Never Tell Us the Odds

Handicapping 2016's Seattle Grammy Nominees

Will this be Death Cab for Cutie's year?

By Seth Sommerfeld January 22, 2016 Published in the February 2016 issue of Seattle Met

Honeybeardeluxepacksquare courtesy subpop psd6bo

Image: Sub Pop

Best Americana Album

The Firewatcher’s Daughter  Brandi Carlile

While Carlile is a Seattle institution, she seems like a plucky fresh-faced newcomer in a loaded Best Americana Album field. Every other artist nominated has won a Grammy or 13 (in Emmylou Harris’s case) during their career. Odds: 30 to 1. 

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album

Guitar in the Space Age!  Bill Frissell

The Best Contemporary Instrumental Album is always a wild card. Don’t believe us? Past winners include Burt Bacharach, the Beastie Boys, Peter Frampton, and Chris Thile. So yeah, Frisell’s interstellar jazz shredding appears to have just as good a chance as the other nominees, because who knows? Odds: 5 to 1. 

Best Orchestral Performance
Best Engineered Album (Classical)
Best Classical Instrumental Solo

Henri Dutilleux’s Métaboles, L’arbre des songes, and Symphony No. 2 (Le double) Seattle Symphony

The resounding critical success of John Luther Adams’s 2015 Grammy-winning Become Ocean has made the Seattle Symphony a cool kid on the national classical scene—none other than Taylor Swift loved it so much she gifted the ensemble a cool $50K—so there’s a decent chance the symphony makes it back-to-back years with a win. Odds: 3 to 1. 

Best Rock Album

Kintsugi  Death Cab for Cutie

How the #[email protected]% are Death Cab for Cutie and Slipknot up for the same award? This marks the first time DCFC has been nominated for Best Rock Album, not Best Alternative Music Album. With Muse and Best New Artist nominee (and dude we’ve never heard of) James Bay as the main competition, the moody tunes of Kintsugi could land Death Cab its first Grammy. Odds: 3 to 1. 

Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package

Father John Misty’s I Love You Honeybear (Limited Edition Deluxe Vinyl) Sub Pop

In terms of aesthetics, I Love You, Honeybear deserves to win this Grammy. The popup-book-like diorama of Stacey Rozich’s hedonistic cartoons perfectly fit the album’s tone, and the gatefold playing the title track when open—like one of those musical birthday cards—was a stroke of brilliance. But the fancy packaging turned out to literally be a record-breaking device that warped the vinyl. What good is packaging sans the music? Odds: 50 to 1.



Here's a playlist of 2016's local Grammy-nominated musicians.

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