It’s 10 years since NME first presented the fabled Radar prize for an outstanding new artist at the NME Awards. First awarded in 2004 to Franz Ferdinand, the prize has always honoured the kind of acts who are just under the cusp of the mainstream, but likely to make a sizeable splash over the following 12 months. Here’s the 10 winners so far starting with Franz Ferdinand.
2005 – Kaiser Chiefs
Led by Ricky Wilson, Kaiser Chiefs stormed through 2005 selling over 3 million copies of their 2004 album “Employment”. The Chiefs went from opening the NME Awards tour to playing sold out shows at the Emirates Stadium as well as the closing ceremony for 2012 Olympic Games.
2006 – The Long Blondes
Sheffield’s own recorded ‘Someone to Drive You Home’ with Pulp bassist, Steve Mackey, and went on to be labelled by NME as “fantasy pop, performed to perfection”. Since then, they have embarked on a European tour, played several festivals and split up.
2007 – The Twang
The unlikely lot from Birmingham picked up the 2007 award after the release of their debut single ‘Wide Awake’ from ‘Love It When I Feel like This’. 2007 would be their peak year as several disputes halted their progress. However, they have announced that they are set to release a new album entitled “N E O N T W A N G” in March this year…
2008 – Glasvegas
Glasvegas’ debut album received a rave review in NME. “They are an important, amazing, real band that won’t let you down. Not because they play real instruments and sing real songs about real people; they’re real because they put their entire hearts and souls and brains into it. And that is rock’n’roll,” wrote Emily Mackay.
2009 – The Big Pink
The self-produced duo claimed NME’s Radar Award after the release of ‘A Brief History of Love’, with ‘Dominoes’ standing out from the rest. The Big Pink have proceeded to have nationwide tours Europe, Japan and USA as well as producing their third album set for release this year.
2010 – The Drums
Rising from the demise of Elkland, The Drums obtained the 2010 NME Radar Award after being named the top tip for the same year. The trio have been on a rocky road since then, with guitarist Adam Kessler leaving the band and the other members focusing on their own solo projects.
2011 – The Naked And Famous
Picking up a collection of nominations in 2011, it was hardly surprising that The Naked And Famous also scooped up the 2011 NME Radar Award. In the same year they garnered six nominations at the New Zealand Music Awards as well as being nominated for the BBC’s Sound of 2011 poll. The band released their second album “In Rolling Waves” in 2013.
2012 – Azealia Banks
Hailing from Harlem, Azealia Banks rose to hip-hop royalty releasing music through Myspace and online mixtapes. Banks topped NME’s Cool List as well as picking up the 2012 NME Radar Award and a nomination for the BBC Sound of 2012. Banks is set to release her debut studio album this year.
2013 – The Child of Lov
Martijn William Zimri Teerlinck may not be a common household name but his alter-ego The Child of Lov certainly was on track to be. The late Belgian collected the 2013 NME Radar Award after singles ‘Heal’ and ‘Give Me’ marked him out as a special talent. Sadly due to complications during heart surgery, Martijn Teerlinck passed away on December 10, 2013.
To celebrate the Radar award we’ve teamed up with Monster to give away five pairs of on-ear DNA headphones to NME readers. Find details of the competition here.