated promotion, sometimes a clip comes along that I can’t help but adore, because it’s thought provoking imagery changes the way I look at the world.
When Spiritualized released this clip, directed by AG Rojas (a name you’ll want to remember) in the beginning of 2012, it was always bound to cause some controversy. The story of a transgender parent raising their child in a harsh world, all the interesting topics are covered; race, sexuality, substance abuse, prostitution, children and violence, among others. This is less like a music clip and more like a short film with a soundtrack and even though it’s a little over ten minutes long, it’s a clip that I have watched time and time again. While Jason Pierce is singing “Hey Jane where you going today?” over a wall of crunchy guitar sounds, the story of ‘Frida’ plays out in a hopeful yet tragic way and each and every time I see it the final scene makes me gasp, it’s etched into my memory and it pulls at my heartstrings.

Maybe there’s a reason they don’t play clips like these on commercial pay-to-view TV channels all the time. Maybe clips like this are too close to the sad truth and the bitter pill of reality that the general public don’t want to swallow. Just remember, next time you see a Lana Del Rey clip full of beautiful pictures and expensive looking cheap clothing, with faces full of makeup and hair products as far as the eye can see, this is where her marketing team got their ideas from and this is the life that Lana fans aren’t generally willing to see.

Much like music itself, when clips like this are made I take a deep breath and know there’s hope in the world, because as long as clips, or more precisely art, like this is being made, I know music has the ability to make people think and I can’t ask for more than that. (Jo Michelmore)

by The Medics
Director: Lucas Thyer

The Medics have spent the last year and a bit releasing videos that just blow everything else from Australia out of the water. 'Beggars' in 2011 was great, 'Slow Burn' later in 2012 was fantastic, but it's 'Griffin' that is really the perfect clip. The story of the video tells the story in the song without slapping you in the face and saying, "get it?" Just watch it and you'll be very impressed with how good a music video from a new, independent band can be. I'd watch a full movie of this. Someone make it. (Matt Bond)  


Runner-Up: Spiritualized - Hey Jane 

2011 Winner:
'Lonely Boy' by The Black Keys
Runner-Up: 'Somebody That I Used To Know' by Gotye ft. Kimbra

2010 Winner:
'Islands' by The xx