Every year since 1992, the British Phonographic Industry and British Association of Record Dealers have awarded the Mercury Prize to the best album out of the UK and Ireland. Recent winners have included Skepta’s Konnichiwa in 2016, Sampha’s Process in 2017, and Wolf Alice’s Visions Of A Life in 2018. And today the 2019 shortlist has been unveiled.
There are a lot of interesting candidates this year. The 1975’s A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships is probably the most high-profile choice. Hip-hop records from Dave (Psychodrama), slowthai (Nothing Great About Britain), and Little Simz (Grey Area) are in the mix, as are the exciting young rock bands Black Midi (Schlagenheim), Fontaines D.C. (Dogrel), and IDLES (Joy As An Act Of Resistance). Cate Le Bon’s Reward, Anna Calvi’s Hunter, NAO’s Saturn, Foals’ Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1, and the SEED Ensemble’s Driftglass round out a fascinating crop of candidates.
Here’s an alphabetized version of the list:
Black Midi – Schlagenheim
Anna Calvi – Hunter
Dave – Psychodrama
Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1
Fontaines D.C. – Dogrel
IDLES – Joy As An Act Of Resistance
Cate Le Bon – Reward
Little Simz – Grey Area
NAO – Saturn
SEED Ensemble – Driftglass
slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain
The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships
The panel selecting this year’s winner includes Stormzy, Jorja Smith, Annie Mac, and Gaz Coombes of Supergrass among others. The 2019 ceremony is scheduled for 9/19 at Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, London. It’ll be broadcast on BBC Four and BBC Radio 6 Music.