In the first installment of a series that will continue through next year's Grammys, the Vaudeville team of Beer and Glickman looks at some likely contenders.

Who are the early favorites for Grammy love next year? Alongside obvious, deserving frontrunners like established chart-toppers Ariana Grande and Halsey, we’re betting that a trio of newer, slightly more unusual acts are going to garner top-tier nominations.

Billie Eilish and Tyler, The Creator have both seized the spotlight by coloring outside the lines, and their success in the marketplace is good for the business overall—because they are more than hit songs. They’re artists with their own point of view, creating work that stands outside of prevailing pop trends. They’re eccentric, and eccentric artists are the ones who break down boundaries.

Eilish has virtually invented her own subgenre with her hushed dynamics, anguished lyrics and horror-flick aesthetics. Her WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? (Darkroom/Interscope) is a powerful, cathartic, at times confounding listen.

Tyler’s restlessly creative IGOR (Columbia) blends avant-garde touches, old-school hip-hop beats and alternative-pop melodies, at times suggesting a mutated reincarnation of the Native Tongues rap school (A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, et al).

Neither album gives up all its secrets on first listen, but repeat plays reveal ever-greater depth. Each is exactly the sort of album, from exactly the sort of artist, that Grammy should reward.

Lil Nas X, on the other hand, has exploded into the pop mainstream and even transcended it, creating, in the country-trap hybrid “Old Town Road” (Columbia), a full-fledged cultural phenomenon. This thing has crossed every known barrier, and it’s still growing. We believe Grammy—which has, in recent years, missed the boat on several culture-shifting records—will make the right call and give Lil Nas some top-tier nods.

Now, are you gonna finish those pickles, or what?