AHEAD of The BRITs on Wednesday night, Natalie Rees, Dan Willis and Polly Riggs pick out their winners for four of the most prestigious awards…
Nominees: Catfish And The Bottlemen, James Bay, Jess Glynne, Wolf Alice and Years and Years
Natalie: WOLF ALICE
Many would be drawn to Catfish and The Bottlemen as winners, having enjoyed incredible success since the release of their debut album The Balcony last year. However, as the only nominees on an independent label, I think Wolf Alice deserve the Brit. The Londoners’ debut record ‘My Love Is Cool’ peaked at number two, before earning them a Mercury Prize nomination. More recently, they picked up two NME awards and were nominated for a Grammy.
Dan: YEARS AND YEARS
Years and Years have had an incredible year. After their first release ‘King’, in early 2015, went straight to number one – they have had released consistently enjoyable music, combining a great mix of pop music and electronic music. 2016 can only offer more for Years and Years, as they continue on their ascent to the top of the UK Pop scene.
Polly: JESS GLYNNE
Jess Glynne is my go-to girl for music to get ready for a night out to, or just to cheer myself up. After the success of Clean Bandit’s ‘Rather Be’, she was in danger of becoming just another ‘feat.’, but this year her solo album has been a roaring success. Plus she gets extra cool points for working auburn hair.
Nominees: Aphex Twin, Calvin Harris, James Bay, Jamie XX and Mark Ronson
Natalie: JAMES BAY
Bay’s debut album, ‘Chaos and the Calm’ was released just under a year ago, yet it feels like the singer-songwriter has been around forever. The ‘Hold Back The River’ singer, who will be playing to a sold out Castlefield Bowl in July, deserves the award for showing that a guy and his guitar can stand up to the chart giants.
The Best Male Solo Artist Award has to go to James Bay. 2015 was an amazing year for him – his debut album was phenomenal. #BRITs
— Liam O'Dell (@lifeofathinker) January 14, 2016
Dan: APHEX TWIN
Aphex Twin has been around for nearly two decades now and his music remains timeless. When he’s up against mainstream powerhouses in Calvin Harris and Mark Ronson it may be a tougher challenge, but with a sound not replicated by anyone before, during or most likely after him – it’s a tough job to find someone with the same musical diversity as Aphex Twin. Here’s hoping the rest of the British public replicate this thought!
Aphex Twin gets a Brit nomination for Male Solo Artist. That’ll do nicely.
— Andrew Read (@Revelation137) January 14, 2016
Polly: JAMIE XX
I loved The xx but Jamie’s solo music marries the haunting quality of the band with edgier beats which make it more my cup of tea. ‘In Colour’ seems to fit in any playlist, although I admit to spending most of the summer playing ‘I Know There’s Gonna Be Good Times’ at an obnoxious volume in my car…
jamie xx for british male solo artist pls
— pav (@pxv_n) January 14, 2016
Nominees: Adele, Amy Winehouse, Florence and the Machine, Jess Glynne and Laura Marling
Natalie: FLORENCE + THE MACHINE
Front woman Florence Welch has been flooding audiences with her breath-taking vocals since the band’s formation in 2007, most notably headlining last year’s Glastonbury Festival. ‘How Big How Blue How Beautiful’ is another classic album from Flo and Co, featuring the sensationally and unashamedly loud ‘What Kind of Man’ and ‘Ship to Wreck’.
Has anyone had a better past year than Adele in the music industry? With her world-famous hit ‘Hello’ it will be no surprise if Adele goes home with one or more BRIT awards. Her latest album ‘25’ is yet again another huge success for the Tottenham-born star, with follow up hits such as ‘When We Were Young’ and ‘Remedy’ don’t expect it to be too long before she’s back at the top of the UK charts.
Polly: FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE
Despite the practical inevitability of Adele winning this one, I’d like to see Florence walk away with it. For me, she’s always had some anthemic songs, but her latest album is the first to be the complete package. There’s an upbeat variety, but Florence retains her characteristic husk and the result is quite special. Plus I had the privilege of seeing her at a festival last summer, and she really is a spectacle.
I hate the @brits awards. I take it so personal any time Florence and the Machine don't win.
— Ryan Gavan (@RyanGavo) January 14, 2016
ALBUM OF THE YEAR
Nominees: Adele (25), Coldplay (A Head Full Of Dreams), Florence and the Machine (How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful), James Bay (Chaos and the Calm), Jamie XX (In Colour).
Natalie: ADELE – 25
November gave us ‘25’, the third studio album from arguably Britain’s greatest vocalist for years, Adele. ‘25’ documents the challenges the singer-songwriter has faced during her time away from the studio, twisting love and heartache through her lyrics. ‘Hello’, the first single released from the record, echoes the grandeur of ‘Someone Like You’, blowing the world away once again.
Adele's 25 is the album of the year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
— east is up ||-// (@GiaInsane) February 20, 2016
Dan: JAMIE XX – In Colour
With Adele running a close second, Jamie XX has had a massive year – and his 2015 album release ‘In Colour’ has only increased the demand for the London-born musician’s combination of Electronic, House and Garage which has gathered a lot of mainstream attention. Most notably, the hit ‘Loud Places’ ft Remy and Gosh has catapulted Jamie XX and his music to new heights.
Polly: JAMES BAY – Chaos and the Calm
I tried really hard not to like James Bay, but his voice is softer than chocolate sauce and (much like my relationship to that), I failed. The piece as a whole demonstrates a maturity rare in a first album. The songs seem to flow effortlessly from one to the next, but there’s enough diversity to ensure Bay’s voice is showcased its wonderful optimum. ‘Scars’ will always hold a special place in my heart.
By: Natalie Rees, Dan Willis and Polly Riggs
@definataliemayb / @DanJWillis_ / @pollyriggsug
As part of our build up to The Brits, Emily Ingram investigated whether the awards are really patriotic. Check out her piece now…