Belwood Music Awards 2016

belwood-awardsI think for most of us 2016 has been a pretty bleak year; marred by death, destruction and division. One of the few guiding lights to lead us through the darkness has been the exemplary music gifted to us by rising stars, and left behind as a final swansong by dearly departed legends. As we move on into an uncertain 2017 let us look back on the year’s lows as chances to learn and grow, and revel in the highs that show the potential majesty of the human spirit. Here’s Belwood Music’s brief picks of a few of the brightest musical beacons of the past twelve months:  Continue reading

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Top Ten Songs of 2016

best-songsTo coincide with this year’s Belwood Awards we’re introducing a new annual list of the top songs of the year. Apologies for the terrible oversight of not starting one sooner! After re-exploring numerous albums and playlists from January onwards, this list eventually formed after countless shuffle rounds and rethinks. Most of this year’s biggest tunes were from up-and-coming artists which needless to say is a very good sign of a thriving music scene. So without further ado, let’s get down to it:  Continue reading

Mercury Prize 2016 shortlist announced

mercury prize 2016The most prestigious prize in British music has released it’s shortlist for album of the year. The list includes a posthumous nomination for David Bowie for his final album Blackstar, as well for Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool making them the most nominated act in the award’s history. The final awards show will take place on 15th September where the list will be whittled down to a final 6 albums before the overall winner will be announced. For the first time the prize will include a public vote to decide one of the finalists. This year’s nominations are:

Anohni – Hopelessness
Bat For Lashes – The Bride
David Bowie – Blackstar
Jamie Woon – Making Time
Kano – Made in the Manor
Laura Mvula – The Dreaming Room
Michael Kiwanuka –  Love & Hate
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool
Savages – Adore Life
Skepta – Konnichiwa
The 1975 – I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it
The Comet Is Coming – Channel the Spirits

Brit Awards 2016

brit awards 2016

Britain’s foremost music awards have drawn to a close once again. Adele was far and away the big winner, picking up Best British Female, Best Album, Global Success and Best Single for ‘Hello’. There were some well deserved wins from James Bay and Tame Impala who won Best British Male and Best International Group respectively. Sadly Coldplay won Best British Group and Justin Bieber won Best International Male, continuing his meteoric rise from sinfully awful to plain mediocre. There were some pleasant surprises as Bjork won Best International Female and Catfish & the Bottlemen beat James Bay and Jess Glynne to win British Breakthrough Act (even though technically speaking they shouldn’t have been nominated as they didn’t release any new music in 2015). Top actor Gary Oldman gave a stirring speech in memory of his close friend David Bowie and Lorde gave a rendition of ‘Life On Mars?’ with Bowie’s backing band. Although not an obvious choice for a tribute, it was arguably the finest performance of her career and one of the highlights of the night.

Posthumous Albums: Music from the Great Beyond

kurt cobain

Following the recent death of David Bowie his music dominated the charts and Blackstar became his first ever number one album in the US. As bleak as the mourning period may be, death can be rather profitable. Michael Jackson for instance was in debt before his death, and a few months afterwards his estate had made millions. Record labels often use this fervour to produce albums long after an artist has passed away. The question is whether they should, or whether they should just let people rest in peace? Continue reading

David Bowie passes away

One of music’s greatest ever icons David Bowie has sadly passed away aged 69 after a battle with cancer. This follows only a few days after release of his latest critically acclaimed album Blackstar. Bowie was a visionary artist that redefined music. His charismatic stage personas and his fearlessly innovative music made him quite frankly one of the coolest people ever to walk the Earth. He leaves behind an unparalleled legacy including his song being used in the first ever music video in space. I think actor Simon Pegg sums it up best in his tweet: “If you’re sad today, just remember the world is over 4 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as David Bowie”. It is the end of an era and the world will be a very different place without him.

David Bowie premieres new song

Rock legend David Bowie has premiered his latest single ‘Blackstar’, the title track from his upcoming 25th studio album. The song begins as an odd mix of electronica and jazz, before gradually becoming more pop orientated. The equally surreal video features astronauts, solar eclipses, devil worship and gyrating scarecrows. At ten minutes in length it certainly goes against the norm for singles. Bowie has demanded that there are no shortened radio edits however a snippet of the song is used in the credits of the new Sky crime series The Last Panthers. If the track is anything to go by then Bowie’s new album is going to be pretty out there.

David Bowie announces new album

bowie-old

Rock legend David Bowie has revealed details about his upcoming 25th studio album ‘Blackstar’. Due to be released on 8th January (his 69th birthday) it contains 7 tracks and is full of jazz influences as well as “Gregorian chants, a soul section, various electronic beats and bleeps, and Bowie’s distinctive vocal”. The ten minute long title track is to be released on 19th November as the lead single. The album is unlikely to be supported by a tour as Bowie has stated that he has retired from touring.