Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015 Scene Awards - Album of the Year

Here we are on the last day of the year and with this day comes our final Scene Award and final post for 2015. Over the past couple of weeks we've had some good times, handing out these awards you might remember...

Song of the Year: 'Clip My Wings' by Montaigne
Video of the Year: 'Drive' by Oh Wonder
Best New Artist: WAAX
Australian Artist of the Year: Ella Hooper
EP of the Year: Only When Flooded Could I Let Go by Jack Colwell
Group of the Year: Little May
Man of the Year: Jack Colwell
Woman of the Year: Courtney Barnett

...and today it's time for Album of the Year! Below our the ten albums we listened to and loved the most over the past twelve months. If you've been with us throughout the year, it might not come as a surprise. And speaking of being with us throughout the year, we'd just like to say a massive thank you to everyone that's stopped by, read and shared our posts and had a chat to us about the musics. It means a lot. Now, have a read of the below and then go and have yourself an awesome New Year's Eve! We'll see you in 2016.


#10. Art Angels
by Grimes

What we said: "While it’s likely untrue, there’s always going to be a part of me that believes Grimes created ‘Flesh Without Blood’ as the perfect fuck you to all of her too cool for school “fans” that couldn’t handle the deliciousness of last year’s ‘Go’. *whinge* Grimes sold out *ugly cry* sah mainstream. ‘Go’ was hardly bubblegum, but if it was the cause of some millennials’ sadness then ‘Flesh Without Blood’ must have given them a heart attack. It’s one of the best pop songs of the year, or any year. Sugary sweet vocals and music that will take you back to the glorious days of 90s alt-pop. ‘Flesh Without Blood’ might not be exactly the same as what Grimes has released in the past, but why would you want it to be? YouTube commenters have jumped on board this time around, with a much more positive reception to the lead single from Art Angels. As we all know, the YouTube comments section can make or break an artist and is the go-to place for intelligent discussion about the musics and cats and stuff."

Grimes in 2015 on It's My Kind of Scene:
#9. To Pimp A Butterfly
by Kendrick Lamar

What we said: "'King Kunta' expresses Lamar's views on the stereotypes facing much of the African-American community in America and for the most part, it leaves out the grandstanding and ego-driven verses that have become the new norm. Lamar could be responsible for taking rap back to its roots. I've got no issues with that."

"Kendrick Lamar is one of those hip hop guys they’ll talk about years from now, when he’s old and grey they’ll talk about his glory days at the top of the hip hop pile, he’ll be one of the ones people twenty years from now talk about influencing their sound, he’ll be the one they name a music award after and he’ll probably be one of the ones that gets sampled over and over and over. Which now thinking about it, will be kind of funny, because Kendrick samples things so well, if other people sample him is that a sample sample or just a sample?"

Kendrick Lamar in 2015 on It's My Kind of Scene:

#8. Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit
by Courtney Barnett

What we said: "[2015] started with previews for her debut album in 'Pedestrian At Best' and 'Depreston', two tracks so different while both show why their performer has breathed new life into the alternative music scene over the past couple of years. Witty, self-deprecating and insightful lyrics that make all kinds of sense the more you hear them. A spoken/sung vocal style that when moved into 'sung' territory is far more emotional than the dry, nonchalant voice most would expect. There's also the guitar driven music that can make you want to jump around one minute and reflect on everything the next. The debut album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit would be released in April to critical acclaim, while Barnett found herself on the lineups to major festivals all over the world. Four wins from eight nominations at the ARIA Awards would follow, as well as performances on late night television in America and a nomination for Best New Artist at the 2016 Grammys. Oh, and Sometimes I Sit... took out the J Award for Album of the Year and deservedly so."

Courtney Barnett in 2015 on It's My Kind of Scene:
#7. twelvefour
by The Paper Kites

What we said: "For those that originally fell for The Paper Kites and the beautiful banjo that took us into 'St. Clarity', you'll find more than enough to love about twelvefour, which builds upon the sounds of States as opposed to moving away from them completely. Yes, you'll hear David Powys' banjo throughout and yes, it's still awesome. There's also some bluesy elements that are pulled off very nicely, like the guitar work in the definitively heartbreaking 'Too Late'. "You're always in my head, branding your fire on my lips, but this still won't work no, no, love you have come too late." Stop dragging this heart around, but don't stop dragging this heart around. It's like the relationship that begins in 'Electric Indigo' was doomed from the start and you'll just find yourself back at the start after 'Too Late' finishes anyway, so get ready to experience it all over again. It's all kinds of awesome. And another stellar addition to the discography of one of our favourite Australian acts."

"My love of lyrics is well documented, so it’s pretty much a no brainer that I love the little tale that The Paper Kites tell in this super saccharine sweet little tune. I love the little tale of love and the life and I love the feeling in my guts when front man Sam Bentley sings that line about people dying from the silent cause, but it’s the lump in the back of my throat that really hits it all home, at the “thought that I was different when you looked at me, but this quiet desperation is killing me too” When you put all those words with such a modest little guitar, well, oh my goodness, some songs are just divine aren’t they?"

The Paper Kites in 2015 on It's My Kind of Scene:
#6. Every Open Eye
by Chvrches

What we said: "...releasing their second album Every Open Eye in September they earned themselves a place on countless ‘best of 2015’ lists (including our own), they landed themselves impressive spots on charts everywhere (everywhere meaning too many places for me to bother wikiped-ing) and they toured extensively, like all good hard working bands do. Add to those stats the fact that they have themselves a singer with a take no prisoners attitude, who numerous times over has faced a plethora of misogyny, hatred and general offence and has fought every single bit so eloquently along the way on this thing we call the internet, all the while becoming a perfect example of how to remain strong and unaffected in today’s world of social media and the people who insist on using it in negative ways. And the most important part, they are a band that kept me company with those incredible songs, those addictive beats and so many words, “we will take the best parts of ourselves and make them gold”…all those words that kept me sane in a way only music can. They are one very important part of my year of music."

"This is exactly everything I love about Chvrches. It’s everything I love about all the music I love the most, but especially everything I love about Chvrches. You can dance, you can jump, you can call them electronica, you can call them simple pop, you can say they sound like a bazillion others or they sound just like their first album, or even worse than their first, or better, or you can whinge about Lauren Mayberry having an actual opinion because she’s a girl and how dare girls have an opinion, or you can talk about how poor Iain Cook and Martin Doherty don’t get enough attention because Lauren is an attention seeking whore, but if you think any of those things, you can fuck right off actually. Because while the people thinking those things have been busy being annoying, Chvrhces have been busy been writing music that can either make you throw your head back and dance like everyone is watching, or crouch on the floor with tears in your eyes, because words like this “If I ever try to push away, you can just keep me, tell me tell me you’ll keep me….please say you’ll meet me halfway” make me wonder how they manage to turn the very worst of emotions into some of the very best. I’m not sure, but it’s everything I love about them."  

Chvrches in 2015 on It's My Kind of Scene:

#5. How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
by Florence + The Machine

What we said: " feels like she has been around forever, making music since the beginning of time. Now thinking about that, her music kind of has that timeless feel to it, all the drama and all the giant notes and dramatic highs and lows, whether they be celebrating a wonderful moment or wallowing in moments of despair, this is a band that can take all the emotions and make them magnificent. If my life were a made for TV movie, I’d hope Florence appeared in the score somewhere, because wherever she was, good or bad, what a moment it would be."

"With the release of the LP How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful we found Ms Welch reflecting on some pretty crappy times. Nothing new from one of the UK's biggest music exports. But their was more of a light at the end of the tunnel this time around. It wasn't all dramatic imagery of death, war and the notion that life was slowly dragging our leading lady down. Nope, this time you could actually believe that things were looking up, with the album ending in the most positive fashion yet for Florence + The Machine. For the most part, gone too was the supposedly overbearing (to some, not I) orchestration of Ceremonials. With a more grounded sound, the music became far more relatable and you only have to listen to 'Ship To Wreck' to understand why. A more classic British rock sound with one of the most powerful voices in the world. How you could not love this, I'll never understand."

Florence + The Machine in 2015 on It's My Kind of Scene:

#4. Dream Team
by The Grates 

What we said: "Released in the very last week of November in 2014 (thus qualifying for our 2015 lists) as the fourth studio album from Brisbane's most rocking and rolling hospitality proprietors, Dream Team was everything we love so much about sunshine state rock. It's got that DIY garage sound that's devoid of unnecessary bells and whistles, lyrics that range from witty to profound in the space of seconds and it runs through a range of emotions that will feel like a slap in the face, a punch in the gut, a stab in the heart and then it'll do the opposite. From the party starting 'Holiday Home' to the knockout, 60s-inspired ballad 'What's Wrong With You' and the so-Brisbane-it-hurts '7-Eleven' there's way too much to love here. It's the reality check that is 'It Won't Hurt Anymore' and the regret soaked 'Back To Back' that elevate Dream Team into 'something special' territory and will keep you coming back for more."

"The Grates have been sounding like The Grates since forever, which is good really, considering things would be a bit weird if they started sounding like Katy Perry in the middle of things, although I wouldn’t complain about that either. ‘Holiday Home’ is perfectly Grates; quickfire, bass heavy, Patience sounding all manic even when she’s not being manic at all with a clip so perfectly VHS it hurts. Go google VHS kids. It doesn’t stand for anything you want to snapchat. Maybe it does. I can’t keep up with the kids these days."

The Grates in 2015 on It's My Kind of Scene:

#3. Eternal Return
by Sarah Blasko

What we said: "At this point, a new album from Sarah Blasko is like catching up with that friend you just don't get to see as much as you'd like. The visits might be few and far between, once every couple of years or so, but you know you're going to have the best time while they're around. And you're going to have memories of the experiences you've shared forever. Yep, five studio albums in and Sarah Blasko is pretty much your musical BFF (at least she should be, get on board already why don't 'cha?). Widely regarded as one of the most intriguing and emotionally engaging artists in the world, Blasko shows there's still so many sides of her we've yet to see on Eternal Return. Those that she reveals throughout this ten track collection could prove to be her most endearing yet as she steps away from the cinematic orchestrations of I Awake and into dreamy, synth-heavy soundscapes. You'll want to dance. You'll sigh those sighs that can only come with the words of one of Australia's finest songwriters, who's approaching her music from a place far more content with life than what has come before. And you might even find your heart broken and put back together several times on a song or two."

"So, if I was a fortune teller and you’d given me a crystal ball 18 months ago and asked me to tell you what Sarah Blasko would be doing in 2015, I’d have made up some elaborate story about orchestral arrangements, haircuts, something fabulous and a someone starting with a random letter of the alphabet. That’s about how much I believe in fortune telling and crystal balls, but I would have been right about one thing and that’s the fabulous part, because with the release of her fifth album Eternal Return she hit fabulous right on the mark; an enchanting pop delight, not at all what I would have expected from Ms Blasko, but a masterpiece nonetheless. The new wave type synths and falsetto vocals make ‘I’d Be Lost’ anything but lost, it’s a piece of electro-retro inspired greatness and her album was just as great. I might not be a fortune teller but I can tell you that Blasko keeps getting better and better with every album, so who can even imagine how good her next one is going to be?"

Sarah Blasko in 2015 on It's My Kind of Scene:

Runner-Up: The Positions
by Gang of Youths 

What we said: "When a four piece band from Sydney appeared in my world early this year, everything about them impressed me and everything about them affected me; the controlled mania of the drums, the tidy chords of dirty guitars and the voice of a man who surely must have been put on this earth purely to sing. The words he sings prove different, but that emotional rock voice, oh sweet merciful Jesus, or something like that. Their sound, as gloriously uplifting as it is gloomy and depressing and their storytelling skills are what makes this band magical, because the difficulty and desperate balance of the good with the bad is exactly everything that everything is. Sometimes musicians write songs to be hits, sometimes musicians write songs to pay the rent, sometimes musicians write songs to fill the space and sometimes some musicians write songs because they have to, because they simply must. The Positions is an album written for necessity, listened to for the desperate need of company and heard by the heart."

"It's the sound of a stadium rock band in the making, and, with any luck Australia's next great musical export. It's easy to get distracted from all that previously mentioned joy when it comes to the music of 'Magnolia', but like all of the Gang of Youths' tracks, it's deeper than you'd expect and you'll ask questions about the narrator's status as an alcoholic, but the music keeps things above board on the emotional spectrum."

Gang of Youths in 2015 on It's My Kind of Scene:

WINNER: For The Company
by Little May

What we said: "There's a lot of talk about the sad songs Little May come up with, even from Hamilton, Field and Drummond themselves. The great thing about sad songs is they generally come from a place that a listener will have some form of shared experience. And there's nothing to make you feel a little bit better than not feeling so alone, right? Right. As you grow up just a little bit, you can appreciate the sad songs on a different level. It's not just feeling that they're sad, it's understanding why. And that really is awesome. And so are Little May. For music coming from a "sad" place, it sure does make us happy. Sure it's only October, but it really doesn't get better than this. Album of the Year? It'll be hard to convince me of any less."

"While Little May are starting to fall into the ‘loved by millions’ category, the theme about everything we write is the same; astounding voices, brilliant musicians writing incredible tales in intense ways about situations that one of us has been in, or one of us relates to, or one of us understands, or both of us just really want a dance to."

"It's that album, For The Company, that only further establishes the trio as the most thrilling and devastatingly heartbreaking songwriters and performers in the country. And if they're the best Australia has to offer in the music making department, they're the best in the world too."

Little May in 2015 on It's My Kind of Scene:

2014 Winner:
The Golden Echo by Kimbra
Runner-Up: I Never Learn by Lykke Li

2013 Winner:
The Electric Lady by Janelle Monae
Runner-Up: Mosquito by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

2012 Winner:
Theatre Is Evil by Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra
Runner-Up: Blunderbuss by Jack White

2011 Winner:
Seeker Lover Keeper by Seeker Lover Keeper
Runner-Up: Vows by Kimbra

2010 Winner:
The Suburbs by Arcade Fire

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