Tuesday, February 07, 2017

2017 Juno Nominees

It's that time of year again, and the Junos (Canada's Music Awards) have released their list of nominees. As per usual I'll break down the categories relevant to this blog: Dance Recording of the Year and Electronic Album of the Year. As a reminder last years winners were: Keys N Krates for "Save Me" with Katy B, and Pomo for The Other Day. Now to this years nominees...

Note: As with my Grammys post (here) I'll give my two cents, write-in a nominee, and place bets on who should win from those nominations and who will actually win, but as usual, I'm probably wrong.

At first glance this is a formidable and worthy list of nominees, but upon closer inspection one of these is not like the others. Zeds Dead Northern Lights is not a track, it's an album, and that's not what this category is. It's meant to be a single recording. Ironically this isn't the first time the Junos have made a mistake with this category. Just last year they nominated Kaytranada's "At All" only to eventually discover that it was released outside the eligibility period.

I wondered if this was perhaps just a typo on this image, but after checking their website (here) it confirms the mistaken nomination. All of this isn't to say Zeds Dead are not deserving of a nomination, as tracks like "Too Young," "Stardust" or "Blame" could easily fill that spot. But enough of the Junos' error and onto the four obvious inclusions.

It's hard to believe that Delaney Jane is just getting her first Juno nod, since she seems to be on just about every chart topper in the past two plus years. But I guess it's fitting that she breaks through with "Limitless" as that's just what her career trajectory is. I'm so excited that both Bit Funk and Jacques Greene are on this shortlist, as I've been a fan of both for quite sometime. While Bit Funk's track is more typical of popular dance music at the movement, with its bouncy deep house vibes, Jacques Greene's is atypical, making it a genius return to the scene after months of silence. The heart palpitations I get whenever I hear "You Can't Deny" is what makes this my pick for winner. Last but not least, is Shaun Frank's latest in a long list of hits "Let You Get Away." This may be the most obvious nod, as Frank has quickly become one of the most trusted and widely respected producers in the world, crafting not just his own bangers, but working with The Chainsmokers among others. Whether it be "Let You Get Away," "La La Land" or "Heaven" you had to know Shaun Frank was going to make this list.

Who Should Win: Jacques Greene
Who Will Win: Shaun Frank
My Write-In Nomination: Pusher - Clear (ft. Mothica)

Between the obvious cultural importance and undeniable quality of A Tribe Called Red's album, this was a lock to be included. The long list of collaborators only further propel the trio's unique sound and style into an unparalleled piece of art. As Joseph Boyden says in "Before," "You guys got pull, you do. People listen to you, you know they do." We Are The Halluci Nation certainly puts A Tribe Called Red on the forefront. Bob Moses, who are also nominated for Breakthrough Group of the Year, absolutely stormed onto the stage. Days Gone By received a slew of scary good remixes, but none of that would've been possible without their thoughtfully crafted original productions. As soon as I heard Harrison's Checkpoint Titanium I was blown away, even though it's nothing like his early chiptune tracks that I first fell for. It's a cohesive collection of thought-provoking productions, with an awesome set of collaborators, from Ryan Hemsworth to Clairmont The Second and Allie. Holy Fuck's triumphant return Congrats, their first release since 2010, is everything you've come to love about their furious style, only more omni-directional. It shows off their production prowess and contrasting wild/refined sides. Then of course comes the heavyweight of the category, Kaytranda's criticcally renowned album 99.9%. Already taking home the coveted Polaris Music Prize, it has to be the favourite to win, and deservingly so, it truly is an awe inspiring work of art.

Who Should Win: Kaytranada
Who Will Win: A Tribe Called Red
My Write-In Nomination: Zeds Dead - Northern Lights

The Junos take place April 1st and 2nd in Ottawa at the Canadian Tire Centre, watch them on CTV.