Merry Listmas one and all! It’s the end of the year, a time to look back on all that the past twelve months had to offer. For us, that means reflecting on the music that most defined our 2019. Before we get into the sounds of the year however, we want to take a moment to appreciate the sights. There have been some stunning album covers this year, from the simple and understated to the wild and imaginative, so here are our favourites. Continue reading
Britain’s premier music magazine has held the most riotous awards ceremony of the year thus far. Foals kicked off proceedings with an electrifying performance of ‘What Went Down’, the title track of what turned out to be album of the year. Belwood favourites Wolf Alice won best live band and best track for ‘Giant Peach’. Coldplay somehow won the Godlike Genius award but had little time to celebrate as Bring Me The Horizon frontman Oli Sykes trashed their table during his live performance. There were surprises to be found as The Maccabees won best British band and Run The Jewels won best international band, each having faced some stiff competition. The girls reigned supreme in the solo categories with Charlie XCX and Taylor Swift winning best British and international solo artists respectively.
The Grammy awards have been and gone for another year and what an utter shambles they were. Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars won Record of the year for ‘Uptown Funk’, Ed Sheeran won Song of the year with ‘Thinking Out Loud’ and Taylor Swift won Album of the year with ‘1989’. Between them they also won all the pop categories. Swift and Sheeran should not have even been among the nominations as their albums both came out in 2014, which is downright disrespectful to the people who actually released new music this year and are more deserving of recognition. Especially considering they had already been nominated last year. Appalling pop monstrosity Meghan Trainor picked up best new artist and Muse picked up best rock album despite Drones being hands-down the band’s worst album.
There were a couple of silver linings amongst the multitude of dark clouds: Alabama Shakes had a successful night picking up best rock song, best rock album and best alternative album. (Although strictly speaking they shouldn’t have been in both rock and alternative categories!) There were a number of fitting tributes to musicians that we have lost including Lady Gaga’s frantic Bowie medley with Nile Rodgers and Alice Cooper’s supergroup The Hollywood Vampires performing ‘Ace of Spades’ in tribute to Lemmy. As a whole though it has been one of the worst awards in recent years ever since the nominations were announced. The Grammys need to buck their ideas up for next year.
America’s foremost alternative country rocker Ryan Adams has covered Taylor Swift’s album ‘1989’ in it’s entirety. The track-by-track reimagining sees the dance pop being stripped down and played in a more dark tone in the styles of Bruce Springsteen and The Smiths. It has become perhaps the most anticipated cover album in history. Adams is no stranger to covers, after Noel Gallagher claimed his version of ‘Wonderwall’ was better than the original. Swift herself seems to be more excited than anyone and has called his project a ‘massive honour’.
The biggest music awards in Britain (the clue is in the name) have delivered a memorable evening of thrills and spills. The big winner of the night was Ed Sheeran picking up best album and best male. Sam Smith, who cleaned up at the Grammys, walked away with the award for best breakthrough act. Paloma Faith won best female, Royal Blood won best group and Mark Ronson won the award for best single for ‘Uptown Funk’. The international categories for best male, female and group were won by Pharrell Williams, Taylor Swift and Foo Fighters respectively. Many of the night’s winners also performed as well as George Ezra and Take That. One of the big talking points of the evening though was Madonna’s big fall after she was blown offstage by a wind machine thanks to her large cape.
What are your thoughts on the awards? Personally I think the results were hardly surprising, that generally the right people won and the ceremony featured some good performances.