Christmas is still more than two weeks away, but some of the music industry’s best and brightest just got the ultimate Christmas present today: a Grammy nomination. The full list of nominations was released today and is filled with a lot of duh moments (so much Taylor Swift) but also a few surprises (like Kendrick Lamar snagging even more nominations than Tay).
Lucky for you, the nominations have come out just before all that holiday traveling that’s about to happen. If you’ve been slacking off on the new music front, here’s a great opportunity to listen to some new, critically acclaimed tunes. Here we’re highlighting all the nominees in the Album of the Year category. Save all these on Spotify to make that inevitable traffic jam just a little bit more bearable this year.
Sound & Color by Alabama Shakes: This isn’t the first nomination for the blues-inspired rock band from Athens, Alabama. They were also up for a couple of nominations back in 2013 for Best Rock Performance, Best New Artist and Best Album Package. While touring Europe back in 2012 they opened for Jack White, with whom they definitely share a musical style with. Highlights from Sound & Color (released back in April) include “Don’t Wanna Fight,””Gimme All Your Love” and “Future People.”
1989 by Taylor Swift: We’re going to go ahead and guess that a few of you may have heard of this little-known album by T. Swift. Full of songs for literally every emotion, this album is something akin to the ultimate girl-power playlist. The only bummer here is that you won’t be finding it on Spotify anytime soon. Taylor’s album is currently only available to purchase on iTunes, but you can rest assured it’s well worth the $13. If you’re feeling skeptical (or cheap), listen to a few of her biggest singles via her epic music videos. “Bad Blood” and “Blank Space” are the perfect introductory combo for a T. Swift newbie.
Traveller by Chris Stapleton: If you’re looking for a little bit of country in your life, Traveller should be making its way through your speakers ASAP. A far cry from the heavily pop-influenced songs we listen to today, Chris Stapleton is an ode to a more bluegrass sort of style of country music’s past. If you’re feeling a lot of feelings this Christmas, this album is a little bit like the male, country music version of Adele’s 24 – you’ll cry, sing at the top of your lungs and then play it again.
Beauty Behind the Madness by The Weeknd: We’re guessing even if you haven’t heard his music yet, you probably know the Weeknd via his already-iconic hairstyle. But his music is 100% as entertaining as his beauty choices. Songs like “The Hills” and “Can’t Feel My Face” were both major summer anthems, but they’ll also work just as well to help warm up a winter road trip. Full disclosure though: While this album is full of tunes that’ll make you do as much dancing as you can while strapped into a seatbelt, it does make a significant number of references to sex, drugs and alcohol, so it might not be the best choice if you’ve got some little ones in the backseat.
To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar: When the landscape gets dull and the traffic is horrific, Kendrick’s album is the perfect way to pump up the energy. As mentioned before, Kendrick actually snagged more nominations this year than T. Swift (AKA the Queen of the Grammys). With foot-tapping beats, a super smooth flow and catchy choruses, songs like “King Kunta” and “Alright” are two of the album’s standout singles. Similar to The Weeknd’s album, the parental advisory on To Pimp a Butterfly is not without a reason.
Tweet us your favorite 2015 album @BritandCo!