Music Monday (On Wednesday): Best New Artist Grammy Nominees

Omigosh, you guys!  I’m having the WORST luck with MM posts so far in 2011.  I was drafting this one on Sunday night and my computer, like, blew up or something.  So, after a major freak out and getting my compy baby looked at, I’ve decided to bring it to you- just a couple of days late.  In any case, hope you enjoy and I’ll try to get my act together next week.  Sigh.

"I own your daughters!"

Today’s post features those lucky (or unlucky, if you believe superstition.  More on that later) bums who are nominated for this year’s Best New Artist Grammy.  The criteria for Best New Artist is kinda murky, because there are often people nominated who have released previous albums.  According to the Grammy website, the nomination is “for a new artist who releases, during the

Eligibility Year, the first recording which establishes the public identity of that artist.”  In other words, “You may have released a couple of albums, but we’ve decided that this one matters, so

you’re a Best New Artist nominee!”

First up, it’s Justin Beiber (yes, really).  Originally a YouTube phenom, Beiber has really come up and taken my radio by storm in the last year.  You’ve probably heard all his songs, but just in case, here’s The Beibs performing live on The Today Show:

Could you hear over the screaming?  No matter, moving on. . .

Drake is next up, another artist that was omnipresent in 2010.  I love Drake.  But, if I’m going to make a confession, I really can’t take him seriously as a hard rapper because he will forever be Jimmy from Degrassi:  The Next Generation.  If you didn’t watch this groundbreaking Canadian show, you definitely missed out.  When Drake’s first single came out I thought, “Jimmy is all grown up, but when did he get out of that wheelchair and start making babies?”  True story.

Check out Rick Ross feat Drake and Chrisette Michelle with “Aston Martin Music,” my January Jam:

If you watched last year’s VMAs you already know about Florence Welch, AKA Florence + The Machine.  This English singer-songwriter’s sound crosses genres, and her live performances are always a spectacle.    You’ll probably recognize her songs from movies like “Jennifer’s Body,” and “Eat, Pray, Love;” plus her hit “Dog Days Are Over” was recently covered on Glee.  One of my favorite tracks is her cover of “You’ve Got the Love.”  It’s fire.

But, seriously, “Cosmic Love” is a must-have.  I listened to it, like, multiple times a day when I first got her album.  You’ve already seen it, but I’m just gonna go ahead and post the vid for “Cosmic Love” anyway.  ‘Cause it’s my blog.

Mumford and Sons has been on my radar for a while, but I haven’t really gotten on crazy into them yet.  A couple of weeks ago, my buddy suggested that I maybe do a post about their song, “The Cave,” which was pretty easy to do, since that’s probably my favorite song by these English rockers.  It’s got such a sweet melody, sung by Marcus Mumford, and a kickin’ chorus that actually gets me excited about the banjo.  I also like “Winter Winds,” which kind of makes me feel like throwing an arm around a stranger in an Irish Pub.  I definitely think Marcus & Co. are contenders for the Best New Artist crown.

Check out “The Cave” below:

Finally, it’s quirky songbird Esperanza Spalding.  Her music is usually described as jazz, but there are definite elements of rock, soul,  and Latin flavor.  While usually pictured with her trademark bass, Spalding plays several instruments, including the violin and oboe.

She’s released several albums in the last few years (see rant above), but her latest, “Chamber Music Society,” is probably the most focused and enjoyable.  I really like “Winter Sun” and “Inutil Paisagem,” which is almost an A Capella-type round except for a sparse baseline.  It really makes me want a cup of coffee every time I hear it.  Give it a listen and tell me what you think?

   Esperanza Spalding – Inútil Paisagem by dedao

What’d you think?  Will you watch this year’s Grammys?  Do you know an artist I should feature on MM?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments.  XOXO

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About hezaire

I am a Singer/Actor who enjoys writing about music, food, and fashion. View all posts by hezaire

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