Listen With Monger Awards 2019 - The Winners List

Here we go people, the best of the best of the best. The winners will be gradually announced here over the course of the evening and at the end I’ll link you to a Spotify playlist featuring all the winners. Then I’m going to lie down in a warm room listening to Stephen Fry reading calming Haikus on audiobooks while fish nibble the dead skin off my feet. Or have a whiskey. Or both. 

Best Band (UK) 2019 Winner

DINOSUAR PILE-UP – Leeds trio Dinosaur Pile-Up really kicked things up a notch in 2019 with their immense album ‘Celebrity Mansions’, a sell-out tour of the UK and a US tour with the might of the Offspring and Sum 41. If there is a British band who have stepped up more in 2019 then I haven’t heard them.

2018 Winner – Black Futures
2017 Winner - Rews
2016 Winner – Narcs / Berries
2015 Winner - Allusondrugs

Best Band (South West) 2019 Winner 

PATTERN PUSHER – The colourful Exeter based trio Pattern Pusher had a great year with a series of excellent releases and some feverish live performances, painted largely as a bag of rhubarb and custards. The icing on the cake was an invitation to play at the Pilton Party with Wolf Alice and a newly reformed Supergrass. 2020 holds great promise for Pattern Pusher, great promise indeed.

2018 Winner – The Velvet Hands
2017 Winner – The Malthusian Trap
2016 Winner – Wildwood Kin
2015 Winner – Lost Dawn / Sound of the Sirens

Best Band (International) 2019 Winner 

FONTAINES D.C. (Republic of Ireland) – Irish doomsayers Fontaines D.C. join Idles and Life in the grump-rock corner of the junior school disco but that hasn’t stopped them having an awesome year as they’ve spewed out a fantastic album and a string of singles that are both wonderfully artistic and brutally honest.

2018 Winner – The Nectars (USA)
2017 Winner – Parekh & Singh (India)
2016 Winner – The Watanabes (Japan)
2015 Winner – Failure Machine (USA)

Best Solo Male (UK) 2019 Winner 

XAMVOLO – It’s a bit unfair really. Put XamVolo in any given room with any given group of musicians and he would shine out as something special so I’m not sure anyone else really stood a chance in this category.

2018 Winner – Joshua Kyeot
2017 Winner – Jamie Lenman
2016 Winner – Jake Morley
2015 Winner – Cosmo Sheldrake

Best Solo Male (South West) 2019 Winner 

SAMANTICS – Part poet, part rapper and part singer-songwriter, Exeter’s Samantics has not only released an excellent new album in 2019 but he’s also been moving his music further afield with a slew of intense gigs and festival appearances across the country. Bravo Samantics, bravo.

2018 Winner – Matthew Gordon Price
2017 Winner – Gozer Goodspeed/Martyn Crocker

Best Solo Male (International) 2019 Winner 

DUCKWRTH (USA) – If you like your R&B with a heavy slice of funk and your soul with some sweet hip-hop vibes then LA’s Duckwrth will be right up your street. 2019 has been a great year for Duckwrth with a clutch of infectious singles and an incredibly fresh sound.

2018 Winner – Simon Lynge (Greenland)
2017 Winner – Noah Gundersen (USA)

Best Solo Female (UK) 2019 Winner 

LAURAN HIBBERD – Blending British song-writing nous with the saccharine sweet melodies of US slacker-pop, Lauran Hibberd has cemented her reputation in 2019 and what a reputation it is. The Isle-of-Wight native has a slanted and razor-sharp view on the world which makes for compelling listening so pin this one in your ‘to listen’ list.

2018 Winner – Pip Hall
2017 Winner – Poppy Ackroyd
2016 Winner – Joanna Cooke / Lulu James
2015 Winner – Malka

Best Solo Female (South West) 2019 Winner 

RISE – She may have dropped the ‘Talitha’ but that doesn’t mean Rise has lost any powers. 2019 saw Rise continue her evolution in to and exploration of her own universe – a la Kate Bush – and if you haven’t come along for the ride yet then you’d better get your ticket and soon.

2018 Winner – Joanna Cooke
2017 Winner – Rosie the Crow

Best Solo Female (International) 2019 Winners 

So, so many great single ladies out there right now, all over the world. I couldn’t make the call so I’m sharing this one out between a legend and a legend in the making.

MAVIS STAPLES (USA) – The release of her album ‘We Get By’ in collaboration with Ben Harper pushed Staples up the ladder from legend to living legend with a record full of soul infused blues songs that feel as relevant today as they would have done 50 years ago which is both beautiful and tragic.

TAMI NEILSON (Canada/Australia) – Australian born but Canada based Neilson is a rising star of the alt-country scene which is all well and good but it’s her amazing voice and buckets of sass that gets her a share of the award. Definitely one to watch out for in 2020 and far beyond.

2018 Winner – Grace Inspace (USA)
2017 Winner – Deqn Sue (USA)

Best Single 2019 Winners 

This is always the hardest category to call and this year was no exception so I’m splitting the award two ways;

FERRIS & SYLVESTER – ‘I DARE YOU’ – First up, folk-blues duo took their infectious and harmonious sound on to a new level with this track and a chorus which kicks hard. I already loved these two but this one took the relationship on to a new and sexier place.

BICURIOUS – ‘I DON’T DO DRUGS, I JUST SWEAT A LOT’ – Secondly, the half-Irish and half-French duo Bicurious get their share of the award for this infectious and largely instrumental track which dances the line between dance and rock wearing nothing but a white vest and an unhinged smile. I became a little bit addicted to this track and now you can too.

2018 Winner – X Ambassadors ‘Joyful’
2017 Winner – She Makes War ‘I Want My Country Back’ / Moses ‘King Size’
2016 Winner – Mowbeck ‘Vaseline’ / Childcare ‘Cinema Club’
2015 Winner – Azu Yeche ‘Lagos’

Best EP 2019 Winner 

SICK JOY – ‘THEM DAYS EP’ – Brighton’s Sick Joy grabbed my attention hard with the single ‘Vibe Sucker’ but they followed it up with the ‘Them Days EP’ and it blew. My. Mind. Four tracks of blistering grunge-pop that is both dead-eyed and feverishly intense with melodies to die for – this is what Sick Joy have to offer us and you’d be fools to turn them down.

2018 Winner – Jones ‘New York EP’
2017 Winner – Mux ‘Can You See Who? EP’
2016 Winner – Joanna Cooke ‘Wound Up EP’ / Bare Hunter ‘Dry Rot EP’
2015 Winner – Alex Gregory ‘Critical Perfection EP’ 

Best Album 2019 Winners 

In keeping with what has seemingly become LWM tradition, I haven’t been able to boil the albums released in 2019 down to just one. Therefore, the award is split between these two stacks of awesome;

WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR – ‘BLEEDING ON THE SOUNDTRACK’ – The Cornish trio have crafted a deeply confessional and superbly raw album which found a particularly special place in my heart. The mix of blues, folk, indie and rock is brilliant but when you throw in the story telling and reflective lyricism, ‘Bleeding on the Soundtrack’ is a rare thing – an album of equal integrity and infectiousness.  

X AMBASSADORS – ‘ORION’ – It’s no secret that I’ve become a bit of a fan of the three
gentlemen that make up X Ambassadors so ‘Orion’ was hotly anticipated but the delivery outstripped all expectations. The album swings from dancefloor filling anthems to introspective tunes without missing a step and it just sweeps you along for the ride. The trio are touring the UK in 2020 so now is your chance to get involved.

2018 Winner – The Nectars ‘Sci-Fi Television’ / Henge ‘Attention! Earth’
2017 Winner – Noah Gundersen ‘White Noise’ / Rews ‘Pyro’
2016 Winner – Narcs ‘A Thinking Animal’ / Jake Morley ‘The Manual
2015 Winner – Lost Dawn / Malka

Best Video 2019 Winner 

PENGUIN CAFÉ – ‘CHAPTER’ – In any given year I think this release from the Penguin Café collective would come out on top of the pile. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure then turn your phone off, turn this one up and enjoy the audio and visual masterpiece as it unfolds gently in front of you.

Watch the Video: https://youtu.be/HNLWJxMD67c

2018 Winner – Calva Louise ‘Tug of War’ / LibraLibra ‘Tongues’
2017 Winner – Vei ‘Rolling on You Romeo’
2016 Winner – Michelle O Faith ‘Lemonade’

2015 Winner – Husky ‘I’m Not Coming Back’

Best Live Show 2019 Winner 

SHIHAD @ THE THEKLA, BRISTOL – Let’s face it, when you get to see a band that you’ve waited over two decades to see it’s either going to be hugely gratifying or a massive disappointment. In the case of Shihad, the Kiwi quartet did not disappoint with the kind of career spanning set that was all killer and absolutely zero filler. If you were there you will talk about this one for years.

2018 Winner – Looe Saves the Day Festival, Looe
2017 Winner – Wildwood Kin @ The Brook Inn, Plymouth
2016 Winner – Blogtober 2016 feat. Berries / Pattern Pusher / Seaker / Jamie Yost / Rosa Belle

2015 Winner – Tankus the Henge @ Looe Music Festival

Best Year 2019 Winner 

DEUX FURIEUSES – In a year which has seen hatred, division and misinformation become, somehow, the norm, a band like Deux Furieuses is just what the world needs right now. To that end, it’s no surprise to see their rise to prominence during 2019, acting as a call to arms to all the disaffected folk looking for a cause to follow. Bring your flag and get in line, we’re marching on city hall.

2018 Winner - Idles
2017 Winner - Cassels
2016 Winner – Wildwood Kin
2015 Winner – Sound of the Sirens

Best Debut 2019 Winner 

GAZEL – ‘GAZEL’S BOOK OF SOULS’ – Gazel’s debut album, ‘Gazel’s Book of Souls’, is as strong as any other album released in 2019 and the fact that it’s the London artist’s first long player is genuinely dumb-founding. If you’re looking for an artist with imagination, a brave soul and strong creativity at her core then it’s time to get some Gazel in your life as 2020 rolls around.

2018 Winner – Georgia Fearn ‘Perfect on Paper’
2017 Winner – Black Futures ‘Karma, Ya Dig?’
2016 Winner – Berries ‘Siren’
2015 Winner – Vanessa Forero ‘Heaven Knows’

Best Band Name 2019 Winner 

THOSE FUCKING SNOWFLAKES – How could anyone else win this award in 2019? A politicised and, justifiably, angry garage punk trio, Those Fucking Snowflakes are a direct protest at nose-to-nose quarters with the gammon faced red-top readers currently dragging the United Kingdom towards a buzz-saw made of hate and lies. It’s the band name we need right now and it’s backed up with the music we deserve.

2018 Winner – Have You Ever Seen the Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS?
2017 Winner – Playboy Manbaby
2016 Winner – Yes Babez! / Taco Hell / Queen of Jeans
2015 Winner – Get Inuit / Rangleklods

Best PR 2019 Winner 

PRESCRIPTION PR – The roster down at Prescription PR manor is enviable and the releases in 2019 have been exceptional. In 2019, these guys have brought us the likes of Idles, Cassels, Jerskin Fendrix, Fontaines D.C., Swim Deep, Young Knives, Black Belt Eagle Scout and Life which is just a slice of their talent pool so, yeah, that sound you can hear is all the other PR outfits salivating.  

2018 Winner – Fine Company
2017 Winner – Cannonball PR
2016 Winner – Wilful Publicity
2015 Winner – Hannah Gould Music PR

Best Label 2019 Winner 

SAY SOMETHING RECORDS – Brighton’s Say Something Records brought us the excellent Sick Joy and Lazybones this year and the small label also has another clutch of artists bubbling under the surface. This is the kind of label that gives me hope for the future of music so let’s all do the right thing and get behind them, yeah?

2018 Winner – Integrity Records
2017 Winner – Cooking Vinyl
2016 Winner – Superfan 99
2015 Winner – Clue Records