Grammy Nominations for Best Immersive Audio Album Announced

The category is full of interesting artists.
By Ben Jacklin

As the 62nd Grammy Awards ceremony approaches, the nominees for all categories have been announced. Like the Academy Awards for film, the Grammy nominations are a standalone event, and the five Immersive Audio nominees will be incredibly proud. Plus, these albums can now forever don the label “Grammy Nominated.”

As we covered in our recent article explaining the process of nominations, these five albums have been decided by industry experts and members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS). The final decision will be announced on January 26, 2020, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. In the meantime, you can enjoy learning more about the five albums that will be battling for the title.

THE SAVIOR (A Bad Think)

Michael Marquart, the only member of A Bad Think, has a reputation for rich soundscapes woven through his multi-instrumental talents. This double album was recorded in 5.1 surround sound, with engineering and production by Bob Clearmountain, Bob Ludwig, and co-producer Dave Way. The Savior has drawn comparisons to previous Immersive Audio nominees such as Pink Floyd, as rock music, electronic elements and experimental compositions blend in the huge soundstage of surround sound and immersive audio.

CHAIN TRIPPING (Yacht)

LA band Yacht are no strangers to using modern technology. Many of the songs on their “Chain Tripping” album used AI technology. The band fed their previous songs into an AI program to suggest new compositions. An album with this tech focus also makes the most of surround sound technology. Audio engineer Jurgen Scharpf proves he is at the cutting edge of audio.

KVERNDOKK: SYMPHONIC DANCES (Ken-David Masur & Stavanger Symphony Orchestra)

Hearing classical compositions in high resolution audio is often staggering. When the mixing is done right, you feel like you are in the concert hall with the musicians, and experienced engineer Robert C. Ludwig has brought Symphonic Dances to life. A worthy nomination with moving compositions exploring loneliness, the sea, love, and loss.

LUX (Anita Brevik, Trondheimsolistene & Nidarosdomens Jentekor)

Will Morten Lindberg finally get his Grammy? The engineer has been nominated 28 times and is yet to win an award. It is commonplace for the Norwegian producer to be nominated in this category, and his work on Lux is impressive, building lush layers in a classical setting with the musicianship of Anita Brevik, Trondheimsolistene & Nidarosdomens Jentekor.

THE ORCHESTRAL ORGAN (Jan Kraybill)

One of the magnificent things about this category of the Grammy’s is the fact that it provides a space for unusual, underground recordings to permeate the mainstream and gain recognition due to their production. Jan Kraybill’s album, mixed by Keith O. Johnson, is well-known among fans of organ music. This intriguing take on classical compositions uses immersive technology to create layers and add intrigue to a fascinating and original interpretation of Sibelius and Wagner, among others.

The varied nature of these albums shows what an exciting category this is. All five of the nominees deserve huge credit for the soundscapes woven in high resolution audio. All are worth a listen, no matter what style of music you prefer, and we can’t wait to see how the results turn out on ceremony day.

About the Author

Ben is a writer and musician from the UK with a background in music technology. He writes about engineering and production, musicianship and music equipment for a number of publications including his own site, subreel.com