2013. New year. New artists, and for the Grammy Awards, more golden gramophone-thingys for the artists to win. Alright, if you’ve been living in a nutshell for the past 50 years or if you just never knew, the Grammy Awards is an annual musical event where the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the US present awards to recognize “outstanding achievement in the music industry”. Basically, this is where all the major music industry big-boys come to brush shoulders and converge, as well as prominent artists and bands of the decade of course (unless you’re Bob Dylan). Top that with some ace live performances, and there you have it, The Grammys.
This year’s saw Adele take home 6 awards, winning in all the categories she was nominated in, equaling Beyoncé’s record for most wins by a female in one night. Foo Fighters and Kanye West also won big, 5 and 4 awards respectively. But how many of you remember 2011’s one? The 4 main awards were won by Lady Antebellum (2) whilst Arcade Fire & Esperanza Spalding both got 1. More importantly to me, Arcade Fire not only became the first and only musical group to win their first and only award in the ‘Album of the Year’ category, they were also the first indie band to do so. Hipster debates arose thereafter, prompting many of the older generation (and younger) to simply ask “What the hell is Arcade Fire?”. Not me though, I bought the album the day it was released in Malaysia 2 years back. Watching the Grammys back at home, seeing them play live and then win that award, could’ve made me cry I tell you. It was a great day for indie lovers all round. I also recall the lead singer, Win Butler, calling out “Bye, everyone leave to this song, thank you” just after they won the award and before their final performance. Epic, I must say, this Montreal-based band.
However, I’ve just gone through the full 2013 list of nominees, and this year represents a whole new ball game. Let’s start with the “General Field”/Big Four, shall we?
Record of the Year:
– Lonely Boy by the Black Keys
– Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) by Kelly Clarkson
– We Are Young by Fun. feat. Janelle Monáe
– Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye feat. Kimbra
– Thinkin Bout You by Frank Ocean
– We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together by Taylor Swift
Album of the Year:
Song of the Year:
Best New Artist:
Well, what a list, honestly. I read an article on the nominees recently on the web and it went something like ‘2013 is clearly the year of the underdogs’, which really is what the upcoming Grammys is about. Quite surprising if I should say so. In ‘Record of the Year’ we have 6 nominations and you really can’t say who will win. Not too big on my K. Clarkson and I did mention before that T. Swift is way too poppy. “We Are Young” is alright, I guess, but I really admire Frank Ocean. I feel the Black Keys are a really good garage rock band, and with the release of ‘El Camino’, they proved that they can make garage-kinda-stadium-atmospheric-rock. A big nod to Gotye feat. Kimbra as well, that song got loads of air time, and it’s definitely one of the best pop songs of 2012.
Next up, ‘Album of the Year’ and we have once again the likes of Frank Ocean, Fun. and the Black Keys. However, the 2 other nominations go to Mumford & Sons, a British folk rock group that I personally really like for their latest release ‘Babel’; and last but not least, Jack White, the guitarist-singer from THAT garage rock band of late, The White Stripes, for his ‘Blunderbuss’. I am surprised that Jack White made the cut for this category, really, and I certainly do hope that Mumford clinch it, however that’s kind of unlikely.
The nominations we have in the 3rd of the “General Field” category, ‘Song of the Year’, are pretty various. There’s Ed Sheeran’s “The A-Team” which is really, really good if you haven’t heard it yet, and once again that Fun. song. Carly Rae Jepsen also bags a nomination for her ultra-poppy “Call Me Maybe” (kinda cute, Canadian) and also Kelly Clarkson for “Stronger”. The one other nomination for this award went to Miguel (who?) for his song “Adorn” (what?). Never heard of him or his song to be honest.
Lastly, the interesting ‘Best New Artist’ award for what is usually, the BEST NEW ARTIST. Bon Iver won this award in this year’s Grammys but there are 5 new nominations for this category. We have Fun. and Frank Ocean once again nominated, but the three others went to Hunter Hayes, The Lumineers and Alabama Shakes, an American rock group that I must have heard of from somewhere, not sure what they’re about though. I’m fine with Fun. but I think Frank Ocean will win it, that guy’s vocals are real smooth, from what I heard on Tyler the Creator’s ‘Goblin’. He’s really a joy to watch and listen to.
Anyway, that’s enough from me – here’s a link to the full list of nominees: