Tuesday, 29 December 2015

2015 Scene Awards - Man of the Year

Ah, yes... the Man of the Year award. This is usually the point in the Scene Awards when we sit around, twiddling our thumbs and think about what solo dudes made an impact on the charts, or did something, or is there a lead singer of a band we can throw in here to make up numbers? Dave Grohl? 2015 was a very different year. This time there was no twiddling of the thumbs, no scanning the ARIA charts to see if there were any male singers on it. This year we didn't have to look overseas or in some cases very far at all. 2015 was all about the Australian fellas making the musics. And the nominees are...


4. James Chatburn

We like to go on and on about how the charts aren't important and quality music doesn't always translate to sales and if you just believe in yourself dreams will come true etc. etc. I'm not going to lie though, it sure was nice to see James Chatburn's name in the top 10 on the ARIA charts a couple of weeks ago. You might have heard his voice on the radio as he's currently featured on the Hilltop Hoods' new single, 'Higher'. It's Chatburn's first visit to the upper echelon of a music chart and we have no doubt it won't be his last. There's just no way that his brand of nu-soul can be denied and he's already building up a solid fan base, with thousands of online streams to his name. 2015 saw the release of three solo singles; 'Holiday Love', 'We Drink' and 'Creator'. Funky beats and smooth vocal tones all around, you only need to give them one listen and you won't be able to get them out of your head. Along with Donna, his partner in crime from The Septembers, Chatburn would relocate to Berlin earlier in the year and the duo collaborated with producer Saux to release your new favourite chill out jam 'Work'. Three of the previously mentioned singles would find a home on our Top 115 Songs of 2015 list. If that's not enough to garner a mention here, I don't know what is. Safe to say, the best is yet to come for James Chatburn. We can't wait to see what he releases in 2016. (Matt Bond) 

3. Vance Joy

There is and always has been a certain elitism in music fan-dom, there are people who are "into" music and there are people who listen to whatever is on the radio. Both types of fans are important, because as long as you're listening, then you're winning as far as I'm concerned. There are certain artists who I admire, who manage to keep a foot in both camps of music fan-dom; the ones "into music" have loved them since their first independent release *insert number* of years ago and the rest of the world loves them because *insert big name pop star here* loves them. Vance Joy is one of those artists, his sweet little brand of indie pop is honest and addictive and the fact that a certain pop star also likes him just means his ability to write super catchy, super delightful tales in song is appreciated by lots and lots of music fans. 2015 was a big year for ol' Vancey, riding the wave of success from last year, all the while still managing to release songs straight from the heart; 'Georgia' as captivating as the song it pays homage to and 'Fire And The Flood' made our own list of Top 115 Songs of 2015 (possibly not its biggest achievement). All of this and he continued to make huge curly hair remain as fashionable as it ever was. Was it ever? Questions for other times. Here's to more artists like Vance Joy making fans of music and fans of the radio happy together, because we can all get along, regardless of whether Vance or Taylor or Bieber is allowed on the Hottest 100, right? (Jo Michelmore)

Runner-Up: Jeremy Neale

Do you think one day, a few years from now, if the concept of saying everything within a limited character count via social media finally dies and we continue on this little writing crusade of ours, that instead of Man of the Year we start naming it Bachelor of the Year, Cosmopolitan style? Do you think Cosmopolitan will still exist in a few years time? Actually, does it exist now? And if it does, why hasn't this guy, one of our Man of the Year names, already been crowned top number one Bachelor of the Year? Is he a bachelor? Do bachelors still exist these days or is it just another name for a D(?) grade celebrity? So many questions, so little time. A man who probably has all the answers is Jeremy Neale, because his knowledge of all things important and motivational is well documented on his own social media accounts. He also looks quite good in 80s style fashion, which means he's perfect fodder for Bachelor of the Year. But beyond all that, he's actually an incredibly talented musician, who released one of the greatest EPs of this year in Let Me Go Out In Style, an 80s drenched daydream, a piece of absolute pop perfection, filled with countless guests and a production that screams retro without sounding old. Like a time machine in musical form, it took everything that should be remembered about 30 plus years ago and made it all new, made it superbly magnificent and made it some of my favourite musical moments of the year. Keep your eyes on Mr Neale, if he doesn't make Cosmo's competition next year, I'm re-naming our award next year, and you know who's going to win. Hint: release some more new amazing music next year please Mr Neale. (Jo Michelmore)

WINNER: Jack Colwell

EP of the Year wasn't enough, Jack Colwell must have ALL of the awards. And all of the awards he shall have. After a breakout 2014, this year would see Colwell's stock continue to rise off the strength of the Only When Flooded Could I Let Go EP. He seemed to be everywhere in 2015. There was the delicious throwback single 'Don't Cry Those Tears' to get us excited for the EP, an appearance on the Bad//Dreems album cover, Rolling Stone features and music videos with Claudia Karvan getting her drown on. As in she drowns someone, she doesn't drown herself. Nobody can stop the Karvan. Looking forward to 2016, audiences around the country will be able to see Jack open for Sarah Blasko and we're totally excited to finally get to see him performing live. But let's come back to what makes Jack Colwell our Man of the Year for 2015... his music. Only When Flooded Could I Let Go was a triumph on every level. An artistic achievement in which Colwell confidently carves out his own space in the music world. Theatrical, dramatic and unforgettable symphonic pop that delights all of the senses. His is a music that plays on a level only the very best could dare to pull off and he makes it seem all too easy. Vulnerable and exposed are words that could be applied to every song, from the honesty of 'C.O.A.T' to the world weariness dripping from 'Quintilis'. Sophisticated and stunning, nobody makes a painful declaration sound as classy as Jack Colwell. We wouldn't have it any other way. (Matt Bond)

2014  Winner:
Jack White
Runner-Up: Harts

2013 Winner:
Runner-Up: Pharrell Williams

2012 Winner:
Jack White
Runner-Up: Frank Ocean

2011 Winner:
Runner-Up: Justin Vernon (Bon Iver)

2010 Winner:
Kanye West

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