Thursday, October 31, 2013

People win prizes, pt 293

Last night, James Blake won the Mercury Prize for best album of the year; and Chvrches won the Popjustice Prize for best single of the year. Understandably, they were both quite pleased.

But a lot of people who aren't James Blake and Chvrches are annoyed. They wanted other artists to win instead. Artists like the Arctic Monkeys or Disclosure or The Saturdays (!) but mainly David "Zavid" Bowie. Somehow, though, I doubt David is weeping into his chamomile tea this morning (he's too busy playing with his life-sized David Bowie puppets and making prank calls to Iggy Pop).

Personally, I reckon both sets of judges got it right.

What we have here are two odd-but-brilliant records that could only have been made in the UK. Both artists needed a helping hand to reach a wider audience and, crucially, they're both as good on stage as they are on record (one YouTube commentator argues that Blake's live vocals are "a mixture between a unicorn and Jesus").

If you read this blog regularly, you've probably heard them before. But just in case you clicked the wrong link on Google this morning, here's what you've been missing.

James Blake - Retrograde (live)

Chvrches - The Mother We Share (live)

BONUS: Putting this post together, I stumbled across another live performance of The Mother We Share, which completely tears the song apart and rebuilds it from the ground up. It's utterly beautiful.

Chvrches - The Mother We Share (Billboard session)

Pop music is amazing, isn't it?

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