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The tastemaking indie label has garnered plenty of Grammy attention in the past, with Adele's 2008 victory for best new artist a high point. (XL signed Adele in the United Kingdom and handled A&R for her album, which Columbia later released in the United States.) This year, Vampire Weekend is XL's sole nominee, snagging a best alternative album nod for its second album, "Contra."
Kris Chen, head of XL Recordings in the United States, says the label has learned to take a longer view when it comes to the post-Grammys payoff. "With Adele, we had a great sales boost, but anytime someone gets nominated, the extra attention is helpful," he says. "There a lot of people in the world who are potential fans that have never read [music websites] Pitchfork or Brooklyn Vegan, and a Grammy nomination gives us a path to reach them."