It’s coming up to that time again. The time when the cream of the British music crop is chosen (with a few international extras). The full list of nominees released last week includes an exceptional amount of talent from an excellent year of music, with artists such as George Ezra and Sam Smith leading the way. Yet it would also be fair to say that there are a few omissions worth noting.
Voting Still Open
You, the public, still have the power to influence both Best British Video and Best British Breakthrough Act, with the latter being a particularly sought after prize, especially this year with such an outstanding line-up. Best British Video can be chosen from 10 contenders for the next 3 days, including Charlie XCX for Boom Clap, Mark Ronson ft Bruno Mars for Uptown Funk and One Direction for their video You And I. EDM musicians Duke Dumont ft Jax Jones, Route 94 ft Jess Glynne, and Calvin Harris also represent, with their videos for I Got You, My Love and Summer respectively.
George Ezra and Sam Smith are joined by Chvrches, FKA Twigs and Royal Blood for the final list of British Breakthrough Act and despite all having an excellent year it seems a surprise that Jungle have been left off the list. This is considering the acclaim they rightfully won this year for their debut album of the same name and the recognition they racked up on the festival circuit. Their unique blend of urban soul is an excellent addition to British music and you can be sure that it won’t be the last time they’re mentioned in the same sentence as the Brits.
Best British Album
They shouldn’t feel too disheartened though, due to the fact that almost every act on the list is worthy of a position this year. But the same cannot be said in the Best British Album category. Royal Blood have made the list, presumably for their eponymous debut album, which isn’t even in the same league as Sheeran’s X or Ezra’s Wanted on Voyage.
It would be wrong to say that it’s a bad album. However, when you remember it has been chosen in favour of Jamie T’s Carry on the Grudge which seems to have flown under the radar, it appears to be the wrong choice. On the other hand, Alt-J’s This is All Yours was a breath of fresh air when it was released in September and is the avid winner in my eyes.
International Male Solo Artist
Another strong category is International Male Solo Artist with Pharrell making the line-up, no doubt due to the phenomenally successful Happy. He is joined by Jack White, John Legend, Beck, and Hozier. Hozier’s debut album is particularly strong, with Jackie and Wilson being noteworthy for its incredible lyricism and upbeat tempo, at odds with his style on Take me to Church and thus cementing his nomination. Yet it is by no means in the bag with Jack White to contend with, his most notable moment of 2014 being a fight with his drum kit at Glastonbury! Nevertheless he too had a successful year.
Best British Female Solo Artist
Another significant snub is La Roux for her new album Trouble In Paradise. A five year wait since her debut album brought extra pressure but Jackson, now working on her own, didn’t disappoint. Upbeat synthpop tracks with strange Caribbean Twists such as Sexotheque, Kiss and Not Tell and Paradise Is You all managed to land despite being very different to most sounds around right now. However, she misses a spot in favour of X-factor finalist Ella Henderson, FKA Twigs, Jessie Ware, Lily Allen, and Paloma Faith.
One thing the nominees do support this year is the great range of British music out there. A celebration of this music occurs next month, so be sure to tune in and sample it. There can be no promises that it’ll be as entertaining as last year with Alex Turner not making a speech, but live performances from Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, and Paloma Faith will no doubt keep you tuned in.
Is there anyone you think should be on the list? Let us know in the comments below!