When I first heard ‘Devotion’ I was blown away by it. I had never previously heard of her, and only bonked into her album during one of my financially and mentally draining BandCamp trawls. She didn’t exist. I had read no reviews or even mentions of her in the world of online music journalism. Yet here she was. And she was perfect. I got very excited. I had discovered her and would now be the spark that lit the wider press adoration that fired her to the very top. She would be my artist.
‘Devotion’ is a pretty spectacular album, and I was looking forward our trip to the top together. I pictured her mentioning my name in her acceptance speech after winning her first Brit/VMA/Emmy/Oscar/Mercury/Nobel prize in 2025, as someone who had ‘always been there’ for her. She’d even invite me to sing backing vocals on Dismal Affordable Beams, track seven off her 2023 album ‘Pigs! Pigs! Fucking PIGS, Motherfucker!‘, as being a longtime devotee of my art* naturally meant she was well-aware of my exceptional singing ability. I mean, the track isn’t very well received (like, at all), but it means that I can now boast of appearing on a platinum record. And, yes, some deeper feelings are quite obviously always going to blossom between two people who work so closely and are so deeply in awe of each others art*. Laura would even proposition me one night, but I’d say I could never take advantage of a woman who’d been drinking gin and snorting ketamine for the last six hours straight, and I wouldn’t want to jeopardise what had by that point grown into one of the most artistically and financially successful partnerships in all of music. This honesty, and my sheer integrity, would cause Ms Jane to burst into tears, and she’d apologise for even putting me in that position as she falls into my embrace. I pat the back of her head, and say that I still love her, and that I would help her beat the debilitating drug addiction that I’ve just decided she has. I mean… I’d probably say no… depends how lonely I was feeling…
(*This blog. What? Of course it’s art. It exists. And I made it)
Turns out though, she’s a pretty big deal already. Like, not quite at the Nobel Prize winning-level that my association with her would guarantee, but comfortably big enough not to care about a fat, disabled ginger creep like me. I think, due to my massive physical and sexual drawbacks, I don’t really stand a chance of making anyone my artist unless they’re at a ‘desperation’ level of renown, which I believe Laura Jean passed a long time ago. She’s sang with Snow Patrol for fuck’s sake. Admittedly, that was so long ago that Gary Lightbody (that’s his name??) gives a shout out to her MySpace page, but it’s still enough to put her out of the limits of my influence’s usefulness for a good 60 years. By which point she’ll be really old, and old women are gross, ammi right? According to Wikipedia, her greatest accomplishment of note may only be when her “third album, A Fool Who’ll, was selected as album of the week by Melbourne radio station 3RRR for the week of 29 August 2011″, but the fact that she even has a Wikipedia page suggests to me that the norms have already got a hold of her. I mean, ‘Devotion’ is still fucking amazing, just not as good as it was before I found out how many people have had their grubby hands all over her.
Anyway, she’s older than me, which I hadn’t previously thought possible. I mean, no offence Ms Jean, but their’s not really any point in helping boost a singer’s career unless they’re so much younger than you that tabloid gossip is all about whether the working relationship actually extends to a truly sickening one. In all probability, my artist probably hasn’t even been born yet. And because of this I will be mainly looking for singers less than one years old for next year’s list
Laura Jean: Press Play
Prince: Play In The Sunshine
This might blow your tiny minds, seeing as it’s the second track off perhaps his most well-regarded album ‘Sign O The Times’ and one of its most famous songs, but I’ve never really liked Play In The Sunshine!! I’ve always thought it brings the masterpiece album, if not to a grinding halt, then perhaps to a disappointing levelling off of speed after the mind-blowing opening title track, a track for which not enough superlatives exist at time of writing. Sure, 99.9% of all tracks are going to sound uninspired next to one of the most inspired songs ever, but PITS (hey! And it really is the ‘pits’, ammi right, lads?!) is that little bit too cheesy, as a track is no way near good enough to carry off it’s brainless optimism, and gives a needless jab at ecstasy, which as you should well know is the greatest drug in the world and doesn’t want to hear any of Prince’s jive talking. According to legend, Prince was still a year away from trying ecstasy for the very first time and yet to find out it was so freaking good it’d convince him to cancel an entire album for being too dark. Press Play isn’t one of the album’s stronger tracks, and exists more as an opening track and introduction to the album’s themes, but it’s good enough to secure Ms Jean the win. Wait! I can make a ‘Miss Jean Brodie’ pun! Miss Jean’s… Boo… Brew… Grow… Miss Jean Flows Tea… Know she… Miss Jean? I know she… Bollocks, no I can’t…