Politically charged music takes centre stage this year as the nominees for The Mercury Prize awards have been announced. Across the U.K people have been voicing their opinion with regards to the current uncertain political climate we face. As an art, music hasn’t been the type to shy away from the discussion and the 12 nominated albums prove it. The 29th instalment of the prestigious celebration of British music will be held on 19th September at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, West London.
Singer/songwriter and guitarist, Anna Calvi has been nominated for her third album, Hunter. She joins the likes of Amy Winehouse and Wolf Alice for having had all of her studio albums nominated for the award. Foals receive their third nomination for their fifth album, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1 and The 1975 try their luck for the second time for A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships.
With the U.K having a deep history with the genre, Punk leads the pack with the most nominations. Welsh musician Cate Le Bon is nominated for her fifth album, Reward and the Bristol based band Idels for their second album, Joy as an Act of Resistance. Irish band Fontaines D.C. and London’s Black MIDI both receive nominations for their debuts, Dogrel and Schlagenheim respectively.
Representing British hip-hop Little Simz’ Grey Area, Slowthai’s Nothing Great About Britain and Dave’s critically acclaimed debut, PSYCHODRAMA have all been nominated. With national bookmakers currently giving PSYCHODRAMA as the favourite to win.
In alternative genres, London-based ‘wonky funk’ pioneer, Nao is nominated for her second studio album, Saturn whilst the 10-piece jazz collective, SEED Ensemble receive a nomination for their debut, Driftglass.
To assist with this year’s nominations, five new judges from various creative fields were added to the panel. BBC Radio 1 presenter and DJ, Annie Mac, VICE editorial director, Tshepo Mokoena and British singer/songwriters, Gaz Coombes, Jorja Smith and Stormzy joined the remaining seven judges to pick the best albums of the year.
The Mercury Prize Nominees are as follows:
Anna Calvi – Hunter
Black Midi – Schlagenheim
Cate Le Bon – Reward
Dave – Psychodrama
Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1
Fontaines D.C. – Dogrel
Idles – Joy as an Act of Resistance
Little Simz – Grey Area
Nao – Saturn
Seed Ensemble – Driftglass
Slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain
The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships