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ALT GRAMMY NOMS:
THE VIEW FROM THE CHAISE

One nomination for Wet Leg’s genius self-titled debut would’ve been a victory. I figured they were a lock for Best Alternative Music Performance for “Chaise Longue,” one of the most exciting debut singles of the past decade. Then the other nominations for the Isle of Wight duo started rolling in, five in all, including Best New Artist (!), Best Alternative Music Album, Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical) and Best Remixed Recording (for “Too Late Now [Soulwax Remix]").

Congrats to Domino Recording Company, manager Martin Hall and Team Wet Leg on these well-earned nominations. Domino has two noms in the Best Alternative Music Performance category, with Arctic Monkeys’ “There’d Better Be a Mirrorball” also in that category.

When I wrote my predictions for the nominations a few weeks ago, I stupidly overlooked 4AD’s Big Thief, whose U.F.O.F. was nominated for Best Alternative Music Album in 2020 and whose song “Not” was a contender for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance in 2021. This year, Big Thief was moved back into the Alternative category, and they’ve garnered nominations for Best Alternative Music Performance (for “Certainty”) and Best Alternative Music Album (for Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You).

The other nominees for Alternative Album are ones I predicted: Fossora by Björk, who garners her ninth nomination in that category and her 16th overall. For those keeping track, Björk has never won a Grammy. Yeah Yeah YeahsCool It Down, released via Secretly Canadian on 9/30, the final day of eligibility, is also nominated for Best Alternative Music Album, marking their fourth time in the category since 2004. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs single “Spitting Off the Edge of the World” featuring Perfume Genius is also nominated for Best Alternative Music Performance, as it should be.

The Alternative Committee is fantastically loyal to previously nominated artists, whether that's Björk, Yeah Yeah Yeahs or Arcade Fire, whose brilliant set WE is also nominated for Best Alternative Music Album, earning the band its 10th nomination overall and fourth in the category (you’ll recall they won Album of the Year in 2011 for The Suburbs). Florence + the Machine, fronted by reigning grande dame of alternative Florence Welch, earned their first Best Alternative Music Performance nod (and seventh overall) for “King.” The band’s “What Kind of Man” was nominated for Best Rock Performance in 2016. They have not yet won a Grammy.

Spoon, led by one of my favorite people in the world, Britt Daniel, scored a Best Rock Album nom—their first Grammy nod—for Lucifer on the Sofa (Matador). It’s quite the career culmination, considering the band has for decades released some of the most consistently GREAT albums in the alt/rock genre. Bravo.

Every musician’s favorite punk band, Idles, were also nominated for Best Rock Album and Best Rock Song for “Crawl!” Watching Idles tear up the stage with that song is one Grammy moment we could all use. Ozzy is likely to sweep the Rock and Metal categories, but it’s wild to see the Best Rock Performance nominations include Bryan Adams, Beck (for his cover of Neil Young’s “Old Man,” recorded for an NFL commercial), The Black Keys, Brandi Carlile, Idles and Ozzy (featuring Jeff Beck). Måneskin received a Best New Artist nomination, joining Wet Leg as the other band whose debut made a massive splash this year.

It should be noted that the majority of nominations in the Alternative categories are for female artists. The Grammys continue to get that part right.

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