Music News

Why Did the Grammys Snub the Lumineers?

Jeremiah Fraites, the mastermind of the Lumineers sound, plays at his drum kit.
Jeremiah Fraites, the mastermind of the Lumineers sound, plays at his drum kit. Michael Emery Hecker
As I scrolled through the list of Grammy nominees on Wednesday, I was happy to see artists with Colorado ties including Gregory Alan Isakov, Trev Rich, India.Arie and Lettuce receive nominations. But I kept looking for a mention of Denver’s biggest band to put out a new album in 2019, the Lumineers, and there was nothing.

III is one of the greatest Americana albums of the year. It’s a smartly produced record that tells the story of a family struggling with addiction. It’s the Americana band’s best yet. It has a mix of barnburner singles like “Gloria,” which topped the Billboard alternative and rock airplay charts, and slower, more contemplative numbers. Surely it deserved something.

Before spouting off in this space, I reached out to the band’s PR rep Jim Merlis with a less-than-hinged “WTF? How did III not get nominated? What technicality am I missing? Did it come out too late? Too soon? Help!?!”

Turns out the Recording Academy, the organization behind the Grammys, shifted eligibility dates this year from September 30 to the end of August, and III, which dropped on September 13, narrowly missed the new deadline. The only Lumineers song eligible for consideration from III was “Gloria," and it didn't make the cut.

“They announced this pretty late, so there wasn’t much time to change release date,” Merlis wrote back.

Now the band has to hope people still remember the album next year when the nomination process begins.

Why was "Gloria" snubbed? That’s a mystery to us.

Hear "Gloria" and more favorites from Westword writers on our Westword Staff Picks playlist.
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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris