As the year comes to a close the annual GRAMMY Awards is once again peaking on the horizon. The Recording Academy officially released its 2020 nominees Wednesday and we’re excited to see quite a few familiar names on the list.
We’re lucky to work with a roster of artists who continue to make their mark and push the boundaries within the music industry. This year, several Ernie Ball artists are being recognized for their recent releases. Check out the full list of nominees below.
Album Of The Year, When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go
Record Of The year, “Bad Guy”
Song Of The Year, “Bad Guy”
Best New Artist
Best Solo Pop Performance, “Bad Guy”
Best Pop Vocal Album,
When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go
If 2019 was the year of anything, it was the year of Billie Eilish. Los Angeles based sibling duo Billie and Finneas O’Connell have taken the globe by storm, racking hundreds of millions of streams before even releasing a proper record. When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go finally arrived in late March and is still continuing to dominate the charts today. At just 17-years-old, Eilish’s six nominations make her the youngest artist to achieve nominations in all of the Grammy Awards’ top four categories. Finneas didn’t fall far behind, tallying five nominations of his own. Listen to the history-making record below.
Finneas relies on Hybrid Slinky electric guitar strings, Regular Slinky short scale on bass, and Earthwood Light 80/20 Bronze on acoustic. Billie keeps things light with the black nylon ukulele strings.
Album Of The Year, Father of the Bride
Best Rock Song, “Harmony Hall”
Best Alternative Music Album, Father of the Bride
After a six-year hiatus filled with plenty of songwriting and cultural reflection, Vampire Weekend returned this year with their fourth studio album, Father of the Bride. Using their platform as a space for social change, the new record nominated for Album Of The Year boasts melodies surrounding world peace and environmental justice, showing the trio’s evolution since releasing its self-titled debut over a decade ago.
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album, Look Now
Having graced the music industry since the late 1970s, Elvis Costello is continuing to make his mark with his artistically crafted rock sounds. After stepping away for a few years, Costello returned in late 2018 with Look Now — his 30th studio full-length (yes, 30th). The record is the fifth created with backing band The Imposters and was met with much praise, having Rolling Stone call it “sharp and sophisticated,” proving that Costello remains one of the greatest talents of the modern rock era.
Best Rock Performance, “Pretty Waste”
London bred duo Rosie Bones and Carmen Vandenberg of BONES UK have shaken up the rock scene this year with their unapologetic tracks confronting topics ranging from toxic masculinity to sexism within the music industry. Nominated for Best Rock Performance, “Pretty Waste” is a “dizzying anti-anthem driven by blistering beats and Rosie’s haunting vocal delivery.” Having only made their self-titled debut in mid-July, BONES UK proves to be a group we have only seen the surface of – and we’re excited to see what’s underneath. Watch the video for the powerful track above.
Best Metal Performance, “Bow Down”
Best Rock Album, Trauma
American metalcore band I Prevail presented their sophomore release in late March upon much anticipation. Trauma immediately climbed the charts, making it the fourth best-selling album of the week in the US during its release. The record is up for Best Rock Album and it’s heavy first single “Bow Down” is up for Best Metal Performance alongside fellow Ernie Ballers TOOL. Who shall prevail? Well, both are top contenders in our opinion.
I Prevail rely on Skinny Top Heavy Bottom cobalt seven-string guitar strings.
Best Metal Performance, “7emptest”
Best Rock Song, “Fear Inoculum”
Arguably one of the most highly anticipated returns of 2019, TOOL ushered in their fifth studio album this year with the title track “Fear Inoculum.” The 10 minute ballad left fans in a flurry of emotion upon release, unsure of the new direction but eagerly waiting for more. Both the album and lengthy track “7emptest” secured a nomination, and we’re almost certain the group will walk away with one of the golden gramophones — if not both.
TOOl achieves their unparalleled sound with a diverse range of strings. They use Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottom Paradigm, Beefy Paradigm, and Not Even Slinky Paradigm strings on their six-string guitars. On their seven strings, they use Regular Paradigm 7 Strings and Skinny Top Heavy Bottom Paradigm 7 Strings. On bass, the band chooses Hybrid Slinky Bass strings.
Best Rock Song, “Give Yourself A Try”
No strangers to award ceremonies, genre-defying rock group The 1975 have picked up the nomination for Best Rock Song. “Give Yourself A Try” comes off their 2018 release, A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships, and is laced with sarcastic lyrics about life in your 20s while being soaked in overdriven leads and pulsating basslines. Watch the official video for the track above.
Bring Me The Horizon
Best Rock Album, amo
Amassing a dedicated following in the early 2000s, Bring Me The Horizon’s fan base has stuck with them throughout the years, and in 2019, they prove to be bigger than ever. They welcomed their sixth studio full length and are celebrating with their first GRAMMY nomination for Best Rock Album. amo shows the band’s progression over the past 15 years and holds a new sense of maturity. The record shies away from their deathcore roots but carries a diverse palette of sounds that can be enjoyed by the masses.
Cage the Elephant
Best Rock Album, Social Cues
It seems that whatever Cage The Elephant touches turns to gold because the Kentucky natives are once again being honored on music’s biggest stage. Their previous record, Tell Me I’m Pretty, took home the GRAMMY for Best Rock Album in 2016. Fast forward three years and the group has once again found itself in the running. Listen to Cage the Elephant’s Social Cues below and see what all the hype is about.
Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
Best Traditional Blues Album, Kingfish
Born 10 miles from the crossroads of Highway 61 and 49, Delta blues runs deep in the blood of visionary guitarist Christone “Kingfish” Ingram. Kingfish has been publicly praised by Ernie Ball legend and mentor, Buddy Guy, for his album Fresh Out featuring Bootsy Collins. His latest release, Kingfish, was met with the same praise and is nominated for Best Traditional Blues Album. Listen to the full record below.
Best Contemporary Blues Album, Venom & Faith
Atlanta born, Nashville based sisters Rebecca and Meghan Lovell of Larkin Poe have secured roots in the American and Blues scene. Having backed fellow Ernie Ball artists Elvis Costello and Conor Oberst, their talents have finally caught the attention of many. Their record Venom & Faith, nominated for Best Contemporary Blues Album, is nothing shy of true foot-tapping gold. Listen to the album below.
Best Reggae Album, Rapture
Mikayla Simpson is only 19, and she has already exploded onto the reggae scene under her pseudonym, Koffee. Coming out of Spanish Town, Jamaica, her career was kick-started when her first single, “Legend” was acknowledged by Usain Bolt, whom the song was dedicated to, and whom she later performed the song for. But, that is merely the beginning for the booming musical career of Koffee. Though she only has one EP and a slew of singles out, Koffee is, without a doubt, a rising star to keep an eye on.
Best Rock Performance, “Too Bad”
Rival Sons‘ 2019 release, Feral Roots, was met with much acclaim. The record was produced alongside GRAMMY winner Dave Cobb in Nashville’s famed RCA Studio A, and Alabama’s equally notable Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. With a mashup that legendary, it was only fitting Rival Sons grabbed a nom themself. Listen to the track “Too Bad” up for Best Rock Performance above.
Rival Sons rock out with Hybrid Slinky Flatwound bass strings. For acoustic, they use Earthwood Medium Phosphor Bronze, Medium Aluminum Bronze, and Everlast Medium coated phosphor bronze. They also rely on the Ernie Ball Music Man St. Vincent and StingRay guitars.
Dan + Shay
Best Country Duo/Group Performance, “Speechless”
Best Country Song, “Speechless”
If the names Dan + Shay ring a bell, that’s because the duo stands as one of the most popular groups in country music today. Their single “Speechless” has surpassed 185 million listens on Spotify — yet that’s not even their most popular track. The song has secured two nominations for Best Country Song and Best Country Duo/Group Performance. Grab a tissue and listen to the heartfelt ballad above.
For KING & COUNTRY
Best Contemporary Christian Music Album, Burn the Ships
Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song, “God Only Knows”
Christian rock group for KING & COUNTRY has secured the hearts of many. Their single “God Only Knows” with the legendary Dolly Parton is a favorite among the faith-based music scene and has left for KING & COUNTRY with millions of followers — along with the nomination for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song. Their 2018 record, Burn The Ships, is also nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album. Listen to the full record below.
Best Reggae Album, Mass Manipulation
Bearing witness to the accelerating negativity of global affairs, Steel Pulse emerges with musical vengeance to halt the disarray of humanity. Their 2019 release, Mass Manipulation, reflects “four decades of bettering mankind through music” and is nominated for Best Reggae Album. Steel Pulse is revered by the younger generation of artists and remains a powerhouse on stage around the globe within the reggae scene. Listen to Mass Manipulation below.
Header image courtesy of Riot Magazine.