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The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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First-year guard Aaryn Battle (1) dribbles the ball during Thursday evening’s game against Wake Forest in the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt women’s basketball falls back into their old habits, fall to Wake Forest 65-50
By Sara Meyer, Staff Writer • February 23, 2024

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First-year guard Aaryn Battle (1) dribbles the ball during Thursday evening’s game against Wake Forest in the Petersen Events Center.
Pitt women’s basketball falls back into their old habits, fall to Wake Forest 65-50
By Sara Meyer, Staff Writer • February 23, 2024

Staff Picks | Who will win a Grammy on Sunday?

Grammy+Awards+are+displayed+at+the+Grammy+Museum+Experience+at+the+Prudential+Center+in+Newark%2C+N.J.%2C+on+Oct.+10%2C+2017.
AP Photo/Julio Cortez
Grammy Awards are displayed at the Grammy Museum Experience at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on Oct. 10, 2017.

Music’s biggest night is this Sunday, and the culture staff of The Pitt News has some thoughts on who will take home awards in some of the biggest categories. When Lana del Rey, Noah Kahan and Taylor Swift are giving their speeches on the Grammy stage, you’ll know our writers either did their research or just have immaculate taste. 

Best Alternative Music Performance: “Belinda Says” by Alvvays // Patrick Swain, Culture Editor

One of life’s greatest joys is hearing your favorite songs live. Last August, that dream became a reality when I saw Canadian rockers Alvvays play at Stage AE. Since I heard “Archie, Marry Me” on the radio years ago, Alvvays has become one of my favorite bands playing today — and their 2022 album “Blue Rev” might be their best yet. Its centerpiece is “Belinda Says,” a rousing, reflective opus that captures the ethos of Alvvays in its cathartic and bittersweet lyrics coupled with shoegaze and power pop influences. It faces some steep competition against alternative heavyweights like Lana del Rey, boygenius and Arctic Monkeys, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for my favorite Canadians.

Best New Artist: Noah Kahan // Casey Carter, Staff Writer

There’s nothing quite like a therapeutic drive through your hometown, winding down the streets you’ve always known and escaping reality. Noah Kahan’s music provides the perfect soundtrack, capturing the complexities of hometowns and growing up. The singer-songwriter has had a massive year with his breakthrough album “Stick Season,” solidifying himself in the folk-pop genre. Something that stands out about Kahan is his authenticity and storytelling, tapping into experiences that so many of us can relate to. Tracks such as “Northern Attitude,” “Homesick” and “Orange Juice,” will get your emotions flowing while providing an irresistible foot-tap-worthy beat. Another large component of Kahan’s breakthrough has been the success of his collaborations with big names in the industry, including Kacey Musgraves, the Lumineers, Post Malone and Hozier, to name just a few. Kahan faces some tough competition in the Best New Artist category, with artists such as Ice Spice and Victoria Monét, but I’m hoping he will pull out the win for all of the folk-pop lovers out there.

Album Of The Year: “Midnights” by Taylor Swift // Nada Abdulaziz, Senior Staff Writer

Experiencing a solitary tear trickling down while immersed in a song is one thing, but belting out the lyrics with unrestrained screams and tears is an entirely different phenomenon. Last June, I had the privilege of experiencing both when Taylor Swift commandeered Chicago’s Soldier Field until the stroke of midnight. Whether it’s confidently dancing to “Bejeweled” or screaming my heart out to “You’re On Your Own, Kid,” I was touched and consumed by Taylor’s “Midnights” album. After a single day of release, it shattered streaming records across different platforms, and for that, I firmly believe it deserves the victory. While the album is competing against worthy opponents such as Lana Del Rey, Miley Cyrus and Olivia Rodrigo, you’ll still find me on my “Vigilante Shit” if Taylor doesn’t clinch the win. 

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: “Candy Necklace” by Lana Del Rey and Jon Batiste // Sarah Pine, Staff Writer

Released as a single on Lana Del Rey’s highly anticipated album, “Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd,” “Candy Necklace” is a hauntingly somber track, evoking a certain feeling of longing and melancholia from its running piano chords and soft vocals. Apart from the song itself, I believe that Lana Del Rey and Jon Batiste have this category nailed down because of their Grammys history. On the one hand, the award show has historically snubbed Lana, but on the other hand, Jon Batiste is regarded as a Grammys favorite. In 2022, Batiste won five Grammys, including Album of the Year. With a long-anticipated win for Lana, Batiste’s popularity at the award show and the song’s incredible exploration of love, loss and the cost of fame, I think that it stands a good chance, even against the likes of Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and SZA. 

Best Alternative Music Album: “Did You Know That There’s A Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd” by Lana del Rey // Abbie Kelly, Staff Writer 

Very few albums have the ability to create tear-stained cheeks and then elicit a head-bopping beat all within a few tracks. Lana del Rey’s newest album “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd” succeeds in this endeavor, making listeners run the gamut of emotions during the hour-long tracklist. One of the aspects of Lana’s music that makes her so deserving of this award is her ability to play around with music. In addition to the mixture of soulful ballads and upbeat tunes, this album includes two interludes that add to the listening experience. She’s up against tough competition in this category, but the numerous hits and Grammy nominations Lana has achieved during her music career make me confident that this is finally her year.

Best Rap Album: “HEROES & VILLAINS” by Metro Boomin // Ore Fawole, Staff Writer 

There are very few feelings that emulate the rush of hearing Morgan Freeman open an album with “If Young Metro don’t trust you, you better run.” As soon as the nominations for Best Rap Album were announced, it was clear the race was between “Utopia” by Travis Scott and “HEROES & VILLAINS” by Metro Boomin — sorry, Drake, not this time — and this competition was fierce. However, where “Utopia” starts off stronger than H&V, the album begins to fall apart after “FE!N” — I mean, why do you think he’s playing it 10 times a night? “HEROES & VILLAINS” is a masterpiece from start to finish. The production, lyrics and cohesion are unparalleled. The emotions “Trance” elucidates are indescribable. However, the Grammys have been the ire of hip-hop fans for the last decade. From a lack of nominations in major categories to Macklemore beating out Drake, Kanye West, Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar in 2014, the Grammys are not afraid of being crucified on rap X, formerly Twitter. So, who knows — Drake might make me eat my words. 

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: “Bewitched” by Laufey // Irene Castillo, Staff Writer

If there is something I appreciate at 4 o’clock, when the Oakland streets are too loud and I’m tired from class, it’s to have a cortado with Laufey’s album “Bewitched” playing in the background. “Bewitched” leaves you under the spell of its composition and voice, and while some people say the music does sound repetitive, Laufey’s words hit you right in the heart, sometimes bringing up tears that you didn’t know existed. Laufey’s music is not about romance, but it’s colored like the feeling of love — confusing and playful all the same. It blends into our surroundings and proves that the best music is the one that seems to participate in your life like your personal background theme. If Laufey doesn’t win — which I’m sure won’t happen — I would just appreciate seeing Ice Spice shake up the Deli with Best New Artist. Call that duality, if you will.