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.


ALBUM OF THE YEAR:


#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: "...it 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
 

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

2015 Scene Awards - Woman of the Year




This is the award we have the most difficulty with, because how are we meant to narrow down the Woman of the Year award to six nominees when there's so many women writing so many amazing masterpieces and making us dance and cry and being all amazing and stuff? How did we decide? We stuck a bunch of names in a black woollen hipster hat* and these six came out. You're welcome.
*Not actually true. Neither of us own a hat like that.


WOMAN OF THE YEAR:

6. Taylor Swift





It only seems fair that we acknowledge the achievements of the biggest female artist on the planet. Right now that's undoubtedly Adele. But for the other 11 months of the year? It was all about Swift. She started the year with 'Blank Space' as the biggest song in the world, with parent album 1989 still at the top of the charts. The album would remain in top 10s around the world for the rest of the year. 'Blank Space' is currently the second most watched YouTube video of all time. 'Style', 'Bad Blood' and 'Wildest Dreams' would dominate radio and the charts, with 'Bad Blood' providing the biggest event video of the year before taking out top honours at the MTV Video Music Awards. Then there's the '1989' tour, which would become one of the most talked about tours in forever, with guest stars galore and a flawless and energetic performance from Swift. She was already peaking as an international supernova, but 2015 took things to another level. Taylor Swift was everywhere and with good reason. 2015 was the year in which Taylor Swift was the biggest act in music. Adele has rightfully claimed that title for the next twelve months, but no one can take away all that Taylor Swift achieved in 2015. It was her year. (Matt Bond)


5. Kira Puru






While one might question the decision to place Kira Puru in our Woman of the Year category, with only one song released this year, the reason is pretty simple, we like her. We’ve liked her for a few years now, watching her progress from Kira Puru and the Bruise into solo Kira and the Kira we know today who gets to collaborate with other great musicians. There’s much more to it than that though. The reasons she is one of our women of this year are endless. Because she is exactly what being a creative being is. Because while the world is filled with a million Swifts and a zillion sales, artists like Kira Puru keep on working, keep on writing, keep on singing and keep on creating because they have to. Because they have cannot live without the drive. Because taking a hiatus is not a choice. Because while they still have to pay the rent and keep life on moving, they also have to use the talent they were given, in any way they can. Ms Puru spent some of this year touring with song writing and all round legend guy, Paul Kelly, and she probably spent another portion of the year finding a way to pay the rent, all the while living, writing and recording a luscious, sexy and terribly, wonderfully depressive song in ‘All Dulled Out’, which is also one of our favourite songs of 2015. She has a voice beyond any other I hear played over and over and over in pop playlists across the radio, internet and TV, she has a confidence I could only ever hope to find and she has a talent that deserves so much more recognition than she is currently receiving. For every million Adele’s, there are a million Kira’s and when they are this talented, all of them are just as important as each other. And we choose her because Woman of the Year is a perfect way to describe her. (Jo Michelmore) 


4. Adele





Because you know, we couldn’t talk 2015 and Swift without talking 2015 and Adele. I should probably know these things, but I wasn't expecting it and was pleasantly surprised when I heard mentions of Adele late this year and even more pleasantly surprised when I heard the sounds of ‘Hello’ and they were just as Adele as ever before. The four years between albums clearly hadn’t fixed that broken heart of hers and she released an album which gave her millions of record breaking sales and even better, another million memes about crying to Adele songs. There’s not much I can say about her that hasn’t already been said, but if you haven’t already, the best thing to do is go and acquaint yourself with her album 25, because like much of this year was 1989, much of 2016 is going to be 25. Confused much? Nevermind. (That's a Nirvana album. Not anything to do with Woman of the Year.) The best part about Adele making our list with these five other women is that we write about music because we write about things we love. Sometimes that’s a stadium filling superstar and sometimes that’s an independent musician from next door. As long as the music is making us dance, scream, nod, sway, punch someone (not recommended) or hide in a corner and cry, then we're happy, regardless of who they are. (Jo Michelmore)


3. Sarah Blasko 





Happiness is having a new Sarah Blasko album in your life. And if there was one word you could use to describe her 2015 LP, Eternal Return, it's happy. Probably as happy as a Sarah Blasko album's going to get. All of this, unsurprisingly, has left me feeling awfully chipper. I used chipper because if I use the 'h' word one more time I just might explode. It's something you wouldn't normally associate with a Sarah Blasko performance, even if you can't stop smiling when listening to her music When you're listening to a song as gorgeous and as full of love as 'Luxurious', with an atmosphere that makes you feel like you're floating through space and staring at the sun and it's the most beautiful thing you've ever seen... well, you just try not to smile. That song alone would be enough for me to throw a nomination in Sarah Blasko's direction, but the rest of the tracks that make up Eternal Return stand on their own as pop gems. 'I'd Be Lost', 'Only One' and 'Maybe This Time' are radio ready, with electronic touches and 80s vibes you won't be able to resist. 'Say What You Want' is the anthemic closure to the themes established on Blasko's previous album, I Awake. Sarah provides a masterclass in songwriting and composition throughout on an album that will likely go down as her best. At least her best so far. With every effort, Blasko manages to top herself. It won't come as a surprise when she does it with her next album. In 2016 she'll be heading out on an Australian tour. We've already got our tickets. You'd better get in quick and get yours too. This is one show you won't want to miss. (Matt Bond)  


Runner-Up: Montaigne





Whenever I read things about the fabulous musician Montaigne, someone references the fact that she is named after a French philosopher, Michel de Montaigne, but I’m pretty sure most of the words I’m reading about musician Montaigne have been copied and pasted from a press release and no one really knows who that old Michel guy is anyway. He was a writer who was sometimes considered somewhat self-indulgent, because his essays often descended into self-reflection and personal anecdotes, but that’s part of what made him so likeable. The Montaigne we have come to know over the past few years is a woman who has had an incredible year, releasing her magnificent EP Life Of Montaigne at the very end of 2014, she’s spent this year continuing to release songs that are far beyond her years, clips that are visual masterpieces and honing her craft as a live performer, touring upon touring, hanging out with all sorts of impressive artists and all the while writing material for her debut album, which, if her instagram account is any indication, she is recording right now. But all of those things are things you could read about in copy and paste journalism. The most important thing is that she has an incredible voice, one that manages to convey so much confidence right next to so much vulnerability, songs that hit every weakness and leave only every strength. She writes lessons in life from the only perspective she can, her own, which is so very likable. Which means that old Michel guy, should he be alive today, would probably be a fan. If this is where philosophy, self-reflection and creativity leads, then I’m more than happy to continue being a fan of both Montaigne’s, although only one is going to make our list of Woman of the Year.  (Jo Michelmore)


WINNER: Courtney Barnett





When Jo and I were discussing who would be taking out our Woman of the Year award and it was decided it would be Courtney Barnett, I said I was going to make this into a little rant. About how I don't understand what it is about Courtney that brings out the absolute worst in some online commenters. About how I don't understand why all the negative comments about her music aren't directed at other successful Australian artists in music right now to which these comments would actually apply. About how I don't get why certain "media" outlets are almost trying to encourage people to trash her after spending the past couple of years building her up. Instead, I think I'll just focus on her achievements throughout the year and what I love about her music. Because naming Courtney Barnett our Woman of the Year for 2015 should be a celebration of the artist, not a rant about how some people are trolling jerks with no taste. And because triple J already came up with the perfect response to those throwing shade in Barnett's direction. Nobody really cares if you don't go to the party! So, let's talk about Courtney Barnett's 2015.


It 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. There's complaining and whining about how triple J play the same artists, that everyone sounds the same and then a brilliant artists like Courtney Barnett comes along and there's still complaints. triple J to their credit have stood firmly in Barnett's corner and critics everywhere have declared her one of the year's very best singer-songwriters. While we wouldn't call ourselves critics, we're huge fans. Woman of the Year 2016? It's gotta be Courtney Barnett. Minor rant time... I think Tame Impala's Currents is terribly overrated and a waste of my time. But I don't sit at my computer, Dorito dust falling from my beard onto my ironic slogan tee, bitching out any success the band finds because of it. Even if we don't like a local, independent artist's music, we should celebrate their success. Anything else makes you look like a wanker. :) (Matt Bond) 


2014 Winner:
Kimbra
Runner-Up: Taylor Swift


2013 Winner:
Lorde
Runner-Up: Janelle Monae


2012 Winner:
Amanda Palmer
Runner-Up: Santigold


2012 Winner:
Kimbra
Runner-Up: Adele


2010 Winner:
M.I.A

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...


MAN OF THE YEAR:


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:
Eminem
Runner-Up: Pharrell Williams


2012 Winner:
Jack White
Runner-Up: Frank Ocean


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


2010 Winner:
Kanye West

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

Sunday, 27 December 2015

2015 Scene Awards - EP of the Year




EP OF THE YEAR:


4. Saint Cecilia
by Foo Fighters





There are a select few artists that each of us have that we declare our love for, that we say regardless of what they do or say or play, we will always love them. They can release albums that never see a chart and they can release EPs that sell trillions of copies that you adore as much as the hidden track on some album they released a hundred years ago, but pretty much whatever they do you’ll be a fan. They are bands that see you through thick and thin, who you would love for a thousand years and wait for a thousand more for the chance to catch a glimpse of them on some stage, whether that be in a stadium or in a teeny tiny nightclub is up to you and the artist you’ve chosen. They are the bands that release songs that you play a thousand times over in the car so you know all the words backward. One of those bands for me is this one, a band loved by millions and probably loathed by just as many others. I sit in the ‘love’ camp and won’t apologise for that, but when they release an EP for free and by surprise, that devotion grows a little stronger. Taking themselves back to their straight down the line rock and roll roots, Saint Cecilia was a five track EP that exhaled a breath of guitar driven fresh air, a powerful collection of percussion, gloriously gravelly vocals and loud, simple rock. Simply, Saint Cecilia was a late year release of rock perfection and an indication that no matter how many bones Dave Grohl breaks or how many times he says he and his bandmates are taking a break, the Foo Fighters will never be gone for long. (Jo Michelmore)


3. Venom
by Ella Hooper





It's always darkest before the dawn and Ella Hooper's Venom finds one of our favourites going through some pretty dark days. At the beginning, there's been an ending of the relationship kind and our protagonist sits alone in a park late at night singing to rats. Asking all those questions we laugh at further down the track and also kind of hate ourselves over for asking. The most accurate character assessment of a cheater follows, bolstered by a restrained and melancholic anger bubbling away underneath. A journey of self-discovery, returning to one's roots and healing carries us through to a final note of acceptance that some things just can't be changed. Sure, not everything is carved in stone, but some things will always end the way you probably knew they would no matter what. Venom is an artistic achievement in all areas. Lyrics that read like your new favourite novel, an exploration of new sonic territory that pays off in spades and an emotional performance throughout that will undoubtedly move you and leave a mark on your heart. Whether it's the light trip-hop elements at play in 'Rapeseed' or the ghost-folk vibes of 'Good Wagon', Hooper shines bright. Compelling from start to finish, this one will stay with us forever. Venom promises to be the dark to next year's light, the New Magic EP. The low to the high, from an artist that never fails to impress. (Matt Bond)


Runner-Up: Figurine
by Tired Lion





Rock is dead. Now, I'm not a violent person... but when I read that shitty phrase or someone says it, I kind of want to break something over someone's face. Preferably the person who wrote or said it, but I'm not fussy. Just because the 90s are over and rock ballads aren't sitting at #1 on the charts every week and we went through R'n'B and rap dominance and super pop, EDM, #TayForHottest100 and now Bieber Fever 2.0, it doesn't mean rock is dead. Rock is and will always be there. Because there's always going to be real bands working hard, touring all over and making as much noise as they possibly can. Bands like Tired Lion, who had a stellar 2015 with the finest pure rock release of the year, the Figurine EP. An explosive, five-track ride that you won't soon forget, Figurine is the home of a couple of tracks that you would definitely have heard on triple J this year; 'I Don't Think You Like Me' and 'Suck'. If I don't hear at least one of those on Australia Day, I'll riot. And by that I mean leave a comment somewhere on the internet full of raaage. Well, I'll at least think about doing it. Figurine further establishes what we already knew when we first heard 'I Don't Think You Like Me' and that is Tired Lion aren't just the future of Australian rock, they're the right now. Rock is dead? Love live Tired Lion. (Matt Bond)


WINNER: Only When Flooded Could I Let Go
by Jack Colwell





I love this EP so much, I actually have no idea what to say about it. And I don’t want you to think I’m a little crazy, but maybe I am a little crazy, because I really, really love this EP, in every sense of the word love. And I don’t want to talk about the incredible instrumentation without explaining the way a keyboard can see everything so easily hidden, how a beat can take my breath away and strings can bring the goosebumps so easily. And I don’t know how to explain how important the production is on ‘Don’t Cry Those Tears’ without explaining how important lonely moments in the dark are. And I don’t know how to talk about the diversity of the gloriously gloomy ‘Far From View’ and how it sits effortlessly with the understated uncertainty of ‘C.O.A.T.’ or ‘On With The Show’ without talking about the manic self-assurance of late nights blending into early mornings of self-doubt and insecurity. And I don’t have the words to describe the sound of a voice so perfectly unexpected and so perfectly faultless on ‘Quintilis’ without describing the turmoil of the self-perpetuating flaws of every day. And I don’t want you to think I’m a little crazy, but maybe I am a little crazy. The thing is, when I hear lyrics like “ I know the secrets of the heart, I know the secrets of the mind” I know crazy is not always so lonely, so I learn to appreciate the self-pity, I learn to love the uncomfortable moments and live with the melancholy side by side with a determination and a composure, in the knowledge that every day we all start again and with sounds like those of Jack Colwell, the hardest of every days are also the best. (Jo Michelmore) 


2014 Winner:
Monsters by Thelma Plum
Runner-Up: Little May by Little May


2013 Winner:
Rosie by Thelma Plum
Runner-Up: The Love Club by Lorde


2012 Winner:
Told You So by Cub Sport
Runner-Up: Love Lost In Design by Neon Wolf


Tuesday, 22 December 2015

2015 Scene Awards - Australian Artist of the Year




2015 will go down as one of the greatest years for Australian artists. At home and abroad, so many local acts showed the world why Australian music is the bestest. Vance Joy toured the world with Taylor Swift, Tkay Maidza continued to breathe new life into the rap game, Sarah Blasko released her most positively radiant album yet and Chet Faker took out the Hottest 100. Tame Impala captivated listeners with their alternative grooves, earning Grammy nominations and taking out top honours at the ARIA Awards. And speaking of the Grammy Awards, Courtney Barnett is up for Best New Artist thanks to her groundbreaking debut, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. Young Troye Sivan is killing it on the charts, along with the Sewell siblings, Conrad and Grace. Our next Scene Award is for Australian Artist of the Year, and the four acts selected below embody all the things we love the most about our homegrown heroes.


AUSTRALIAN ARTIST OF THE YEAR:


4. SAFIA




We’ve really backed ourselves into a corner here, because we can’t write a million words about everything we like, so we had to narrow it down to four artists. The thing is, I’m going to be honest and say I could have put the names of a hundred Australian artists in some kind of hipster Amish inspired hat and any name I picked out would have been one I was happy to chat about. Kind of glad this is the name that came out of my hat, because having to write something was an excuse to watch that cult inspired clip for ‘Embracing Me’ again, because truth is, I look really good in head scarves and kind of want one of those floral dresses. However, this isn’t about my ideas of fashion, let’s talk about Safia. After an impressive couple of years of introduction to the world, winning awards and collaborating with other awesome Australian artists, this Canberr-ian trio have spent 2015 travelling millions of kilometres across this huge country and the world, playing live gigs and festivals for months on end, releasing tracks of incredible, intoxicating electronic indie goodness in between, all the while being hailed as Australia’s “next big thing”. The only thing they really need to do now is release their debut album, so they can get rid of the “next” in front of “big thing” and just be as “big” as they’re destined to be. And if you haven’t figured out it out yet, that’s quite big actually. (Jo Michelmore)


3. Holy Holy




I always find the concept of choosing a favourite Australian artist a little odd, because I don’t particularly care where an artist is from, as long as the music is right. In saying that though, there’s something special about knowing an artist is someone who has walked my streets and seen the world that I live in on a day to day basis, because their music is the inspiration that gets me through my day to day stuff. With all of that in mind, it’s kind of fitting that a band who know exactly some of the streets I have walked day to day but who have created their music across thousands of kilometres are one of the ones I have chosen as my fave Australian artists of the year. Holy Holy, comprising of two guys from different parts of the country I live in, who met in a completely different part of the world, then came together to make some of the most inspiring sounds of the year. Telling some of the most honest tales with their debut album When The Storms Would Come, they created an instant modern classic and I’m so, so happy they’ve been taking the sounds that have followed me around my streets to the streets of the world this year, because music like theirs belongs in the hands of so many, from everywhere on this tiny, giant planet of ours. (Jo Michelmore)


Runner-Up: Little May




I'm lucky enough to have friends that live all over the world. I should really say I'm lucky enough to have friends, but that's neither here nor there and I'm really not a bad person. Anyway, friends around the world... people that will say things like, "what's some good Australian music I should listen to?" And I'm always so happy to be able to say, "you are going to LOVE this album called For The Company from Little May." Because if I'm going to recommend someone the very best in Australian music, I'm going to recommend Little May. So many of their songs sound like how Australia should sound. When you hear a song like 'Chemicals' that's really honest and comes from this lonely and vulnerable place, you hear that Australian accent shining through in Hannah Field's vocals and you know there's still strength there. I don't know how to describe it other than it's totally and perfectly Australian. Field, Liz Drummond and Annie Hamilton spent a lot of time overseas this year, flying the AUS music flag proudly all through Europe and the U.S.A. In 2015 Little May were signed by the iconic Island Records and Capital Records in the UK and U.S.A respectively and recorded their debut album in New York with the assistance of The Nationals' Aaron Dessner. 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. What? We said at the start that Australian music is the bestest. (Matt Bond)  


WINNER: Ella Hooper




When we were discussing who to place first in this category, Jo said something along the lines of Ella Hooper deserving it because she works hard to promote AUS music and keeps doing her own thing and recording, regardless of who is or isn't playing her stuff, but everyone should. Obviously I couldn't agree more, because here we are... Australian Artist of the Year, Ella Hooper. Hooper ended last year with the release of her debut solo album, In Tongues, which we were listening to long into 2015. Actually, I'm still kinda listening to it today because it's all kinds of awesome. While we had grown accustomed to a certain length of time between visits, we didn't have to wait long at all to hear a little something something new, with the Venom EP released in early August. What a delightfully gorgeous concept that would prove to be, tracking the stages of heartache to healing over five engrossing songs that show there's still so much Ella has to give to the world of music. And if you give her Facey-book a little once over (might as well give it a 'like' while you're there), you'll see that the New Magic EP isn't far off and if that doesn't make you excited for 2016, you need to get yourself on board the Hooper train right now and give In Tongues and Venom a listen. After that, you'll be just as excited for what comes next as I am. Other than the amazing music, Hooper spent her time in 2015 interviewing and promoting local acts on radio and TV (every time I turned on the ABC, it was like "oh hey Ella"), mentoring the next generation of music stars as part of the Melbourne Music Bank and showed her support for a slew of up-and-coming locals loves like Jack Colwell, Melody Pool and more. Far from being the Aussie battler or underdog, Ella Hooper is everything we love about 'Strayan musicians. Supportive of others and incredibly talented in her own right. Bring on New Magic! (Matt Bond) 


2014 Winner:
Little May
Runner-Up: Thelma Plum


2013 Winner:
Thelma Plum
Runner-Up: JONES jnr


2012 Winner:
Texas Tea
Runner-Up: Sarah Blasko


2011 Winner:
Seeker Lover Keeper
Runner-Up: Gotye


2010 Winner:
Sia 
 

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