Posts in SKOA Presents
New #Content Alert: The 'di-SKOA-ver weekly' Playlist
"Play it! Don't you wanna hear what's next?!"

"Play it! Don't you wanna hear what's next?!"

I've noticed that a lot of my friends who use Spotify have developed a new habit. Every Monday morning without fail I watch in my friend feed as they all pour over their Discover Weekly playlists throughout the course of the day. This is all well and good. I'm actually happy to see that my friends in and out of the music business are anxious to find new music to bring them joy. 

In terms of what happens post-playlist, though. I'm never really sure. I only really hear about when the magical Spotify-powered algorithm "fails" someone during any given week. I never hear the celebratory "THIS IS MY NEW FAVORITE BAND!! THANKS ALGORITHM!!" or "GOING TO SEE MY NEW FAVORITE BAND TONIGHT THANKS TO A PLAYLIST!" 

How does one communicate with a playlist/algorithm exactly? 

This is where yours truly comes in to play. 

Starting today, I'm launching what I will playfully be referring to as the di-SKOA-ver weekly playlist. (You know me and my love of puns! I couldn't help myself.)

This is how I intend to run such a playlist: 

  • Just like Spotify, once a week the dedicated playlist below will be updated with a fresh crop of songs. 
  • Just like Spotify's playlist, some will be old, some will be new. 
  • I will mostly be sourcing the music on my own, but will occasionally be taking recommendations from Sprout, Shey, and Fam Like You! 
  • Unlike the Spotify playlist, should you find yourself in love with a song/band, upon adding that music to your own collection YOU'LL HAVE A HUMAN TO TALK TO ABOUT IT.
  • Another important thing! All the artists in said playlist I will learn things about before updating the playlist for the week so when we talk it'll actually be a stimulating conversation! 
  • More importantly, if I notice that a ton of people are interested in the same artist, I'll make it a priority on the site to do more coverage for them in the form of tour updates, interviews, etc. 

Obviously you are encouraged to follow this playlist from your Spotify account, but I'll also make sure the playlist is sitting pretty on the homepage for your convenience. 

BTW we can be friends on Spotify too if you're into that. I love stalking my friend feed for new music and getting inboxed things to try! 


[SKOA Presents] Bands & Brews: Interpol / Good Beer

Bands & Brews pairs our favorite bands to their "hoppy" soul mates and dishes out the coordinates of our favorite beer joints right here in NYC.

The first stop for Bands & Brews was the cozy beer shop, Good Beer, located in the East Village. Good Beer provided the ideal space to kick off Bands & Brews besetting us on all sides with shelves of interesting labeled bottles and decorated cans. The busy atmosphere and sea of friendly faces was the perfect backdrop for discussing two things we love: music and beer. I sat down with beer slinger Matt Cincotta anxious to find the quintessential bottle of suds worthy of a band I'll always be over the moon about, Interpol. Their new album El Pintor releases on September 9th here in the United States. El Pintor's teaser track "All the Rage Back Home" effortlessly transports us back to the blanket of seduction that was the band's 2002 debut, Turn on the Brights Lights. Enticing lyrics and the come-hither chords of these two albums envelop us in Interpol's infectious warmth and take us down that libidinous labyrinth.

Whether I was swooning over songs of old like "PDA", "Hands Away", and "Leif Erikson" or excited over new songs like "Breaker 1" (my favorite from El Pintor) and "Same Town, New Story", it was evident that words like "dark,warm, and heavy" would soon invade our taste buds with the brew we chose. After much discussion and many burps later, Matt and I chose to cool off from this masterful debate of musical darkness and abandon with a "Dark, Rich, and Sexy" brew called Porter (Founders Brewing). It's a smooth dark ale at 6.5% alcohol and for you beer nerds 45 IBUs (just enough bitter for the lusty soul). Cheers to Interpol for always making sexy happen. And yes, Stella (Artois) we still love you...

El Pintor is out September 9th. Pre-order it here. Enjoy, "All The Rage Back Home" below.

Click here for tour dates.

[Interview] Hidden In Plain Sight: (Re)Introducing Kenna

It wasn't until I was preparing for my interview with Kenna that I finally sat down and did the math: I have been a fan of his music for over a decade now. This summer it will be 11 years since the day I first encountered "Freetime", from his 2003 debut, New Sacred Cow. I remember the day well. I was sitting in my parents house watching MTV2 with a notepad on the coffee table. This was my ritual when my friends were out of suggestions for new bands to listen to. Every few months, I would sit for about an hour and take note of any bands that were worth possibly buying CDs for and then go out and buy them, but only after quizzing myself a few days later when I would look back at the notepad and try to remember anything about the artist. "Freetime" easily passed my silly test. Soon after picking up New Sacred Cow, I set myself on a course that, unbeknownst to me at the time, would lead me to writing the words you are reading today. After moving to NYC in 2006, I would spend random lonely Friday evenings on my laptop, checking up on any bands in my 3rd gen iPod that hadn't released new albums in awhile. This is how I ended up on the Kenna message boards, which is where I met Rocko shortly thereafter, and around 3 years later, SKOA was born.

As a fan, it has been borderline infuriating to see such a talented individual as Kenna not get the recognition he deserves. Also during my MTV2 years there was another song that I remember taking note of, "When I Get You Alone" by the artist  eventually to be known as Robin Thicke. Back then, he had long straggly hair and went only by his last name, but he's been at this game just as long as Kenna, if not longer. Although Kenna has gained a lot of recognition in many musical circles, even receiving a Grammy nomination in 2009, it's hard to not go bonkers that both haven't seen the same level of mainstream success to date. Granted, I thank the universe daily that there is nothing comparable to the notorious twerking incident at last years VMAs synonymous to Kenna's reputation. Even still, I don't know how much longer I can handle introducing people to someone who has simply been hidden in plain sight for a decade now. Take for example that video for "Freetime" that I saw long ago. Typically, debut albums mean a lot of exposure for the artist, their faces are supposed to be plastered everywhere humanly possible. In the case of Kenna, the first and only time you see his face in this video is practically at the end of the song.

Fast forward to mid-November 2013, a month before my interview with Kenna, when I see this familiar-looking face while I'm waiting for the L-train.

Imagine my surprise that the man who can't seem to effectively get in front of a large audience to save his life is suddenly staring back at me like this. A month later, I anxiously got on the phone seeking answers. I had to know, how could someone who seemingly didn't want anyone to know who he was all of a sudden have such a dramatic change of heart? Why had he been hiding all of this time? After a nice chuckle at my reference to waiting for the subway with him that day, the artist I thought I had all figured out very calmly explained, "I wasn't hiding as much as I was mitigating. I wasn't keeping myself from everyone as much as I was waiting to be introduced." He noted that I didn't quite understand what he meant at first, but he went on to explain, "If everyone had song that represented them, mine would be 'Where The Streets Have No Name' [by U2], because it has an incredibly long intro. I'm just getting to the first verse of my life." He added, "As many things as I've done in my life, I've been present, I've been aware, I've been available, but I've also been selective. I think it gives me an opportunity when a lot of my peers have really run their course, reached their pinnacles, and have done really well. They now are left really trying to, like, reinvent constantly. I'm able to come with a fresh perspective, make something that I believe is important, and actually present it because of all the music and artists that have come since that have started to, "pave the highway," if you will, for what I'm going to create next."

"If everyone had song that represented them, mine would be 'Where The Streets Have No Name' [by U2], because it has an incredibly long intro. I'm just getting to the first verse of my life."

That's the thing about Kenna that people take for granted. He'd rather patiently wait for people to come around to the music he's been creating for nearly two decades now before he'd consider compromising what he stands for. Even after losing literally every idea or completed song including his Land 2 Air Chronicles EP series slated for release throughout 2012 to a hard drive crash, he took it in stride.

 According to Kenna, “The fact that I was willing to make a shift and be open to the message that the universe was clearly sending my way” actually led me to make better music in the long run”.  He added,

"I also felt like it was also a signal to me that I needed to work harder, that the universe or god wasn't going to let me put out something that wasn't to par and that maybe at that point that I had resigned a little bit. Even as the [releasing the L2AC series based on Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay, "Self- Reliance"] idea was the reason why I was making this EP series, to bring this dream into a reality, I think I resigned to a little bit to the fact that there might be a chance that I wouldn't reach my destination. When that happened I just kind of decided, 'Even I won't have control over this destiny, there's something greater that me happening here, and there's something more important than me in this process. It's all the things I've been doing, whether it be philanthropic, clean water, technology, and music. All the areas that I work in, they all are comprised of so many individuals and so many powerful beings that allow me to be great at what I do. I think in that moment I had to realize that I can't do this alone, that I can't climb this mountain by myself again, and that I have to really pull together my allies. That's when, 'Nothing Is Greater Or Less Than Us,' really started to take hold in my world. I just kind of wanted to reiterate that in my actual life as an example."

I had assumed that he re-recorded the songs that he already had planned to release, but in addition to the previously mentioned hard drive crash, he writes his music asymmetrically. As he put it,

"Sometimes I'll be writing a song purely from a melody standpoint and not have any instrumentation and I'll have to build around it. Where I'm not as familiar with is how the organization of how the music was to that melody and then I have to re-devise it because it's not actually complete, like programmed in any way. That's what makes my music so special. It really is one of a kind and it's not something that you can really replicate without having the actual files and so that was the most difficult [about the hard drive crashing]…Those [old/unfinished] songs were great but I had to put away some of those ideas because I didn't remember them, you know?"

Since Kenna was presented with a clean slate for the EP series, he took the opportunity to amplify some of the components of his music. One of the key elements that he decided he wanted to change was his voice. "My voice coach became a critical and pivotal person in my life because I decided then to work really heavily on my voice and build my voice and make it so it was a lot stronger than it was on the first two records."  He admitted to having a "weak" voice. "When I say weak, I don't mean that I can't sing," he said, "I'm just not like Jennifer Hudson, you know what I mean? I don't have a natural voice that just comes to you." He recounted how in his youth that he was practically tone deaf. "I had to work to have a [good singing] voice…" he explained, "I almost couldn't hear things. I just forced it. I just taught myself how to hear keys and notes and I spent a lot of time training my voice." The incident with the hard drives shifted a lot of the way he approached things. "I thought, 'There's no reason why I can't have an epic voice," he said, "there's no reason why I can't have an epic album. There's no reason why I can't have an epic moment. There's no reason why I can't do it for something greater than myself."

This mindset would converge into what we now know as the first two volumes of the Land 2 Air Chronicle series. In their pre-hard drive failure inception, the series was broken into 3 “Volumes”/EPs based on Ralph Waldo Emerson's, "Self-Reliance" essay. Now in their new form, he’s taking advantage of the clean slate in order to more effectively introduce himself to newcomers as he preps for what is sure to be a big year for Kenna.

His latest in the L2AC series, Volume 2: Imitation is Suicide spans 3 Chapters in the form of EPS, which showcase his refined voice and his longstanding ability to write songs about, as he put it,  

“us…. journeys, the human condition, love, confusion, the search for self, [and] social conditions. I write songs about ‘us’ and how we are in all of those situations and how we perceive ourselves, how we perceive others, how perceive family, and whether or not it really is the journey vs. the destination. Sometimes for me it’s the destination and I forget the journey. Sometimes it’s all the journey and I could care less where I’m going. I write songs hoping that it represents, and this sounds really grandiose, the totality of mankind because I’m everybody and everybody’s least I hope.”  

To get better acquainted to Kenna, you can befriend him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Feel free to have a listen to Land 2 Air Chronicles Vol. 2: Imitation Is Suicide (Chapters 1-3) below. If you enjoy it, consider picking them up on iTunes.

[2013 Year In Review] Shey & Kibbe's Picks From 2013

It's always hard at this time of year to put together an end of year list. Last year we opted just to not do a list at all. This year we thought we'd do share our personal favourites and stand outs from 2013. None are in any particular order and by no means are we snubbing any who aren't listed. These selections simply represent the records we've constantly had on since their release. Albums that we've truly championed. We considered ranking a vat of albums that would include ones we didn't care about, but it doesn't feel very "us" to do that anymore. Each come with a little tid-bit about why we've put them in our top 5. We also have a few honourable mentions, because narrowing down the albums we've listened to most over the year was tough. So without further ado, make the jump and check out our picks for 2013. Or don't, I think between the rising popularity of Buzzfeed and the time of year you all may be suffering from list fatigue.

Shey's Pick: Biffy Clyro - Opposites

Biffy Clyro made 2013 their biggest year to date. The release of their double LP, Opposites, launched them into the stratosphere of rock royalty. Headline sets at numerous festivals. An army of fans, new and old flocked to their first ever arena tour, and night after night they delivered some of the best shows you could hope for as a music lover. Not many albums can hold your attention for the 9-12 tracks they offer up. Biffy created a double album of none-stop bangers (before Miley, too) that has a broad range of emotionally poignant track with building bridges all the way to riff heavy tracks with a hat tip to their roots. 20 tracks of their best work to date. The albums title track "Opposite" tells a tale of a broken man. "Baby I'm leaving here, You need to be with somebody else." The lead single that came mid-2012 "Stingin' Belle" sounds just as huge now with the bagpipes as it did 16 months ago. The recording process nearly tore the band apart but the album shows their solidarity as a band with it ending in a perfect arena sing-along of "Picture A Knife Fight" rattling around as it fades out with the lyrics, "We've got to stick together, we've got to stick together!" ending the 20 track jaunt perfectly. They've come a long way since 2000. I can't really say enough positive things about this album and it pleases me that a band who've slaved for over a decade on the live circuit are now up their with the rock royalty. Dave Grohl's been a fan for years and I think a lot of people realised why he was so fond of them in 2013. Let's see if they can top in years to come. They've already been announced as the headliner of The Isle of Wight festival in 2014. The future of Biffy Clyro is looking brighter than ever and I can't wait to see what it brings. This album is my top album for 2013. Well done boys. 

Kibbe's Pick: Washed Out - Paracosm

 Prior to the August afternoon when my ears had their first taste of Paracosm, I was really only familiar with Washed Out's popular single, "Feel It All Around" from their 2010 EP, Life of Leisure, but that was because Portlandia uses the song as the show's intro/theme song. I was hesistant to try it out because there is really only so much chillwave one can take in a lifetime before you end up accidentally putting yourself in a coma, but thankfully my curiosity got the best of me. I knew within seconds of the opening track, "Entrance", that this was going to be a different kind of experience than I had initially imagined. I think what I appreciate about this album the most is how seems to elevate every mood imagineable. Insanely stressed out at work? Songs like "It Feels All Right" and " Paracosm" will slowly wash away all the worry in your brain. Having an awesome day? "Don't Give Up", "All I Know", and "Falling Back" will make you feel like your insides are glowing and the smile on your face will be warm and bright. I could go on with other examples, but you get the picture. While I wouldn't consider this to be a terribly complex record, I think this is one of those "less is more" type situations. That said, the amount of programming and live instrumentation was crafted with a steady hand because they consitently work in tandem - one never overpowers the other.   My only complaint is that the album was released at the end of the summer and not the beginning of it. I can't wait for warm summer days in the city with "All I Know" pumping through the speakers in our apartment with the windows open and the sun shinning on my face.

Shey's Pick: Queens of the Stone Age - …Like Clockwork

As with Arctic Monkeys return, Queens of the Stone Age's had me getting my knickers in a twist for all kinds of reasons. Firstly, the guest spots that were to be taking place on the record; Alex Turner, Trent Reznor, Sir Elton John, Joey Castillo, Nick Oliveri, Mark Lanegan, Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears, and James Lavelle of UNKLE. Them debuting "My God Is The Sun" live at Lollapalooza Brazil way back in March got everyone excited and before long their ominous and dark sounding album …Like Clockwork would come packaged and it was a show of song writing at its finest and musicianship from the gods. The opening seconds of "Keep Your Eyes Peeled" sets the tone for the album with a shattering of glass and then the gut rumbling bass drones let you know what is in store. The aforementioned huge names that feature on the album, do just that, they feature in the background and if you were to have never been told they were there you'd be none the wiser for the production and prowess of the artists involves keeps the limelight firmly pressed on QOTSA in the present form. It doesn't use the artists involved to steal away the focus from the story arc inside. …Like Clockwork delivers an older, wiser, and more rounded out album from a band that have delivered some of modern rocks go to staples for quality. They can add this to that list now too. Sheer brilliance.

Kibbe's Pick: Studio Killers - Studio Killers
You guys, being a fan of Studio Killers is so much fun. This is not the kind of band that you ever gloat about discovering first, they're the kind of band that you rush to get others around you to join in on the party the second you come across them. This virtual band's debut self-titled album is an energetic dose of sugary electro-bubblegum pop. Although the group has been stringing their audience along since 2010 with their debut single, "Ode To The Bouncer", I would say the finished product was well worth the wait. The bands bright dancy tunes are a fun ride from start to finish, leaving you wanting  more. While I appreciate the peppy synths, the uniqueness of the vocals and the vocal performance is really what keeps me coming back to this record. I can't get enough of it. I think the key to both the band and the albums successful execution is the anonymity of the musicians involved. Although there has been much speculation about the identity of the members of the three-piece from both critics and fans, none of the identities have been revealed, allowing the band to truly have a life of its own without the characters being tied to their true identities, which in turn creates a new kind of experience for fans. As the internet continues to embrace virtual bands like Studio Killers and the others that came before them I'm anxious to see what they have planned for the future. If they can keep their current momentum, I see them really going places.

Shey's Pick: Arctic Monkeys  - AM

When Arctic Monkeys first started playing a few new tracks back in June, it was hard for me not to get excited. They've been on elf my favourite bands since I first saw them play in Sheffield on a school night back in 2005. Fast forward to 2013 and they're one of the biggest bands on the planet, filling arenas on a nightly basis. It's always a scary moment when one of your favourite bands release a new album. What if it sucks?! Well, Arctic's ÂM definitely delivers a sexy, hear on its sleeve ride from the opening thumps of " Do I Wanna Know?" to the closing line of "I Wanna Be Yours" that rattles into the distance, much like a statement of intent front he album as a whole. It can definitely be mine if it wants to 'cause AM has shown yet another growth from the band that used to sing about getting pissed on nights out in Shef, to a band weaving together an album, which to me, seems to be a tale of Alex falling in and out of love with a wonderful Lady from start to finish. I'm excited to see what more the newly styled band have up their sleeve for the future, for now, AMwill be getting heavy play for the foreseeable future. Long live to Monkeys. 

Kibbe's Pick: Kenna - Land 2 Air Chronicles Vol 2: Imitation Is Suicide: Chapter 2
I was going to group all three EPs together as one write up because when the Land 2 Air Chronicles were first announced Volume 2 wasn't supposed to be a three part series, but for some reason that felt like cheating to me. Either way, of the three, this by far was the one that I kept coming back to again and again. Even though the opening track, "Long Gone" had been released before Kenna's hard drive crashed, causing him to rethink and rework the L2AC series, additions "Heaviness" and "Love Is Still Alive" both sound as though the trio of songs were initially cut from the same cloth. The reason why I always come back to Kenna's music is his ability to deliver such tenderness in his voice, which comes through loud and clear in his delivery on "Heaviness", all the way down to the way choice moments where he audibly exhales during part of the heaviness of the subject matter. He closes out the EP with, "Love Is Still Alive", which rounds out the EP and leaves it on a higher note, reminding you that it's better that it's "better to love than to never". I'll admit, I wasn't the world's biggest fan of Volume 1: Chaos and the Darkness, but it's apparent throughout all three chapters of Volume 2 that Kenna has found his footing again. I can't wait to hear what he does next.

Shey's Pick: Dan Le Sac Vs. Scroobius Pip - Repent Repenish Repeat

I seem to have a thing for pairings in recent years and the return of Dan Le Sac Vs. Scroobius Pip kept that trend alive in 2013. Following up from their last release together, The Logic of Chance, the extremely talented story telling skills of Pip, and the genial beat making skills of Dan come together like a perfect sunrise. Filling the sky with a brightness and emotions you didn't know possible. From the huge sounding "Stunner" and Flux Pavilion featuring "Gold Teeth", to the slower, ever growing and huge climactic Christmas single, "You Will See Me". These two manage to offer up a throughout provoking album that one minute will have you jumping and dancing around the streets to the next minute wanting to go and hug a loved one for the emotional buttons Scroob pushes in his story telling skills. I will always look forward to releases from these two and Repent Replenish Repeat is one of this years standouts for me.  

Kibbe's Pick: Anamanaguchi - Endless Fantasy
The easiest way to explain how this stands as one of my favorites of the year is that I'm not sick of it after how often Mark binge listened to it. Nothing against the guy, but we enjoy new albums in different ways. I tend to listen to albums more sporadically and do my best to switch to something else for awhile so I don't immediately get burnt out. Mark, on the other hand, will put something on repeat for days (sometimes weeks) and then go without listening to it for months. That's not to say I've never had albums I've loved so much that I ended up listening to them incessantly, I am just not very good at being a camel when it comes to music. All of that aside, Endless Fantasy takes your ears on a crazy fun magical journey that no other album was successfully album to do so in 2013. Unlike standard albums these days, this one clocks in at over an hour in length. By the time you get to the end, however, it's hard to not want to start it over. This is especially the case when you're driving/traveling for any extended period of time. It's one of the few heavily instrumental albums that can keep my attention to the point where I savor every last note/blip of it, especially with songs like "Akira", "Pastel Flags", and "In The Basement". My other obvious favorites from the album were "Prom Night", "Meow", and title track, "Endless Fantasy", which range in levels of goofiness and awesomeness. Side note for you vinyl lovers out there: this was one of the most beautiful vinyl records our household has ever acquired. Clear vinyl with pink, blue, and yellow marble?! Yes please!

Shey's Pick: Run The Jewels - Run The Jewels

Ever since R.A.P Music dropped, anything involving Killer Mike and El-P in a single entity has had to be in my ears within seconds. Run The Jewels was no different and the paring delivered once again. Yet it was a little different. The albums as aggressive and hard hitting, with wonderful production and beats you'd hit repeat on happily until the years end. The two veterans of the scene push each other to their limits and all the while we get to see a wonderful chemistry evolve in front of our very eyes. It even comes packaged with a festive track "A Christmas Fucking Miracle". Seriously, how could I not put this on my end of year list? What's even better is that they're planning another release next year under Run The Jewels. Hallelujah, praise the baby jesus. RTJ are here to stay and they've firmly placed there cards on the table and they are definitely not bluffing about the hand they've been holding. 

Kibbe's Pick: Disclosure - Settle

I'll admit, I was totally late to the game on Disclosure, but I took to them almost immediately. The English electronic duo have been releasing songs and EPs since 2010, but I only stumbled across them a few months ago. For those not well acquainted in the garage/house universe, Settle is a great gateway drug into the genre with tracks like, "White Noise", "Voices", "January",  "Help Me Lose My Mind", and my personal favorite track from the album, "Latch". With every spin of this record I find a new reason to love it. Each track is dynamically different from the next, but not to the point where it doesn't come across as one cohesive album. In addition to all the wobble and fuzzy bass that one could ask for, the featured vocalists on the album are all exceptional selections that really compliment their respective songs. Highlights of the guest artists include: Jamie Woon, London Grammar, Sasha Keable, AlunaGeorge, and Sam Smith. Fair warning though, like I said on air during BBC Radio 1's Review show, pretty sure this album can get you pregnant. I'd say it's definitely worth the risk, but you have been warned.

Shey's Pick: Bring Me The Horizon - Sempiternal

This was a complete curve ball for me. I've been aware of Bring Me The Horizon ever since they started playing shows in Sheffield back when they sounded rather different. A lot heavier. And they seem to have gone through that transition that a lot of bands do, and they've changed their sound in the past 10 years. It's natural and on that journey they seem to have annoyed some fans and gained a hell of a lot more. I've just never been into them and wasn't expecting to enjoy their latest offering Sempiternal because they Lead single "Shadow Moses" attracted my attention via a rather cool looking glitchy video, and I needed an album to kick me up the arse in the morning sat the gym. I thought, "heck, let's give this a full listen". Opening track "Can You Feel My Heart" was nothing like I expected with electronic elements filling our the track giving it a far more dance orientated sound than I'd of expected and throughout the album they delivered surprises for me. Maybe it was the going into it with no expectations, and expecting it to underwhelm me which is a sucky attitude I'll admit. Fast forward to December and this album features on my gym playlist every morning and hasn't left it since being added back in March when it leaked. They've converted me into fan, even if their older stuff was never to my liking.

Honourable mentions:


Creating top 5's is hard, and Shey failed and accidentally wrote 6, I could write 50 but who wants to read that? I'll be surprised if you're still reading now so here are a few I loved that would feature should the list be longer.

The 1975's self titled debut was a triumph and for a 16 track release it manages to hold your attention throughout and it rocketed them from bar shows to academy shows in just 12 months. They've got a bright future.

Dead Sons long awaited debut, The Hollers & The Hymns, was the first album and last album I listened to this year and last. Dark, twisted and a ride through a riff filled desert. Perfect driving music. I'm extremely excited to hear more from them in 2014 after their new teaser "The Rain". Chance The Rapper seemed to appear from the outskirts to become a figure head this year and his release gets better and better every listen. He's sure to come back fighting on his next release.

Kanye's Yeezus was a great album but I feel the highs, as perfect as they were, came along with some big lows too. I skipped tracks regularly and for me, "Black Skinhead", "Blood on the Leaves" and "New Slaves" far outshine the rest of the album. 

Deafheaven were another surprise for me in 2013. A band I had never heard of arrived, having released material before, but having no preconceptions, they blew me away with Sunbather and they seem to have done the same with everyone else too. Stunning and nothing like I've heard before.

The return of Arcade Fire and Daft Punk had everyone excited but both left me wanting more. That's not to say that both albums weren't brilliant in their own special way, they just didn't strike the same chord they had on previous releases.

The only reason St. Lucia's debut full length, When The Night is an honorable mention and not amongst my 5 favorites is because I feel like it's a cheap move to basically re-release an EP with extra songs on it, especially when you're so well acquainted with the EP that the first few spins of the full-length constantly confuse you because you're already used to a different track listing. All of that aside, I loved how huge this album feels in terms of the depth of sound they were able to create. It almost sounds like they played in a large empty stadium or something. There isn't a single song that I would ever think of skipping over, although admittedly, "Elevate" is probably my favorite of the newer material included on the album.

I also thorougly enjoyed Tegan & Sara's poptastic Heartthrob. It was really different from their previous albums, but I happily enjoyed every synthy note of it.

Like I could go a whole year-end review without mentioning Beck at some point!? Yes, it wasn't a full album, but the three songs he dropped were certainly a good time.

Like Shey said, I tried incredibly hard to lose my mind over the new Daft Punk album, but it just didn't connect to me the way I had hoped. Although I do thoroughly enjoy "Doin' It Right", but who doesn't?

I was pleasantly surprised by Panic! At The Disco's latest effort, although there were a few songs on the record that I don't mind skipping over.

The debut full-length from Lucius was a proud moment for me, considering how long I've been cheering those ladies on. That's certainly a must listen.

[Sasquatch! 2013] Our Most Anticipated Artists of the Festival (Day Three and Four)

Only one day left until Sasquatch! commences. Today and tomorrow will see thousands of avid music fans journeying to The Gorge Amphitheatre in George, WA, prepping their campsites, stocking up on alcohol and drugs in anticipation of dozens of amazing performances. This year's lineup boasts some fantastic talent, such as The xx, Vampire Weekend, Sigur Rós, The Postal Service, Disclosure, Arctic Monkeys, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros and many, many more. It's a lineup worth salivating over.

As the festival quickly approaches, I've put together a list of some of the best acts playing each of the four nights. Each band comes with some recommended listening, because there is no better way to prepare for a festival than sampling what each band has to offer, whether you know them or not. Take a look at our most anticipated artists for days one and two here, and check out days three and four below.

Day Three (Sunday):

Danny Brown - 3:15-4:00pm @Sasquatch

Danny Brown is a crazy dude. Very crazy. His ridiculous presence on his albums and mixtapes should equal an incredibly energetic live show. Did I mention that he got a blowjob onstage during a recent performance and didn't miss a beat?

Recommended Listening:

El-P - 5:30-6:30 @Honda Bigfoot

Last year's Cancer 4 Cure marked El-P's return after five years of absence. It was an amazing album that showcased his talent at bringing humor, wit and dark themes together into a cohesive hip-hop sound. On top of that, if featured some incredible production. I can't imagine his live performance will disappoint.

Recommended Listening:

Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros - 7:10-8:10pm @Sasquatch

Have you ever seen live footage of Edward Sharpe and his hippy cohorts performing live? If you haven't, do it now. One thing you'll notice quickly is the unreal energy that this group has, and that is guaranteed to transfer straight to the crowd. If you make it to the main stage on Sunday night, expect the audience to be partying just as hard as Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros.

Recommended Listening:

Earl Sweatshirt - 8:15-9:00pm @Honda Bigfoot

Earl has made a huge return this year. After a long-rumored and now confirmed absence in Samoa, the Odd Future member is back working on a new album called Doris. He's already debuted new material during his ongoing festival circuit, so hopefully he offer up something new this weekend.

Recommended Listening:

Baths - 9:00-10:00pm @El Chupacabra

Baths has created some quirky electronic beats for years now. His debut album Cerulean was great from start to finish, an eclectic and refreshing collection of synthesizers and samples. With his sophomore album Obsidian set to release next week, what better time for the Los Angeles musician to unleash a swath of new tunes.

Recommended Listening:

Grimes - 10:00-11:00pm @Honda Bigfoot

Vancouver turn Montreal musician Clair Boucher has quickly garnered praise from across the music industry. She's a charming woman with a penchant for the oddities, and her music is a direct reflection of this. Her electronic productions are captivating and at the same time so very weird, but it's exactly this that makes her so intriguing. What better place to be won over by Grimes than the gorgeous vistas of the Gorge?

Recommended Listening:

Killer Mike - 9:10-9:45pm @Yeti

Killer Mike is poised to dominate over the next year or two. This year, he'll be releasing a collaborative album with El-P, who produced the excellent R.A.P. Music, and next year he'll release not one but two albums. With El-P performing at the festival and a ton of new material in the works, you can expect Killer Mike's show will be pretty memorable.

Recommended Listening:

The Presets - 12:00-1:15am @El Chupacabra

The Presets are fantastic live. I've seen them twice now and they do not disappoint. They tweak and expand beyond what is featured on their albums, and turn what could be a simple dancey live set into a body-jacking, floor-thumping experience. Let The Presets occupy your eardrums in the late hours of the night.

Recommended Listening:


Day Four (Monday):

P.O.S -2:25-3:10pm @Honda Bigfoot

P.O.S is representing the Doomtree collective at Sasquatch! this year, bringing the bluesy hip-hop sound of Minneapolis to Washington state. Hopefully we'll hear tracks from throughout his career, including last year's We Don't Even Live Here. Personally, I'm hoping for a bit o' "Sarah Silverman."

Recommended Listening:

Dirty Projectors - 4:30-5:30pm @Honda Bigfoot

Swing Lo Magellan was one of my favorite albums of last year, and I've heard great things of Dirty Projectors' live performance. Don't pass up the chance to hear David Longstreth and Amber Coffman's incredible and expansive vocal talents in person.

Recommended Listening:

Death Grips - 5:50-6:50pm @Honda Bigfoot

This is the show that'll be burned into your memory for a while. My roommate, who unfortunately can't make it to Sasquatch! this year, said this was his most anticipated artist, and for good reason. The duo of rapper Stefan Burnett and producers Zach Hill and Andy Morin are crazy sons of bitches, with the verses of the former equalling the insanity of the beats of the latter. This is intense rap, no question about it. If you go see Death Grips be warned, a most pit is inevitable.

Recommended Listening:

Toro Y Moi - 6:00-7:00pm @El Chupacabra

Chazwick Bundick has put out some amazing albums these past few years. This past January he gave us his third, Anything In Return, and while much of it crept into mindless pop (I'm mostly referring to the lyrics) there are plenty of gems to be found. He combines such an eclectic taste, drawing influence from pop, hip-hop, R&B and electronic. The result are incredible songs like "Rose Quartz," "Say That" and "Never Matter." Personally, I can't wait for Bundick to bring these to the Sasquatch grounds. Hopefully you're on board too.

Recommended Listening:

Twin Shadow - 7:10-8:10pm @Honda Bigfoot

Twin Shadow evokes the best of the '80s. Leather jackets, wild haircuts, and bringing confessional lyricism together with '80s guitar licks and glittering synthesizers. It's pretty fantastic, and if you're in the mood for an '80s throwback this is the show for you.

Recommended Listening:

Disclosure - 7:30-8:30pm @El Chupacabra

Guy and Howard Lawrence are a talented pair of brothers. Every song they put out is fantastic, whether it's "White Noise" with AlunaGeorge, "You & Me" with Eliza Doolittle or even the brand new track "When A Fire Starts To Burn" (which just debuted today). Even though their set is a bit earlier than I hoped—they would have been a perfect late-night set—it's one of my most anticipated performances of the festival. Get ready to get down and dirty at this one.

Recommended Listening:

Alt-J - 8:30-9:30pm @Honda Bigfoot

Alt-J is a strange band. Really, they are. But this strange aura around them they are incredibly accessible. Hell, they won the Mercury Prize for their debut album An Awesome Wave. It's their broad scope and diverse but fantastic sound that draws in a huge fanbase. You can expect their show at Sasquatch! to be just as diverse.

Recommended Listening:

The Postal Service - 10:00-11:30pm @Sasquatch

What better festival for The Postal Service to headline than Sasquatch!, taking place in Ben Gibbard's home state of Washington. Ten years after releasing their lone album Give Up, Gibbard and Dntel came together for a reunion tour and a re-release of the LP. When that album first came out I was still in middle school, and all that teenage angst found solace in the moody electronic stylings of The Postal Service. I have a nostalgia with the band, as do so many others, and I highly doubt they'll disappoint that nostalgia.

Recommended Listening:

[SKOA Presents] We Found Sasquatch! Mixtape

The drive to Sasquatch! is a lengthy trip for most of the attendees, and what better time to get familiar with the bands you'll be seeing at the festival? That's where we come in. We've plucked 36 artists from the festival lineup and chosen a song by each, resulting in two-and-a-half hours of fantastic music. This is SKOA's essential Sasquatch! mix. This is the We Found Sasquatch! Mixtape.

The mixtape features plenty of amazing talent, including Vampire Weekend, Disclosure, Tame Impala, Alt-J, Surfer Blood, Dirty Projectors, Father John Misty, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, Bloc Party, Empire of the Sun, Toro Y Moi, Holy Ghost!, The xx, El-P, P.O.S, CHVRCHES and more. For your convenience, the mixtape is available to stream below via 8tracks, or you can download all 36 songs in one, two, three parts. Check it out and hopfully it makes the journey to Sasquatch! a little bit easier. The full tracklisting is after the jump.

SKOA presents We Found Sasquatch! Mixtape from skoablog on 8tracks Radio.


We Found Sasquatch! Mixtape Tracklist:

  1. CHVRCHES – “Recover”
  2. Odesza – “How Did I Get Here”
  3. Baths – “Aminals”
  4. DIIV – “Past Lives”
  5. Surfer Blood – “Take It Easy”
  6. John Talabot – “When The Past Was Present”
  7. Toro Y Moi – “Rose Quartz”
  8. Holy Ghost! – “Dumb Disco Ideas"
  9. Youth Lagoon – “Dropla”
  10. Azari & III – “Into The Night”
  11. Kid Cudi – “Pursuit of Happiness” (Steve Aoki Remix)
  12. The Postal Service – “Clark Gable”
  13. Vampire Weekend – “Hannah Hunt”
  14. Sigur Rós – “Varúð”
  15. The xx – “Swept Away”
  16. Arctic Monkeys – “R U Mine?”
  17. Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros – “Man On Fire”
  18. Empire of the Sun – “Alive”
  19. Bloc Party – “Octopus”
  20. Andrew Bird – “Eyeoneye”
  21. Grimes – “Oblivion”
  22. Alt-J – “Matilda”
  23. Disclosure – “You & Me” feat. Eliza Doolittle
  24. Tame Impala – “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards"
  25. Father John Misty – “Nancy From Now On”
  26. Danny Brown – “Grown Up”
  27. Earl Sweatshirt – “Chum”
  28. P.O.S – “Wanted/Wasted” feat. Astronautalis
  29. Death Grips – “I’ve Seen Footage”
  30. El-P – “The Full Retard”
  31. Twin Shadow – “Five Seconds”
  32. Dirty Projectors – “Dance For You”
  33. Japandroids – “The House That Heaven Built"
  34. Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs – “Garden”
  35. The Presets – “Fall”
  36. Porcelain Raft – “Unless You Speak From Your Heart”
[Interview] Matt Healy of The 1975 talks influences, origins and headlining Glastonbury

The 1975 started out in a very mysterious way. Music appeared online last year but we didn't really knew much about them and who they were. It's safe to say that's changed now and the Manchester band are making ever growing waves now. Their recent single "Chocolate" can be heard on the radio on a daily basis and good on them. Producing their own music in a bedroom, they've gained a loyal following in a remarkably short time. They've just wrapped up their second headline tour, and are set to play SXSW later this month. Ahead of their headline show at Manchester's Deaf Institute, I caught up with Matt Healy of the band. As I arrived I walk into the back and find him and his girlfriend enjoying a cigarette and a drink on a sofa. He seemed relaxed and calm about the night that lay ahead. I sit down, light a cig, take a sip of my drink and if you make the jump, you can enjoy the chat that took place.

SKOAShey: So, let's start simple, what made you guys want to start out as a band, you all started recording together quite young didn't you?

Matt Healy: Yeah, well me personally, my Dad's friends were in quite big bands, my Dad used to knock about with Dire Straights and things like that in the 80's. So I knew a lot of that crowd when I was a kid, so I suppose that was the first thing that I wanted to do, we just started playing in punk bands when we were 13/14.

SKOA: Really?!

MH: Yeah man, like pop-punk, kind of like Lagwagon kind of stuff, and we just started doing that. We always knew that that was what we wanted to do, but we also knew that we'd want to be the best of what we could of envisioned. 

SKOA: Didn't you all actually learn to play instruments together too?

MH: One thing led to another, yeah, and the line-up was just kind of an organic evolution as oppose to a contrived arrangement. We met at high school and it went from there.

SKOA: So with your Dad being so into music, what influences do you have from him and as a band as a whole?

MH: Well, I think one of the main reasons our band is so groove orientated is because our influences are from R and B and Soul. My Mum was big into Motown like Martha Reeves and The Vandellas, Kim Weston and stuff like that while my Dad was massively into the Stones, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, so that all played a part. 

SKOA: I heard a pretty cool story about how the band name came about actually, would you like to go into that a bit more? 

MH: That's right, yeah, I met an artist on Holiday. It sounds a bit more bohemian, idealistic than maybe it was but I met him and ended up leaving with a book that must of been treated almost like a diary by a previous owner, so when I read it there was all these mad scribblings and notes, and  the person had dated it "the 1st of June The 1975". Then when it came to naming the band it just seemed like quite an appropriate title, you know.

SKOA: So you said the band was an organic evolution, but is it similar when you're writing music? What comes first the riffs, the lyrics?

MH: It's very different, there's a perpetual motion of writing with us because of our origins and the way we learned music together. We've got this sort of unspoken musical vocabulary you know, that we all really understand, so, it's quite easy now as it's the only thing we really know how to do. It's what we do for fun. It's not taxing at all, it's something people have started embracing that we were already doing. 

SKOA: How do you find the time though, as you guys seemed to have toured non-stop the past 6 months, when and where do you go about writing new music as you've released a fair bit haven't you. On the road?

MH: Yeah, yeah, all those EP's were recorded on a laptop in my bedroom.

SKOA: That seems to be a growing thing with people just locking themselves away in a bedroom and recording their own stuff…

MH: Yeah, well if you can do it, and you can produce your own records then there's none better to do it, cause you've lived it and you understand it. 

SKOA: Talking about producing your own records, how was it working on the latest stuff with Mike Crossey?

MH: Yeah, well it was amazing, I mean initially, Mike was really kind of tentative in his approach and he really understood how, kind of,  unsettling it can be when you depart from a certain way of thinking or in this instance, a certain way of producing records, so, he made sure he wasn't steamrolling over anything we did.

SKOA: So he didn't just take the reins and direct it at all?

MH: No, not at all. He approached us and said he wanted to go on a co-production level, erm, and that's what we did, and I think his technical understanding really kind of vitalised the creative process. We then came straight out of the studio and recorded Music For Cars back at home.

SKOA: Yeah, I heard you've already got stuff in the pipeline for a second album too?!

MH: Yeah, we're always creating. The first album was written before those EP's. So everything that we've written since August has, I suppose, been geared towards a second album.

SKOA: What can we actually expect from the full-length release then?

MH: (laughs) Fuck Knows?! Fuck knows man. I don't know man,

SKOA: I've heard Music For Cars and that's great, is it a mix of the EP's or a different sound all together?

MH: Thanks man. But yeah, the album, it's sort of like a soundtrack to  a John Hughes movie, that kind of the vibe of what we've gone for. I wouldn't wanna say that it's 80's influenced, but it is in the way that we want to have parallel with artists that were peaking at that time, like Michael Jackson, Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel.

SKOA: I read actually that if you could go back to any decade you'd personally want to go to the 80's? 

MH: Very much so, yeah.  I think some of the best records were made then. Bad by Michael Jackson, So by Peter Gabriel. Yeah, massively, but I can't tell you what to expect from the record, cause I don't even really know what it is yet.

SKOA: So you've finished recording it? Just got to mix and clean it up?

MH: Pretty much man, just little bits to finish off and add.

SKOA: Ok, so obviously the past few months have been a bit of a whirlwind for you, Radio One and numerous others picking you guys up and playing your tracks, have you found it weird at all hearing yourselves not he radio?

MH: Yeah, a little bit. No, actually, yeah, definitely. It's a very humbling experience you know, like, that people are embracing what we do.  We didn't have any aspirations for it being accepted by the mainstream media in the way that it has been. So, I think it's kind of been like a catalyst in the progression of the understanding of ourselves really and the understanding of the band cause we've never had an emotional response. We've never really gone through any sort of process of qualification or validation as a band.  It's been, yeah, it's been quite interesting.

SKOA: Any weird instances of getting star-struck over the recent months meeting anyone? I saw you were pretty hyped to meet A$AP?

(laughs) Yeah, I was. I was with her (points to his girlfriend Gemma sat next to him on the sofa quietly smoking a cigarette) and we were at a hotel in London. And he was staying at our hotel, and erm, yeah,  we got to meet him and he was amazing. 

Gemma: I didn't know who he was!

MH: Yeah, yeah, (laughing) she didn't know who he was. He was really chilled out, he was really nice. Very attentive, wasn't he? (looking at Gemma) He recognised me from the Futures Festival so that as quite a big deal. Yeah man, but when you meet people that you really idolise or look up to. It's great when you can feel a certain level of mutual respect.

SKOA: I thought they always said don't meet your heroes?

MH: No, no, DO meet your heroes, if you can! People just say that cause most people can't do it! 

SKOA: So you exchanged emails with A$AP, any plans to reach out for a collaboration?

MH: He's got mine. I've got his, I might send him an email, I dunno man. A lot of my mates have done remixes of his tracks. Like Bear//Face and stuff like that.

SKOA: Well speaking of collaborations, if you could work with anyone in the world who would it be?

MH: Erm, Mike Skinner, or Michael Jackson if he was still here. Erm, loads of people. You know what, I'd like to see who wants to collaborate with me?! That'd be a more interesting to find out wouldn't it. 

SKOA: I'm sure there are plenty of people wanting that now…

MH: You?!

SKOA: What's it been like on the road doing you headline shows?

Remarkable really. It's only the second time we've gone out and done a headline tour so it's pretty crazy.

SKOA: I saw you play Soundcontrol was it late last year, which was a mad show!

Yeah man that was, there was people hanging off the speakers, and banisters. It was great. It's been amazing man. You like, if you throw a party when your'e 14 years old and 50 people come, that's an amazing feeling, but if you're doing that every night around the country it's a mad feeling.

SKOA: Favourite City to play? 

Nah, I wouldn't wanna ostracise anybody, it's quite difficult. (laughs) I don't know. I really enjoyed Brighton, I love Brighton. Love playing Manchester obviously, cause it's Manchester. Aldershot was the favourite of the tour actually, funnily enough, just for loads of reasons, but yeah. It's been a really, I keep saying this, but it is a really humbling experience. We've never had a direct emotional response from out fans.

SKOA: You excited to head out to SXSW? DO you have a lot of showcases lined up?

Yeah man. We've got Huw Stephens, Fader Fort. We've got like 2 shows a day for a week. One day we have 4 I think and then we go on another tour. We're also going on tour with Two Door Cinema Club next week in Europe. 

SKOA: So any more plans for festivals this Summer?

Yeah, we're doing all of the festivals (I look at him with a kind of "really?!" face) (Matt nods) Yeah. I really wanna do a show at my School actually.

SKOA: Where'd you go to School actually?

I went to school in Wilmslow. Yeah, well I went to a private school originally but then I got kicked out.  

SKOA: What did you do?!

I threw a protractor at somebody, and it got them between the eyes. It wasn't really as violent as it sounds.

SKOA: Could of been a lot worse!

MH: Yeah, but I also kind of really resented the whole thing because it was so silly. I thought the whole thing was a farce. Not school. But the school I was at. (raises voice) King's School in Macclesfield, there you go. I hate it. 

SKOA: You're all from different places as a band though are you not? 

MH: Yeah, well Ross is from Macclesfield, that's where I originally went to school. [Adam] Hann lives in Handforth near Cheadle, George lives in Wilmslow, and I've just kind of floated about. My parents moved to like, a small village outside elf Macclesfield and we just used to live 5 miles away from each other so we could just hook up and mess around. 

SKOA: Back to SXSW, is there anyone you're particularly excited to check out while your'e over there?

MH: I don't know who's playing at SXSW actually. (then a conversation ensued that I can't divulge the information for as it's not announced yet!)

SKOA: There's some great UK bands breaking through at the moment, if you could name one as your favourite who'd it be?

MH: My band, by a million miles!

SKOA: Other than your band?! 

MH: Before these records came out, and I think it's a testament to the way they were produced, our heads were so buried in house music, and dance music, and R and B. I mean, I like a lot of the usual suspects that are around that are there with us at the moment. Like PEACE, Palma Violets and stuff. I just think that the whole psychedelic, white boy grunge thing is really cool.  It's not really where my heart is at though, you know? I think they're cool. A guy I'm really liking at the moment is this amazing DJ called Tourist who we've just  got to do loads of remixes on our stuff. Bear//Face. There's loads of cool stuff coming out of the UK but I'm the worst person to tell you about it, because my head is so buried in The 1975.

SKOA: Someone on Twitter was wondering how you know Little Comets, I assume it's being label mates and stuff on Dirty Hit? 

MH: Yeah, we know Little Comets really well. Very good friends of ours. They took us out on the road when we were in our very embryonic stages  of our old band and just let us open up for them and we started getting sort of fans off the back of that. It was all a bit weird. Then they helped us produce "Sex" the song, and "You". 

SKOA: Speaking of "You", I really like "Me" from the new EP, I read you said it's kind of a response to "You"?

MH: Thanks man. It kind of is. I think that's my favourite actually. (Matt looks to Gemma and says "Do you like that one?") 

Gemma: I've not been heard it yet, you keep forgetting to send it to me!

MH: (laughter)

SKOA: Finally then, where do you see yourselves in a few years time? 

MH: Oh, fucking hell man! Erm, dead?

SKOA: Other than dead, cause we don't' want that just yet hey!?

MH: Headlining Glastonbury?! Now we've started, you might as well reach for the sky and the mountain tops innit. I don't know, man. I just want people to feel about our records the same way records made me feel you know.  I want our record to be, you know like, antiquated soundtrack to someone's memories. Something that makes someone feel like genuinely emotional, the same way I feel when I hear "Only You" by Yazoo. Like it actually can make me feel physically sick. If we're in a position as a band that we can connect with people at that level then that's all we care about. And that I can buy fags and a sandwich.  

SKOA: Tin of beans?

MH: That too, yeah.

SKOA: Cool man well thanks a lot and good luck tonight and with the coming months, seems like it's going to be a crazy busy year!

MH: Cool man, pleasure to meet you. Thanks a lot. It should be good.

The show that I witnessed afterwards was top notch. Playing a lot of material from the new EPalongwith all their previous fan favourites the room was bouncing from start to finish. Little did I know that two days later I'd be meeting up with Matt again when I took a trip down to London to do the Radio One review show. We got to talk a bit more about their album and from what I heard, it's going to launch them even further up the music rankings and radio playlists. 

Their new EP, Music For Carswas released yesterday, and you can stream it in full below. Not only that, the band have just announced two HUGE shows for later this year. They'll play Manchester's The Ritz on September the 21st following a night at London's Shepherds Bush Empire on the 20th. Huge news for the band! Tickets are available over here.

Photo courtesy of Richard Manning Photography.

[SKOA Presents] The BBC 6 Music Blog Awards 2013: Results

So on Sunday evening, we took part in the BBC 6 Music Blog Awards which was rather fun yet again. Others included this year included The 405, Punktastic, The Quietus, One For The People, For Folk's Sake, The Blue Walrus, Fresh On The Net and some by the 6 Music team themselves. The show was a raging success and it's always a pleasure to take part in. There were a few technical mix ups but hey, it wouldn't be live radio and an awards ceremony without a  few of those now, would it?! To see the winners make the jump and to re-listen to the show in its enirety, head over here. Treat yourself to a few hours off from whatever it is you're meant to be doing today. We won't tell, honest.

Artist most likely to induce a state of vibe like euphori-coma (hosted by The 405)
Carnivals: We put Carnivals at the top of our 10-track shortlist for this award and many readers didn’t need to look any further. Kindness is exactly the blissed out ray of hazy sunshine we were thinking of when we came up with this category. Each gripping layer of sound provokes its own thought as it takes you over during the course of its four and half minutes, and as a cherry on top of all that, it's got beats as deep as the Mariana Trench.

Album you'd watch a ten-year anniversary tour of in 2022 (hosted by Punktastic)
The Menzingers - On The Impossible Past: Appearing on many "best of" lists in 2012 (taking second place in our staff poll), The Menzingers' On The Impossible Past saw them graduate from the gruff punk scene to the wider "rock audience", and it's likely going to be their career defining record. It's a particularly good choice for hearing in full live as it's got a very natural flow to it, and it's full to the brim of big choruses and memorable melodies!

Tomorrow’s Cult Artist Today (hosted by The Quietus)
Fat White Family: Fat White Family, are sick. I don't mean this like, they're well sick la, I mean they're seriously not well. I've never seen a more unhealthy looking band in my life. They're the sort of band you'd wish would move into the house next door to Bobby Gillespie to hold five day mephedrone jams. They sound like early Liars, smacky Butthole Surfers, slow and steamy Birthday Party. No good will come of it, mark my words but above and beyond all of this it should be said that they're also slightly brilliant.

Far More Than Just A UK Buzz Band (hosted by One For the People)
Crushed Beaks: Since they first unveiled a couple of early shed recorded demos in 2011, the Crushed Beaks duo of Alex Morris and Matthew Poile have been steadily increasing their worth. Continually building their flourishing aesthetic, they incorporate a romantic vulnerability into a sound that seems to merge effortlessly well with their noise-rock roots.

Best Venue for Upcoming Bands (Never Enough Notes)
Moles, Bath: We were looking for smaller, intimate venues and there are plenty of those around, but we didn't expect the volume of support and huge amount of loyal support we had! Moles in Bath took the top spot in a neck-and-neck race with The Fleece in Bristol. Moles is an institution with a 35-year history which has seen Radiohead,The CureBlurOasis and The SmithsThe VaccinesLaura Marling and many others at the early stages of their career.

The EP or Single That Has (Had) You Most Excited About A Full Release (hosted us heare at SKoA, you must recognise this one)
Disclosure – White Noise:

Disclosure have shown so much promise over the past few months and were more popular than David Bowie, The 1975 and Nerve when we asked our followers. With them set to release a full-length album in the very near future we're more than a little excited to dance the nights away to their highly polished house anthems. 

Album That Justifies Buying Cripplingly Expensive Headphones Award (hosted by For Folk’s Sake)
The Mountain Goats - Transcendental Youth: John Darnielle is the musician who best expresses what it is to be alive, and 2012's Transcendental Youth is uplifting, exhilarating and tragic. Get your hands on some fancy headphones and sticl it on - it makes life better.

Band Most Likely to Start Their Own Cult (hosted by The Blue Walrus)
Shinies: Some bands in the running like the Chapman Family are perhaps too obvious a choice for starting a cult, that they have to regularly deny the claims. Shinies, however, have already made a cult-like a headline splash across the tabloids, by hunting down and sacrificing ex-Fun House presenter Pat Sharp in the video for Ennui. That sounds a lot like a cult to me.

Wise Words on the Web for Emerging Artists (hosted by Fresh on the Net)
Make it in Music: Make It In Music is a phenomenal resource for new bands, artists and labels alike – in fact anybody starting out in the music industry. And amazingly it is free.

MPFree of the Year (hosted by the 6 Music Morning Show)
VuVuVultures - I'll Cut You: Chosen on the 6 Music Facebook page.

Artist which would best double up as a Pest Control Company (hosted by The 6 Mix)
Massive Attack: Suggested by Jaime Paredes on the 6 Mix Facebook page.

BBC 6 Music Highlight 2013 (hosted by the 6 Music Facebook Page)
6 Music Live at Maida Vale