The annual Mercury Prize is an award that highlights the best in UK and Irish music. It’s pretty different to your average awards ceremony in that the winners aren’t exactly huge chart-topping pop stars or anything like that. It’s often a hub for discovering innovative, cutting edge, alternative music – and a wonderful opportunity for the artists to spread their wings and expand their listener base. Previous year’s winners have all been astounding, including Young Fathers (who will be in town for Falls & Field Day), James Blake, Arctic Monkeys, PJ Harvey, Pulp and Portishead.
This year’s shortlist has just been released, and as always, it is absolutely stellar. A diverse list of electronic, soul, rock and more, it’s pretty much a playlist of the best UK music out in 2015 thus far.
Here’s all the nominees:
Aphex Twin – Syro
Benjamin Clementine – At Least for Now
C Duncan – Architect
ESKA – ESKA
Florence and the Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Gaz Coombes – Matador
Ghostpoet – Shedding Skin
Jamie xx – In Colour
Róisín Murphy – Hairless Toys
Slaves – Are You Satisfied?
SOAK – Before We Forgot How to Dream
Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool
The winning artist will be announced on November 20 – and it’s going to be a tough one, because every single one of these albums is absolutely brilliant.