- 22 Jul 21
The list includes a third appearance out of three for rock outfit Wolf Alice and their recent album ‘Blue Weekend'.
The initial shortlist for this year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize has been announced.
The annual award for the best British album of the year has revealed a twelve nominated records, all released between 18 July 2020 and 16 July 2021. No Irish acts made the list, despite being eligible for nomination. For Those I Love's stunning self-titled debut album was a possible contender, while Kojaque and Saint Sister were also potential favourites.
Wolf Alice's third album Blue Weekend made the list, following up on a nomination for their debut Love Is Cool, and their Mercury winning second full-length Visions of a Life. You can read our recent interview Wolf Alice around the release of Blue Weekend here.
Other albums to make the cut include Celeste's Not Your Muse, Black Country, New Road’s debut album For The First Time, Arlo Park’s Collapsed In Sunbeams, Ghetts’ Conflict Of Interest and Laura Mvula’s Pink Noise.
All three of Mvula's studio albums have been shortlisted for the Mercury Prize but she is yet to win.
Scottish post-rock group Mogwai score their first nomination, more than 25 years after they were founded in Glasgow. As The Love Continues, their 10th record, also earned them their first number one in February this year. Their previous chart peak had come in 2017 when they reached number six with Every Country’s Sun. Before this, only one of their records had cracked the top 10.
Trinidad-born singer and rapper BERWYN’s Demotape/Vega also features among the nominees, after he claimed third place in the BBC Music Sound of 2021 poll.
This year's Hyundai Mercury Prize judging panel included DJ Annie Mac, musician Jamie Cullum, songwriter Anna Calvi, broadcaster Danielle Perry, DJ Gemma Cairney and musician Hazel Wilde.
“It is testament to the strength of British music that, during a year which saw musicians face the toughest challenges of their lives, so many remarkable albums came out nonetheless," the judges said.
“There was an embarrassment of riches for this year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize judges to choose from, but the final 12 show how diverse, vibrant and far-reaching British music continues to be. Choosing one winner out of 12 albums that bring so much hope for the future will be a challenge indeed.”
Last year’s Mercury Prize was won by Michael Kiwanuka with his third album Kiwanuka, fending off competition from Stormzy, Laura Marling and Dua Lipa. He recently joined this year's judging panel.
The winner of the prize will be announced at a ceremony taking place at London’s Eventim Apollo on 9th September.
Check out the full list of nominated albums below:
Arlo Parks – Collapsed In Sunbeams
BERWYN – DEMOTAPE/VEGA
Black Country, New Road – For the First Time
Celeste – Not Your Muse
Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra – Promises
Ghetts – Conflict Of Interest
Hannah Peel – Fir Wave
Laura Mvula – Pink Noise
Mogwai – As the Love Continues
Nubya Garcia – SOURCE
SAULT – Untitled (Rise)
Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend