It’s that time of year again where everyone is a music critic and everyone loves to hate on the Mercury Prize shortlist.
This year’s shortlist has been revealed:
- Alt-J – Relaxer
- Blossoms – Blossoms
- Dinosaur – Together
- Ed Sheeran – ÷
- Glass Animals – How to Be a Human Being
- J Hus – Common Sense
- Kate Tempest – Let Them Eat Chaos
- Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone
- Sampha – Process
- Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer
- The Big Moon – Love in the 4th Dimension
- The xx – I See You
Lo and behold keyboard warriors have been unleashed. Questionable decisions? Check (Ed Sheeran, Blossoms). Token jazz? Check (Dinosaur). A dash of grime to seem down with the kids? Check (Stormzy). Former winners looking to do a PJ Harvey? Check (Alt J and The xx). Something “a little bit different”? Check (Kate Tempest). The classic tropes have been adhered to. People have already asked Where Is The Metal? Someone has already talked about how many years Radiohead were nominated without winning.
Personally I think I See You is banging album, but I suppose it wouldn’t be so bad if Loyle Carner or Sampha got a crack at the prize. With judges including Ella Eyre and Marcus Mumford though I wouldn’t be surprised if a M People-level controversial winner is picked, after all what is the Mercury Prize if it isn’t just a provocative PR stunt.