Best Male Vocalist - 2012
Astronautalis's versatile vocal delivery is a bit like a pinata. Right at the moment it bursts open, things can go every which way, but each song is a treat once you get your hands on it. The Florida transplant, who became a Minneapolis resident in 2011, never falls into a habitual flow about his singing-rhyming-screaming on This Is Our Science. "Lift the Curse" finds him dragging us through the gravel with an Isaac Brock-like timbre, and "The River, the Woods" is a chance for him to exercise some flow as the intensity mounts. He's also able to play well with others, which is evidenced on the tight-in-the-pocket "Contrails" collaboration with Tegan Quin (Tegan & Sara). Not only is this track one of his catchiest singing hooks, a showcase of masterful breath control on his rapping verses, but he's delivering poetry ("The risk is not a slipped grip at the edge of the peak/The real danger is to linger at the base of the thing") all the while.