Three alternative music acts (besides Gotye) are contenders: England’s The xx, Santigold and the oddly-named Swedish trio Miike Snow.
Some acts whose albums were released prior to this year’s eligibility period (which runs from Oct. 1, 2011 to Sept. 30, 2012) were allowed to compete, a reflection of the Recording Academy’s rules that give building acts an extended window to break through. Five artists whose breakthrough albums were released in the previous eligibility year are credible contenders: Ellie Goulding, Christina Perri, Jessie J, Andy Grammer and Santigold. Country singer and songwriter Brantley Gilbert has been building even longer. His Halfway To Heaven was released in 2010.
Other artists, not already named in this report, that have a reasonable chance of snaring a nomination include rapper Mac Miller and pop acts The Wanted, Imagine Dragons, Alex Clare, Kimbra, Hot Chelle Rae, Karmin, Dev and Cher Lloyd.