The Mercury Prize just announced their Albums of the Year shortlist

How many have you listened to?

by Frankie Dunn
23 July 2020, 12:17pm

Charli XCX's 'how i'm feeling now' artwork

We might only be half way through 2020 but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start ranking albums. In fact, just a few weeks ago we rounded up a list of 16 incredible records that you might have missed so far this year. Interestingly, The Mercury Prize (who take into consideration all releases from 20 July 2019 - 17 July 2020) seem to agree with us on quite a few fronts, according to their just-announced 2020 Albums of the Year shortlist.

Revealed live on BBC 6 Music this morning, the list celebrates a cross-genre selection of contemporary British music, as voted by industry judges including Jorja Smith, Anna Calvi and VICE Editorial Director Tshepo Mokoena. For 2020, their shortlist includes Georgia's Seeking Thrills and Laura Marling's Song For Our Daughter (her fourth nomination), as well as i-D favourites like Charli XCX’s lockdown passion project how i’m feeling now, Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia and Stormzy’s Heavy Is the Head.

“To have my little corner of experimental pop music be recognised like this feels very special,” says Charli. “Particularly with this album, which was created in such a unique and collaborative way during such a unique and unknown time.” Stormzy shares Charli’s sentiments: “The Mercury Prize has forever been about the art and the music -- and that’s what means the most to me. To be nominated for the second time around, on my second album, is truly an honour.”

While an IRL Mercury Prize award show is unlikely to happen this year, there’ll be televised coverage (read: performances galore) on 24 September, during which the overall winner will be announced. “In these difficult and uncertain times the Hyundai Mercury Prize is proud to celebrate the remarkable power of music to inspire and exhilarate,” say the judges. “What these albums share is an irresistible urgency, a belief that their music matters more than ever.”

Check out the full shortlist below:

Anna Meredith, FIBS
Charli XCX, how i’m feeling now
Dua Lipa, Future Nostalgia
Georgia, Seeking Thrills
Kano, Hoodies All Summer
Lanterns on the Lake, Spook the Herd
Laura Marling, Song for Our Daughter
Michael Kiwanuka, KIWANUKA
Moses Boyd, Dark Matter
Porridge Radio, Every Bad
Sports Team, Deep Down Happy
Stormzy, Heavy is the Head

Award Shows
The Mercury Prize