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Golden Arrow

The student news site of Woodbridge High School

Golden Arrow

The student news site of Woodbridge High School

Golden Arrow

The 2024 Grammy Nominees: A Preview for the Upcoming Awards Ceremony

With the 66th annual awards on the horizon, here is who is in contention

Popular music can always serve as a fun source of debate. As highly anticipated songs and albums drop from our favorite artists, phrases such as “album of the year” or “best song of the year” get thrown around a lot, often with no lack of differing opinions and perspectives. While these debates will forever exist, the Grammy awards nonetheless do their best to settle them. Feb. 4th will mark the 66th edition of the award show, and with that date coming up soon, the Golden Arrow provides a full list of this year’s nominees in the major categories. Additionally, we’ll also take note of the contenders in each major genre. With a wide range of music spanning all the way from late 2022, here are the major nominees for the 2024 Grammy Awards.

On February 4 2024, the Grammy awards will be held to celebrate the biggest stars in music. (Mahati Iyer)

Album of the Year:

World Music Radio – Jon Batiste: Released on Aug. 18, 2023, the seventh full-length album from Batiste comes as a follow-up to his 2022 Album of the Year winning project “We Are.” Over his 21 tracks, Batiste fuses modern pop music with his preferred style of jazz and soul while also integrating hip-hop influences through the guest appearances of rappers JID and Lil Wayne. Besides those two, the album includes an extensive list of features, perhaps most notably Lana Del Rey on the final song “Life Lesson.” “World Music Radio” didn’t see overwhelming commercial success, peaking only at #104 on the US Billboard 200 Albums, but still is still in the running for possibly Batiste’s second win in this category. 

the record – boygenius: This project serves as the first full-length album from the group boygenius, a trio consisting of Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus. Released on March 31, 2023, the album spans just 11 tracks, and sees the group cultivate a consistent indie rock and folk sound throughout its relatively short 42-minute run time. Despite peaking at #4 on the US Billboard 200, the album ended up hitting #1 in a handful of other countries, making it the first #1 project for any of the members. “the record” is also being considered for 6 other awards at the 2024 Grammys besides just Album of the Year.

Endless Summer Vacation – Miley Cyrus: The eighth studio album from Cyrus, “Endless Summer Vacation” was released March 10, 2023, and features guest appearances from singers Brandi Carlile and Sia. Spanning 12 tracks, the album was one of the biggest pop releases of the year, hitting #1 in 10 countries and peaking at #3 on the US 200, and includes the #1 hit song “Flowers.” The album will be in contention for Album of the Year alongside a handful of other chart-topping pop records from some of the most prominent female artists in the industry.

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Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd – Lana Del Rey: Del Rey’s ninth studio album was released on March 24, 2023, and received acclaim from numerous music critics. The 16-song tracklist features appearances from a wide variety of musical artists, including singers Jon Batiste and Father John Misty, the rock band Bleachers and rapper Tommy Genesis. The alt-pop record debuted and peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200, and was a number-one hit in the United Kingdom. Alongside this award, the album has also provided four additional Grammy nominations for Del Rey.

The Age Of Pleasure – Janelle Monáe: Monáe’s fourth studio album comes after more than a five-year gap between this and her last project, 2018’s “Dirty Computer.” Released June 9, this R&B-centered album infuses aspects of reggae, afrobeats and soul, and features guest appearances from similarly oriented artists such as Doechii, Grace Jones, Amaaarae and CKay over its 14-song tracklist. Praised by critics for its positive and joyful tone, “The Age Of Pleasure” ended up peaking at #17 on the US Billboard 200, and is also in the running for the Grammy for Best Progressive R&B Album.

GUTS – Olivia Rodrigo: Rodrigo’s second full-length album was released on September 8, 2023, and was preceded by two singles, including the Grammy-nominated “Vampire.” Spanning 12 tracks and a runtime of just 39 minutes, “GUTS” sees Rodrigo develop her pop rock and pop punk sound, following similar themes as her 2021 debut “SOUR.” Commercially, the project was one of the biggest albums of 2023, as all 12 of its songs charted in the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100, and the album itself debuted at #1 on the US 200. Alongside critical acclaim, Rodrigo has received a handful of nominations for the album and its tracks. 

Midnights – Taylor Swift: The highly anticipated 10th studio album from Swift was released in full on October 21, 2022, the standard edition featuring 13 tracks. The project features personal themes such as insecurity and anxiety, laid out through the concept of each song representing a “sleepless night.” It stands as one of the most commercially successful pop albums of all time, not only being the best-selling album of 2022, but breaking records for a vinyl sales week and single-day streams on Spotify. Alongside debuting at #1 on the Billboard 200, it also became the first album ever to fill all 10 spots of the Billboard Hot 100’s top 10. 

SOS – SZA: The second studio album from R&B singer SZA was released on December 9, 2022, consisting of an expansive 23-song tracklist and guest appearances from Don Toliver, Phoebe Bridgers and Travis Scott. Blending aspects of pop and hip hop along with its prominent R&B sound palette, SOS was a resounding commercial success, breaking the record for the largest streaming week for an album of its genre in the US. Highly anticipated after a 5 year wait from her last project “Ctrl,” “SOS” became one of the longest charting albums of its kind in recent history, debuting at number one on the US Billboard 200 as well as in a handful of other countries. Not only that, but the album has also helped her to nine Grammy nominations this year, the highest of any contending artist. 

In Each Genre:

Best Pop Vocal Album:

Chemistry – Kelly Clarkson

Endless Summer Vacation – Miley Cyrus

GUTS – Olivia Rodrigo

– (Subtract) – Ed Sheeran

Midnights – Taylor Swift

Best Dance/Electronic Music Album:

Playing Robots Into Heaven – James Blake

For That Beautiful Feeling – The Chemical Brothers

Actual Life 3 (January 1 – September 9 2022) – Fred again..

Kx5 – Kx5

Quest For Fire – Skrillex

Best Rock Album:

But Here We Are – Foo Fighters

Starcatcher – Greta Van Fleet

72 Seasons – Metallica

This Is Why – Paramore

In Times New Roman… – Queens Of The Stone Age

Best Alternative Music Album:

The Car – Arctic Monkeys

The Record – boygenius

Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd – Lana Del Rey

Cracker Island – Gorillaz

I Inside The Old Year Dying – PJ Harvey

Best Progressive R&B Album:

Since I Have A Lover – 6LACK

The Love Album: Off The Grid – Diddy

Nova – Terrace Martin and James Fauntleroy

The Age Of Pleasure – Janelle Monáe


Best R&B Album:

Girls Night Out – Babyface

What I Didn’t Tell You (Deluxe) – Coco Jones

Special Occasion – Emily King

JAGUAR II – Victoria Monét

CLEAR 2: SOFT LIFE EP – Summer Walker

Best Rap Album: 

Her Loss – Drake & 21 Savage

MICHAEL – Killer Mike

HEROES & VILLAINS – Metro Boomin

King’s Disease III – Nas

UTOPIA – Travis Scott

Best Jazz Vocal Album:

For Ella 2 – Patti Austin Featuring Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band

Alive At The Village Vanguard – Fred Hersch & Esperanza Spalding

Lean In – Gretchen Parlato & Lionel Loueke 

Mélusine – Cécile McLorin Salvant

How Love Begins – Nicole Zuraitis

Best Jazz Instrumental Album: 

The Source – Kenny Barron

Phoenix – Lakecia Benjamin

Legacy: The Instrumental Jawn – Adam Blackstone

The Winds Of Change – Billy Childs

Dream Box – Pat Metheny

Best Country Album:

Rolling Up The Welcome Mat – Kelsea Ballerini

Brothers Osborne – Brothers Osborne

Zach Bryan – Zach Bryan

Rustin’ In The Rain – Tyler Childers

Bell Bottom Country – Lainey Wilson

Record of the Year:

Worship – Jon Batiste: With the celebratory and bombastic “Worship,” Batiste fuses processed pop vocals with a classic soul element. Starting out backed with grand and elegant synth chords, Batiste begins singing in a relaxed tone before intensifying his performance alongside the swelling instrumental. Before you know it, the song breaks into a thumping line of bass and pounding drums, as well as uplifting background vocals soulfully chanting the main refrain. Despite never charting on the Billboard Hot 100 or being released as a single, “Worship” was given the nod by the Grammys and is now in contention for Record of the Year.

Not Strong Enough – boygenius: The fourth single off of the group’s debut full-length album, “Not Strong Enough” embraces the indie sound and aesthetic that the three members have shown to be their expertise. Anchored by strummed guitar chords and a rhythmic drum line, the track maintains a bittersweet and dreamy quality throughout most of its runtime before becoming more intense and passionate as the song closes out. This is supported by a powerful drum breakdown behind the repeated cadence of “Always an angel, never a god”. The track, along with the album it comes from, have both been recognized here with Grammy nominations. 

Flowers – Miley Cyrus: Released in January as the lead single to her upcoming eighth studio album, “Flowers” features lyrics from Cyrus seemingly in reference to her ex-husband Liam Hemsworth, singing about how she can fulfill her happiness herself without him. Musically, the track relies on a steady drum and bass rhythm to accompany often harmonized pop vocals from Cyrus, backed by dreamy synth chords and string melodies. The song was one of the biggest hits of the year, debuting at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of Jan. 28, 2023, her second song to reach that top spot since 2013.

What Was I Made For? – Billie Eilish: What were you made for? Well, in this case, the soundtrack to the 2023 Barbie movie. This melancholy piano ballad features Eilish’s usual soft vocals and harmonies, with some swelling string melodies and plucks in the background that become more prominent near the end of the track. The sadder lyrical content juxtaposes the usually more upbeat energy of the movie it accompanies, and features lyrics regarding feeling unsure about one’s purpose in life, all circling back to the titular question used as a refrain. The song debuted at #34 in July and peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of Aug. 19, and is the only song written for a movie featured among the Record of the Year nominees. 

On My Mama – Victoria Monét: This R&B track from Monét’s debut album features a catchy melody and rhythm, carried along by a plucky bass line and celebratory trumpet melodies. The song maintains a positive and upbeat energy, interpolating and sampling “I Look Good,” a 2009 track by Chalie Boy, to add to this vibe. Despite being a newer artist to hit the mainstream, Monét received several nominations for this year’s awards, including for this single, which peaked at #48 on the Hot 100 the week of November 25.

Vampire – Olivia Rodrigo: The lead single to Rodrigo’s sophomore album, “Vampire” uses its title as a metaphor for somebody who exploited and took advantage of her, leaving her “drained” as a vampire might. Structured as a ballad with swelling piano chords that eventually escalate into a full-on array of thumping bass, haunting synths and relentless guitar riffs, Rodrigo provides soaring vocals over a song that conveys a melancholy yet defiant energy. “Vampire” debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was certified platinum in September, making it one of the biggest pop songs of the year, helping contribute to Rodrigo’s numerous award nominations.

Anti-Hero – Taylor Swift: On “Anti-Hero,” Swift turns to darker lyricism detailing her insecurities and elements of herself that she hates. Released as the lead single to her October 2022 album “Midnights,” the track features airy vocal harmonies over subdued drums and rumbling synths that give the song an almost dreamlike quality. Such as a number of these other nominees, the song debuted at #1, making it Swift’s 5th single to do so and 9th total to reach the top spot, and is now in contention to possibly become her 13th Grammy win.

Kill Bill – SZA: The dark and dreamlike “Kill Bill” was released as the third single to her December 2022 album “SOS,” and features SZA fantasizing and ultimately following through on killing her ex and his new partner by the end of the song. Led by squeaky and disconsonant synths, the track soon becomes a hypnotically rhythmic R&B song with a steady bass line and smooth singing. As the song gradually progresses, the intensity gets raised a bit through a twangy guitar breakdown hanging in the background. The title is a reference to the Quentin Tarantino film series of the same name, the story of which follows very similar themes. “Kill Bill” debuted at #3 and ended up peaking at the top spot of #1 in April. The track is also certified triple platinum. 

In Each Genre:

Best Pop Solo Performance: 

Flowers – Miley Cyrus

Paint The Town Red – Doja Cat

What Was I Made For? – Billie Eilish

Vampire – Olivia Rodrigo

Anti-Hero – Taylor Swift

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:

Thousand Miles – Miley Cyrus (feat. Brandi Carlile)

Candy Necklace – Lana Del Rey (feat. Jon Batiste)

Never Felt So Alone – Labrinth (feat. Billie Eilish)

Karma – Taylor Swift (feat. Ice Spice)

Ghost In The Machine – SZA (feat. Phoebe Bridgers)

Best Rock Performance:

Sculptures Of Anything Goes – Arctic Monkeys

More Than A Love Song – Black Pumas

Not Strong Enough – boygenius

Rescued – Foo Fighters

Lux Æterna – Metallica

Best Metal Performance:

Bad Man – Disturbed

Phantom Of The Opera – Ghost

72 Seasons – Metallica

Hive Mind – Slipknot

Jaded – Spiritbox

Best Alternative Music Performance: 

Belinda Says – Alvvays

Body Paint – Arctic Monkeys

Cool About It – boygenius

A&W – Lana Del Rey

This Is Why – Paramore

Best R&B Performance:

Summer Too Hot – Chris Brown

Back To Love – Robert Glasper (feat. SiR & Alex Isley)

ICU – Coco Jones

How Does It Make You Feel – Victoria Monét

Kill Bill – SZA

Best Traditional R&B Performance:

Simple – Babyface (feat. Coco Jones)

Lucky – Kenyon Dixon

Hollywood – Victoria Monét (feat. Earth, Wind & Fire & Hazel Monét)

Good Morning – PJ Morton (feat. Susan Carol)

Love Language – SZA

Best Rap Performance:

The Hillbillies – Baby Keem (feat. Kendrick Lamar)

Love Letter – Black Thought

Rich Flex – Drake & 21 Savage

SCIENTISTS & ENGINEERS – Killer Mike (feat. André 3000, Future & Eryn Allen Kane)

Players – Coi Leray

Best Melodic Rap Performance:

Sittin’ On Top Of The World – Burna Boy (feat. 21 Savage)

Attention – Doja Cat

Spin Bout U – Drake & 21 Savage

All My Life – Lil Durk (feat. J Cole)

Low – SZA

Best Jazz Performance:

Movement 18’ (Heroes) – Jon Batiste

Basquiat – Lakecia Benjamin

Vulnerable (Live) – Adam Blackstone (feat. The Baylor Project & Russell Ferranté

But Not For Me – Fred Hersch & Esperanza Spalding

Tight – Samara Joy

Best Country Solo Performance:

In Your Love – Tyler Childers

Buried – Brandy Clark

Fast Car – Luke Combs

The Last Thing On My Mind – Dolly Parton

White Horse – Chris Stapleton

Best Country Duo/Group Performance:

High Note – Dierks Bentley (feat. Billy Strings)

Nobody’s Nobody – Brothers Osborne

I Remember Everything – Zach Bryan (feat. Kacey Musgraves)

Kissing Your Picture (Is So Cold) – Vince Gill & Paul Franklin

Save Me – Jelly Roll (with Lainey Wilson)

We Don’t Fight Anymore – Carly Pearce (feat. Chris Stapleton)

Song Of The Year:

(Awarded To Songwriters)

A&W – Lana Del Rey: This seven minute track from Del Rey’s newest album is divided into two distinct parts. The first of which invokes an eerie and disconsonant atmosphere, anchored by deep guitar and piano melodies, along with echoing airy vocals from Del Rey. Around the halfway point, the song switches up to a more uptempo rhythm, led by a pounding bass line and occasional string flourishes. The lyrical content touches on many subjects throughout its runtime, but the most consistent theme throughout is Del Rey’s perceived loss of innocence and desire to find real love despite reaching the point of being a sex addict. 

Anti-Hero – Taylor Swift

Butterfly – Jon Batiste: Another track from Batiste’s Grammy-nominated album “World Music Radio,” “Butterfly” is a heartfelt track that celebrates a sense of courageousness and beauty seen in a creature such as a butterfly. Batiste has shared in interviews that the subject of the song ties into the journey of his wife, who has been battling severe health problems. The song is presented and sung almost as a lullaby of sorts, over swelling and passionate piano chords, with a pretty raw vocal performance to match the gentle nature of the track. The writing is framed similar to a poem of sorts, with the butterfly serving as a running metaphor for someone bravely embarking on a journey “home.”

Dance The Night – Dua Lipa: Like the Billie Eilish song nominated beside it, “Dance The Night” was also written for the soundtrack to the Barbie movie, and released as the lead single to it. An upbeat dance song with a disco element, highlighted by energetic bass, synths and strings, the track was a commercial success, debuting at #43 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaking as high as number six, and is now in contention for possibly Dua Lipa’s fourth Grammy win.

Flowers – Miley Cyrus

Kill Bill – SZA

Vampire – Olivia Rodrigo

What Was I Made For? – Billie Eilish

In Each Genre:

Best Rock Song:

Angry – The Rolling Stones

Ballad Of A Homeschooled Girl – Olivia Rodrigo

Emotion Sickness – Queens Of The Stone Age

Not Strong Enough – boygenius

Rescued – Foo Fighters

Best R&B Song:

Angel – Halle

Back To Love – Robert Glasper (feat. SiR & Alex Isley)

ICU – Coco Jones

On My Mama – Victoria Monét

Snooze – SZA

Best Rap Song:

Attention – Doja Cat

Barbie World – Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice (feat. Aqua)

Just Wanna Rock – Lil Uzi Vert

Rich Flex – Drake & 21 Savage

SCIENTISTS & ENGINEERS – Killer Mike (feat. André 3000, Future & Eryn Allen Kane)

Best Country Song:

Buried – Brandy Clark

I Remember Everything – Zach Bryan (feat. Kacey Musgraves)

In Your Love – Tyler Childers

Last Night – Morgan Wallen

White Horse – Chris Stapleton

Best New Artist:

Gracie Abrams

Fred again..

Ice Spice

Jelly Roll

Coco Jones

Noah Kahan

Victoria Monét

The War And Treaty

This year’s field of new artists features representatives from a diverse range of musical genres. Headlining the R&B category with numerous nominations in that field are Coco Jones and Victoria Monét, the latter of which boasts Record of the Year nominee “On My Mama.” Gracie Abrams and Noah Kahan are both a couple of the most prominent indie singer-songwriter artists to hit the relative mainstream in the past year. The list of genres represented among the nominees also consists of electronic (Fred again..), rap (Ice Spice), country (Jelly Roll) and Americana (The War And Treaty).

Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical:

Jack Antonoff

Dernst “D’Mile” Emile II


Metro Boomin

Daniel Nigro

Two of the most popular mainstream rap producers in the industry are recognized among the nominees, Hit-Boy for his contributions to numerous hip-hop projects including his work on Nas’s last three albums, and Metro Boomin for tracks from his 2022 release “HEROES & VILLAINS,” his curated soundtrack to the movie “Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse” and additional collaborations with prominent rap artists such as Travis Scott, Drake and 21 Savage. Antonoff is regarded as one of the most acclaimed producers of modern pop music, and is being recognized here for his work this year with The 1975, Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift. Nigro is also being nominated for his work in pop music and contributions to records from the likes of Olivia Rodrigo, Caroline Polachek and Chappell Roan, while Emile is here for his work on the debut album from Victoria Monét, “JAGUAR II.”

Songwriter Of The Year, Non-Classical:

Edgar Barrera

Jessie Jo Dillon

Shane McAnally

Theron Thomas

Justin Tranter

Barrera is here for his work with some of the biggest names in Latin pop music, including Karol G, Bad Bunny and Don Omar. Dillon collaborated with a number of notable artists this past year, including pop duo Dan+Shay and country artist Brandy Clark. McAnally also worked with Clark among other country artists such as Sam Hunt and Chris Stapleton. Tranter collaborated with pop singers such as Miley Cyrus and Reneé Rapp, as well as other notable artists such as the rock group Måneskin, while Thomas contributed to numerous works across hip-hop and R&B such as those by the likes of Cordae and Ciara, and perhaps most notably the hit rap song All My Life by Lil Durk and J. Cole. 

Needless to say, this year’s field of nominees certainly contains some fan favorites, and no matter who wins, there will certainly be even more debates sparked on who, in the eyes of each of these artists’ loyal fanbases, is truly deserving of each award. Because really, what fun would it be otherwise?

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Jackson Gillies
Jackson Gillies, Sports Editor
Hi everyone, I’m Jackson, and this year I’ll be Sports Editor for the Golden Arrow! I’m so excited for what will be my third year in the journalism program, and will continue to be a writer alongside my editor responsibilities. I look forward to using my articles to spotlight communities from all around campus and give everyone an opportunity to share their talents and stories with us all. Can’t wait to get started!
Mahati Iyer
Mahati Iyer, Writer/Photographer
My name is Mahati Iyer and this is my first year on the Golden Arrow as a writer and photographer! I look forward to collaborating and creating with the other journalists and interacting with the lovely students of Woodbridge this year. Outside of school, I enjoy playing volleyball, baking, and sleeping.