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

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