(RNN) – If the lineup for this year's Grammy awards is any indication, bubblegum music has been chewed up and spit out.
Acoustic, indie and folk-tinged music, once relegated to ultra-hip college and independent radio stations, has gradually taken over the mainstream airwaves in the past year.
Right now, it appears 2012 will go down in music history as the year of the hipster, not the pop tart.
Mumford and Sons, Fun., Alabama Shakes and The Lumineers are among the stripped-down, indie acts vying for Grammys on Sunday.
While there is no clear favorite to run the table the way Adele did last year, Fun., nominated for six Grammys, including Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Best New Artist, has the potential for a very good night.
Mumford and Sons also has six nominations going into music's biggest night, while rock outfit The Black Keys has five.
The Lumineers, whose big breakout song Ho Hey almost didn't make their debut album, have ridden the success of the "little song that could" from the bars of their Denver, CO, home all the way to the music industry's biggest stage.
With its infectious toe-tapping melody, the song topped both the Billboard Independent Album and Rock Songs charts and currently sits at No. 2 on the Billboard 200.
The Lumineers' lead singer thinks listeners have been drawn in by the organic charm of handcrafted music that doesn't require synthesizers, computers and special effects.
"I can tell you that when we play live and when we sometimes go out in the audience, the reaction to just playing your instruments without any help, without any amplification or tricks, that surprises people in kind of a funny way, because you'd think that most people would assume you could play your instruments and how it would sound," Wesley Schultz told the Associated Press. "But they're caught off guard, I think. People are used to things that are overproduced or slick or glossy, and this isn't any of that."
The usual parade of pop stars plays a diminished role in this year's ceremony - they've mostly been consigned to the pop categories.
Katie Perry, who is slated to perform, landed a nomination for Best Pop Solo Performance for Wide Awake.
Carlie Rae Jepsen managed to break into the wider category of musical acclaim, up for Song of the Year for the hyper-viral Call Me Maybe, which has been covered by everybody from Cookie Monster to Corgi on YouTube.
Pop's best hope at Grammy relevance this year lies in one of its brightest and most talented stars. Kelly Clarkson, with her legitimate vocal chops, is up for three awards, including Record of the Year for Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You). Clarkson, the rare artist who transcends her genre and commands the respect of musicians from across the spectrum, is already a two-time Grammy winner.
Lady Gaga, another pop favorite, is not nominated. But if the ghost of awards shows past tells us anything, she and rapper Nicki Minaj will duel for the unofficial award of most, ahem, original outfit of the night.
The music, the fashion and the antics begin Sunday night at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.
Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.
Saturday, November 10 2012 1:48 PM EST2012-11-10 18:48:37 GMT
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