So here we are, the end of the road (for this year), the best of the best, the coolest of the cool. There is nothing left to say other than to thank you for making the music, thank you for reading my ramblings and let’s do it all again in 2022, yeah? Now, without further ado, I give you the Listen With Monger Awards 2021 winners….

Best Band (UK) 2021 Winner 

Pattern Pusher – This is always a tough category and that has never been truer than in 2021 but the Exeter trio have hit all the right buttons this year. Pattern Pusher’s evolution from exciting prospects to nationally recognised new kids on the block has been rapid but then great songwriting, outstanding musicianship and excellent visual style tends to bring success.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/patternpusher

Previous Winners

2020 Winner – Erotic Secrets of Pompeii

2019 Winner – Dinosaur Pile-Up

2018 Winner – Black Futures

2017 Winner - Rews

2016 Winner – Narcs / Berries

2015 Winner - Allusondrugs


Best Band (South West) 2021 Winner 

Long For The Coast – Totnes based duo released an album of high quality and high emotion this year. Sublime harmonies, moving folk melodies and story telling of the highest order all combine to make them a serious but subtle force to be reckoned with.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/longforthecoast

Previous Winners

2020 Winner - Moriaty

2019 Winner – Pattern Pusher

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) 2021 Winner 

Monowhales – This Canadian trio blew me away early in 2021 and their punchy, edgy and downright infectious pop-rock tunes have stayed with me all year. The energy, attitude and, most importantly, songwriting is all excellent but it’s the vibe that really sets this band apart.  

More information: https://www.facebook.com/MONOWHALES

Previous Winners

2020 Winner – Larkin Poe (USA)

2019 Winner – Fontaines D.C. (Republic of Ireland)

2018 Winner – The Nectars (USA)

2017 Winner – Parekh & Singh (India)

2016 Winner – The Watanabes (Japan)

2015 Winner – Failure Machine (USA)


Best Solo Male (UK) 2021 Winner 

Mrley – Proud Londoner Mrley brought a fresh and raw sound to our ears this year and it was like nothing else being offered by other artists in the UK. Punk, reggae, indie, grunge and even a little pop are all in the mix but it’s the spirit, energy and sheer fun that I love about Mrley.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/mrleymrleymrley

Previous Winners

2020 Winner – Riaz Ahmad

2019 Winner – Xam Volo

2018 Winner – Joshua Kyeot

2017 Winner – Jamie Lenman

2016 Winner – Jake Morley

2015 Winner – Cosmo Sheldrake


Best Solo Male (South West) 2021 Winner 

Jamie Yost – He’s been in the running in previous years but 2021 was the year that Jamie Yost’s infamous soulful voice moved to another level alongside some inspiring songwriting. With the right push and getting into the right ears, I can see this guy going national before very long.  

More information: https://www.facebook.com/jamieyostmusic

Previous Winners

2020 Winner – Ollie Dixon

2019 Winner – Samantics

2018 Winner – Matthew Gordon Price

2017 Winner – Gozer Goodspeed/Martyn Crocker


Best Solo Male (International) 2021 Winner 

Yves Paquet – Belgian singer-songwriter Yves Paquet is one of those talents that creeps up on you and, before you know it, you’re looping his album day after day. Throw in some dangerous good looks and the kind of voice you can just drift away on, and you’ve got yourself the full package.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/YvesPaquetMusic

Previous Winners

2020 Winner – Jacknife Lee (Republic of Ireland)

2019 Winner – Duckwrth (USA)

2018 Winner – Simon Lynge (Greenland)

2017 Winner – Noah Gundersen (USA)


Best Solo Female (UK) 2021 Winner 

Penfriend – Formerly known as She Makes Ware and even more formerly known as Laura Kidd, Bristol’s Penfriend is another reinvention and one for the digital age. Her album ‘Exotic Monsters’ is superb as are her podcasts and, so I hear, live shows so Penfriend is a worthy winner of this category.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/penfriendrocks

Previous Winners

2020 Winner – Tina Boonstra

2019 Winner – Lauran Hibberd

2018 Winner – Pip Hall

2017 Winner – Poppy Ackroyd

2016 Winner – Joanna Cooke / Lulu James

2015 Winner – Malka


Best Solo Female (South West) 2021 Winner 

Maisy Grace – Jeez but this was a hard category to call. There are A LOT of talented women making music in the South West at the moment but, for me, Cornish singer-songwriter Maisy Grace presents something different and special. No small achievement for someone just at the start of career which makes Maisy Grace an exceedingly exciting artist.  

More information: https://twitter.com/maisygracemusic

Previous Winners

2020 Winner - Yazzy

2019 Winner – Rise

2018 Winner – Joanna Cooke

2017 Winner – Rosie the Crow


Best Solo Female (International) 2021 Winners 

Chaii/UPSAHL – I couldn’t split this award this year so I’m sharing it between the pioneering New Zealander Chaii and the ace alt-pop song writer from Phoenix, UPSAHL. Two different backgrounds and two different approaches but two artists at the cutting edge of their game producing great music and having fun doing it. Now, if only I could get them on the same bill in the UK…..

More information:

Chaii – https://www.facebook.com/CHAIIMUSIC

UPSAHL – https://www.facebook.com/upsahlmusic 

Previous Winners

2020 Winner – Madison Beer (USA)

2019 Winner – Tami Neilson (Canada/Australia)/Mavis Staples (USA)

2018 Winner – Grace Inspace (USA)

2017 Winner – Deqn Sue (USA)


Best Single 2021 Winner 

Fickle Friends ‘Love You To Death’ – A tough category as always but the blend of alt-pop, rock, clever lyrics and 100% bop energy makes this the stand-out track of 2021 and Fickle Friends have more to come with an album due in January 2022.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/FickleFriends

Previous Winners

2020 Winner – The Clockworks ‘Enough Is Never Enough’

2019 Winner – Ferris & Sylvester ‘I Dare You’ / Bicuruious ‘I Don’t Do Drugs, I Just Sweat A Lot’

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 2021 Winner 

Wooze ‘Get Me To A Nunnery EP’ – I got a little bit fanboy obsessed over London based duo Wooze this year and this EP was the cherry on the icing on the cake. Art school style, incredible musicianship and so many influences it’s impossible to pin them down – it’s a heady and intoxicating brew that I urge, nay, demand that you try.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/Woozeband

Previous Winners

2020 Winner – Tina Boonstra ‘City of Doubt EP’

2019 Winner – Sick Joy ‘Them Days EP’

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 2021 Winner 

Zuzu – ‘Queensway Tunnel’/UPSAHL – ‘Lady Jesus’ – Yet again, I’ve failed to boil this down to fewer than two albums but then these are two particularly special albums. Firstly, Liverpool’s newest musical hero Zuzu released her debut album ‘Queensway Tunnel’ which is a superb example of song writing and story telling set to infectious melodies. Then there was UPSAHL’s ‘Lady Jesus’ coming out of Arizona with astoundingly good alt-pop anthems full of attitude, confidence and emotion. These are both break-up albums and neither artist is feeling sorry for themselves so why not pick them both up and ride that energy in to the new year.

More information:

Zuzu – https://www.facebook.com/thisiszuzu

UPSAHL – https://www.facebook.com/upsahlmusic

Previous Winners

2020 Winner – Nana Adjoa ‘Big Dreaming Ants’/Moriaty ‘The Die Is Cast’

2019 Winner – William the Conqueror ‘Bleeding on the Soundtrack’ / X Ambassadors ‘Orion’

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 2021 Winner 

Middle Kids ‘Questions’ – Sydney’s Middle Kids wowed me with this intricately choreographed piece of film for their single ‘Questions’. Hand claps, marching bands, horses and live performance all come together inside a restaurant in what feels like one take. It’s a joyous song on its own but the video really makes it jump out at you.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/middlekidsmusic

Watch the Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VchylRsWmcQ

Previous Winners

2020 Winner – Spang Sisters ‘Eddie Murphy’

2019 Winner – Penguin Café ‘Chapter’

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 2021 Winner 

Bailey Tomkinson @ Panda Fest – I’d been wanting to hear St Ives singer-songwriter live for sometime but getting to do it in a hidden away field in Cornwall with low lying clouds was the perfect setting for her country infused nu-folk sounds backed by a full band as well. An honourable mention to the sound crew that day too, they made it a perfectly balanced experience.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/Baileytomkinson13

Previous Winners

2020 Winner – Wille Edwards & Andy Quick @ the Village Hall, Downderry

2019 Winner – Shihad @ the Thekla, Bristol

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 Band Name 2021 Winner 

Mandrake Handshake – The Oxford collective are joining the ranks of superbly monikered bands from down the years that would make an awesome festival line-up. The fact that they come armed with tambourines and a sack of psychedelia just makes sure that the music lives up to the name.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/mandrakehandshakeband

Previous Winners

2020 Winner – Death By Unga Bunga

2019 Winner – Those Fucking Snowflakes

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 Debut 2021 Winner 

DEJA ‘Intro EP’ – British R’n’B artist DEJA strutted on to the scene in 2021 and immediately let everyone know who she was and what she was about. Her ‘Intro EP’ and a series of singles were all perfectly put together and introduced an artist ready to take on the world. Ambitious doesn’t even come close.

More information: https://twitter.com/dejadejaaaa

Previous Winners

2020 Winner – Nana Adjoa ‘Big Dreaming Ants’

2019 Winner – Gazel ‘Gazel’s Book of Souls’

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 Year 2021 Winner 

Cherym – If anyone managed to tame 2021 then surely it was Northern Irish trio Cherym. Powerful lyrics, a fearless approach to song writing and melodies to die for have been backed up with some relentless live performances and profile that’s rising faster public hatred of Boris Johnson. Cherym owned 2021 and 2022 had better watch out too.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/cherymofficial

Previous Winners

2020 Winner – Lack of Afro

2019 Winner – Deux Furiesues

2018 Winner - Idles

2017 Winner - Cassels

2016 Winner – Wildwood Kin

2015 Winner – Sound of the Sirens


Best PR 2021 Winner 

Wall of Sound PR – It’s about time the excellent Wall of Sound PR won this award but I have to say 2021 has been a particularly fine vintage for them. Working with bands like Beach Riot, Bears in Trees, Cherym, Cheerbleederz, Peaness, the Subways, Tokky Horror and loads more means that they are at the cutting edge of new talent and when they speak you had better pay attention.

More information: http://wallofsoundpr.co.uk/ 

Previous Winners

2020 Winner – Sonic PR

2019 Winner – Prescription PR

2018 Winner – Fine Company

2017 Winner – Cannonball PR

2016 Winner – Wilful Publicity

2015 Winner – Hannah Gould Music PR


Best Label 2021 Winner 

Tantrum Records – This small but perfectly formed Scottish label look after the iridescent Malka and were the driving force behind the Hen Hoose movement and album this year. This is certainly a quality over quantity arrangement but I think the world could benefit of taking that approach a little more often, don’t you?

More information: https://twitter.com/tantrum_records

Previous Winners

2020 Winner – Alcopop! Records

2019 Winner – Say Something Records

2018 Winner – Integrity Records

2017 Winner – Cooking Vinyl

2016 Winner – Superfan 99

2015 Winner – Clue Records