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Lowell Invades the BMAs

It’s that time of year again! The annual Boston Music Awards are around the corner and the nominees have been revealed. It seems like with each passing year bands from the Greater Lowell area make a bigger and bigger splash, and 2019 keeps that trend alive.

In case you’re not familiar, “the BMAs” have been a long-standing institution within the Boston music scene for a few decades. While the award ceremony has had its fair share of ups and downs in its 32-year span, there’s certainly been a resurgence of the awards over the last handful of years as the whole process has been re-vitalized and modernized to get with the current times.

A popular question often asked is “Who decides who gets nominated?”. It’s actually a fairly transparent process with a very large nomination committee containing a ton of the movers and shakers within the music community: DJs, writers, bookers, promoters, music media people, veteran musicians to the music scene, etc.

Now that we’ve gotten the basics down, how about those nominees!

For starters, we ourselves were fortunate enough to be nominated for Music Publication of the Year. It’s truly an honor to be listed among so many other great music publications throughout Massachusetts and a credit to the hard work of all the people who volunteer to write for The Lowell Spin. We never started a music publication to win an award, but it certainly feels nice to be in contention for one.

Corner Soul continues to make big noise snagging three different nominations: New Artist of the Year, Live Artist of the Year, and Rock Artist of the Year. I’d be hesitant to expect Corner Soul to pick up all three wins given the stiff competition, but they’ve certainly set themselves up for a great chance to take home at least one of the awards on December 11th.

Another band which appears to be benefiting from the infamous “Rumble bump” is SkyTigers. Often riding the line between punk, hardcore, and metal, the self-described “thrash” band are up for Punk / Hardcore Artist of the Year .

Speaking of metal, Lowell area regulars Glacier and Circus Trees are both up for Metal Artist of the Year. A true music connoisseur would actually place these bands in a “post-rock” genre, though such a niche sub-genre would hardly qualify for it’s own category no different from math rock, industrial rock, and the many other sub-genres which exist. Metal seems to be the best broader range category to place such bands in and it’s quite nice to see post-rock now included in general.

PVRIS was nominated for Pop Artist of the Year. While the band has not released an album in 2019, they recently released two singles with accompanying videos, and have an anticipated new EP coming early 2020. The band continues to tour nationally and internationally all while maintaining their hometown of Lowell status on all their social media when they could have easily marketed themselves as “Boston” after their national success. Kudos to them.

Though Lowell is primarily a rock and punk city, Sons Lunaris snagged a well deserved Blues Artist of the Year nomination. They’ve been quietly grinding for awhile now. All while Caroline Gray is unsurprisingly up for Country Act of the Year. Perhaps we’re more musically diverse than we give ourselves credit for.

Lowell even popped into the Video of the Year category with Dracut’s You’re Fired snagging a nod for their recent stellar video for “Forgetmenow”.

Lastly, a handful of nominees may not lay full claim to Lowell as a home base nor necessarily perform in the city often, but still maintain connections to the area. From Worshipper to Carissa Johnson and the Cure Alls, all the way to Boston Emissions and WMFO’s On the Town with Mikey Dee (special shout out to our own Lilz Martin who guest DJs on OTTWMD), all of which have at least some connections to the area. Even Emo Night Boston who held the first Emo Night Lowell earlier this summer snagged a nod.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. It’s a good time to be a musician or local music fan in Lowell.

For a complete list of nominees, visit bostonmusicawards.com

-Joel Gray