Best Singer/Songwriter - 2011
Okay, okay, so singer/songwriter Ethan Hulse didn't hide in a cabin in northern Wisconsin to write a break-up album via falsetto in the dead of winter. (Instead, he works at the high-school ministry and leads Sunday worship at the Mission Viejo Mariners Church, while also gigging his way through the OC coffee-shop circuit.) But the songs on his EP I Don't Feel Simple are calm and unpretentious, with a touching, memorable quality to them, drawing you in emotionally the same way Bon Iver's songs do. Hulse says the set of songs is "about finding life to be different than what you expected it to be," and the promising collection makes us eagerly anticipate a full-length, which he says will come out sometime this year.