As highlighted in the Best of 2015 Mixtape, it’s been another outstanding musical year for new and independent artists. So as it draws to a close we reveal our Alternative Friday Awards, which cover an eclectic array of music, from the rousing and the mellow… to the rather bemused! So who are the winners?
Best debut album: Geraint Rhys & the Lost Generation – All That Is Left Is Love
When a musical mix of reggae, folk, rock and pop influences come together, and you add great lyrics, powerful melodies, and warm vocals, it makes for a perfect song. Do that track after track as well, and it equals an outstanding album. No mean feat.
Best EP: The Wealden – Rushes
It’s alternative, it’s funky, it’s surely something Bowie & Byrne would be proud of, and it was fantastic live too. We want more!
Most addictive song: Record/Start – Electric Minds
When a song becomes an earworm, with highly addictive lyrics and melody, it can be very dangerous… especially when wearing headphones on public transport. I got caught singing at the top of my voice! You have been warned.
Most Hypnotic Track featuring vocals of unknown identity: Souls – I Wait For You
Mesmerising and polished instrumentation, plus haunting vocals, equals quite a trance inducing gem of a song which is both distinctive and brilliant.
Best Indie Track: Tall Ships – Will To Life
Does what it says on the tin, but when ‘indie’ is done this well it hits all the right notes. Everything about this track is just superb!
Best teenage newcomers: Charlie Belle
When teenagers produce a great pop song without the ‘help’ of a reality TV show it gives you faith in the future of music, and this does it with ease. Hugely impressive.
Best Industrial Electro Post-Punk track: Plastique – Quake
This is surely sufficient evidence that a hi-energy electro vibe and a rousing post-punk attitude are not mutually exclusive. Turn it up!
Best Blues Rock track: Broken Witt Rebels – Shake Me Down
Bands from Birmingham, Alabama might be able to produce great rocky blues tracks, but here’s evidence that bands from Birmingham, England can match them too.
Most Poignant Song: True Adventures – North Atlantic Ocean
Love in the cold, wet face of the humdrum? This is a sublime song with lyrics that demand your attention, and a heart warming and delicious melody. You can’t help but smile.
And finally… The Most Puzzled & Exasperated Song of 2015: Man & the Echo – I Don’t Give a Fuck What You Reckon
I’m not going to argue with Man & the Echo as they get right in our faces with this track. I’ll just quietly say it merges cheeky lyrics, aimed at modern life’s inane obsession with social media, along with a catchy indie guitar tune. One to sing-along with… just be careful who to!
A fine set of winners, I hope you agree? Now roll on 2016…