Monday, 28 December 2015

2015 Scene Awards - Group of the Year




2015 is days away from being some year that we used to know, but before it cuts us off we still have four Scene Awards to hand out. Today we have Group of the Year, a personal favourite as it always drives traffic to our site from unsuspecting porn watchers hoping for a good time searching for things like 'best group scene' and 'groups 2015' and other stuff I probably shouldn't write here because the children are our future. Or something. Kids... don't do drugs, stay in school and listen to our four nominees for Group of the Year.


GROUP OF THE YEAR:


4. Chvrches




It’s a pretty intense process, picking our nominations for these Scene Awards. Sometimes it involves a phone call, sometimes it involves a beverage, sometimes it may even involve a text message and a heated conversation. No, I mean, we don’t argue, it’s just so damn hot where we live at this time of year. Aaaaanyway, while the decision making process might not be quite Grammy standard (but who can say how they figure things out anyway?) the intention is always the same – who are the groups and bands that meant the most to us this year? Who are the ones that made the music we love the most, who are the ones who made an impact in some way, whether that be through their business and/or their morals and/or their music? My first choice was pretty simple, because this band have managed to have an impact in all those ways this year; 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. They are Chvrches. (Jo Michelmore) 


3. The Grates




As 2015 kicked off, there was one album I couldn't get enough of. One album to rule them all, one album to find them, one album to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. Wait, no that's Lord of the Rings or something. I'm talking about The Grates' Dream Team! That's the album I couldn't get enough of. It's the album I still can't get enough of. 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. Patience Hodgson and John Patterson were joined by drummer Ritchie Daniel for the record and tour, bringing back the three-piece joy The Grates delivered for their first two albums. With The Grates reborn, the crazy, energetic performances we've come to know and love came with it as they embarked on the 'Team Work Makes The Dream Work' tour. In a year full of incredible live music performances, it was The Grates at The Triffid in Brisbane that could be my favourite. Patience is without question the most engaging, fearless and powerful performer in the country (and that means in the world too). There was bouncing, there was singing along, there was the magic moment created during 'It Won't Hurt Anymore' and there were a lot of roses being thrown around. It was all kinds of perfect and you know what else was perfect? Having The Grates back in 2015. Hopefully we'll be seeing and hearing a lot more from them in 2016 too. (Matt Bond)


Runner-Up: Gang of Youths




I don’t want to get all philosophical here or anything, but sometimes I ask myself some questions and sometimes answers appear in the most unexpected of places. Sometimes the questions are serious and sometimes they are seriously hilarious, but there was always a sweet little musical theme that underlined them in 2015. 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. Regardless of what their future holds, Gang Of Youths are just a gang of boys searching for their way in life, but they are a band that will remain important, because they have created a sound that is more than a position on a chart or a singalong at a gig. Without getting all philosophical here, they have created a tale worth being told, a musical life worth living and an answer we all need to hear sometimes, which is usually a question in itself. But oh what a lovely way to search for all the meaning, with sounds like theirs. (Jo Michelmore)


WINNER: Little May




I'm pretty sure we're going to have to rename this the 'Little May presents It's My Kind of Scene's Group of the Year' award from now on. Two-time champs and runner-up in 2013? Annie Hamilton, Hannah Field and Liz Drummond run this town. Really though, if you've listened to their debut album For The Company you'll understand why we've pretty much set up totally non-creepy tributes/shrines in our homes for Little May. Their music is astonishing. Amazing, incredible, astounding, perfect, beautiful, enchanting, engrossing, brilliant, gorgeous, heartbreaking, stunning. There aren't enough words we can throw around when talking about their music and we've probably used them all in the past, but it doesn't make it any less true. One EP and one LP into their careers and Little May are already firmly secured in our life soundtracks. Music makers we'll cherish and be listening to forever. The very best artists provide you with stories that compliment your own, that speak to you in a way of understanding... because what's being spoken of is really subject matter you would never speak to another about. Their songs make you feel a little less alone and a whole lot less crazy. They become the friends that are around when no one else can be there, that can put a smile on your face and, quite literally, a song in your heart. Little May have proven to be that and so much more over the past couple of years, never more so than in 2015. The 2015 Little May presents It's My Kind of Scene's Group of the Year award goes to... Little May! See you in 2016? (Matt Bond)    


2014 Winner:
Little May
Runner-Up: Kingswood


2013 Winner:
Chvrches
Little May


2012 Winner:
Texas Tea
Runner-Up: Garbage


2011 Winner:
Seeker Lover Keeper
Runner-Up: Little Dragon


2010 Winner:
Arcade Fire

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