Sunday, 30 December 2012

2012 Scene Awards - Woman of the Year



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)



7. Ellie Goulding





It took forever and a day, but Ellie Goulding scaled to the upper echelon of the US Billboard charts with the anthemic 'Lights', peaking at #2 almost a year-and-a-half after its release. Her stateside success couldn't have come at a more opportune moment, as she found herself on the cusp of debuting her second LP, Halcyon and it's first single, 'Anything Could Happen.' Both proved to be hits, with the album holding a special little place in my heart as one of my favourite 2012 LP's. From the haunting sadness that emanates from 'I Know You Care' to the galloping force of title track 'Halcyon,' the triumphant 'Explosions' and desperate 'Figure 8,' it's an album Goulding can be proud to call her own. However it was her separation from girlfriend Skrillex that truly earned her a spot on this list. I'm sorry? Skrillex is a what now? (Matt Bond)   




6. Mia Dyson





Great storytellers in music will always gravitate towards the genres of rock and country. There's something about the blazing guitar, thundering percussion and heartbreaking piano that add so much more to both the pain and glory found in the words of a powerful songwriter. Mia Dyson is a true storyteller; words that match some of our favourites like Eddie Vedder and Bruce Springsteen and a voice to rival the power of KD Lang, packed full of emotion that moves right through your body. Her fourth studio album, The Moment will in time go down as her defining record. There's the fist-pumping anthem ('When The Moment Comes'), the love-lost tale of regret ('Pistol') and the crushing rock ballad ('Dancing On The Edge'). There's everything you need and more on The Moment. Go out and listen to it... now. (Matt Bond) 




5. Gin Wigmore





Not knowing much about Gin Wigmore before walking into her show at the Black Bear Lodge in April, I found myself blown away by her entire performance. It was a completely new experience for me, seeing someone live and not knowing even a couple of their songs, but I fell in love with all of them after just one listen. Wigmore, a captivating beauty with a mighty fine jazz-infused voice, powered through her latest album, Gravel and Wine; the foot-stomping riot that is 'Man Like That,' the seductive 'Devil In Me' and my personal favourite - the 60s rock-ballad inspired 'If Only.' Then there's 'Black Sheep.' That's a money single right there. I walked out of the Black Bear with a mission to hunt down everything Gin Wigmore had done. Just her music, not like her grade 10 art pieces. Because that would just be weird and it's really hard to find that sort of stuff because she grew up in New Zealand and I'm here in Australia. Don't judge me, I'm sure she gained a whole host of creepy new fans after she and the track 'Man Like That' featured in the new James Bond ad campaign for Heineken. The world has started calling Gin Wigmore's name and it seems like the best is definitely yet to come for one of our favourite ladies of 2012. (Matt Bond)     




4. Kimbra





When Matt named Kimbra Woman Of The Year 2011, he said that our award was nothing in comparison to what she was going to deliver in her career. While I still think our award was quite impressive, he was probably right, for none of us knew just how awesome 2012 was going to be for her. Like Gotye, Kimbra has managed to not only successfully ride the wave that ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ created across the world, but she created a wave for herself with her delicious debut album ‘Vows’ achieving commercial and critical success in both the US and Canada as well as Europe and Asia. She proved she has a lot more to come with the release of ‘Warrior’ with A-Trak and Mark Foster and she took her entrancing, bouncy, beautiful self across the world, playing gigs to new and not so new adoring audiences. Ultimately, this year, Kimbra proved herself to be a musician with a giant, bright future ahead of her; she has the talent and the skill to create more and more musical magic and she has the charming personality to do it with a sense of unassuming appreciation for where she’s been and where she’s going. Here at It’s My Kind Of Scene, we’re happy to have declared ourselves fans; in 2011, now in 2012 and hopefully many more years to come. (Jo Michelmore) 




3. Sarah Blasko





She is Australia's most ambitious export, an artist who is well on her way to matching the legacy of our most creative icons. She has a way with words that can break your heart, melt it or put it back together. She creates a sound so distinct and separate from what is conventionally popular, but has a clear grasp of what makes a memorable tune. She is a storyteller; mysterious one moment, devastatingly honest the next. She takes you on a journey you never want to end with the brilliant album, I Awake. She has created a masterpiece, a collection of songs that will speak to you for a lifetime. She is everything I love about music. She is Sarah Blasko. (Matt Bond)  




Runner-Up - Santigold





Santi White has made herself known throughout all of 2012. January's release of 'Big Mouth' set the stage for an incredible year of Santigold goodness, with the hits from Master of My Make-Believe dominating the airwaves, our top 20 and even our end of year countdown. It's been said that with your first album you have nothing to prove, but you have everything to prove with your second. Santi set her sights on the amazingly high expectations placed upon her when the dust had cleared from the breakthrough Santogold and casually destroyed them with the must-listen Master of My Make-Believe. It's as if she designed it to improve with each listen; layered tracks that leave more and more to be discovered. I've gone back and forth between so many of the tracks as my favourite, but in the end it will always be 'Big Mouth.' It's larger than life sound is the perfect compliment to Santigold's larger than life personality that shone bright in 2012. There was only one other woman who had greater presence throughout the year and that is the purty lady below... (Matt Bond) 




WINNER - AMANDA PALMER 





The Amanda Palmer year. One artist, this year she changed the music industry landscape. Her kickstarter campaign asked supporters to pledge donations to fund her album ‘Theatre Is Evil’ before it was released or made or anyone had heard a note. It raised $1,192,793. With that campaign, AFP proved that while music companies are important, they may not always be essential to every artist. The music industry is tough and will remain the same for a time to come, but for a minute she turned it upside down, gave it a shake and put it back down again. Supporters, people who believe in a dream, people who believe in independent music, people who jumped on a bandwagon, people like myself and Matt all pledged and were rewarded with an incredible album and proved that what is important in the music industry is the part that’s often forgotten by that industry itself; the music.


For me personally, the Amanda Palmer year means something else. After seeing her play live in January, she did to me what she did to the music industry; she turned me upside down, gave me a shake and put me back down again, except I was left with a gentle hug and a hand on my shoulder, ready to face the world. That’s what your favourite music should do. Her entire back catalogue and especially her new album with The Grand Theft Orchestra quickly found itself a special place in my heart. 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. As a believer in Amanda’s mantra “we are the media” I can only hope that my small words on our little blog have helped someone else find what I have. If you’re one of the lucky ones, music is like your closest friends; it's constant, it's fun, it's amazing, it's a support and it means just about everything. Every now and then, an artist comes along to remind me of that. Sincerely, thank you Amanda Palmer, this year, you are that artist and your music, like the friend it is, has meant just about everything. (Jo Michelmore)


2011 Winner: Kimbra
Runner-Up: Adele

2010 Winner: M.I.A


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