Gremmys

Gremmy Awards 2022: Best Rad Instro Album

Best Rad Instro Record

The Gremmys are a stupidly complicated thing, slicing up surf music into imaginary categories just so that I can make sense of things in my head. It's messy -- there are things in this category that could be in another category and vice versa. But the judging criteria of this one is delightfully simple:

Does it rip? How much?

This is a category for surf/instrumentals that aim to get your adrenaline spiking, maybe inspire some headbanging or fistpumping. I call it "rad" because it needs a name and it rhymes with trad. Let's go.

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The Gremmy Awards 2022: Best Modern Surf Record

Best Modern Surf Gremmy

It's been, oh, 60 years since the surfquake and music has changed significantly. Everybody reading this website recognizes that there was something special in surf music, but it can also be crossbred to make new amazing sounds. You don't have to be trying to forge something new, sometimes you're just making the music that makes sense to you. No matter the case, here are the standouts in modernized surf music this year.

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The Gremmy Awards 2022: Best Trad Surf Album

Best Trad Surf Record

This is the category highlighting bands that are most mostly influenced directly by bands from the 1960s and would delight in hearing themselves compared in such a way. There are years where there aren't as many bands in this category as I'd hope, and I get a little more forgiving about what "traditional" sounds like. This year there were so many great trad surf records that I went in the opposite direction, dumping great records into other categories at the slightest hint of modernity and cutting records I like because the bar was simply too high. Certainly not the worst problem to have, but often tough in its own way. Ideally the Honorable Mentions are good enough that somebody else will think they should be the winner. I expect to see a lot of that this year, as there are some true heavyweights below.

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Gremmy Awards 2022: Best Album Art

Best Album Art

I think album art is important. It can not only grab your eye and coax you into listening to a record, but it can inform the listening experience. Surf has developed a strong library of iconography over the years, not to mention a stable of excellent go-to artists. I always enjoy taking a moment to look into who these artists are and recognize them for giving a little more life to this music.

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The Gremmy Awards 2022

The Gremmy Awards 2022

OK surf nuts. Every year around this time I roll out the Gremmy Awards: my way overthought list of what I think are the best surf records of the year. I haven't listened to everything, I certainly haven't listened to them all enough, but I've listened to a lot, and hopefully this can draw some attention to the most deserving releases of the year.

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Gremmy Awards 2021: Guest Gremmys

Guest Gremmys

The Gremmy Awards hinge pretty heavily on my own inexplicable tastes and biases, which is why I like to call for backup and ask for opinions from people who I know absorb a LOT of new surf material. I give them carte blanche as to how they'd like to present it, and most of my "editing" here is just formatting to fit the site better.

I want to make this known: this is publishing in April solely because of me -- these wonderful people submitted these months ago and I've just been such a disorganized mess that I'm getting around to compiling them now.

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Gremmy Awards 2021: Best "Mad" Instro Record

Best "Mad" Instro

This is a category for records that are either intentionally twisting surf conventions, pushing for novelty, or have moved past surf and into territory unknown. Or to put it another way, things that didn't fit neatly enough in the other categories. This is also a weird one to judge, since almost by definition these albums are pretty different from each other. Whatever. Here we go.

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