The 2020 GRAMMYs are just around the corner, and now the nominations are in for the coveted honor of Best Alternative Music Album. While we'll have to wait until the 62nd GRAMMY Awards air on CBS on Jan. 26 to find out who will win, let's take a look at which albums have been nominated for Best Alternative Music Album.
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016
Upon winning the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' Kendrick Lamar thanked those that helped him get to the stage, and the artists that blazed the trail for him.
Updated Friday Oct. 13, 2023 to include info about Kendrick Lamar's most recent GRAMMY wins, as of the 2023 GRAMMYs.
A GRAMMY veteran these days, Kendrick Lamar has won 17 GRAMMYs and has received 47 GRAMMY nominations overall. A sizable chunk of his trophies came from the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards in 2016, when he walked away with five — including his first-ever win in the Best Rap Album category.
This installment of GRAMMY Rewind turns back the clock to 2016, revisiting Lamar's acceptance speech upon winning Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly. Though Lamar was alone on stage, he made it clear that he wouldn't be at the top of his game without the help of a broad support system.
"First off, all glory to God, that's for sure," he said, kicking off a speech that went on to thank his parents, who he described as his "those who gave me the responsibility of knowing, of accepting the good with the bad."
He also extended his love and gratitude to his fiancée, Whitney Alford, and shouted out his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates. Lamar specifically praised Top Dawg's CEO, Anthony Tiffith, for finding and developing raw talent that might not otherwise get the chance to pursue their musical dreams.
"We'd never forget that: Taking these kids out of the projects, out of Compton, and putting them right here on this stage, to be the best that they can be," Lamar — a Compton native himself — continued, leading into an impassioned conclusion spotlighting some of the cornerstone rap albums that came before To Pimp a Butterfly.
To Pimp a Butterfly singles "Alright" and "These Walls" earned Lamar three more GRAMMYs that night, the former winning Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and the latter taking Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (the song features Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat). He also won Best Music Video for the remix of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood."
Watch Lamar's full acceptance speech above, and check back at GRAMMY.com every Friday for more GRAMMY Rewind episodes.
Photo: Courtesy of Alé Araya
ReImagined: Alé Araya Puts An Atmospheric Spin On Bon Iver's "Holocene"
Chilean artist Alé Araya uses her laptop, synthesizer and a well-worn piano to create an enchanting new version of Bon Iver's GRAMMY-nominated hit "Holocene."
Bon Iver's breakout moment came in 2011 with the release of "Holocene," the second single off the indie rock act's sophomore album Bon Iver, Bon Iver.
"And at once, I knew I was not magnificent/ Strayed above the highway aisle/ Jagged vacance, thick with ice/ But I could see for miles, miles, miles," frontman and founder Justin Vernon sang in floating falsetto on the song's chorus, over the strum of acoustic guitar and gentle percussion.
In this episode of ReImagined, Chilean artist Alé Araya turns the delicate track into a wistful piano ballad. She shows off her many musical talents as well, pivoting between her laptop, synthesizer and a well-worn upright piano as her crystalline vocals tie everything together.
Bon Iver earned dual GRAMMY nominations for both Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year for "Holocene" the following year. While both of those awards went to Adele's "Rolling in the Deep," Vernon and co. ultimately took home two other trophies — for Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album.
Araya is having a breakout year of her own in 2023, recently releasing her debut EP, in pieces, which featured collaborations with greek ("Endless Sky"), aisu ("Citrine") and Joseph Chilliams ("Midnight Gospel"). She also joined forces with honey and Vrdnyn on the collaborative 2023 single "Prada Princess."
Press play on the video above to watch Araya interpretation of Bon Iver's fan-favorite single, and check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of ReImagined.
Photos: Antoine Flament/Getty Images; Amy Sussman/WireImage; Santiago Felipe/GettyImages; Ki Price; Rosie Cohe; Edward Cooke; Mauricio Santana/Getty Images
15 Must-Hear Albums This September: Olivia Rodrigo, Kylie Minogue, James Blake & More
Get your fall playlist ready. From pop blockbusters to the return of rock icons, check out 15 genre-spanning albums dropping in September.
With summer almost in the rear view, it’s time to welcome the first must-hear albums of the fall season. With the onset of chillier days comes a genre-spanning array of new music — from R&B sensation Jorja Smith to indie-rock maestro Mitski.
September's first big release comes from rock royalty the Pretenders, who return at the top of the month with their twelfth studio album, Relentless. The following week, pop firebrand Olivia Rodrigo will reveal GUTS, the feverishly anticipated follow-up to her 2021 debut, SOUR.
Rodrigo shares a release date with star-studded company, including disco queen Róisín Murphy, dance veterans the Chemical Brothers, shapeshifting singer/songwriter James Blake, and soul newcomer Jalen Ngonda. Elsewhere in the month, there’s something for all tastes, from the pop-rock reawakening of Demi Lovato to the noodly electronics of Animal Collective.
As we gear up for a season packed with musical highs, we’ve put together a handy guide to the 15 must-hear albums dropping in September 2023.
The Pretenders - Relentless
Release date: Sept. 1
For a band that released its debut album in 1979, the Pretenders still sounds remarkably vital 44 years on. Led by iconic songwriter and frontwoman Chrissie Hynde, the band is back in full force this September with the appropriately titled Relentless, which follows 2020’s on-form Hate for Sale.
The Pretenders announced their twelfth LP with a rousing-yet-poetic lead single, "Let the Sun Come In," and the album closes with an intriguing collaboration with Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood on strings.
"I think anyone in a band is constantly questioning if they should keep going," Hynde said of the album’s title in a statement. "It starts as a youthful pursuit and eventually, it makes you wonder, why am I doing this? It’s the life of the artist. You never retire. You become relentless."
Speedy Ortiz - Rabbit Rabbit
Release date: Sept. 1
Philadelphia rock quartet Speedy Ortiz has kept fans waiting five long years for a new LP, having released their pop-inflected Twerp Verse back in 2018. This September, the band returns with Rabbit Rabbit, its first album on mercurial frontwoman Sadie Dupuis’ label, Wax Nine.
To record Rabbit Rabbit, Speedy Ortiz jumped between two locations steeped in rock lore: Rancho de la Luna in Joshua Tree and Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas. The band has already shared a few songs so far, including the spiky "You S02" and the crunching, cathartic closer "Ghostwriter." The album also opens with a song called "Kim Cattrall."
"I turned 33 while writing this album, a palindrome birthday and a lucky number associated with knowledge," Dupuis said in a statement. "I wanted to mark how I was making better choices as I got older, letting go of heedless anger even when it’s warranted."
Olivia Rodrigo - GUTS
Release date: Sept. 8
As far as breakout albums go, Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR was about as good as it gets. Powered by the stage-setting singles "drivers license" and "deja vu," the album dropped in May 2021 as a balm for dark pandemic days. Coming in at a lean 34 minutes, SOUR was all killer, no filler— and went on to pick up Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2022 GRAMMYs, alongside Rodrigo’s wins for Best Pop Solo Performance ("drivers license") and Best New Artist.
With Rodrigo now a bona fide pop superstar, she’s readying her second album, GUTS, for a buzzy September drop. Lead single "vampire" arrived back in June with a lush, swelling sound (producer Dan Nigro makes several appearances on GUTS) and score-settling lyrics that cut like a knife. Rodrigo followed this strong return with "bad idea right?," a gleefully fun throwback to the pop-punk and grunge that soundtracked her teens.
In an interview with the New York Times ahead of GUTS, Rodrigo enthused about embracing crunchy guitars and big emotional swings: "\[I\] always loved rock music, and always wanted to find a way that I could make it feel like me, and make it feel feminine and still telling a story and having something to say that’s vulnerable and intimate."
James Blake - Playing Robots In Heaven
Release date: Sept. 8
Following 2021’s acclaimed Friends That Break Your Heart, which featured guest turns from the likes of SZA, JID and Monica Martin, James Blake is stripping it back to basics on his sixth studio album, Playing Robots Into Heaven.
This time around, the etherally-voiced singer has seemingly gone back to the electronic roots of his earlier works that emerged as part of the UK’s post-dubstep scene.
With no featured guests, the tracklist includes the already-released singles "Big Hammer," which is all chopped-up samples and low-end frequencies, and "Loading," which recalls the vocal manipulations of the producer’s self-titled debut LP. Blake also shared the ambient title track, which will close the album in perfect contemplation.
Jalen Ngonda - Come Around and Love Me
Release date: Sept. 8
Growing up outside of Washington, D.C., Jalen Ngonda was immersed from an early age in soul music, courtesy of his music-obsessed father. Fast forward to 2023, and Ngonda is himself a talented soul artist signed to the revered Brooklyn indie label Daptone Records.
The singer's debut album, Come Around and Love Me, features lushly arranged singles "If You Don’t Want My Love" and "Just Like You Used To," which showcase his timeless vocal prowess.
The Chemical Brothers - For That Beautiful Feeling
Release date: Sept. 8
On their ninth album, 2019’s No Geography, UK electronic duo the Chemical Brothers sounded thrillingly energized. Now, after weathering a global pandemic, the veteran producers return with their tenth studio outing, For That Beautiful Feeling.
The album features a new version of the duo’s cautiously hopeful 2021 release, "The Darkness That You Fear," alongside the propulsive, classically-Chems single, "No Reason," and collaborations with indie darling Beck and French singer/songwriter Halo Maud.
The duo is set to follow the album in October with a career-spanning retrospective book, Paused in Cosmic Reflection, that’ll have fans clamoring.
Demi Lovato - REVAMPED
Release date: Sept. 15
Already an experienced master of reinvention, Demi Lovato is continuing her rock era with REVAMPED 5. On last year’s Holy Fvck, the pop chameleon wholeheartedly embraced hard rock and pop-punk, including collaborations with Yungblud, Royal & the Serpent and Dead Sara.
While touring Holy Fvck, Lovato also played heavier versions of her earlier songs, and discovered her fans loved it. This inspired her to re-record rock versions of ten songs from past albums, including Demi and Confident, which are now brought together on REVAMPED.
On the evidence of early singles like "Heart Attack (Rock Version)" and "Sorry Not Sorry (Rock Version)", the latter featuring Guns N Roses shredder Slash, Lovato is relishing the chance to rock out.
Mitski - The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We
Release date: Sept. 15
Back in July, ever-inventive singer-songwriter Mitski sent a voice memo to fans via her newsletter. "Hi, this is Mitski, and I’m at Bomb Shelter Studios in Nashville, where we recorded my new album that’s coming out," Mitski revealed. "It’s called The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We, and its first single is coming out on Wednesday."
That beautifully elegiac first single "Bug Like An Angel" suggests a heart-rending album to come from one of the boldest voices in indie-rock. The single also features a surprising (and powerfully effective) appearance from a 17-person choir that’s likely to appear elsewhere on The Land Is Inhospitable and So Are We. As Mitski teased in a statement, "This is my most American album."
NEEDTOBREATHE - CAVES
Release date: Sept. 15
Following 2021’s Into The Mystery and its country-rock crossover hit, "I Wanna Remember," featuring Carrie Underwood, Christian rock troupe NEEDTOBREATHE returns with their ninth album, CAVES.
As documented in an intimate making-of video, the GRAMMY-winning band assembled in a house overlooking the majestic mountains of Utah to begin writing the album, which they completed while on the road with OneRepublic.
"We always believed we could make a record that would feel at home on the world’s biggest stages," the band wrote in a statement announcing CAVES. "It was important to us to prove that we could. This is the most ambitious record we’ve made in a really long time."
Kylie Minogue - Tension
Release date: Sept. 22
Thanks to the runaway viral success of her dance-pop earworm "Padam Padam," 2023 has already been a triumphant year for Australian pop veteran Kylie Minogue. Released in May, the single went on to vie for song of the summer status, powered by countless dance videos on TikTok and its warm embrace as a Pride anthem.
Buoyed by her surprise chart hit, Minogue will release her sixteenth studio album, Tension. As suggested by the glossy cover art, and the presence of producers such as Oliver Heldens and Biff Stannard, Minogue is ready to reclaim her electro-pop crown.
"I started this album with an open mind and a blank page," Minogue said in a statement. "Unlike my last two albums, there wasn’t a 'theme.' It was about finding the heart or the fun or the fantasy of that moment and always trying to service the song."
Bakar - Halo
Release date: Sept. 22
Acclaimed British artist Bakar will help kick off the month in style with his second album, Halo. The sophomore release is billed as a sonic counterpart to his genre-hopping 2018 mixtape, BADKID. Like that breakout release, Halo is set to blend indie, punk and hip-hop, with Bakar’s beguiling voice at front and center.
Ahead of a busy summer jumping between festival stages, Bakar dropped a mood-lifting single, "Alive!," accompanied by a music video featuring the artist bringing traffic to a standstill (for real) in Central London.
Animal Collective - Isn't It Now?
Release date: Sept. 29
Following 2022’s Time Skiffs, experimental pop four-piece Animal Collective returns with its most expansive album to date. With a total runtime of 64 minutes, Isn’t It Now? will explore a rich sonic palette, as suggested by the layered and hypnotic single, "Soul Capturer."
Co-produced, mixed and recorded with GRAMMY-winning producer Russell Elevado, Isn’t It Now? reportedly finds each band member digging deep into their current musical whims — such as multi-instrumentalist Panda Bear focusing more on drumming.
The centerpiece of the album is "Defeat," a 22-minute epic that captures Animal Collective at its most exploratory.
Jorja Smith - Falling or Flying
Release date: Sept. 29
As one of the brightest stars to emerge from the UK in the past decade, Jorja Smith has already put together an accomplished discography. Following her 2018 debut, Lost & Found, and 2021’s three-track EP, Be Right Back, Smith will release her most complete artistic statement to date.
Like her previous releases, the singer’s long-awaited second album, Falling or Flying, will connect the dots between soul, R&B, UK garage and house, with a song for every mood and situation.
"This album is like my brain,” Smith said in a statement. “There’s always so much going on but each song is definitely a standstill moment." So far, Smith has given us two standout singles — the garage-tinged "Little Things" and the more contemplative "Try Me" — so anticipation is sky high.
TINASHE - BB/ANG3L
Release date: TBD
While it’s yet to lock an official release date, the hype is building for Tinashe’s sixth studio album, BB/ANG3L — her first under a new deal with GRAMMY-winning hitmaker Ricky Reed’s record label, Nice Life.
"I’ve enjoyed stripping back layers of aesthetic fluff, smoke & mirrors, and white noise to get down to the core of myself," the alternative R&B star said of the album in a statement.
On lead single, "Talk to Me Nice," Tinashe’s indelible smoky vocals are offset by skittering, seductive production from hip-hop beatmaker Scoop DeVille and electronic artist Nosaj Thing. Follow-up single "Needs" is another undeniable bop, setting the stage for a standout album.
(G)I-DLE - HEAT
Release date: Oct. 15
Prolific K-pop girl group (G)I-DLE is set to release its first English language project, HEAT.
HEAT follows the group’s 2022 debut album, I Never Die, which opens with the pop-punk-influenced single, "TOMBOY." While little has been revealed about HEAT, the project comes via the Asian market-focused U.S. music company 88rising and South Korean label Cube Entertainment, and will showcase the songwriting prowess of group leader Jeon So-yeon.
(G)I-DLE has released one single from HEAT so far — the highly polished synth-pop love song, "I DO" — and the anticipation has K-pop fans feeling giddy.
Photo: Barry Brecheisen/Getty Images
7 Sets From Pitchfork Music Festival 2023: Killer Mike, The Smile, JPEGMAFIA & More
Even lightning couldn't stop Chicago's beloved Pitchfork Music Festival — at least not for long. Revisit seven of the most memorable moments from Pitchfork 2023, from Jockstrap's ethereal performance to Leikeli47's audience turn-up.
Pitchfork Music Festival is a Chicago mainstay, taking place in Union Park since 2006. The annual event — which boasts more than 40 bands over the course of three days — hosts around 60,000 attendees as well as legends including the Isley Brothers, LCD Soundsystem, Erykah Badu, and The National. Over the past decade-plus, the festival expanded to Paris, Berlin and London.
From July 21-23, the 13 acre park provided a modest backdrop that rotated an array of talent from various genres. The Smile, Perfume Genius and Alvvays performed on day one of the festival. However, the second day of Pitchfork was marred by lightning, which forced attendees to temporarily evacuate the park.
Upon their return that evening, folk facet Big Thief delivered a tender set of epic proportions. On Sunday, Kelela enchanted onlookers with ethereal vocals and Bon Iver provided emotional renditions of some of his most notable hits.
Here are seven of the most unforgettable moments from Pitchfork 2023.
Killer Mike Takes Everyone To Church
In June, Killer Mike released his first solo album in 11 years, Michael. Though he has been making music alongside El-P as one-half of Run The Jewels for the last decade, Killer MIke's refreshing return to form on his latest project was both galvanizing and long overdue.
Not only did he take us to church on Michael, but he boldly brought his sermon to Pitchfork. Killer Mike — who donned all white attire to match his accompanying choir — gave an excited crowd a poignant performance. From the dynamism of "Down By Law" to the resilience of "Run," the emcee gave his all to some of his most devoted fans. Hearing his voice crack during "Motherless" reminded the audience that even the strongest griot needs love and community.
Leikeli47 Gets The Crowd To Strike A Pose
Leikeli47's discography is full of audacious anthems that place women — and their bodily autonomy — front and center. In recent years, the Brooklyn emcee’s songs have taken on new meaning and life, which was very apparent on Pitchfork’s Blue stage.
Leikeli47 not only brought a fierce attitude while giving the crowd renditions of "Look," "Miss Me" and "Wash & Set," but she invited fans onstage to strike a pose alongside her. Whether they were voguing, twerking or jumping, those lucky audience members did exactly what Leikeli47 wanted them to: enjoy the moment without thinking too much about it.
The Smile Basks In Psychedelia
Thom Yorke could live in Radiohead reverie forever and still remain one of music’s most vital auteurs. However, by forming the Smile, he doubled down on pushing the boundaries of his ingenuity alongside fellow Radiohead member Johnny Greenwood and drummer Tom Skinner. The group's debut album, A Light For Attracting Attention, was released in 2022 and predictably met with acclaim.
During their Pitchfork set, saxophonist Robert Stillman livened up "Pana-Vision," "Colours Fly" and "People on Balconies." Yorke ended a night saturated with psychedelic sounds with "Feeling Pulled Apart by Horses," reminding the audience of his creative depth.
JPEGMAFIA Riles Up The Audience
The energy JPEGMAFIA brings to the stage is downright manic, and his time at this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival was no different. The electrifying musician balanced his offerings of solo hits ("Jesus Forgive Me, I Am a Thot," "1539 N. Calvert") with songs from his collaborative album with Danny Brown, Scaring The Hoes ("Steppa Pig," "Garbage Pail Kids").
Even when Peggy poked fun at the event by calling it "Conde Nast Fest," he still expressed gratitude to everyone in attendance. He also did a mean cover of Carly Rae Jepsen’s "Call Me Maybe" sans autotune after an audio malfunction, proving himself to be a true artist.
Jockstrap Effortlessly Enchant The Audience
All of the hype surrounding Jockstrap, which praises the electro-pop pair’s ability to concoct dissonant yet riveting melodies,, to proven to be warranted. The UK pair's eclectic debut album, 2022's I Love You Jennifer B, featured an 18-piece orchestra and voyages into experimental territory which can be tricky to pull off in a live capacity. However, Jockstrap were more than up for the challenge.
Vocalist Georgia Ellery strutted her best dance moves as she donned gold lamé, oscillating between singing and captivating the crowd with her violin skills. Songs like "Debra" and "Glasgow" were as enchanting as they were impressive.
JLIN Turns The Stage Into Her Creative Zone
Jlin has managed to take her immense love of music-making and transform it to an experience that is thrilling both visually and sonically. At Pitchfork Fest, the Pulitzer Prize-nominated musician transformed the Blue Stage into her own personal studio.
The Indiana producer recently announced that a mini-album featuring electronic versions of her songs, Perspective, will be released in September. She treated Pitchfork's audience to a preview of the project by including the hushed yet accentuating rhythms of "Fourth Perspective" in her set, but Jlin executed it with such intensity that it reminded everyone just how much of a master she is at her craft.
Soul Glo Gets The People Going
This Philly facet formed in 2014 and quickly elevated hardcore punk into an even more complex genre. Named after a fictitious commercial in the classic film Coming To America, Soul Glo brashly combine rap, metal and screamo for an exhilarating sound.
At Pitchfork, they made sure that mosh pits were galore as the electrifying trio completely dominated the stage. Songs like "GODBLESSYALLREALGOOD" showed off not just the excitement the trio manage to drum up in listeners, but the emotional turmoil they embed in their catalog. Whether it’s growing up or growing apart, the discography of Soul Glo encapsulates an assortment of experiences.