By Lucia Ruan
Although I was pretty excited for the Grammys, I wasnâ€™t expecting much. Luckily for me, there wasnâ€™t much. (Ed Sheeran and Elton John, though. Justin Timberlake. Frank Ocean. Taylor Swift badly faking an English accent. All interesting. The rest was uneventful.)
Now that itâ€™s over, though, I can focus on freaking out about the BRIT Awards. There are various reasons for my enthusiasm, up to and including:
- Taylor Swift and One Direction performing on the same stage at the same time (judge me, I donâ€™t care, this is where the drama in my life comes from)
- Exciting artists I actually care about!!!!!!
Sure, sure, Calvin Harris, Coldplay, Mumford and Sons, Muse, One Direction, and all that are old names that certain pretentious music lovers are sooooo over, but I want to talk about the amazing new discoveries I made through the BRIT Awardsâ€™ nominees that I want to share with you all!
Iâ€™m going to talk about Alt-J and Jake Bugg.
First, Alt-J. Fun fact, theyâ€™re technically named âˆ†, but because no one knows how to actually pronounce that (delta?), they are pronounced alt-J because that is the keyboard shortcut to create âˆ† on a mac. Try it! Back to the point, I first heard of them from a mix I got from a friend. She put Breezeblocks and Dissolve Me on, and I thought they were fantastic and didnâ€™t look more into it. Lo and behold, four months later, Alt-J is nominated for a BRIT Award! I checked out all of their songs and they are all beyond amazing, particularly Taro, which has a tendency of getting stuck in my head, and Dancing in the Moonlight, which is more acoustic yet still distinctly them. They have a mellow, soft sound, which Wikipedia tells me is because they had to keep the noise down because they lived in student halls, and this paired with lead singer Joe Newmanâ€™s quiet, somewhat high-pitched voice makes any song by them immediately recognizable. I would classify their music as synth-folk-pop-rock-ish? Eh, I am definitely not the best at labeling genres, but I want everyone ever to give them a listen, so. Do it.
Second, Jake Bugg. Heâ€™s pretty different from Alt-J; not exactly for everyone. Wikipedia labels him as the folk/country genre, but DONâ€™T RUN AWAY!! Truth be told I was drawn to him by his ageâ€”heâ€™s eighteen (aka my ageâ€”hello), which is equal parts attractive and enviable. I would say the closest comparable artists would be Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, but thatâ€™s not even right. Iâ€™m going to stop trying.
Iâ€™m just going to point you all to
this video which pulled me in and didnâ€™t let go. His sound and his lyrics (which, fun fact, he wrote all of them. With some help, but still) are just so refreshing and unlike any recent artist I can think of. The fact that he is nominated for the BRIT Awards indicates that maybe, just maybe, heâ€™s successfully bringing back that old time sound that people loved so much back in the day. Other tracks to check out include Taste It, Trouble Town, and Country Song. Iâ€™m going to admit that I havenâ€™t heard the songs that donâ€™t have videos yet, but I meanâ€¦just watch one of them and try to pull yourself away from the way he performs, is all Iâ€™m saying. Now, thatâ€™s attractive.
Both are nominated for British Breakthrough Act while Alt-J is also nominated for Best British Group (along with One Direction!!!) and Mastercard British Album of the Year in this yearâ€™s BRIT Awards, which takes place on the 20th of February. So yeah, I guess theyâ€™re not obscure or anything, but on the off-chance youâ€™ve never heard of them before in your life, youâ€™re welcome for making your life 1230% better.