The 2018 Grammy nominations are in, and the competition for best dance/electronic album is steep. A range of sounds and approaches are represented, from pop-crossovers to sweeping cinematic anthems, foundational electronic heroes and electropop cuteness.
Bonobo comes in strong with Migration, blending sounds of low-eyed afternoon bliss into jazzy fills and layered electronic texture for 12 sumptuous tracks that flow like a peaceful, winding river. Features from Nick Murphy, Rhye and more breathe extra life into the daydreamy compositions, a dimension he re-created with a full-band live performance tour.
North Carolina duo Sylvan Esso infuse a side of indie-folk-rock softness into its glitched-out LP What Now. Acoustic guitar and coy female vocals hang in a romantic haze over persistent drum-machine beats and the sweetest sort of electronic disruption. Its lo-fi jabs at the hype-filled diet of radio hits earned the sophomore LP a peak position of No. 32 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and a solid shot at the trophy.