If you were at the Liberty Hotel this weekend, there was no mistaking the fact that a music event was underway. Men in platform shoes and mink coats walked past people wearing sunglasses inside at night to get to one of the many concerts occurring throughout the hotel. But you might not have guessed it was an awards ceremony — the whole evening felt more like a big party.
It was the 25th annual Boston Music Awards, a ceremony celebrating the region’s most impressive talent across all genres, from brand new acts to local staples. Each year the nominations for the 30 different awards are determined by the Academy, a group of several hundred Boston industry insiders — they get to weigh in for two-thirds of the final vote and online voting by fans determines the rest.
Wondering who won? Here are a few of the evening’s highlights.
Song of the Year
David Wax Museum took this award for the second year in a row with the song “Harder Before it Gets Easier” off the album “Knock Knock Get Up.” Before meeting band mate Suz Slezak in Boston, David Wax studied Mexican folk music on a Harvard fellowship. You can still here the strain of folk music in David Wax Museum’s sound.
Album of the Year
Mean Creek, a band beloved by Boston music insiders, took this award for their album “Youth Companion.” They also continued the evening’s theme of winning streaks — they received album of the year in 2011 for “Hemophiliac.” The album has a big rock and roll sound, with audible influences ranging from old Boston stalwarts like The Modern Lovers to newer acts like Arcade Fire.
Live Artist of the Year
The Jamaica Plain-based Debo Band took home this award for their world-music sound that plays with Ethopian funk from the 60s and 70s.
Artist of the Year
Karmin was the surprise winner of this year’s award — there was a collective gasp after the award was announced. Why the surprise? You’re more likely to hear the band on KISS 108 than at the Middle East. The pop group has had a big year, even playing on SNL. But, hey, that only speaks to the continuing diversity of the Boston music scene.