The end of the year is a great time for reflection and evaluation. People like to think about what they've accomplished and what they want to achieve next year. This has been a busy and successful year for Hanging On Sunset covering the LA indie scene. First of all, during this year we made the top 15% of the most streamed podcasts in the world! This shows there is a real interest for the stories and journeys of artists and that music is more than just music. We care about who does it and why they do it.
With this website, we also transformed Hanging On Sunset into a magazine. We have more written formats, which our readers love, making our website part of the top tier of music coverage in the US. We take pride in finding new artists and it's not an easy task to manage to aggregate eyeballs, especially for a grassroots media like us with no financial support! Our podcast listeners and website visitors come from all over the world, showing an interest in Los Angeles-made music that never fades. It might not be a unified scene, but it's a breeding ground for talent for sure.
The end of the year is also a celebration time. We have to celebrate the birth of our rock n' roll music label: Team Nowhere. Our label came to life in 2022 when we partnered with Wagram, France's biggest indie label. With this partnership, we've released our first artists in France and are about to launch in the US next year. Most of you know I'm French and have ties to the French music industry. So, it was natural for us to use that leverage, start our operations there and now it's time to start thinking about how we are going to use that leverage within our LA community. The goal is to create an incubator label that will help indie rock bands develop to a level where they can become professional musicians.
There's so much to do, and this is just the beginning, but I wanted to thank you for helping us get here. When we started this two years ago, I couldn't have imagined this. You are the reason for all these accomplishments. Merci !
Now that we're talking about celebrations, let's finally honor those we put in the spotlight this year, the artists who moved us through their art and stories. Since I'm busy editing the 8 episodes we have in the oven, I'll let Ziggy, my cat announce the results.
- Vincent Walter Jacob
Hey, humans! What's up? This is Ziggy, your favorite cat and world famous music critic. You know me for "Ziggy's corner", my monthly review of new music. I'm back with a special edition aimed at rewarding my favorite music discoveries of the year. My picks were totally biased, and I don't care if you disagree. However, I let you vote for your favorite podcast episode of the year because I'm a nice cat. Let's get right to the point. The results are here:
Artist of the year: RONBOY
We interviewed RONBOY aka Julia Laws last October, and her award shouldn't surprise you since we already said she was our favorite artist this year in our episode's intro.
With Pity To Love, she has created a masterclass in songwriting, production, and arrangements. Each time I hear it, my whiskers vibrate, and I end up purring by the fire, drunk with milk.
"Ronboy music is like a blanket, it’s a perfect soundtrack when you need a little comfort in your life. And we all do right now it seems. Not just because the weather is chilling. But you know, for everything crazy that’s happening in our world."
I recommend watching her live too, because it's an equally rewarding experience.
Song of the Year: "BABY THAT'S ROCK N' ROLL" by GRACE MCKAGAN
"I love her 60’s garage-infused alternative sound and I wasn’t disappointed because Grace and her band delivered a powerful and electrifying live performance. I was standing right by Blues Williams' side on the stage and I just went into a trance led by his loud yet clean, reverbed, and tremolo-drenched guitar tones. His Vox amplifier served as a time machine, and from the very beginning of the set, I was transported to a cooler and colorful era filled with polka dot-printed dresses, and long, puffed bubble sleeves."
Album of the Year: CRAB PARK by ATTA BOY
Not only Atta Boy gave us my favorite album this year but they also gave us our most streamed episode of the year!
Freddy (Guitar) told us that “Every album is an exact snapshot of what we're thinking and feeling when it's coming out.” Crab Park is an album that not only captures that but also the spirit of the times. Although it's not exactly a straightforward political record, social issues are definitely present. And if you thought, like I did, that Atta Boy was just a cute little band, you’re wrong. Atta Boy is not disconnected from the world.
“During 2020, when our singles were coming out, the world was shutting down. A lot of people were struggling to make money, a lot of people were struggling to feed their children. And after the murder of George Floyd, we felt kind of in a weird place, putting out music, like asking for attention and taking away from things that seem that they could change the world for a better place.”
- Freddy (Guitar) https://www.instagram.com/weareattaboy/?hl=en
Best New Artist: SCOUT GILLETT
I'm proud because I found Scout, not my lazy human. Recently, I reviewed her live video of "No Roof No Floor". Scout saw it and reached out to me because she was going to play in LA. We interviewed her (to be published soon!) and attended her concert at Zebulon. She's not from LA, but she deserves the Best New Artist award. In the same category as Elliott Smith, she's raw, honest, and life-changing. Her live performance provoked a sort of trance in the attendance. I will admit I was moved to tears. Yes, even tough cats do cry.
"You know I have a soft spot for indie heartwarming ballads with soaring vocals. This week, my little pussycat heart was captured by Brooklyn-via-Kansas City artist Scout Gillett. She just released an absolutely moving live performance of “No Roof No Floor,” the title track of her debut album released last month via Captured Tracks. There’s something in her fragile, over the edge, off-key vocals that screams deep sincerity."
Next Breakthrough Artist: VELVET STARLINGS
This is where I play Zoltar, the most famous fortune-teller! There is no other way to see if my prediction is correct than to watch Velvet Starlings grow in the next year. I predict they will be huge! We had the pleasure to meet with Christian Gisborne, their 18 year old leader, in September for an interview. Christian proved to be a music bible and talked to my human for hours.
Best Music Video: "RIPTIDE" by ANALOG PARTY Feat. FINAL CHILD
"Analog Party is entering into uncharted territory with Riptide. By letting go of their inspirations, they're allowing themselves to go with the flow. In this new song, research and experiment are evident. At the production level, Matt McJunkins (A Perfect Circle, Poppy, Eagles Of Death Metal) helped them free themselves from the giants that guided them until now. There is something risqué, exciting, and fresh about it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a total departure from their original sound. They are just opening unexplored drawers in that same universe. I’m a firm believer that Rock n' roll is not dead, and that there are still new things to do. And Analog Party is here to prove it. There is still angst and anger in their craft, but it is also delicate and poignant, with refined and straight to the point melodies. They invited Jennifer Akerman (aka Final Child) to sing on the track, and she really adds some grace to it.
Animaan told me he didn't write Riptide with Analog Party in mind. This wouldn't fit in their catalog, he thought. It might be because of that that it is such a great Analog Party song. It's only when you let go of expectations that you can be yourself. Can’t wait for more."
Best Concert Performance: DEAR BOY + STOREFRONT CHURCH live at EL REY
Again, I'm proud to say I was the one that discovered Dear Boy, not my human. I recently reviewed them and then I got the chance to watch them live at El Rey! Since then, we got the chance to interview Ben Grey, their awfully smart singer. He spent nearly two hours on the pod talking to my human, and the interview will be up in early 2023. You don't want to miss it!
What really amazed me is how loyal their audience has grown organically over the years and how connected they were at the show. It's a really beautiful thing to witness. Dear Boy is a great example of how a band can make it on their own.
Storefront Church, the opening band, was also an exciting band to watch live and we want to credit them too for offering us our best live performance of the year. They just released a beautiful cover of the band Low with Phoebe Bridgers.
Best Hanging On Sunset TV session: COSMO GOLD with KRONG
I know, we only had 3 HOS TV sessions in 2022. It's a brand new concept we're just starting to develop. Yet, it shouldn't be a reason not to celebrate Cosmo Gold, who offered us a very surprising version of the eponymous song from their brand new record "Krong". The stripped down version is a beautiful addition to the studio rendition. Take this opportunity to revisit the interview Emily and Mike gave us earlier in November.
Call Krong: 📞 1-510-90-𝗞𝗥𝗢𝗡𝗚📞
Best Podcast Episode: RONBOY
Humans have voted! Looks like we're on the same page. Your favorite Podcast Episode features our Artist Of The Year 2022! Congratulations again, Julia, for the beautiful music you do and for being that smart and generous artist that moved many of us this year. See you next year for another round of indie music on LA scene.
I'm wrapping up this year and going to party with my fellow cats from the neighbourhood. We're gonna get milk drunk and dance to the music of our 2022 awardees. You should do the same.
Here's the 2022 Ziggy Awards Compilation:
I wish you a nice holiday break and a happy new year,
See you soon Sunseters,