Quantcast
THE NEW CHEW:
GRAMMY ON RYE

Presenting our latest thoughts on possible Grammy contenders. These observations are for entertainment purposes only; please enjoy responsibly.

A Star Is Born: Although “Shallow” got its spotlight last time (winning Pop Group/Duo Performance and Song for Visual Media), the Gaga-Bradley album was released on 10/5, meaning it’s eligible for the upcoming Grammys. Given the vast cultural impact of the film—which has grown still further since it became available on demand—expect the set to get a big look from Grammy gatekeepers, both for showstopping moments like “Always Remember Us This Way” and “I’ll Never Love Again” and as a complete work.

Shawn Mendes: Island’s Canadian troubadour has been a marketplace mover for some time—and earned nods for SOTY and Pop Album last time—but Grammy hasn’t yet given him a proper look. His mega-duet with Camila Cabello, “Señorita,” may change that; the song’s turbo-charged performance on streaming platforms, and the steamy star power of its video emphasize that Mendes has grown from amiable pop contender to top-tier artist. And perhaps most surprisingly of all, the Canuck heartthrob gets top billing on one of the year’s biggest Latin-flavored hits.

Sam Smith/Normani: “Dancing With a Stranger” has been a #1 Pop radio giant, a perpetual streaming juggernaut (407m+ at Spotify) and the most impactful work by Capitol star Smith since his first breakout. The duet is intimate but funky, with superb vocal performances from the well-matched pair. It ticks all the boxes for a serious ROTY/SOTY contender. 

Summer Walker: The OVO/LVRN/Interscope singer hit the radar with the remix of “Girls Need Love” f/Drake, and has earned more than 100m streams. Her Clear EP, which dropped early in 2019, showed that she’s comfortable exploring a wide stylistic range. Much like H.E.R. last year, she’s establishing herself as an original and ambitious new voice in the soul/R&B world—though she likely won’t be confined to that world exclusively.

Sharon Van Etten: The number of acts bringing new energy to the rock/alternative space is small, but this Jagjaguwar singer/songwriter is an undeniable force. Her Remind Me Tomorrow is a powerhouse of yearning and grit that channels Patti Smith, early Springsteen and the most authentic early punk/new-wave through a sonically adventurous contemporary prism. Single “Seventeen,” which made inroads at radio, packs an especially mighty wallop.

Maggie Rogers: So much advance hype surrounded this Alaska-bred singer/songwriter’s inking to Capitol a while back that even her #2 chart debut earlier this year (which was also a #1 sales bow) wasn’t sufficiently recognized. It’s time to refocus on the bristling talent that got Rogers the deal in the first place (like Van Etten, she’s repped by Mick Management). Heard It in a Past Life is a bracing blend of classic, melodic pop and electronic grooves, emotionally potent and musically arresting. In short, it’s the sound of an artist living up to the hype. This is precisely the sort of work Grammy should be rewarding.

Jenny Lewis: The Warner singer/songwriter—an indie-pop darling since her days fronting Rilo Kiley—took her rootsy storytelling to the next level on the superb On the Line. On that set she demonstrates a command of rock, pop, country, folk and other idioms and sardonic lyrical flair. Which would be academic if her choruses didn’t pay off like crazy. Lewis is one of several female artists who are taking pop/rock to engaging new places.

Judah and the Lion: This Cletus the Van/Caroline troupe remains one of the most consistently effective acts in the alternative space. The infectious, inventive full-length Pep Talks earned reliably strong reviews—and features unexpected guests Kacey Musgraves and Jon Bellion—while latest single “Why Did You Run?” is holding its own at radio. Given Grammy’s virtually indistinguishable criteria for Rock and Alternative of late, this band could be a contender for either or both.

Now, who ordered the noodle kugel?

TAYLOR’S LOVER: READING BETWEEN THE LAYERS
It goes deep in places. (8/23a)
THE GRAMMY CHEW:
ALBUM CONTENDERS
These machers have one-track minds. (8/23a)
NEAR TRUTHS:
IT’S TAYLOR’S TIME
Looking at her big week from a different angle. (8/23a)
LOVE FOR LOVER FROM SCOTT AND SCOOTER
An olive branch? (8/23a)
UNDER HIPGNOSIS: MERCK CATALOGS HIS PLAN (PART 1)
From the horse's mouse (8/23a)
TAYLOR SWIFT!
Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift? Taylor Swift; Taylor. Swift. Taylor Swift!
TAYLOR SWIFT.
Taylor Swift...  
TAYLOR SWIFT?
Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift. Taylor Swift.   
TAYLOR. SWIFT.
Taylor!
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)