Monday, 21 December 2015

2015 Scene Awards - Best New Artist






BEST NEW ARTIST:


4. Leon Bridges




This is a guy I’ve been wanting to write about for months now, but you know, time is precious and all that, so sometimes the life gets in the way of the blog and so on and so forth, but sometimes the so on and so forth involves spending time with the sounds of an artist like Leon Bridges and when someone is as talented as he, that could never be considered a bad way to spend time. They have called him soul and gospel and blues and r’n’b and roots and jazz but whatever they want to call him, he’s so simply so very, very good. In a world filled with a bombardment of information and communication and a yearning to like and be liked, it’s so refreshing to get lost in sounds from another place and another time, to hear someone pay tribute to some of the artists who built the foundations of so many of the songs we love today. In a world filled with so much fast food music, Leon Bridges is gourmet, a fine wine you might say in a world full of fizzy pop. He manages to whisk you away to a time simpler than now, where liking someone meant more than a double tap on your phone and a lot more effort than a few words on a screen. But regardless of when, where and how ones heart aches for another, the themes are the same, and I guess that’s the key, isn’t it? If the music is honest, it can fit in any time and space, and Leon Bridges is today’s proof of that. (Jo Michelmore)


3. ALTA




So ALTA aren't technically new, but if the Grammy Awards have some random rules about who qualifies for a Best New Artist award, why can't we? Sure, we're no Grammys (we're better), but our rules will state, must be an artist we haven't heard of or something to qualify for the Best New Artist award, like whatever. Since Melbourne's ALTA first came to our attention with the glorious single 'Moves', they find themselves in contention. Their experimental electronic sounds, combined with engaging vocals, get me excited in the same way as when The Presets first started making an impact. Songs like 'Moves' and the tracks that make up this year's Awake For Days EP sound fresh and unique, with complex beats from the minds of Julius Dowson and Hannah Lesser, the latter who provides those effortlessly cool vocal stylings. Their music gives me all of the warm and fuzzies, which means I want to hear a whole lot more from them as soon as possible. A tour up Brisbane way would be much appreciated in the new year! (Matt Bond)   


Runner-Up: Life Is Better Blonde




I think this New Artist category could be my favourite of all these Scene Awards, because it’s the one I get to throw my heart blindly into, the one I get to take a blind leap of faith and say I really don’t know much about this artist yet, but goddamn it I love them. Life Is Better Blonde were one I fell instantly for earlier this year, the understated beats of ‘Mine’ were so alluring, that organ desperately looking for home, sounding perfectly placed by sounding perfectly misplaced. The fragility of ‘Follow Me’ was splendid, understated yet enthralling, that misplaced organ of ‘Mine’ being replaced by a misplaced piano in the same magical way, I’m not sure how it all fits together but I dare not ask and just enjoy the ride. All of this magic was taken straight from my headphones to the stage at BIGSOUND this year, where they clearly proved they are no two trick pony, each song as strong as the last, each sound as confident as one needs to be without an air of self-importance, each minute they played making me desperate for the next, to see how talented they were. I think we can safely say we’ll be hearing more from all that is LIBB next year and here’s hoping they move from the New Artist category straight into the Best of the Best category next year. Wait, we don’t have that award. Let’s see how LIBB go, we might need to add that one next year. (Jo Michelmore)


WINNER: WAAX




Brisbane has a very proud history of producing brilliant rock acts, with the garage sound pretty much perfected in the sunshine state's capital. With WAAX, we have something a bit wilder, with a dangerous edge that draws your attention in a totally captivating way. They've turned the standard Brisbane rock sound on its head in 2015 and we've loved every minute of it. Debut EP, Holy Sick, is a riotous affair that will make you want to embrace your inner rock star and rebel against the system by like... I dunno, calling in sick to work and sleeping in late and... I'm getting old ok, I'm hardly going to bust out the leathers, get into fights with bikers and paint the town red. 'I For An Eye' would mark my introduction to the four-piece and it was like a really satisfying slap in the face, which would probably mean it's like slapping someone in the face because that's a whole lot more satisfying than being slapped in the face. Marie Devita's opening scream of, "I'm just a girl," will leave you with little doubt in your mind that she's a lot of things, none of which consist of her being 'just' anything. She's a force of nature throughout 'I For An Eye' and the EP's title track 'Holy Sick', before showing she and the band are far from a one note act on my favourite EP cut, 'CC Thugs'. That last one is rock perfection and enough for me to believe that there is a very bright future ahead for Brisbane's new face of rock. Brisbane today, tomorrow the world. (Matt Bond)


2014 Winner:
Tkay Maidza
Runner-Up: JP Klipspringer


2013 Winner:
Little May
Runner-Up: Michelle Xen


2012 Winner:
Curxes/Kira Puru and The Bruise (Tie)
Runner-Up: Nick and Liesl/Laneway (Tie)


2011 Winner:
Lana Del Rey/James Blake (Tie)
Runner-Up: Emma Louise


2010 Winner:
Ellie Goulding

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