Everybody knows the Grammys and MTV Music Awards. But getting an Oscar for original music featured in a movie means something more than just creating a good song. It means you created a cinematic sound that brought a scene to life. This year, familiar names like Mary J. Blige and Sufjan Stevens are competing against newcomers like Keala Settle or Andra Day.
Below, you can listen to the nominated songs and get an idea of the story they help to tell. Maybe you can figure out which one will take home the Oscar.
Mary J. Blige “Mighty River” for Mudbound
Mudbound is a drama following soldiers returning from World War II dealing with PTSD and struggling with racism in the South. The song is a tearjerker with piano, intense harmonies and a build up that’ll make your heart drop.
Sufjan Stevens “Mystery Of Love” for Call Me By Your Name
Set in the beautiful Italian countryside, Call Me By Your Name is a coming-of-age story about love blossoming between two extremely good-looking guys. The song is very much Sufjan style—flowery, soothing and emotional and perfectly fits the film’s journey of romantic exploration.
Miguel ft. Natalia Lafourcade “Remember Me” for Coco
Pixar’s Coco is an animated film about a boy who discovers his roots after finding himself in the world of the dead. Yes, it’s a kids’ movie and yes, this song will make you cry.
Andra Day ft. Common “Stand Up For Something” for Marshall
Marshall tells story about one of Thurgood Marshall’s first cases and Andra Day’s “Stand Up For Something” is a powerful ballad with strong vocals and a rap from Common that’ll get any listener on their feet and ready to change the world.
Keala Settle “This Is Me” for The Greatest Showman
Based on the incredible but true story of P. T. Barnum, the The Greatest Showman is a musical devoted to bringing the spectacle of wonders to life. This pop song will inspire your to love everything that you are.