Madonna Fell Over

That’s pretty much all you need to know about the Brits 2015. But, if you’re interested, here is a list of the winners. Followed by a video of Madonna falling of course. On a loop.

British Group
Royal Blood – WINNERS
British Album Of The Year
Ed Sheeran – X – WINNER
International Male Solo Artist
Pharrell Williams – WINNER
International Female Solo Artist
Taylor Swift – WINNER
International Group
Foo Fighters – WINNERS
British Breakthrough Act
Sam Smith – WINNER
British Female Solo Artist
Paloma Faith – WINNER
British Male Solo Artist
Ed Sheeran – WINNER
British Video
One Direction – ‘You And I’ – WINNER
British Single
Mark Ronson Ft Bruno Mars – ‘Uptown Funk’
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Madonna Fell Over

The Brits Are Coming

…but not in an evil Cromwellian way, it’s just the Brit Awards 2015. I must say, of all the categories I’m particularly pleased to see the nominees for best Brit album – a pretty decent choice overall I would say. What do you think?

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At least there’s no One Direction bulls*t in there, personally I’m hoping for Alt-J though I think Sam Smith will get it. In The Lonely Hour is a worth choice also. In any case, all will be revealed on Wednesday 25 Feb from 8pm on ITV.

The Brits Are Coming

And the winners are…

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The Grammy Awards was quite a night. Beck had a surprise win (even for him!), Kanye is still a complete dick, Hozier is better off without Annie Lennox screaming over him, Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj standing next to eachother is too much ‘asshole’ for one TV screen, and Sam Smith looked like he had raided the Grammys cupboard by the end of the night. And the (main) winners are…

1. RECORD OF THE YEAR
“Stay With Me (Darkchild Version),” Sam Smith

2. ALBUM OF THE YEAR
“Morning Phase,” Beck

3. SONG OF THE YEAR
“Stay With Me (Darkchild Version),” James Napier, William Phillips & Sam Smith, songwriters (Sam Smith)

4. BEST NEW ARTIST
Sam Smith

5. BEST POP SOLO PERFORMANCE
“Happy (Live),” Pharrell Williams

6. BEST POP DUO/GROUP PERFORMANCE
“Say Something,” A Great Big World With Christina Aguilera

7. BEST TRADITIONAL POP VOCAL ALBUM
“Cheek To Cheek,” Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga

8. BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM
“In The Lonely Hour,” Sam Smith

9. BEST DANCE RECORDING
“Rather Be,” Clean Bandit Featuring Jess Glynne

10. BEST DANCE/ELECTRONIC ALBUM
“Syro,” Aphex Twin

11. BEST ROCK PERFORMANCE
“Lazaretto,” Jack White

12. BEST ROCK ALBUM
“Morning Phase,” Beck

13. BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM
“St. Vincent,” St. Vincent

14. BEST SCORE SOUNDTRACK FOR VISUAL MEDIA
“The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Alexandre Desplat, composer

15. BEST MUSIC VIDEO
“Happy,” Pharrell Williams

And the winners are…

My Best of 2014

RBW2014

Here is my top 25 tracks from the past year, have a listen.

1. Disco//Very – Warpaint
2. Tropical Oceans – DD Dumbo
3. Every Other Freckle – Alt-J
4. Violent Shiver – Benjamin Booker
5. Take Me To Church – Hozier
6. My Silver Lining – First Aid Kit
7. Seasons – Future Islands
8. I Got the Moves – Habibi
9. Don’t You Find – Jamie T
10. Lonely Daze – Kate Tempest
11. Riptide – Vance Joy
12. For A Minute – M.O
12. Busy Earnin’ – Jungle
13. Water Fountain – tUnE-yArDs
14. Cassy O’ – George Ezra
15. I Ain’t Gonna Be The First To Cry – Bob Moses
16. Cadillac Girl – Only Real
17. Hold Back the River – James Bay
18. Gunshot – Lykke Li
19. You’re The Best – Wet
20. The River – Ibeyi
21. Bassically – Tei Shi
22. OctaHate – Ryn Weaver
23. Money On My Mind – Sam Smith
24. One More – Elliphant ft. MØ
25. Solo Dancing – Indiana

My Best of 2014

Top 10 Best Selling Albums of 2014 (so far…)

The biggest-selling artist albums of 2014 in the UK so far has been revealed by Official Charts Company and top of the pile is… Ed Sheeran’s X. Sheeran has overtaken Coldplay’s Ghost Stories as the biggest selling artist album of 2014 so far, the acclaimed album has now been certified 2x Platinum by the BPI. Hmmm ok, so things are looking pretty wet so far then?

Well Sam Smith, who was tipped for success from the outset as the winner of the BRITs Critics’ Choice award and BBC Sound Of 2014 poll, takes second place with his debut album In The Lonely Hour. Although Smith looks a little like a ventriloquist dummy come-to-life, as CMU so aptly put it, the man’s got some good tunes under his belt. He has a talent for writing original songs that feel strangely classic and familiar, kind of like of a modern-day Bill Withers.

The list is littered with other such artists that appeal to both mainstream music and some indie lovers alike; including Paloma Faith, Paolo Nutini and Bastille. It also highlights the popularity of British music so far in 2014, with 90% of the Top 10 best sellers of the year being UK acts, and only one international act, Pharrell Williams, making the cut. For me, the best two albums on there are Arctic Monkey’s AM and London Grammar’s If You Wait. Great to see two albums released in 2013 still doing so well. See the full list below, but don’t necessarily rule out this list changing by the end of the year. George Ezra, for example, was new at Number 15 with Wanted On Voyage and during the Q3 period, which runs from July to end of September, his record is the third best-seller behind Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith.

1. X – Ed Sheeran
2. In The Lonely Hour – Sam Smith
3. Ghost Stories – Coldplay
4. Caustic Love – Paolo Nutini
5. A Perfect Contradiction – Paloma Faith
6. Halcyon – Ellie Goulding
7. GIRL – Pharrell Williams
8. If You Wait – London Grammar
9. AM – Arctic Monkeys
10. Bad Blood – Bastille

Top 10 Best Selling Albums of 2014 (so far…)

Sam Smith Makes Some History

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Well he’s doing just about everything else, appearing on American late night shows, clocking up number ones all over the world; he might as well make some history while he’s at it. What is this ‘history’ I speak of? Sam Smith last night performed in the first-ever UK live music TV advert. With the exception of the cringey hand-waving of the crowd, this was overall a nice little moment. Here it is for ya –

Sam Smith’s In The Lonely Hour is out now.

Sam Smith Makes Some History

A+ for Disclosure

It’s got to be one of the best music marketing campaigns in a long time, and the music’s pretty decent too! In case you’ve been living in a cave for the past year, Disclosure are the electronic duo made up of brothers Guy and Howard. Adding to their ‘just wanna get on with the music’ persona, the brothers are often seen in their press shots with their trademark white sketching over their faces. This extends to all vocalists who appear on their singles also, such as Eliza Doolittle and Aluna Francis –

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The duo had their first UK hit in October 2012 with Latch (featuring Sam Smith), which peaked at number 11 in the UK Singles Chart. The group maintained their momentum into 2013 – being voted into the BBC Radio 1xtra ‘Hot Ten For 2013’ and scoring two consecutive top 10 hit singles in White Noise (#2) and You & Me (#10). These three singles were collected on an EP, The Singles. Disclosure then released their full debut album, Settle, in June of last year. Settle was met with commercial and critical success, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Dance Album.

F For You kicked off another trio of singles at the end of last year, but has had a remix just in the past month. The original version was the first single from the album not to feature a guest vocalist, and features vocals from Howard instead. The remix, on the other hand, has the big-name addition of Mary J. Blige no less. Apparently Blige heard the guys when they played at Terminal 5 in New York and wanted to collaborate. The result was released last month and below is the accompanying video. To quote the lyrics, I’ve been infected…

A+ for Disclosure

The Brits Awards 2014

So the Brit Awards were announced last night and all the music publications have come out complaining today, the Guardian and CMU in particular getting a little nasty. My conclusion? The 2014 Brits were… not shit. I quite enjoyed the show actually. Sure, many of the winners are predictable and the awards are generally based upon sales and popularity of the previous year. In fairness, what they supposed to base the awards on – personal hygiene or something? Below is the full list and I’m glad to see Arctic Monkeys on there as double winners; as well as Rudimental (with the ultra-cute Ella Eyre), Bastille, David Bowie, Lorde and Daft Punk. C’mon people, that’s pretty good when you think about it!

One criticism I definitely do agree with though is the awful ham-fisted PR work of Mastercard, making artists refer to their brand and slogan at every opportunity. There were some forgettable performances throughout the show such as Katy Perry and Beyonce (separately, not a collab) but for me the real low-point of the evening was Lorde using the Mastercard slogan in her acceptance speech – “This truly is a priceless surprise”. Fucking hell Lorde, I thought you were cooler than that. And the highlight of the evening? It’s divided opinion but I’m taking to the ‘for’ camp for Arctic Monkey’s Best Album acceptance speech. Haha!

Best British Male Solo Artist: David Bowie
Best British Female Solo Artist: Ellie Goulding
British Group: Arctic Monkeys
British Breakthrough Act: Bastille
British Global Success Award: One Direction
Critics’ Choice: Sam Smith
British Producer Of The Year: Flood (Mark Ellis) & Alan Moulder

British Single: Rudimental feat Ella Eyre – Waiting All Night
British Album Of The Year: Arctic Monkeys – AM
British Video Award: One Direction – Best Song Ever

International Male Solo Artist: Bruno Mars
International Female Solo Artist: Lorde
International Group: Daft Punk

The Brits Awards 2014

Money walks

A new generation of young artists are taking to the stage and I’m delighted to see a theme emerging from their music – an anti-materialist attitude and a belief in artistic passion. What am I banging on about? Well, I think it’s fair to say that Lorde was the biggest breakthrough act of last year, and the central message of her album Heroine deals with a direct distaste for money and materialism. The lyrcis of the smash-hit Royals describe Lorde and her crew counting their dollars and stating they “didn’t come from money”. With a chorus that lists all the extravagence that you would except in a crap mainstream hip-hop video (diamonds, Cristal, gold teeth, jet planes…) Lorde concludes that “we don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair”.

More recently, winner of the BBC Sound of 2014 list Sam Smith is set to release new single Money on My Mind on 16 Feb; with lyrics of the chorus repeating “I ain’t got money on my mind…, I do it for the love”. Furthermore, Bristolian singer-songwriter George Ezra describes in his Budapest how he would choose love over all his materials and his “many artefacts”. With this attitude raising in the next generation of artists’ music it seems the yuppies didn’t win, thank fuck.

Money walks