Grammys 2011: Proof that voters are musically adventurous -- sorta
In the days leading up to Sunday's Grammy Awards, which Pop & Hiss will be covering live, this blog will tackle various Grammy artists, personalities, categories and just plain oddities.
Don't let anyone ever tell you that Grammy voters don't take risks. Scan the full list of Grammy nominees, and there's plenty of left-of-center picks. Yet when it comes to some of the more experimental artists, there's no guarantee that voters actually listen to the music.
There may not be any artist nominated this year that's weirder than Denmark's Oh No Ono, and that's likely why the band isn't recognized for its music. Way down in the best recording package field, a category that once nominated locals No Age, one will find Oh No Ono's "Eggs."
Designed by Malene Mathiasson, the CD booklet is a treat to flip through, even in the online world. Mathiasson crafted a sort of split-screen collection of fantastical artwork -- pieces that fall somewhere between role-playing-game-like art and dreamily sensual works. It allows for a form of interaction, allowing users to flip through either the top or bottom panels, which the virtual representation re-creates.
The album was released in January 2010 on Friendly Fire Recordings, and the experimental pop is borderline transfixing and frightening. The warped orchestrations are a collage of high-pitched vocals, squirming electronics and church-like organs. It's a long way from Lady Gaga. Heck, it's a long way from the Arcade Fire. Sample the band at its most odd above with single "Swim."
-- Todd Martens
Photo: Cropped image of Mathiasson's Oh No Ono artwork, released last year on Friendly Fire Recordings.