GRAMMY CHEW: ALTERNATIVE AND ROCK


Last year was so easy. We all knew Wet Leg would be nominated for both Alternative awards and Best New Artist and would win the first two. This year, there are some very strong contenders, all of whom could conceivably win.

Best Alternative Music Album could easily go to one of the following:

  • Arctic Monkeys, The Car (Domino)
  • boygenius, The Record (Interscope)
  • Lana Del Rey, Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd. (Interscope)
  • Gorillaz, Cracker Island (Warner)
  • PJ Harvey, I Inside the Old Year Dying (Partisan)
  • Mitski, The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We (Dead Oceans)
  • The National, First Two Pages of Frankenstein (Matador)
  • The 1975, Being Funny in a Foreign Language (Dirty Hit)
  • Weyes Blood, And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow (Sub Pop)

(L-R: Arctic Monkeys, boygenius, Lana Del Rey, Gorillaz, Mitski)

Other artists to be considered for Best Alternative Music Album include:

  • Cavetown, worm food (Warner)
  • Lil Yachty, Let’s Start Here (QC/Motown)yes, I’ve heard this is the category in which he’d hoped to be considered.
  • Arlo Parks, My Soft Machine ([PIAS]; also nominated in 2022 for Collapsed in Sunbeams)
  • Caroline Polachek, Desire, I Want to Turn Into You (Perpetual Novice; nominated for an Album of the Year Grammy in 2014 for her work on the Beyoncé album)

Last year was the first year of the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Performance, which was won by Wet Leg’s “Chaise Longue.” This year, I believe it’s between boygenius’ “Cool About It” and any song submitted from Lana Del Rey’s latest—maybe “Margaret,” which features Bleachers (and is produced by Jack Antonoff). I wouldn’t rule out beabadoobee’s “Glue Song” (Dirty Hit), which would top off the incredible year she’s had. Mitski’s “My Love Mine All Mine” is another contender.

“About You” by The 1975 has been a massive fan favorite from what is now a global arena band. Phoebe Bridgers has two songs on The National’s latest, which means, if nominated, she could be competing against herself. Also, Taylor Swift makes an appearance on The National’s “The Alcott,” but that might be submitted for Pop. I hope that the Alternative committee acknowledges that Arlo Parks’ single “Devotion” is absolutely worthy of Grammy consideration. What if Gorillaz were nominated for Best Alternative Music Album and Damon Albarn’s other band, Blur, received a Best Alternative Music Performance nomination for “The Narcissist” (Parlophone)?

Rock is a tricky category because it encompasses legends like The Rolling Stones, Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers with newer artists like Blondshell and Yves Tumor, plus whatever used to be Alternative and is considered classic rock, like Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins and Fall Out Boy. Also, boygenius’ “Not Strong Enough” was submitted for Rock, with another track, “Cool About It” submitted for Alternative.

(L-R: The Rolling Stones, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Best Rock Album should include some combination of the below:

  • Fall Out Boy, So Much (For) Stardust (Fueled By Ramen/Elektra)
  • Foo Fighters, But Here We Are (Roswell/RCA)
  • Hozier, Unreal Unearth (Columbia)
  • Måneskin, Rush (Arista)
  • Metallica, 72 Seasons (Blackened Recordings)
  • Iggy Pop, Every Loser (Gold Tooth/Atlantic)
  • Queens of the Stone Age, In Times New Roman (Matador)
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers, Unlimited Love (Warner)
  • Smashing Pumpkins, ATUM (Martha’s Music/Thirty Tigers)
  • Yves Tumor, Praise a Lord Who Chews But Does Not Consume (Warp)

Best Rock Song:

  • Blondshell, “Salad” (Partisan)
  • Brandi Carlile, “Closer to Fine” from the Barbie Soundtrack (Atlantic)
  • Foo Fighters, “Under You” (Roswell/RCA)
  • Hozier, "Francesca" (Columbia)
  • Paramore, “Running Out Of Time” (Atlantic)
  • The Rolling Stones, “Angry” (Geffen)
  • U2, "Atomic City" (Interscope)

Best Rock Performance:

  • boygenius, “Not Strong Enough” (Interscope)
  • Foo Fighters, “Under You” (Roswell/RCA)
  • Hozier, "Francesca" (Columbia)
  • Måneskin, “Honey, Are You Coming? (Arista)
  • Metallica, “Too Far Gone” (Blackened Recordings)
  • The Rolling Stones, “Angry” (Geffen)

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