Presenting the First FH&G Indie Music Awards!
It’s already that time of the year: summer comes to a close, festival season dwindles down and the MTV Video Music Awards are seemingly plugged on every media channel. Whether you’re tuning in for one of music’s biggest nights or not, the staff at FH&G specially picked out our own 2019 nominees from some of our Indie favorites. For one week you all listened and chose the winners. Get to know the artists making major waves in Indie.
Best New Artist:
With the recent release of his third EP Three, Fever, Charlie Burg has already proven himself a raw and soulful artist, that is not afraid to incorporate elements of overlapping genres throughout his work. From acoustic love songs to groovy dance jams and poetic lyrics, Burg showcases his sophisticated style of bedroom-pop that has garnered the attention of many fans, including Sam Smith. Additionally, each project, although released as separate EPs, can be strung together as a confessional journal of the emerging artist that is only beginning.
Listen to Three, Fever here.
Wallows feat. Clairo, “Are You Bored Yet?”
Still Woozy feat. Omar Apollo and Elujay, “Ipanema”
Twin Shadow feat. HAIM, “Saturdays”
Goldwash ft. Baird, “Over Again”
The fourth track on Wallows’ release 'Nothing Happens' features Clairo and highlights a relationship bump that carries anxiety and communication problems. “Are You Bored Yet?” is a dreamy and catchy hit with bright and melodic piano, pulling the alt-band towards a light-hearted pop sound. The music video secures the eclectic state of the song, with Wallows’ singer Dylan Minnette finding himself in a mysterious karaoke bar.
Listen to "Are You Bored Yet?" here.
Best Rock Artist
Dead Poet Society
The Wrecks released another smash hit this year with “Freaking Out.” The song is fun, and when I heard the first few seconds I thought it was a joke. Of course, it wasn’t. The song has a killer chorus that immediately smacks you in the face. Although the meaning of the song is ambiguous, this band is rocking live with a crazy and intense fanbase. I have a prediction that The Wrecks are going on tour with Waterparks in the fall, which will be the most insane tour of all time, if it happens. Just a prediction though.
Best Alt. Artist
Friday Pilots Club*
Since 2017, Friday Pilots Club has consistently released banger after banger. It’s apparent that this year into next is going to be theirs. This year they released the indie pop/alternative song “Glory,” and it’s already a fantastic and climatic song. There are obvious political themes as Friday Pilots Club sings about our own Constitution. This is an artist to look out for a long time, with their first song ever released rising into one million streams.
Check out “Glory” here.
Best Pop Artist
The Academic consists of four Irish natives that have captivated the international indie scene with their post-punk sound and stadium-size performances. Drawing inspiration from the Strokes and the Kooks, The Academic consistently gratifies listeners with their strong guitar riffs and overarching themes about growing up.
Listen to their most recent single "SUPERLIKE” here.
Video of the Year:
White Lies, “Tokyo”
Carlie Hanson, “Back In My Arms”
Valley, “Park Bench”
Toronto’s indie-pop band Valley releases tension while showing off their dance moves in the music video for “Park Bench.” With choreography from Jordan Boyle, the video presents the chaotic social atmosphere in the U.S., consistent with musical inspiration Valley derives from living in Brooklyn. The video erupts from contemporary choreography into an explosive performance that parallels the passionate lyrics within the song.
Watch the music video here.
Song of the Year:
Kid Bloom, “Does It Make Me Wrong”
Johnny Utah, “Honeypie”
Beach Bunny, “Painkiller”
It’s impossible to listen to “Honeypie” without catching yourself humming the melody immediately after. Without taking himself too seriously, Johnny Utah sings about his pursuit of his “honeypie”- whether it be a woman or a literal sweet treat. The song is riddled with a playful beat and eager lyrics that compel listeners for more from Johnny Utah.
Listen to “Honeypie” here.
Album of the Year:
Girlpool, 'What Chaos is Imaginary'
HUNNY, 'Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.'
Badlower, 'OK, I’M SICK'
Cate Le Bon, 'Reward'
HUNNY’s debut album 'Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.' explores the scattered emotions of heartbreak and emotional turmoil with its confessional lyrics contrasting the album’s ‘90s pop melodies. While working with the legendary Carlos de la Garza, HUNNY distances themselves from their punk sound while embracing bright instrumentals that will leave you dancing with tears in your eyes. In just over 20 minutes, 'Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.' brings you back to hard-hitting reality and finishes with the bittersweet journey that evolves after an ending relationship.
Listen to 'Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.' here.
Artist of the Year:
If you haven’t heard of Clairo yet you’re either lying or purposely not paying attention. The princess of bedroom-pop has been making waves in Indie since her video “Pretty Girl” went viral on YouTube back in 2017. In just two years she has grown from making poppy love songs in her room to touring with Dua Lipa, collaborating with the likes of SG Lewis and Mura Masa, and releasing major projects like diary 001 and more recently, Immunity. The combination of her lulling voice and hypnotizing melodies quickly grab you into her discography. Similarly, each release delivers a more defined sound proving as Clairo grows up, so does her music. As she begins to find herself as an artist, fans can discover their own passions and embrace any quirks that previously held them back. If we learned anything in 2019 it’s this: This is Clairo’s world and we’re all just living in it.
Listen to “Sofia” here.
We hope you enjoyed this years Indie Music Awards! Tweet us with your favorites and recommendations for next year @forhitsandgigs!