One of the most nominated artists, Brandi Carlile, is a gay Americana artist who, as we noted when By The Way, I Forgive You came out, should be embraced by mainstream country but is a little too smart for that genre and its radio-driven charts. The lack of recognition didn’t stop the Grammys from loading this career-best album down with six well-deserved nominations. Her recognition means so much, because this album that deals with the typically feminine issues of motherhood and relationships, but also talks about opioid addiction, LGBTQ visibililty and acceptance, and even a murder ballad about the killing of a Jane Doe. Carlile’s excellent LP takes on a ripped-from-the-headlines vibe at times, wrapped in a crunchy Americana musical package, and it’s is a huge political statement in the Trump era. At a time when the presidential administration refuses to denounce white supremacists, won’t acknowledge the dozens of women who accused the president of sexual misconduct, and has tried to pass legislation to erase transgender people, nominating Carlile for this album is a huge fuck you on behalf of the Academy to the prevailing winds of nationalism that would attempt to blow us apart.