We move on from our favourite videos of 2014 to take a look at some new friends that rocked our musical world throughout the year. That's right, it's time to hand out our Scene Award for the Best New Artist to come into our lives this year. We've got a feeling these four acts are going to have an even bigger 2015 too. Let's meet them!
BEST NEW ARTIST:
The concept of the new artist category is kind of funny; because while they’re new to us, the likelihood is that they’ve been working and dreaming hard about being a full time musician for a long time. I guess that’s why I like this category so much, I love the idea of dreams coming true and after the year that Montaigne has had, I suspect those dreams are much more reality these days. Jess Cerro was a finalist in the JJJ Unearthed High comp two years ago, but she gave it a couple of years, finished off all that high school stuff, lived a little life and what she’s become is the fabulous Montaigne; which means a more mature sound than we first heard and some intense subject matters wrapped up in slightly off beats, keys and synths that evoke all sorts of emotions I’m sometimes not totally comfortable with, which makes them just perfect. Combine all of that with Jess’ delightful voice, which can hit notes in ways a lot only dream about, the release of her debut EP Life Of Montaigne, with all its waves of emotion and anger (hello ‘I Am Not An End’), confusion (hello ‘I’m A Fantastic Wreck’) and bittersweet words (hello ‘A Cinematic Plea For An End’) and you have yourself one of some of our favourite songs of the year, one of our fave clips of the year and there you have one of our fave ‘new’ artists of 2014. (Jo Michelmore)
#3. Jack Colwell and The Owls
Sometimes I wish I lived in Sydney, because if I did I definitely would have heard of Jack Colwell before this year and would have more than likely been able to catch him performing live around town. Seriously though, I wouldn't live in Sydney ever, but it'd be great to see the very talented Mr Colwell and his Owls doing their thing. We had a delightful little chat with Jack earlier in the year and he described his music and himself like dis... "I am a 24year young Sydney boy experimenting with lyfe and kulcha. I come from a classically trained background but decided I liked playing rock music more, I used to write chamber-folk and chamber-pop but now I want to be sxxxy so I write shoegazy kind of stuff. My music is often sad, but don't blame me, blame my ex-boyfriends." Loves it.
I love Colwell's music just as much. 'Far From View' scored the #5 spot on our Top 114 Songs of the Year list and it's one of the most hauntingly beautiful tracks you'll hear. The dramatic and cinematic atmosphere that's built by Jack is unforgettable. His background in classical music shows in the gorgeous compositions on tracks like 'Seek The Wilde' and the live recording of 'C.O.A.T' you can hear on his Soundcloud page. How such a talented young artist remains unsigned and how our national youth broadcaster wasn't all over a track like 'Far From View' sorta-kinda blows my mind, but I'm just sitting over here thinking 2015 is going to be a big year for Jack Colwell and, I've said it before, but hopefully all that success he deserves will be coming his way. (Matt Bond)
Runner-Up: JP Klipspringer
Ah JP, what a fabulous little representation of 2014 you are. You with all your words making me want to give you a giant hug, with all your synths making me want to sway this way and that, with that song ‘Anastacia’ making me reminisce of times I’ve loved, with all of your EP Drip Dry making me want to sit back, drink a beer and enjoy every second, you have defined part of 2014 for me. I’ll never forget that day I hit play on ‘Bury Me’ for the first time, it is still as comforting as it is lonely and with every listen (which must have reached the thousands by now) I fall a little more in love with it. That song took me to a whole new healthy obsession, with the name JP Klipspringer on my lips every time I had a conversation about what I was listening to at the time. All of that and the fact that when we did a little interview with JP earlier this year he admitted his dislike of that ‘Thrift Shop’ song, he declared his love for singer songwriter types, he asked to have a beer together one day AND he admitted his favourite four letter word was, are you ready for it? Pies. What more could you want in an artist? Not much more, I say. (Jo Michelmore)
WINNER: Tkay Maidza
Tkaaaaay! What did Tkay do in 2014 to capture our complete and undivided attention? Slay. No other rap and/or hip hop artist to come out of Australia has made us sit up and take notice like Tkay Maidza. She's not just very good at what she does. She's incredible. And she's got a good head on her shoulders for someone so young and, even though a healthy dose of ego goes a long way in her chosen field, is showing no signs of brewing up some insane diva-tude. Tkay's got game (please excuse my attempts to garner street cred), can rap up a storm and the lady can sing too. We know this, because we've heard her latest single, 'Switch Lanes'. It's real good like and hopefully we'll be hearing it on 'Straya Day on the Hottest 100.
There was very little doubt we'd be naming Tkay Maidza our Best New Artist of 2014. She dominated our weekly Top 25, shutting all others out of the #1 spot for close to three months. Maidza ended the year at #47 (Kilter's 'They Say'), #43 ('Finish Them') and #13 ('Switch Lanes') on our Top 114 Songs of the Year countdown. Oh... and #1. Can't forget that 'U-Huh' was our favourite song of the entire year. We got to hear it live a couple of times, dance around, jump up and down. Yeah, it's the best. And so's Tkay Maidza. Her star's on the rise, she's already getting love from all over the world. What's next for her we don't know, but it's going to be awesome. U-huh. (Matt Bond)
Runner-Up: Michelle Xen
Curxes/Kira Puru and The Bruise (Tie)
Runner-Up: Nick and Liesl/Laneway (Tie)
Lana Del Rey/James Blake (Tie)
Runner-Up: Emma Louise