Once a year since 1992, the British Phonographic Industry And British Association Of Record Dealers hands out the Mercury Music Prize to one album that’s come out of the UK or Ireland. A bunch of UK music-business types select what they determine to be the best album that the two countries have to offer, and they give out the award with as much ballyhoo as possible. Last year, the sincere London rapper Dave won it for his album Psychodrama, and other recent winners have included Wolf Alice, Sampha, and Skepta. This year’s list of nominees came out this morning.
The two highest-profile nominees on this year’s list might be pop-star futurists Charli XCX and Dua Lipa, who are up for the intentional quarantine album how i’m feeling now and the unintentional quarantine album Future Nostalgia, respectively. Georgia, who is not yet a pop star but who makes the same kind of club-pop, is also up for Seeking Thrills.
Big-deal UK rappers Stormzy and Kano are also nominated, as are the folk-rock singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka and the straight-up folk singer-songwriter Laura Marling. And there’s a lot of indie rock on the list: Porridge Radio, Anna Meredith, Lanterns On The Lake.
But there are also some notable snubs. FKA twigs is not up for MAGADALENE, which seems outright insane. The 1975, nominated last year, did not make the list for Notes On A Conditional Form. No Jessie Ware or Rina Sawayama, either. Check out the list of 12 nominees, in alphabetical order, 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
The Mercury Prize winner will be announced 9/24, though we presumably won’t get some big awards show this year. This year’s panel of judges includes Anna Calvi, Annie Mac, Supergrass’ Gaz Coombes, and Jamie Cullum.