A fantastic salute to some of the underdogs and under-appreciated of 2019 marks an impressive start to 2020.
Last month, NME released their full nominations list and its Australian winners which included some huge wins from Tame Impala. Lead by multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker, he also won Best Australian Band as well as Best Australian Song for Borderline, the first single from their upcoming album.
Elsewhere on the Australian music scene, girl power proved strong as Tones and I saw a predictable win for Best New Australian Act after the success of her chart-topping second single Dance Monkey whilst Stella Donnelly claimed Best Australian Album for her critically acclaimed debut album Beware Of The Dogs.
NME certainly chose an excellent set of artists, albums and songs to nominate, especially those who failed to make an appearance on the bigger awards shortlist. Billie Eilish seems to be the most likely winner for a lot of the nominations. As an artist who has already garnered comparisons to Lorde and Fiona Apple, we can only expect her to be a big winner. She seems to have the biggest chance of winning the ‘Best Album In The World’ category, particularly because her debut has been highly successful.
However, there are more musicians who I would have liked to seen gain nominations this year such as Carly Rae Jepsen for her fourth studio album Dedicated, which currently holds the same critic score as Taylor Swift’s Lover, but failed to receive any musical nomination. Sigrid is also another musician whose work has gone fairly unnoticed. Her debut album Sucker Punch (a new indie-pop gem), is indeed, just that – and rightly so.
Loyle Carner is someone who has hugely been left out of the competition. A talent this big is just too cruel to ignore. He released his sophomore effort Not Waving, but Drowning, earlier last year and whilst it did not receive the same acclaim as his debut effort, he has managed to enter his way as an impressive and unique artist whose jazz-hip-hop infused arrangements deserve an award of some sort.
Other underrated nominations include Beyoncé’s Homecoming for the Best Music Film category, Hustlers for the Best Film category and Lupita Nyong’o in the Best Actor category.
The award ceremony, which took place on February 12 at London’s O2 Academy, was hosted by Julie Adenuga and Katherine Ryan.
The winners included:
Best Solo Act in the World – Taylor Swift
The American star won this award which is a great way to further hold onto her throne as the pop princess, after notably and deliberately missing the Grammys. Taylor also recently released her documentary, Miss Americana, at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. The title of the documentary is borrowed from Miss Americana & the Heartbreak Prince, the seventh track on Lover, in which Swift expresses her disillusionment over the current state of US politics.
Best Album in the World – Norman F****** Rockwell by Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey’s long-awaited award has arrived. It’s great that the album finally got its shot to win an award, however, it was surprising that Billie Eilish’s When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? failed to bag the award.
Best Film – Blue Story by Andrew ‘Rapman’ Onwubolu:
After being largely snubbed by the BAFTAs (even Prince Andrew called them out on their lack of diversity), the critically acclaimed Blue Story has finally been awarded its seat at the table.
Best British Song – Ladbroke Grove by AJ Tracey
For solely referencing his hometown in the title of the track, this song is personally my favourite win because similarly to Jennifer Lopez’s 2002 Jenny from the Block AJ Tracey pays homage to his London roots with a sweetly sonic garage sound. Besides Dua Lipa’s Don’t Start Now, it’s no surprise this took the award.
Words: Zach Omitowoju
Photo Source: NME