The Mercury Prize nominees, which celebrates the best British and Irish albums of the year, have been announced with 12 shortlisted albums making up a list from all walks of life.
From dabblings of Scottish heritage jazz, to pioneering rap and of course landing on a British staple, that cannot be ignored from the Summer we’ve had – imaginative indie-pop.
Jessie Buckley and Bernard Butler – For All Our Days That Tear the Heart
Joy Crookes – Skin
Sam Fender – Seventeen Going Under
Gwenno – Tresor
Kojey Radical – Reason to Smile
Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
Fergus McCreadie – Forest Floor
Nova Twins – Supernova
Self Esteem – Prioritise Pleasure
Harry Styles – Harry’s House
Wet Leg – Wet Leg
Yard Act – The Overload
Some first-time nominees of Sam Fender’s Seventeen Going Under, Harry Styles’ Harry’s House and Self-Esteem’s Prioritise Pleasure are joined by once-nominated Little Simz’s Sometimes I Might Be An Introvert, Joy Crookes’ debut Skin and Isle of Wight collective Wet Leg with their tongue-and-cheek debut. While the list seems to be made up of emphatic albums that seemingly ripped up stages on the festival circuit, many are are disappointed with the lack of diversity on offer – despite Nova Twins being the first Black rock act to be nominated for the prize.
This year for example, only 33% of the nominees are people of colour against a high 64% last year. With that said, seven of the 12 albums nominated are fronted by female solo artists or mixed groups, so the ratio of male and female artists are slowly being tipped in balance over each year.
The judging panel – which includes musicians Anna Calvi, Loyle Carner and Jamie Cullum – said in a statement: …
“Getting down to 12 albums this year was not easy, simply because there were so many remarkable ones to choose from. That serves as proof that British and Irish music thrives during unsettled periods in history, with the albums chosen covering everything from imaginative pop to pioneering rap to Cornish language folk-rock. We feel that these 12 amazing albums each have something to say artistically and socially, all in their own unique, enriching ways.”
This year’s Mercury prize ceremony is held on 8 September 2022 at the Eventim Hammersmith Apollo, with the winner taking home £25,000. Albums by British or Irish artists released between 17 July 2021 and 15 July 2022 were eligible for entry.
With Arlo Parks taking the Mercury crown last year, and fellow nominees Yard Act hedging their bets of Little Simz — who you are putting a bet on to win it this year?