There’s been some excellent music this year, and as Belwood Music is rapidly approaching it’s first birthday it seems like a perfect time to hold the first ever annual awards. There are dozens of artists that are thoroughly deserving of praise, but I’ve chosen to narrow down the awards to 8 categories.
Album of the year: Father John Misty – I Love You Honeybear
Honeybear is the closest thing to a masterpiece that 2015 has had to offer. The lush instrumentation is the perfect backdrop for Josh Tillman’s wickedly sarcastic alter-ego. The lyrics are simply bewitching, they are unlike anything else and need to be experienced first hand. The album is full of yearning emotion, droll humour and hard truth and will be one of my favourites for years to come.
Song of the year: Florence + the Machine – Ship to Wreck
This is the song that singlehandedly converted me to Florence. It follows the ethos of How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful that less is more. The throbbing bass line, the simple yet memorable riff, the rich lyrical imagery and the passionate energy have had me listening to it on repeat for most of the year.
Music video of the year: Gunship – Fly For Your Life
There was no competition at all here, this was the clear winner. The intense action of these dogfighting WWII pilots perfectly juxtaposes the bright 80s synths of the song itself. The storytelling is incredible and the Borderlands style animation is simply stunning to watch.
The White Feather Award for disappointment of the year: Muse – Drones
There have been a few hotly anticipated albums that haven’t quite hit the mark this year, but none of them nose dived quite the way Muse did. Drones lacked a hit single, the album’s concept was ill conceived and lacked drive to the point where a story about killer assassins seemed boring. Worst of all though was the frankly pitiful album artwork.
Spotlight! Award for best new artist: Samm Henshaw
Samm’s marvellous stage presence at this summer’s Barn on the Farm festival really caught my attention. He knows how to please an audience and comes across as easy going and down-to-Earth. His debut EP ‘The Sound Experiment’ was better than most proper albums this year and with his soulful voice, songwriting skills and invigorating live performances, he’s definitely a future star.
Best Female: Adele
Who else could it possibly be? Adele’s surprise return has shaken the world and broken countless industry records. She’s produced another best selling, hit packed album and is now undoubtedly the most important woman in music in the world today.
Best Male: Father John Misty
Releasing the album of the year would have been more than enough for Father John Misty to also bag the prize for Best Male, but to top it off you also have his incredible live performances. His unpredictable character ranges from being a Jim Morrison-esque tempest of energy, to a deadpan comedian releasing Taylor Swift covers in the style of the Velvet Underground to troll the media.
Best Band: Wolf Alice
Wolf Alice’s debut album has been hotly anticipated, but ended up exceeding all expectations. They have mastered the atmospheric indie and the furious grunge and play around with them in equal measures. Pair their stunning album with some of the most wild and memorable festival sets of the summer and voila!… You find the hottest new band in the world.