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Songwriter/Composer Sessions: GRAMMY-Nominated Conductor & Composer Tania León On Her Beginnings, Inspiring Young Musicians & What Beethoven Means To Her

Tania León

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Songwriter/Composer Sessions: GRAMMY-Nominated Conductor & Composer Tania León On Her Beginnings, Inspiring Young Musicians & What Beethoven Means To Her

In the debut episode of Songwriter/Composer Sessions, a new series presented by the Recording Academy's Songwriters & Composers Wing, revered composer and conductor Tania León opens up about her memories and visions as a music maker

Membership/Oct 15, 2021 - 05:01 am

For more than five decades, Tania León has been a force to be reckoned with in the classical sphere.

The GRAMMY-nominated composer of large-scale and chamber works has won a New York Governor's Lifetime Achievement Award and a Pulitzer Prize In Music, the latter for her orchestral work "Stride," which the New York Philharmonic commissioned. Her recent commissions include works for New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, NDR Symphony Orchestra, Grossman Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, and pianist Ursula Oppens with Cassatt String Quartet.

León, who's held numerous residencies and faculty positions from Yale to Yaddo and beyond, today serves as an Honorary Chair for the Recording Academy's Songwriters & Composers Wing, a newly launched Academy membership division representing a vast and diverse community of music creators within these crafts.

Now, in the debut episode of Songwriter/Composer Sessions, a new series presented by the Songwriters & Composers Wing, León reflects on how her family life shaped her passions and how she wants to inspire up-and-coming music creators in the future.

"I think it's important to listen to the young musicians. The reason a young musician goes to a conservatory or to a university or whatever to study music is because they have the music inside already," she says in the episode. "The purpose is to get the music out of them, as opposed to [imposing] on them the music we prefer."

Check out the first episode of Songwriter/Composer Sessions above to learn more about how León wants to make the classical world a welcoming place for everyone—young or old, experienced or not.

Learn more about the Songwriters & Composers Wing and follow their official Instagram page for more updates.

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Classical Dazzles With Old Favorites And Surprises

GRAMMYs/Dec 3, 2014 - 04:22 am

Like the genre itself, the recordings nominated in the Classical Field for the 55th GRAMMY Awards feature works spanning several centuries, including the present, performed by a range of instrumental and vocal configurations, from soloists to small ensembles and large orchestras.

For Best Orchestral Performance, conductor Iván Fischer is nominated for one of my favorite symphonic works, Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1. Perhaps the most interesting entry in the category is Carlos Kalmar's Music For A Time Of War, featuring John Adams' The Wound-Dresser, which I find especially compelling as it is based on Walt Whitman's experience as a medic during the American Civil War.

The Best Opera Recording category is split between 20th century and baroque operas, with a dash of Richard Wagner thrown in to keep it old-school.

One of my favorite pieces of all time, the Requiem by György Ligeti, is nominated in the Best Choral Performance category. As a fan of recent sacred choral works, I'm glad to see Life & Breath — Choral Works By René Clausen on the list. The Nightingale features works by Uģis Prauliņš, a Latvian composer I'd had yet to discover, and who is also nominated in the Best Contemporary Classical Composition category.

The Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance category is full of surprises. Americana is a collection of 20th-century American music performed by the Modern Mandolin Quartet. If you don't think of the mandolin as an instrument that can hold its own on the concert stage, this group should change your mind. My personal favorite is their arrangement of "Cool" from "West Side Story" by Leonard Bernstein. The ZOFO Duet (pianists Eva-Maria Zimmermann and Keisuke Nakagoshi) breathe new life into the four-hand piano repertoire with their album Mind Meld, and the Los Angeles Percussion Quartet offers Rupa-Khandha, a collection of exciting recent percussion works by current composers.

The Best Classical Vocal Solo category showcases the female voice: Natalie Dessay sings Debussy on Clair De Lune; Joyce DiDonato joins her hometown Kansas City Symphony for Homecoming; Ute Lemper brings classic torch songs to life on Paris Days, Berlin Nights; Renée Fleming sings French music of the 20th century on Poèmes; and Anne Sofie Von Otter highlights baroque repertoire on Sogno Barocco.

The Best Contemporary Classical Composition category features composers from the United States (Stephen Hartke and Steven Stucky), Cuba (Tania León), Latvia (Prauliņš) and Finland (Einojuhani Rautavaara).

There's plenty here to keep classical fans of all stripes fascinated for another GRAMMY season. I know I'm looking forward to learning more about these recordings, and I am looking forward to when the winners are announced on Feb. 10.

Why The New Songwriter Of The Year GRAMMY Category Matters For The Music Industry And Creator Community

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Why The New Songwriter Of The Year GRAMMY Category Matters For The Music Industry And Creator Community

The newly announced GRAMMY Award category for Songwriter Of The Year marks a watershed moment for songwriters in all genres. Here’s why this new GRAMMY category matters for the 2023 GRAMMYs and how to qualify for Songwriter Of The Year.

GRAMMYs/Jun 9, 2022 - 07:56 pm

Updated on Thursday, July 14: The air date for the 2023 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 65th GRAMMY Awards, has been announced. The 2023 GRAMMYs will air live Sunday, Feb. 5, from the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles and will broadcast live on the CBS Television Network and stream live and on demand on Paramount+. Nominations for the 2023 GRAMMYs will be announced on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

The 2021 GRAMMYs and 2022 GRAMMYs looked vastly different from past years due to the realities of a pandemic. But the 2023 GRAMMYs will be unique for purely positive reasons.

Today, the Recording Academy announced a brand-new GRAMMY Award category: Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical. (This was among many other new category additions, including Best Alternative Music Performance, Best Americana Performance and Best Score Soundtrack For Video Games And Other Interactive Media, as well as other process amendments and updates to the GRAMMY Awards process.)

The 2023 GRAMMY nominations are officially here. See the complete list of nominees across all 91 GRAMMY categories.

"We're so excited to honor these diverse communities of music creators through the newly established awards and amendments, and to continue cultivating an environment that inspires change, progress and collaboration," Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. expressed in a statement. "The Academy's top priority is to effectively represent the music people that we serve, and each year, that entails listening to our members and ensuring our rules and guidelines reflect our ever-evolving industry."

Watch Now: Introducing The Songwriters & Composers Wing

Mason's comments speak to the greater winds of change surrounding these developments. But what of the GRAMMY for Songwriter Of The Year specifically?

To help music lovers and the wider music community understand the significance of this momentous development, GRAMMY.com spoke to leaders at the Songwriters & Composers Wing, who worked with Recording Academy executives to develop and launch the Songwriter Of The Year GRAMMY category.

In this informative interview with S&C Wing Managing Director Susan Stewart and Chair Evan Bogart, learn more about the thinking behind the creation of the GRAMMY for Songwriter Of The Year — and how to qualify for this magnificent honor.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

What was the impetus for the institution of the GRAMMY for Songwriter Of The Year? Why was now the perfect time to launch this new category?

Susan Stewart, Managing Director, Songwriters & Composers Wing: With the launch of the Songwriters & Composers Wing, we wanted to show our dedication to true craft writers. It was the perfect time with the launch of the Wing to initiate this. It has a longer history, but it really did help having the Wing to stand behind it.

Evan Bogart, Chair of the Songwriters & Composers Wing: As somebody who's a songwriter first — I joined the [Recording Academy’s] Los Angeles Chapter Board in 2010 or 2011 — there weren't many songwriters, if any, on the Board at that point. There wasn't a lot of representation for songwriters in that regard. I wanted to find a way for songwriters to have a seat at the table and be honored for their contributions to music — and not only their contributions to creating songs, but to the entire musical landscape.

Over the course of the last decade-plus, the role of the songwriter has increased so much in the process of A&R, production, recording, mentorship, and artist development. It became so apparent that we needed a Wing to represent the more than 3,500 songwriters within the Recording Academy membership and the interests specific to songwriting, education, mentorship, advocacy, awards, and recognition.

Via that, we were able to make this dream of having an award that honors the compendium of an artist's yearly output and the impact it has each year on the musical landscape in the way the GRAMMYs have been honoring producers since 1975. I think the time to do that is now, and we have the support from the Wing, Academy and community.

People in the songwriting world have been calling for this award for more than a decade — the last decade that I've been listening. Maybe more than that! We just came to the right moment in time to put the weight of the new Wing behind it and create it.

By which metrics will Academy voting members judge the merits of various songwriters for the award on an annual basis?

Bogart: We're looking for which songwriters have demonstrated, first and foremost, that they're considered a songwriter first by the music community. We want to recognize the professional, hardworking songwriters who do this for a living — who wake up every day and think about how they're going to write songs for other people, and craft songs not only for themselves, but for other artists as well.

This isn't intended to just award an artist or producer with another award. This is focused on honoring the professional songwriters who hit the studio every day and try to craft the next song for somebody.

But that doesn't mean that artists and producers can't win this award. It just means that we're going to have certain thresholds within the award that need to be met in order to prove within your discography that you set out to be a professional songwriter as well.

Stewart: People may have questions about how they enter. What they have to do to enter in the OEP [Online Entry Process] is to have a minimum of five songs in which they're listed as a non-performing, non-producing songwriter or co-writer.

Bogart: On top of that, you can submit up to nine songs each year on behalf of yourself to show what you accomplished that year. You can put forth eight songs; you can put forth seven; you can put as many songs as you want — up to nine — in there. But five songs must demonstrate that you were not an artist nor a producer when you wrote them. For five songs, you have to be a non-performing, non-producing songwriter.

On top of that, you can put up to four more songs [on which] you were a producer and artist as well. Again, that is to make sure we are honoring people that the songwriting community views as songwriters first and foremost. You can be an artist, as long as you're [respectively] a songwriter and artist, not an artist and songwriter.

Stewart: We want people to understand that there are people behind these songs, who create a piece of art from nothing. We want to make sure they're recognized. It's an amazing profession.

The GRAMMY remains the highest honor in music — bar none. Through that lens, why does the GRAMMY for Songwriter Of The Year matter to the music industry and larger music community?

Bogart: The Songwriter Of The Year GRAMMY would be the greatest honor a songwriter could achieve in any year. To be honored by your peers for not just one song that you wrote, or an album that you worked on, but for the meaningful contribution and breadth of diversity of your songwriting across all genres in one given year would be the highest achievement that any songwriter could achieve — period.

Stewart: We're honoring their comprehensive body of songs released during the eligibility year. It just sheds such a light on the talent of those individual writers. It's a lot to be proud of for these esteemed creators.

New Categories For The 2023 GRAMMYs Announced: Songwriter Of The Year, Best Video Game Soundtrack, Best Song For Social Change & More Changes

 The 2023 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 65th GRAMMY Awards, returns to Los Angeles' Crypto.com Arena on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, and will broadcast live on the CBS Television Network and stream live and on-demand on Paramount+ at 8-11:30 p.m. ET/5-8:30 p.m. PT.

The eligibility period for the 65th GRAMMY Awards is Friday, Oct. 1, 2021 – Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. All eligible awards entries must be released within this timeframe.

The Recording Academy and GRAMMY.com do not endorse any particular artist, submission or nominee over another. The results of the GRAMMY Awards, including winners and nominees, are solely dependent on the Recording Academy’s Voting Membership.

Remembering Christine McVie Of Fleetwood Mac Through Her GRAMMY Triumphs, From 'Rumours' Onward
Christine McVie in 1969

Photo: Evening Standard / Stringer via Getty Images

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Remembering Christine McVie Of Fleetwood Mac Through Her GRAMMY Triumphs, From 'Rumours' Onward

Unflashy and undramatic, McVie's contributions to Fleetwood Mac led to some of their greatest contributions to popular song — with two GRAMMY wins to boot.

GRAMMYs/Dec 2, 2022 - 08:32 pm

In an acclaimed career that spanned more than half a century, Christine McVie staked her claim as one of the most potent singer-songwriters of her generation. A beloved original member of the seminal rock group Fleetwood Mac, with whom she sang, wrote and played keyboard, she and her bandmates catapulted to fame in the early '70s, scoring GRAMMY gold and influencing generations of musicians.

"As a GRAMMY Award winner and 2018 Person of the Year honoree, the Recording Academy has been honored to celebrate Christine McVie and her work with Fleetwood Mac throughout her legendary career," Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. stated. In an announcement of her death, the remaining members of Fleetwood Mac mourned her passing by saying "She was truly one-of-a-kind, special, and talented beyond measure."

McVie, who passed away Nov. 30 at 79 after a brief illness, may have not been as flashy, or as dramatic, as fellow Fleetwood Mac members Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. But McVie's contributions to the band led to some of their greatest contributions to popular song, with two GRAMMY wins among seven nominations.

The tour de force that is Rumours is one of the most acclaimed and best-selling albums of all time and an inductee into GRAMMY Hall Of Fame. The masterpiece earned McVie her first GRAMMY (for Album of the Year no less) at the 20th Annual Ceremony in 1978, also earning a nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance By A Group.

Fleetwood Mac's 11th studio album, Rumours was actually McVie's 7th album with the band after making her name in the English blues scene, rising through the ranks as part of the band Chicken Shack, and even releasing a solo album.

In 1971, McVie joined Fleetwood Mac alongside her then-husband John McVie. The potent combination of the McVies, along with Mick Fleetwood, Buckingham and Nicks, catalyzed and detonated into the stratospheric Rumours.

"It's hard to say (what it was like) because we were looking at it from the inside," McVie said about the iconic album earlier this year.  "We were having a blast and it felt incredible to us that we were writing those songs. That's all I can say about it, really."

McVie's coyness may stem from the fact that prior to its production, Christine and John divorced after eight years of marriage. Meanwhile, Buckingham and Nicks were having a tumultuous relationship themselves. 

McVie is credited as sole songwriter on a handful of instant-classic Rumours tracks, all written during a perilous moment. "I thought I was drying up," explained McVie. "I was practically panicking because every time I sat down at a piano, nothing came out. Then, one day,  I just sat down and wrote in the studio, and the four-and-a-half songs of mine on the album are a result of that."

That includes "Don't Stop," an ironically peppy ode considering the turmoil McVie and her bandmates were grappling with at the time. With lyrics that staunchly proclaim "Yesterday's gone!," the song was reportedly written as a plea from Christine to John to move on from their relationship.

"I dare say, if I hadn't joined Fleetwood Mac, we might still be together. I just think it's impossible to work in the band with your spouse," McVie later said. John, meanwhile, was oblivious to the song's message during its production and early acclaim. He revealed in 2015: "I've been playing it for years and it wasn't until somebody told me, 'Chris wrote that about you.' Oh really?"

John was also equally ignorant to the source inspiration of "You Make Loving Fun"; McVie told him the joyful song ("Sweet wonderful you/ You make me happy with the things you do") was about her dog. In reality, it was about an affair with the band's lighting designer.

"It was a therapeutic move," McVie later mused of her lyrical penchant for hiding brutal honesty in plain sight. "The only way we could get this stuff out was to say it, and it came out in a way that was difficult. Imagine trying to sing those songs onstage with the people you're singing them about."

When McVie was asked earlier this year what song she written she was most proud of, it was an easy answer: the Rumours track "Songbird."

"For some peculiar reason, I wrote "Songbird" in half an hour; I've never been able to figure out how I did that," she told People. "I woke up in the middle of the night and the song was there in my brain, chords, lyrics, melody, everything. I played it in my bedroom and didn't have anything to tape it on. So I had to stay awake all night so I wouldn't forget it and I came in the next morning to the studio and had (producer) Ken Callait put it on a 2-track. That was how the song ended up being. I don't know where that came from."

McVie's most recent GRAMMY nominations were for her contributions to The Dance, Fleetwood Mac's 1997 live album that featured her stand-outs from Rumours along with the McVie penned-tracks "Say You Love Me" and "Everywhere."

The album earned McVie and the band GRAMMY nominations for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal (for the Lindsay Buckingham-written "The Chain") and  Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal (for "Silver Springs," penned by Stevie Nicks). It also landed a nomination for Best Pop Album. It was her final album with the band before a 15-year self-imposed retirement.

In her final years, McVie was a vital member of Fleetwood Mac, including in 2018 when they became the first band honored as MusicCare's Person of the Year.

Speaking to the Recording Academy before the ceremony, Nicks expressed that her initial goal upon joining the group was a humble one: "Christine and I made a pact. We said we will never, ever be treated as a second-class citizen amongst our peers."

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15 Must-Hear New Albums Out This Month: SZA, Neil Young, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, NCT Dream & More
(L-R): A Boogie wit da Hoodie, SZA, Jacquees, Metro Boomin, Rivers Cuomo of Weezer

Photos (L-R): Joseph Okpako/WireImage; Tim Mosenfelder/FilmMagic; Prince Williams/Wireimage; Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Justin Combs Events; Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

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15 Must-Hear New Albums Out This Month: SZA, Neil Young, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, NCT Dream & More

Rounding out the year, here are the can't-miss releases and massive new albums dropping in December 2022 from Weezer, Metro Boomin, NOFX, Jacquees, Ab-Soul, and many others.

GRAMMYs/Dec 2, 2022 - 07:20 pm

And just like that, 2022 is almost done — but not before we get another round of must-hear albums. December's slate of releases is set to send the year out on a high note, with something for all tastes.

This month heralds much-anticipated returns from R&B innovator SZA, with S.O.S., and rap super-producer Metro Boomin, with the mysterious HEROES & VILLAINS. December's riches also include Bad MFs from West Coast hip-hop supergroup Mount Westmore, indie-rock lifers Weezer dropping SZNZ: Winter and a loaded, possibly final album from punk-rock misfits NOFX. There's also new-generation R&B (RINI’s Ultraviolet EP and Jacquees' Sincerely For You), dark techno (Terence Fixmer's Shifting Signals), soul-baring indie (Sophie Jamieson's Choosing), and much more.

Below, check out a guide to the 15 essential albums dropping just in time for the festive season. — Jack Tregoning

Contributed reporting by Ashlee Mitchell

SZA - S.O.S.

Release date: TBD

Five years after her GRAMMY-nominated debut album, Ctrl, it's about to be SZA season all over again. While details are still pending, the alternative R&B star is expected to drop her second album, S.O.S., this month, following the single "Shirt" and its teaser follow-up, "PSA."

In a revealing Billboard cover story, SZA spoke frankly about the pressure she feels to release the album while navigating the music industry and her fans' expectations. As always with SZA, the music itself speaks volumes, and the darkly seductive "Shirt" (accompanied by a music video co-starring SZA and Academy Award nominee LaKeith Stanfield in a riff on Bonnie and Clyde) suggests S.O.S. will be something to savor. — J.T.

Related: Ari Lennox's Age/Sex/Location Explores Online Dating, Never Settling & Old School Romance

Metro Boomin - HEROES & VILLAINS

Release date: December 2

To prepare fans for his new album, HEROES & VILLAINS, sought-after rap producer Metro Boomin went all-out on a short film starring his collaborators Young Thug and Gunna alongside celebrated actors Morgan Freeman and LaKeith Stanfield. Following that flex, the artist's first solo LP in four years is set to feature a who's who of rap, with an exact tracklist still to be announced.

Metro Boomin's previous album, 2018's Not All Heroes Wear Capes, featured the likes of Travis Scott, 21 Savage and Gucci Mane rapping over the producer's dark, trap-centric beats. This time around, he's keeping his cards close to his chest, slyly sharing a video of the studio sessions on his Instagram with the caption, "When the sequel is even better than the first." All will be revealed on Dec. 2. — J.T.

Related: For The Record: Kendrick Lamar's 'Good Kid, M.A.A.d City' Launched A New Era In Storytelling & West Coast Rap

Neil Young - Harvest (50th Anniversary Edition)

Release date: December 2

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Neil Young's seminal folk-rock album Harvest, released to great acclaim in 1972. Featuring indelible songs like "Heart of Gold," "Old Man" and "The Needle and The Damage Done," Harvest was the best-selling album of that year in the US.

To celebrate the milestone, Young is releasing a special anniversary edition, available in either CD or vinyl box-set. Extras include a new two-hour documentary called Harvest Time, an official release of Young's BBC In Concert performance, and a hardcover book featuring never-before-seen photos and notes by legendary rock photographer Joel Bernstein. Consider this the festive gift for the Neil Young completist in your life. — J.T.

After breaking out with his 2021 debut album, Constellations, RINI returns this month with the seven-track EP, Ultraviolet. The Filipino-Australian R&B talent, who now calls Los Angeles home, pairs his indelible voice with slinky, late-night production that pulls the listener close.

Ahead of Ultraviolet, RINI has released the singles "Haunt Me" and "Selfish," featuring GRAMMY-winning rapper BEAM, which pair his themes of love and longing with gauzy, head-nodding beats. "I want to be able to show the world and myself that I'm growing, not just in music, but as a person," RINI told Uproxx in May. On Ultraviolet, which also features the slick bedroom jams "Something to Feel" and "Your Eyes," that evolution is evident. — J.T.

Related: R&B Isn't Dead: Listen To 51 Songs By Summer Walker, Josh Levi & More Artists Who Are Pushing The Genre Forward

NOFX - Double Album

Release date: December 2

SoCal punk veterans NOFX have always kept up a prolific output, and this month the band returns with their 15th LP, Double Album. Following last year's Single Album, the conveniently titled Double Album features 10 new songs with perfectly NOFX titles like "Punk Rock Cliché" and "Is It Too Soon if Time Is Relative?" Lead single "Darby Crashing Your Party" showcases the band at their hard-riffing, rowdy best, with frontman Fat Mike clearly relishing lyrical volleys like, "A middle-class clown waging lower class war/A Beverly Hillbilly peeled off the floor."

In a statement announcing the new album, Fat Mike revealed the songs were recorded at the same time as Single Album, then finished off later. "I think it's a very enjoyable album, and maybe our funniest," he added. It could also be NOFX's parting gift — responding to a fan’s Instagram comment, Fat Mike announced that 2023 will be the band's "last year" after an "amazing run." — J.T.

Related: 5 Women Essential To Punk: Exene Cervenka, Poly Styrene, Alice Bag, Kathleen Hanna & The Linda Lindas

Terence Fixmer - Shifting Signals

Release date: December 2

French producer Terence Fixmer has been one of the most intriguing figures in the electronic music scene for well over a decade. Over six past solo albums, numerous EPs and standalone releases, Fixmer has perfected a dark, gritty sound that melds techno with the looser industrial spirit of electronic body music (EBM).

Fixmer's seventh album, Shifting Signals, continues in that vein while allowing for new textures to creep in. "On each album I aim for something different but I retain the core sound, which is always there and often dark and melancholic," the producer wrote in a statement. "Sometimes the balance tips slightly and on this album, I'm striving to be freer and open myself up more to melody."

That openness to different modes is showcased on the atmospheric, piano-led "Synthetic Minds," which evokes a John Carpenter film score, while fellow singles "Corne de Brume" and "No Latitude for Errors" are built for heady techno dance floors. — J.T.

Related: Going Underground: House DJ Claude VonStroke On Making Soul Decisions & Keeping Electronic Music Grimy

Sophie Jamieson - Choosing

Release date: December 2

On her debut album, Choosing, London-based singer-songwriter Sophie Jamieson doesn't shy from difficult or uncomfortable emotions. Lead single, "Sink" lays bare her push-pull relationship with alcohol over a lulling bed of piano and drums. That theme of emotional vulnerability carries through the LP's 11 songs, which foreground Jamieson's enchanting voice and plain-spoken lyrics.

"The title of this album is so important," Jamieson wrote in a statement. "Without it, this might sound like another record about self-destruction and pain, but at heart, it's about hope, and finding strength. It's about finding the light at the end of the tunnel and crawling towards it." Choosing arrives via Bella Union, the tastemaking label led by Simon Raymonde, formerly of Scottish dream pop band Cocteau Twins. — J.T.

Related: Hear The 2022 Nominees For Best Alternative Music Performance At The 2023 GRAMMY Awards

White Lung - Premonition

Release date: December 2

Canadian punk rockers White Lung weren't expecting to take six years to follow up 2016's celebrated Paradise. As the story goes, the band got together in their hometown of Vancouver in 2017, expecting to rip out their final album before parting ways. In the studio, frontwoman Mish Barber-Way discovered she was pregnant with her first child — which, along with a global pandemic and another child, put the album plans on ice.

Fast forward to 2022, and White Lung's fifth and final album, Premonition, is finally here. With all that extra time to marinate, Premonition is a thrilling return from the trio, mining deeper themes with the same raucous, kick-down-the-door energy that fans expect. The album opens furiously with "Hysteric", and also features the singles "Date Night" and "Tomorrow," which match Barber-Way's impassioned vocals with muscular punk-rock riffing.

"We felt like this record was the right endpoint and we are happy the songs will finally be released," the band wrote in a statement. — J.T.

Related: Like Turnstile And Code Orange? 10 More Bands Expanding The Boundaries Of Hardcore

A Boogie Wit da Hoodie - Me vs. Myself

Release date: December 9

New York's A Boogie wit da Hoodie has been steadily hyping the release of his fourth album, Me Vs Myself, throughout 2022. Originally scheduled for November, the album will drop this month, right in time for A Boogie's hometown album launch at the iconic Apollo Theater in Harlem.

Me Vs Myself was preceded by a pair of singles, "Take Shots," featuring Tory Lanez, and "Ballin," which both showcase the rapper's supremely confident flow and wavy beats. While the full tracklist is not yet confirmed, A Boogie's previous album, ARTIST 2.0, covered the R&B and rap spectrum with guests like Summer Walker, Khalid, Young Thug and Lil Uzi Vert, without pulling focus from the main star. The rapper has already lined up dates for the Me Vs Myself tour stretching into 2023, so it's a great time to bet on A Boogie. — J.T.

Related: Meet The 2022 Nominees For Best Rap Album At The 2023 GRAMMY Awards

Mount Westmore - Snoop, Cube, 40, $hort

Release date: December 9

When living legends Snoop Dogg, E-40, Too Short and Ice Cube formed the supergroup Mount Westmore, West Coast rap heads took notice. After several hints that a collaborative album was coming, Mount Westmore made the surprise decision to release their debut, Bad MFs, exclusively as an NFT via the blockchain-based platform Gala Music.

The album arrives on streaming services this month under a new title, Snoop, Cube, 40, $hort, featuring additional songs not included on the NFT version. A spirit of loose fun and ride-or-die friendship carries through all the singles released so far, including the swaggering "Bad MFs" and the bass-heavy, light-hearted "Big Subwoofer." As Snoop put it to HotNewHipHop, "You bring the legends of the West Coast together, something great will always happen." — J.T.

Related: Take The Power Back: How Rage Against The Machine's Debut LP Created Rap-Rock With A Message

Leland Whitty - Anyhow

Release date: December 9

Best known as a member of Toronto-based jazz ensemble BADBADNOTGOOD, Leland Whitty is a true multi-instrumentalist. On his seven-track solo release, Anyhow, Whitty oversaw all production and composition, moving deftly between guitar, synthesizer, woodwinds and strings.

Following his scores for indie films Disappearance at Clifton Hill and Learn to Swim, Whitty was inspired to combine cinematic composition with rock and jazz instrumentation in his own project. Lead single "Awake" perfectly strikes that balance with twinkling keys, mournful strings and an insistent drum beat, while follow-up "Glass Moon" conjures a similarly beguiling mood. Members of BADBADNOTGOOD and Whitty's musician brother also joined the studio sessions, making Anyhow a family affair. — J.T.

Related: Robert Glasper & Terrace Martin On Removing Their Egos And Creating Their GRAMMY-Nominated Collaboration Dinner Party: Dessert

Jacquees - Sincerely For You

Release date: December 16

On "Say Yea", the sultry bedroom anthem he dropped back in May, Jacquees croons, "Girl, you overdue for some romantic s—." That simple line is something of a mission statement for the R&B casanova, whose third album, Sincerely For You, drops this month.

The LP features "Say Yea" alongside 16 more R&B jams, including singles "Tipsy," which captures the singer's blurry plea to a lover, and the smoothly boastful "Still That." Elsewhere, Sincerely For You offers up guest turns from Future (who also executive produced the album), 21 Savage and Tory Lanez, plus the R&B dream team of 6lack and Summer Walker on "Tell Me It's Over." On his socials, Jacquees dedicated the album to "everybody who been there for me along the way" and promised to deliver only "real R&B." — J.T.

Related: Durand Bernarr's 'Wanderlust': The R&B Singer Explains Why He's "Constantly In A State Of Arriving"

Ab-Soul - Herbert

Release date: December 16

Six hard-won years after his last album, the divisive, conspiracy theory-heavy Do What Thou Wilt., Ab-Soul has found his drive again. The rapper from Carson, California returns this month with a deeply personal album that shares his birth name, Herbert.

Ab-Soul's new outlook was previewed in lead single "Do Better," which reckons with the scars of his past and looks to the future with powerful clarity. The next single, "Gang'Nem," featuring Houston rapper FRE$H and produced by fellow Top Dawg Entertainment mainstay Sounwave, also revisits his upbringing and pays respect to L.A. street culture over a woozy, hard-hitting beat.

For fans of Ab-Soul's dense lyrical style and gravelly flow, Herbert is an eagerly-anticipated return to the rap limelight. — J.T.

Related: From "Rap Sh!t" To "Pistol" And "Treme": 8 Must-See TV Series For Music Lovers

NCT DREAM - Candy

Release date: December 19

NCT Dream, the youngest sub-group of Neo Culture Technology (NCT), has seen exponential growth since they rebranded as a fixed unit in 2020. The septet is set to release a winter special EP called Candy on Dec. 19. The mini-album's six tracks, include lead single "Candy," which was originally performed by H.O.T. in 1996. The album will be the first holiday release for any NCT sub-group, following a slew of successful releases from NCT Dream this year.

The group released their second studio album, Glitch, in March 2022, followed by their repackaged Beatbox in May. Their first feature film, NCT Dream The Movie: In a Dream, released worldwide on Nov. 30 and Dec. 3 and documents the opening days of their tour in Seoul. The group will finish their tour in Japan by February 2023. — Ashlee Mitchell

Related: K-Pop Icon B.I Isn't Afraid To Explore Growth And Freedom On 'Love Or Loved Pt. 1'

Weezer - SZNZ: Winter

Release date: December 21

This has been a remarkably good year to be a Weezer fan. Always pleasingly prolific, in 2022 the band decided to release a four-EP series under the name SZNZ, each timed to coincide with a new season.

Following Spring, Summer and Autumn editions, SZNZ: Winter arrives just in time for peak coziness. While the complete tracklist is not yet known, Weezer performed the EP in full for an intimate crowd at the Troubadour in Los Angeles (using their favored alias Goat Punishment), with new highlights including "I Want A Dog" and "The One That Got Away."

While frontman Rivers Cuomo has described SZNZ: Winter as having a sad vibe that suits snowed-in days, you can always count on Weezer to cut the melancholy with some power-pop verve. — J.T.

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GRAMMY Rewind: Dua Lipa Champions Happiness As She Accepts Her GRAMMY For Best Pop Vocal Album In 2021
Dua Lipa at the 2021 GRAMMYs.

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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GRAMMY Rewind: Dua Lipa Champions Happiness As She Accepts Her GRAMMY For Best Pop Vocal Album In 2021

As Dua Lipa held her new GRAMMY, she reflected on how "jaded" she felt before putting out 'Future Nostalgia' — and how the album taught her the importance of happiness.

GRAMMYs/Dec 2, 2022 - 06:00 pm

Three-time GRAMMY-winner Dua Lipa already had two golden gramophones to her name going into the 2021 GRAMMYs. But her third win — and her first for Best Pop Vocal Album — may have been the happiest of them all.

In this episode of GRAMMY Rewind, revisit the special moment when Dua Lipa took the stage to claim her trophy for her album, Future Nostalgia. The second studio album of the singer's career, Future Nostalgia earned her six nominations, including the coveted Album Of The Year as well as Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year for lead single "Don't Start Now."

As she held her new trophy, Lipa reflected on what she's learned through the process of making Future Nostalgia, making special mention of the power of happiness, and putting out happy music.

"I felt really jaded at the end of my last album, where I felt like I only had to make sad music to feel like it mattered," she explained. "And I'm just so grateful and so honored, because happiness is something that we all deserve, and it's something that we all need in our lives."

The singer also threw a spotlight on her fans, team and co-writers during her time onstage. "This means so much," she concluded, adding a shout-out to her family and friends who were watching from home. "I love you, thank you."

Press play on the video above to watch Dua Lipa's complete acceptance speech at the 63rd GRAMMY Awards, and keep checking back to GRAMMY.com every Friday for more new episodes of GRAMMY Rewind. 

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