Welcome to the ICM’s 5th annual awards night, celebrating the very best indie and alternative artists, music, videos, and everything in between.
We love putting the spotlight on artists and bands who have impressed and flourished over the past 12 months. In 2021 when Coronavirus still tries to disrupt our lives, we have been graced with some incredible new artists, songs, albums – and even some live performances!
Narrowing down thousands of contenders to just 30 artists across six categories has certainly not been easy but those chosen have thrived this year and each one of them are all worthy winners. However, we must pick six winners.
So as we come to the end of the year, here are your ICM Awards 2021 champions.
Greatest Discovery – Wet Leg
The Isle of Wight duo has come completely out of the blue and blown us away by their impressive blend of post-punk and indie rock.
Formed by Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers in 2019, they have been hard at work building the foundations before hitting us with guitars, French disco and effervescent imaginations.
Sharing their love of the The Ronettes and Jane Birkin, through to Ty Segall and Bjork, they set about making some recordings of their own. Wet Leg has released latest single ‘Too Late Now / Oh No’ as well as confirming their debut album is scheduled for April 8th next year so remember this name as Wet Leg will be coming to a venue near you very soon.
Best International Act – Inhaler (Ireland)
Inhaler has had a 2021 to remember. The Dublin quartet reached the top spot in the UK and Ireland official charts for their debut album ‘It Won’t Always Be Like This’ back in July and has played dozens of shows and festivals on the international stage.
If the band continues at the rate of progression they are now, Inhaler will be a name in the history books for years to come.
Best Live Performance – The Snuts @ 110 Above
The Snuts not only achieved a UK number 1 album with debut LP ‘W.L.’ the Scottish rockers also have an electrifying live performance to match their in-studio efforts.
Cathing them in action at Leicestershire’s 110 Above Festival, The Snuts’ first-class catalog of songs could be consumed in the flesh. Their set was absolutely breath-taking; listening to hits like ‘Coffee & Cigarettes’, ‘Glasgow’ and ‘All Your Friends’ was a sight to behold.
If you haven’t yet, we highly recommend seeing The Snuts on stage.
Best Music Video – Orla Gartland ‘Zombie’
Running through a forest and quaint English village dressed as a self-proclaimed ‘Zombie Rescue Ranger’, Orla Gartland is collecting the rare tears of zombie boys in an attempt to set them free. In a cinematic yet energetic video directed by Greta Isaac, ‘Zombie’ highlights deeply-rooted issues that individuals and society feel and illustrate them in a fun and light-hearted visual piece.
Orla wrote: ‘It’s the weirdest video idea we’ve ever had, I kind of can’t believe we made it. The song is about the frustration of being with someone who can’t express their emotions, someone who suppresses everything they feel until one day it all comes to the surface.’
If you’re wanting a creative video set to the soundscape of Gartland’s dreamy vocals – ‘Zombie’ is the place to start.
Album of the Year – Sam Fender ‘Seventeen Going Under’
The North Shields superstar has done it again as ‘Seventeen Going Under’ uncovers Sam Fender’s teenage memories.
The album received universal acclaim as Sam steps out of his comfort zone and get personal. Whist his debut album Hypersonic Missiles was written based on stories he heard from the pub, Sam has proven he can be a versatile songwriter by exploring how his upbringing has impacted who he is today.
‘Seventeen Going Under’ hit number 1 in the official charts and he was even surprised by fellow Geordie TV icons Ant and Dec to award him his golden accolade. The album is the complete package that has captured the hearts of the nation and is truly well-deserved.
Track of the Year – The Flavians ‘Blinded by the Scenery’
Berlin outfit The Flavians draw from the warm, nostalgic sounds of the Sixties, and their single ‘Blinded by the Scenery’ is asoaring anthem of fun guitar riffs, intricate melodies, and soulful, yet powerful vocals.
It opens the band’s new self-titled EP which is a five-track masterpiece of dynamic and versatile songs where each member has their time to shine.‘Blinded By The Scenery’ is an excellent indie rock number with perfect vocal harmonies, intricate melodies, and well-written lyrics.
The song easily gets stuck in your head and is a worthy Track of the Year champion.