Several musicians and bands from Seattle, or those with connections to this area, get nominations in the 2018 Grammy Awards competition
There’s no doubt Seattle will be in the house at the 2018 Grammy Awards. Several local musicians, or people with connections to the area, were recognized with nominations including Chris Cornell, up for one award, and Odesza, up for two.
The 2018 Grammy Award nominations were announced Tuesday, Nov. 28, with the ceremony itself to be held on Jan. 28, moving for its 60th year from traditional Los Angeles to New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
The Foo Fighters are perennial Grammy favorites, and their hit “Run” is up in two categories. But their competition in Rock Performance might be the night’s greatest suspense as the category includes two posthumous artists, Leonard Cohen and Chris Cornell for his brilliant swan song, “The Promise,” which came out near the time of his death.
Cornell is a near-certain shoo-in for “The Promise.” Soundgarden, co-founded and fronted by Cornell, has won a couple of Grammy Awards before. This year, with the passing of the Seattle great, and the role he played in music in Seattle, and beyond, it would be a shame if Cornell didn’t win.
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While the number of nominated Northwest musicians didn’t rival previous years, like 2014 when Macklemore & Ryan Lewis won four major awards, the nominations continue to show a shift away from rock and toward hip-hop. Jay-Z led nominations with eight, while Bruno Mars and Kendrick Lamar followed close behind.
Odesza’s nomination in Best Dance Recording is well deserved, though their competition — LCD Soundsystem, Gorillaz — are industry legends. Their luck may be better in the Best Dance Electronic Album category, where they face Kraftwerk.
Seattle label Sub Pop earned nominations for Father John Misty’s album “Pure Comedy,” and for Iron & Wine’s “Beast Epic.” Other awards featured Seattle technical artists, like Doug Pray, director of “Hype,” who is listed as one of a dozen producers on “The Defiant Ones.” And the Perfume Genius album “No Shape” got a nod for “Best Engineered Album.”
In an age when streaming has continued to dominate the industry, the Grammy Awards have taken on added commercial importance. A win for an unknown album or song can catapult that track up the charts instantly, and even for known entities like Adele, it can contribute to millions more in sales.
Even local artists have felt that increased recognition from what is accepted as music’s highest awards-ceremony honor. When Issaquah-based multi-instrumental artist Nancy Rumbel won recently, her music got more attention worldwide. “The Grammy win gives me extra validation,” she said.
The Grammy Awards are put on by the Recording Academy, the nonprofit organization that runs both the awards, and social programs like MusiCares. MusiCares, which raises money for needy musicians, has been a major force in Seattle music, and the Recording Academy has a local Pacific Northwest chapter.
But nothing about the Recording Academy gets more attention than the Grammy Awards. Let’s hope this time, Seattle music is again in the spotlight.