Awkward handing over of awards? Drunken acceptance speeches? Fancy-pants collaboration performances? Fire and confetti? As much as that sounds like a rally a la Donald Trump, it is in fact the glittering celebration of the music industry that is The Brit Awards. Each year brings about new controversy; Alex Turner and his legendary ‘rock-n-roll’ acceptance speech, Adele and her acceptance speech brutally cut short by Blur’s dilly-dallying – I await the Daily Mail’s headlines with baited breath. As ever, it will take place in the 02 Arena on Wednesday 24th February, however James Corden has been replaced by Ant and Dec as presenters for the night. Lovely guys don’t get me wrong, but I’ve never been a huge fan of the whole ‘duo act trying to make rehearsed sketch jokes look spontaneous’ thing. Although as long as they’re prepared to repeat Adele’s name all night then they shouldn’t have too hard a job.
Of course the artists you always want to see taking home the trophy never do, but I thought I’d do a wee round up of who we would love to win and who might well take a leak all over our dreams. But kids, it’s not about the winning…
British Male Solo Artist
Who we’d like to see win: Jamie xx – as well as helping produce countless albums, he released his much anticipated debut album In Colour last year and it was everything we hoped it would be; a perfect blend of groovy beats and modern electro. The kind of daring, Bowie-inspired creativity that is so refreshing to hear.
Who will probably win: James Bay – it will kill me inside to watch this long-haired, namby-pamby milksop receive this (if my honesty is too much to handle then I apologise) but in fairness, he has risen to much success this year.
British Female Solo Artist
Who we’d like to see win: Florence and the Machine – it’s about time Florence won this award, especially after the year that she’s had. Having just been through a rough patch, 2015 saw her releasing an album nothing short of magical and a headlining performance at Glastonbury that left us with permanent goose bumps. A true goddess.
Who will probably win: Adele – she is loved by the whole world and with good reason; when she opens her mouth, we either hear a down-to-earth, bubbly Cockney accent or a soul-stirring majestic voice. You only have to look at the stats to see how she dominated 2015 – Number one album in 93 countries on pre-orders alone, over 7 million streams in one week, 3 million copies of 25 sold in its debut week….need we say more?
Who we’d like to see win: Foals – these guys released their new album What Went Down at the end of 2015 and it was their best album to date. They are a great representation of the ever-changing, ever-developing sound of British Rock (the best type of rock) and it would be great to see them get some credit for the epic music that they’ve created. Would have been nice to see The Maccabees get a nomination but hey, the world shall keep spinning.
Who will probably win: Coldplay – although their new album A Head Full Of Dreams didn’t meet the standards set by their old classics, the world still went cray-cray for it.
British Breakthrough Act
Who we’d like to see win: Wolf Alice – it’s taken a while for their career to take off but their album My Love Is Cool was worth the wait. Their sound has matured but still remains unpredictable with the occasional outbursts of hard-core guitar riffs softened by Ellie Rowsell’s youthful voice. Even if they don’t win, I’d highly recommend a trip to one of their upcoming gigs (http://wolfalice.co.uk/live/).
Who will probably win: James Bay – at the risk of repeating myself, I really hope he doesn’t win. In saying that, this is a pretty tight category and Catfish and the Bottlemen could very well pip him it.
British Single of the Year
Who we’d like to see win: ‘King’ by Years & Years – this was, and still is, my go-to song when I want to feel like an absolute princess. The synths on this make it SO fun and SO infectious. This is what kept me going through the whole of 2015 and is the most-played song on my iTunes.
Who will probably win: ‘Hello’ by Adele – the first word of the song brought about many tears, many memes and many vines. Considering the fairly weak nominees in this category, this is a no-brainer surely.
British Album of the Year
Who we’d like to see win: ‘How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful’ Florence and the Machine – we might be slightly biased towards Floflo here at WNMCB but this album was indeed big, blue and beautiful. Passionate, musically and lyrically flawless and generally a blessing to our ears.
Who will probably win: ‘25’ Adele – I haven’t listened to the rest of the album but, as one would expect, the reviews were pretty desirable. If it’s anything like ‘Hello’ then it must be one hell of an emotional rollercoaster and it left the British music industry drooling at this fantastic woman’s feet.
British Producer of the Year
Who we’d like to see win: Mark Ronson – his self-produced album Uptown Funk sounded like it was straight from the grooviest episode of Soul Train with its undeniably retro feel that is so hard to create authentically these days. His contribution to other massive albums such as Duran Duran’s Paper Gods, Adele’s 25 and the awesome soundtrack to the film Mortdecai goes to show what a talent this man is. (PS if you haven’t watched his TedTalk, please stop reading this and go watch it.)
Who will probably win: Mark Ronson or Mike Crossey – this is a tough one to call as all nominees have produced their fair share of successful albums this past year. Charlie Andrew produced albums for Marika Hackman and Alt-J, Mike Crossey for The 1975 and Wolf Alice and, as I’ve already mentioned, Mark Ronson has also had a stellar year.
British Artist Video of the Year
Who we’d like to see win: Sam Smith ‘Writing on the Wall’ – although I’m not one to watch music videos very often, this was the sublime soundtrack to a sublime James Bond film. An unequivocally British and clean cut music video featuring Daniel Craig. I very much dig that.
Who will probably win: Adele ‘Hello’ – Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
International Male Solo Artist
Who we’d like to see win: Justin Bieber – don’t h8 appreci8. And read this blog post on the Biebs-maester if you think I’m crazy.
Who will probably win: Justin Bieber
International Female Solo Artist
Who we’d like to see win: Courtney Barnett – although I’m not 100% down with her sound, it’s individual, and behind the voice, the punky guitar riffs are very original. Overall, this category is pretty weak as none of these women have produced anything worth fawning over. The fact that Megan Traihnor and Ariana Grande are nominated makes us question the whereabouts of any decent female artists. Taylor Swift’s nomination must have got lost in the post.
Who will probably win: Courtney Barnett – she’s the only one with any credibility.
Who we’d like to see win: Tame Impala – I did not expect their album Currents to be such a huge success but I am so glad it was. So easy to listen to yet still has that funkadelic bass line that gets your shoulders poppin’. Along with artists like Mac Demarco, these laid-back Aussie lads have put psychedelic rock back on the map.
Who will probably win: Tame Impala – they are the kind of exotic international group that the Brits love. If Alex Turner is a fan, then we should probably adhere to his holy judgement.
Fingers crossed, this will go hand-in-hand with a future blog post about how accurate I was…