The 24th edition of the annual Mercury Music Prize will be hosted on 29th October, where a winner will be picked from twelve nominees who will be announced tomorrow afternoon at 5:30pm.
The nominations for the Mercury Music Prize are set to be announced tomorrow afternoon. Twelve artists who have released albums between 10 September 2013 and 8 September 2014 will be selected by the panel of ten judges representing the British music industry.
Ed Sheeran could score a first Mercury nomination to add to his runaway commercial success
Every year there are selections from way out of left field, and deserved nominees who suffer injustice. So, ahead of the big reveal tomorrow, here are Contactmusic.com’s picks for the 2014 shortlist, a combination of ‘who we think should be nominated’ and ‘who we think will actually be nominated’.
1. Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow
The fourth album by the eternally shape-shifting indie popsters saw them move further into dance territory, making use of programming, loops and sampling. Yet again, another musical experiment that suits them so perfectly you’d never guess as to their humble indie origins.
2. Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots
The former Blur frontman has tried his hand at many projects outside of the context of his former band – Gorillaz; The Good, The Bad & The Queen; Rocket Juice & The Moon; the ‘Dr. Dee’ and ‘Monkey: Journey To The West’ musicals – but Everyday Robots is the first he’s recorded under his own name. A downcast but supremely beautiful piece that had the critics purring.
3. Eagulls – Eagulls
The Leeds five-piece deal in ferociously noisy post-punk, with George Mitchell’s scabrous, barked vocals providing the hallmark of authenticity. Their self-titled debut was released back in March and is becoming the soundtrack to an angry, bored youth bereft of opportunity and hope.
4. Ed Sheeran – X
There’s frequently one nomination whose commercial success is so big that they don’t really need the exposure of the Mercurys – Adele, Amy Winehouse, Coldplay, Muse to name a few. In 2014, we reckon this will go to Ed Sheeran for his mega-selling second album X. Sheeran was surprisingly overlooked for his first album +, but his ramshackle fusion of indie and hip-hop has connected with millions.
5. Eno-Hyde – Someday World
This collaboration effort between legendary electronic music producer Brian Eno and Underworld’s lead singer Karl Hyde is exactly what Mercury judges go for. Polyrhythmical, multi-layered soundscapes fashioned from extended jam sessions, Someday World is decidedly highbrow but wins out over its quick-release successor High Life, which came out only six weeks after this.
FKA twigs, aka Tahliah Barnett, should be high up in the consideration of the Mercury judges
6. FKA twigs – LP1
Tahliah Barnett’s stunning debut was released only a month ago, but has captured the imaginations of many who have listened to it. The atmospheric productions are things of extraordinary beauty, in the vein of Bjork, Massive Attack and The xx. It could be the slow burning, word-of-mouth success of the year.
7. Jungle – Jungle
The modern soul collective Jungle, formed of a core of two founding members in Josh Lloyd-Watson and Tom McFarland, have been an inspiring success story. Having been nominated for the BBC’s Sound of 2014 prize, their debut went Top 10 in the summer and has sold steadily ever since.
8. Manic Street Preachers – Futurology
The Manics are eligible for not one, but two albums in 2014. Both Futurology and its predecessor Rewind The Film were made during the same recording sessions but couldn’t sound more different. We reckon the judges might go for the spiky, stadium sized synth-rock of Futurology over the lush folk of Rewind The Film.
9. Royal Blood – Royal Blood
Following in the footsteps of The White Stripes and The Black Keys, Royal Blood are a duo dealing in stripped down, old fashioned rock. But where they have the edge is in sheer volume, and consequently their brand of dumb rock thrills appeals to rock and metal kids as well as the indie ghetto that spawned them. Sales would seem to back that, as their self-titled debut sold 66,000 copies in its first week.
Royal Blood recently stormed to Number 1 in the UK charts
10. Steven Adams – House Music
Steven Adams is the lead singer of the highly praised Broken Family Band, who are one of the most prolific acts of the last decade, releasing seven albums in eight years. His first solo record is easily on a par with those efforts, and features a number of guest spots from the likes of Justin Young of The Vaccines.
11. Wild Beasts – Present Tense
The Kendal four-piece produce spectral, passionate indie that has gradually built up a sizeable following over the last five years. Present Tense, their fourth consistently great record in a row, saw them break the UK Top 10 for the first time. A second Mercury nomination would be thoroughly deserved.
12. Woman’s Hour – Conversations
A potential dark horse of a nomination if it happened, Woman’s Hour have attracted an enormous amount of critical praise but little in the way of commercial success as yet. Their electronic and synth based indie is dreamy and atmospheric, reminiscent of Simple Minds and Saint Etienne.