Bastille won the BRIT for Best Breakthrough Act, but should London Grammar have taken home the gong?
Bastille may have walked away with the BRIT Award for Best British Breakthrough Act, but were they the most deserving winners of the gong? Their 2013 debut album ‘Bad Blood’ did reach number one in the UK music chart, but so did Eughan Quigg’s self-titled album in 2009. We’re definitely joking here, Bastille is in no way comparable to Eughan (no disrespect, Eughan), but number ones have been misleading indicators of quality music in the past!
Bastille brought home the BRIT at last Wednesday's awards
Bastille have produced some catchy and very popular tracks over the past couple of years and are certainly owed some recognition for this. They’re talented musicians who we envisage having the long lifeline of super band, Arctic Monkeys, especially since ‘Bad Blood’ has returned to the number one spot since their BRIT win. The problem is the deflated feeling we’ve had since they bagged the award. Not because Bastille didn‘t deserve to win, but because there was another act in the running who really blew us away in 2013.
British trip hop trio London Grammar formed back in 2009 when vocalist Hannah Reid and guitarist Dan Rothman began collaborating together at Nottingham University. A year later they were joined by keyboard (and djembe and drums) player, Dominic ‘Dot’ Major, and the London Grammar lineup as we know it was finalised. Trip hop, which combines elements of hip hop with electronic music, has become the distinctive sound of the band.
Since their first track ‘Hey Now’ appeared online with hardly any warning or explanation, it’s had over 3 million plays, while their debut album, which didn’t manage Bastille’s feat of UK number one (although it still came in at number two) received global success and made it into the top 5 in the Australian iTunes chart. Their most commercial success was probably featuring on the track ‘Help Me Lose My Mind‘, which appeared on Disclosure’s number one album.
Hannah's vocals contribute to the distinctive sound of the band
A notable USP of the band, which they’ve admitted themselves in an interview with the BBC, is Hannah’s vocals. Her voice has the soothing quality of a wind chime but packs a punch in their more powerful tunes. Since ‘Hey Now‘, the band have had successes with singles ‘Wasting My Young Years‘, which has become their cult anthem, as well as ‘Strong’, which echoes bands like Zero 7 and the xx, but Hannah’s vocals always bring it back to keep it distinctively London Grammar.
The band on the whole has the feeling of a euphoric 5am, even on a Wednesday afternoon. While they may not have bagged the BRIT, we predict huge things from them in 2014. They’re a constant sell out with a dedicated following and are hopefully not too disheartened that they didn’t return home with a BRIT. Because, well, as long as Leonardo DiCaprio hasn’t won an Oscar, no great artist can ever be too disappointed about not winning a coveted award!