Forget your run of the mill end of the year lists. For the first and probably the last time ever, here at LSi we have decided to hand out the LSi Music Best of 2013 Awards. Here’s the breakdown:
Best Band – FOALS
With the unveiling of their third – and arguably best – album to date, Holy Fire which saw them nominated for their second Mercury, the Oxford boys have proved their place as one of Britain’s best and most consistently pleasing bands. The album was released to critical acclaim, containing perhaps the best guitar riff of the year on ‘Inhaler‘ as well as the singalong classic ‘My Number’. This year they headlined their first festival (Latitude), followed Alt J at Glastonbury and recently released their Live at the Royal Albert Hall show on DVD, which perfectly highlights the captivating and energetic nature of a typical Foals show. Having firmly established themselves as a band with longevity, will they now take the place of Radiohead as the best band to come out of Oxford?
2013 has been a tremendous year for Chicago man Chance the Rapper. In releasing his critically acclaimed Acid Rap mixtape, he gave us all one of the best releases of the year for free. It features some of the hottest verses of the year and has meant Chance has been able to reach heights that even he could not predict. In the middle of his ‘Social Experiment’ tour on the back of supporting Macklemore throughout Europe, he has put his individual style and brand on the map.
Although Yeezy and Kendrick may have something to say about the awarding of this title, we feel that coming from nowhere and to rise to such fame and producing such a great mixtape in the process certainly makes him entirely deserving of such a fought-over title.
Best Newcomer – LONDON GRAMMAR
Considering they’re one of the most popular bands of 2013, it’s hard to imagine that London Grammar had only recently been signed this time last year. The hype may have been slightly unbearable in the build up to the release of their debut album If You Wait but this London trio have shown they aren’t just a buzz band after all – here at LSi we’re still reeling about that Mercury nomination that got clearly got lost in the post. Capturing the hearts of many a listener, Hannah Reid’s distinctive and soaring vocal has become a regular on the airwaves and London Grammar’s rise unstoppable.
Best Soloist – JAMES BLAKE
Breaking on to the scene in 2010 with his singer songwriter style sprinkled with a helping of dubstep production, the young James Blake was included in the BBC Sound Poll of 2011 and had his self titled debut release nominated for a Mercury. This year has seen Blake take home the lauded prize with his self-produced second album Overgrown, simultaneously demonstrating a jump in maturity and forward-thinking ideas in the sphere of electronic music. Where some see the Mercury as a curse on its winners, it’s hard to imagine Blake going anywhere but up in the coming years, and we can’t wait to see what he’s got left to offer.
He’s Been Everywhere Award – NILE RODGERS
2013 has seen the return of disco legend Nile Rodgers and his subsequent sticking of fingers in every single musical pie on the menu. But we’re not complaining! From laying down the funk on the most catchy – and popular – track of the year (that’s ‘Get Lucky’ by the way), to working with the likes of Disclosure, Avicii and appearing on Chase and Status’ latest LP, he really has been everywhere. And that’s without mention of the relentless touring schedule which has seen Chic ft. Rodgers riding in on the disco train, treating crowds everywhere from Glastonbury to Ibiza to their timeless and legendary classics. ‘Good Times’, indeed and plenty more in 2014, we hope.