and the nominees for the 2018 mercury prize are…
Not all that surprising, really.
It’s that time again! The Hyundai Mercury Music Prize has snuck up on us and all of those British and Irish musicians who released an album between 22 July 2017 -- 20 July 2018 can finally uncross their numb fingers. A go-to judging panel of industry types including Clara Amfo, Ella Eyre, MistaJam, Lianne La Havas, Marcus Mumford and some nice broadsheet music journalists have been busy reflecting on the 200 longlisted albums they’ve been listening to on repeat and, reader, decisions have been made. We’re now down to a shortlist comprising of these 12 albums:
Arctic Monkeys’ Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino, Everything Everything’s Fever Dream, Everything Is Recorded by various XL artists, Florence and the Machine’s High As Hope, Jorja Smith’s Lost & Found, King Krule’s The Ooz, Lily Allen’s No Shame, Nadine Shah’s Holiday Destination, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ Who Built The Moon?, Novelist’s Novelist Guy, Sons of Kemet’s Your Queen Is A Reptile and Wolf Alice’s Visions of a Life.
Honestly, we’re disappointed but not surprised at the number of more established and already commercially successful acts, who are arguably less in need of the £25k prize money. Take freshly-shaven Alex Turner and his Arctic Monkeys for example, who already won the prize back in 2006 for their debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, before scoring further nominations for Favourite Worst Nightmare in 2007 and AM in 2013. Noel Gallagher’s nomination follows his previous two with Oasis back in 95 and 96 for Definitely Maybe and (What's the Story) Morning Glory respectively. While Flo's nomination for her beautiful new record is her third, post Lungs in 2009 and How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful in 2015.
It’s great to see i-D favourites like fiercely independent Jorja Smith, Wolf Alice, King Krule and Novelist on there. Jazz band Sons of Kemet and singer-songwriter Nadine Shah, too, are very deserving, but it seems that some of the UK’s brightest young talent like Charli XCX with Pop 2, SOPHIE’s game-changing OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES and Kamaal Williams’s totally brilliant The Return have been criminally overlooked.
If you’re interested in discovering who the judges think made the Album Of The Year 2018, the winner will be announced during the live Hyundai Mercury Prize Awards Show on 20 September at Hammersmith’s Eventim Apollo. There’ll be performances from some of the nominated acts, pre-recorded video messages from others, and one guaranteed winner. Come on, it’ll be fun!