Who will take home the Grammy for Best Dance Recording and Album?

Tomorrow night, the 56th annual Grammy Awards will be taking place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Although there might be 82 different categories, we are focused on Best Dance Recording and Best Dance/Electronica Album. This year there is a lot of hype surrounding Daft Punk and Pretty Lights, which you can read in our separate editorials. We decided to get our writing staff to weigh in on who they believe will take home the awards. Continue reading to find out our opinions and make sure to let us know whom you think will win in the comments below.

Best Dance Recording

Duke Dumont Featuring A*M*E & MNEK - Need U (100%)
Calvin Harris Featuring Florence Welch - Sweet Nothing
Kaskade - Atmosphere
Armin Van Buuren Featuring Trevor Guthrie - This Is What It Feels Like
Zedd Featuring Foxes - Clarity


Mike Walkusky: Duke Dumont Featuring A*M*E & MNEK - Need U (100%)

Do I realistically think this has a shot to win? No. But this song was easily one of my favorite tracks to listen to in 2013. Any time I hear it, I immediately want to dance. It's awesome to see Duke Dumont get some recognition from the Grammys.

Robby Engle: Zedd Featuring Foxes - Clarity

From the moment I heard "Clarity," I knew it was going to be huge.  The vocals are powerful yet open to interpretation by the listener, and Zedd did an amazing job with the arrangement. "Clarity" was one of the most well-liked dance songs of 2013.

Ally Balcerzak: Zedd Featuring Foxes - Clarity

I'll admit that this track has been overplayed, but I still sing along every time it comes on. Its been a club and festival staple since its release, and some of the biggest names in dance music remixed it, which just proves the track's popularity even more.

Barrett Nelson: Zedd Featuring Foxes - Clarity

I think the sheer fact alone that "Clarity" was remixed by every producer and their grandmother speaks to the impression that this hit song left on the EDM world. Ok, I'm kidding. But seriously, Zedd was already a HUGE name (Not to say that the other nominees aren't) and you couldn't go to a music festival this past summer without seeing someone bust out this gem of a tune. I might be going out on a limb here with some of the popular names he's up against, but if you ask me, Zedd deserves the Grammy for Best Dance Recording. 

Tim Hirschfeld: Duke Dumont feat. A*M*E* & MNEK - Need You (100%)

Duke Dumont's infectious dancefloor-filler is certainly the outlier of the group, and received much more shine across the pond than it did stateside. All five tracks have a strong argument for this year's top spot: "Clarity" and "Sweet Nothing" both laid waste to everything in their paths on their way to Top 40 stardom, while "Atmosphere" and "This Is What It Feels Like" were powerful festival favorites with unforgettable lead melodies. But to argue the logic of this selection is futile - when you close your eyes and listen, which track absolutely takes hold and forces you to move? For me, "Need You (100%)" is that track.

Matt Flaherty: Armin van Buuren ft. Trevor Guthrie – This Is What It Feels Like

Coming off his latest album Intense, “This Is What It Feels Like” is arguably Armin van Buuren’s biggest hit of 2013. It rocked festivals all year long and was a hit on major radio airwaves. I personally love song and could sing along to Trevor Guthrie’s vocals on repeat all day long. It's a euphoric and powerful song that deserves the Grammy for best Dance Recording.

Deanna Krolowitz: Armin van Buuren ft. Trevor Gurthie – This Is What It Feels Like

I'm not a big trance fan, but Armin Van Buuren's "This Is What It Feels Like," takes the gold in my eyes. Every time the hit single drops in anyones set, no matter how many times, I can't help but feel instant goosebumps- and I just know everyone around me feels it too. It's the type of song that everyone ends up putting in their set, but at the same time, it's a melody that relates to everyone's inner love for the dance scene. It's tough to explain, but I know everyone just straight up enjoys its beauty just by looking around when it's played in a live setting. Armin captured everything you feel at that perfect festival into one, euphoric record and I truly applaud him for that.


Best Dance/Electronica Album

Daft Punk - Random Access Memories
Disclosure - Settle
Calvin Harris - 18 Months
Kaskade - Atmosphere
Pretty Lights - A Color Map Of The Sun

Mike Walkusky: Disclosure - Settle

I waited for Random Access Memories for years, and it turned out to be a damn good album. However, as soon as Settle came out, I completely stopped listening to Random Access Memories. Every single song on Settle is fantastic, and I can't even count how many times I listened to the album from start to finish. The Lawrence brothers are musical geniuses. Their Essential Mix was my favorite of 2013, and their album was easily my favorite of 2013.

Robby Engle: Pretty Lights - A Color Map Of The Sun

Pretty Lights innovated dance music with this album, creating his own samples from live music sessions with artists from around the country.  The album deserves recognition for its ingenuity and connection with many different eras of music.

Ally Balcerzak: Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

Whether you liked the album or not, Random Access Memories is the only one in this category to also be up for Album of the Year. One does not simply earn a nomination for Album of the Year without being a Grammy voter favorite, so, sorry everyone, but my money is on Daft Punk for this one.

Barrett Nelson: Daft Punk - Random Access Memories

I'm not quite as big of a Disclosure fan as the rest of the world seems to be and I'm probably a much bigger Pretty Lights fan than 99% of the people you come across. So for both of those reasons, it didn't seem fair for me to pick either of those nominees for this category. And to be completely truthful, out of the names that appear on this list, Daft Punk's Random Access Memories was the album that appealed to me most. While I became bored with "Get Lucky" just as quickly as the rest of the human race, sensational compositions like "Lose Yourself to Dance," "Beyond," and "Fragments of Time" kept my ears glued to this amazing album for months on end. Also, the fact that I wasn't a big fan of this duo during their previous major releases played a large role in me selecting this production. I finally understood what all the hype was about. So there you have it, Daft Punk are the winners in my book!

Tim Hirschfeld: Disclosure - Settle

Picking the Grammy for Best Dance/Electronica Album is more arduous than picking the Best Dance Recording - the quintet is composed of five extremely well produced albums. However, there is only one that you really can't poke holes through if you tried. Random Access Memories was a triumphant return, but I'd be lying if I said some of the tracks weren't a chore to get through - at times it felt more like a cane-waving statement than a great record. 18 Months dominated the pop-EDM space, but to me lacks depth, musically and lyrically. Atmosphere was beautiful, and showcased Kaskade's versatility, ranging from the very best in festival progressive to the deeper sounds that he came up on. But it also didn't have the "instant classic" feel that we're looking for. A Color Map of The Sun would feel really great to select based on the respect I hold for Pretty Lights and his production techniques, but (and now I'm getting really nitpick-y) it has a more narrow appeal and doesn't feel as revolutionary as Settle. Disclosure's debut effort broke UK garage into the mainstream all by itself, and is a collection of 13 stellar tracks that are accessible to almost anyone who likes dance music, without pandering to current trends or resorting to sugar-coated hooks. The fact that the duo was able to retain a sense of musical integrity and original vision, while at the same time crafting something so damn catchy and varied throughout, shows that Settle is truly an album that you can hang your hat on as the defining dance record of 2013. 

Matt Flaherty: Kaskade – Atmosphere

I’m really shooting for Kaskade, who seems to be the underdog, to win the Grammy for Best Dance/Electronica Album. He has worked so hard to receive his second and third Grammy nomination this year, and has poured his heart into his album Atmosphere. I attended Kaskade’s Atmosphere tour and have always been a fan of his music. The album Atmosphere is full of so many beautiful tracks that I could honestly never get tired of. For him to win a Grammy would be a huge milestone in his career.

Deanna Krolowitz: Disclosure – Settle

In my eyes, the award for Best Dance/Electronica Album for this year's Grammys is Disclosure. Both Guy and Howard Lawrence teamed up to bring reach a whole other level of electronic music. With their electro builds and perfectly, stemmed vocals in tracks like "You and Me," and "Help Me Lose My Mind," it's clear that the duo has brought an unexplainable type of talent to the scene. When Settle was released, I felt as if the album was exactly what the scene needed: A change. Sure various producers can create something that moves and excites genres like house, moombahton, or electro-soul. But when Disclosure was first introduced to the scene, the community received something from the Lawrence brothers, which had the ability to bridge the gap between the stereotypical, techno "bleep, blops" that come hand and hand with electronica to create a whole new sub-genre of music. Oh, and let's not forget their mesmerizing, face visuals that bring a whole other level of stage production to the scene. 

Alex Santa: Kaskade - Atmosphere

Why? His Atmosphere album truly set a precedent. With beautiful dance tunes like "Last Chance", "Atmosphere," and "No One Knows Who We Are You" amongst all of the tracks off the album, it was truly a beautiful, uplifting album that broke records. It's upbeat, moving - it has everything you'd want in an album. It isn't an album with huge drops, oh no. It's an album for real dance music lovers. It'll put a smile on your face, that's for sure.


About the Author

EDM.com Staff

Join The Conversation