The Hyundai Mercury Prize ‘Albums of the Year’ celebrates musical talent and diversity in the British music industry, and the shortlist, chosen by an independent judging panel, has now been revealed by BBC Music’s Huw Stephens.
Arctic Monkeys Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
Arctic Monkeys are Alex Turner, Matt Helders, Jamie Cook and Nick O‘Malley.Released in May 2018 on Domino Recordings, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is the band’s sixth studio album and was produced by James Ford and Alex Turner. Their debut album won the Mercury Prize in 2006.
‘The Arctic Monkeys’ guide to the galaxy! Edge of the world singing, brilliant songwriting and impeccable music making. A triumph’
From Manchester, Everything Everything are Jonathan Higgs, Jeremy Pritchard, Michael Spearman and Alex Robertshaw. Featuring the singles Can’t Do, A Fever Dream, Desire and Night of the Long Knives, their album A Fever Dream was produced by James Ford
and Everything Everything. It was released in August 2017 on RCA Victor / Sony Music
‘An exhilarating set of surreal art-pop vignettes. Urgently jagged vocals soar through supremely well-crafted sonic chaos. Inventive, surprising and compulsive’
Everything Is Recorded Everything Is Recorded
Everything Is Recorded are an impromptu collective, led by Richard Russell. Their eponymous debut album was released in February 2018 on XL Recordings. Featuring contributors including Giggs, Damon Albarn, Mark Ronson, Ibeyi and last year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize winner Sampha, the album was produced by Richard Russell.
‘Richard Russell’s loving orchestration of a wonderful range of supportive sounds and voices. A profoundly soulful and inspiring meditation on loneliness and friendship’
Florence + The Machine High as Hope
Florence + The Machine’s High as Hope was released in June 2018 on Virgin EMI. Florence Welch’s fourth studio album, it reached number 2 in the UK Album Charts. It was produced by Florence and Emile Haynie. The album includes the singles Hunger and Sky Full of Song.
‘This unexpectedly revealing, rueful confessional album is, above all, a magnificent celebration of the extraordinary musical power and subtlety of Florence’s unique voice’
Jorja Smith Lost & Found
Jorja Smith is originally from Walsall. Her debut album Lost & Found was released on FAMM in June 2018. It features the singles Blue Lights, Where Did I Go? and Teenage Fantasy. Lost & Found was recorded at Red Bull Studios, London, The Sauna, London, and King Size Studio, Los Angeles.
‘Toughly elegant, confidently mellow, emotionally acute – a remarkable debut album’
Southwark-born King Krule, also known as Archy Marshall, released his second studio album The Ooz in October 2017 on XL Recordings. The album features the singles Czech One, Dum Surfer and Half Man Half Shark. The Ooz was produced by King Krule and Dilip Harris.
‘Archy Marshall’s intrepid notes from the late night London underworld. Hypnotic and unsettling – with sudden moments of startling beauty’
No Shame is the fourth studio album by Lily Allen. The album was recorded at Record Room Studios, Miami, Electric Lady Studios, New York and HOXA HQ, London. The Top 10 album features the singles Trigger Bang, Lost My Mind and Three. It was released in June 2018 on Parlophone.
‘Sparkling pop with a refreshingly sharp bite. Lily Allen takes on her critics and her younger self with great wit and verve’
Nadine Shah is a singer-songwriter from Whitburn, South Tyneside. Released on 1965 Recordings / PIAS in August 2017, Holiday Destination is Shah’s third album. It features the single Mother Fighter and was produced by Ben Hillier.
‘An inspiring and infectious challenge to borders of all sorts – political, cultural and musical. Rhythmically compulsive, lyrically passionate and emotionally engaged’
Who Built the Moon? is the third album from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. Released on Sour Mash in November 2017, it reached Number One in the UK Album Charts. Who Built the Moon? was produced by David Holmes, and features the singles Holy Mountain,
It’s a Beautiful World, She Taught Me How to Fly and If Love is the Law.
‘A majestically gleeful celebration of rock grandeur of all kinds. Noel Gallagher challenges the world and wins!’
Kojo Kankam, better known as Novelist, is a Grime MC and producer from Lewisham, South London. His debut studio album Novelist Guy was released on April 2018 on MMMYEH Records. It was produced by Novelist and features the single Nov Wait Stop Wait.
‘A boldly original, playful and minimalist DIY take on grime. An important and vivid young voice in black British music culture’
Sons of Kemet are a jazz group led by bandleader Shabaka Hutchings (sax) and featuring Tom Skinner (drums), Seb Rochford (drums) and Theon Cross (tuba). Their third album Your Queen is a Reptile was released in March 2018 on Impulse! / Decca. It was produced by Shabaka Hutchings and Dilip Harris.
‘Shabaka Hutchings’ tribute album for nine remarkable black women is a triumph of intricate instrumental interplay and astounding collective energy’
From London, Wolf Alice are Ellie Rowsell, Joel Amey, Jof Oddie and Theo Ellis. Their second studio album Visions of a Life was released in September 2017 on Dirty Hit. Produced by Justin Meldal-Johnsen, it features the singles Don’t Delete the Kisses, Beautifully Unconventional and Heavenward.
‘An exuberant tapestry of swirling pop, grunge and indie guitar rock. Enchanting, cool and swaggering – cautionary stories from life on the road’
The 2018 Hyundai Mercury Prize judges are: Clara Amfo – Broadcaster & DJ; Danielle Perry – Broadcaster & Writer; Ella Eyre – Musician and Songwriter; Harriet Gibsone – Deputy Editor, The Guardian Guide; Jamie Cullum – Musician and Broadcaster; Jeff Smith – Head of Music, 6 Music and Radio 2; Lianne La Havas – Musician and Songwriter; Marcus Mumford – Musician and Songwriter; Mike Walsh – Head of Music, Radio X; MistaJam – DJ & Broadcaster; Phil Alexander – Creative Director, Kerrang!/Contributing Editor, Mojo; Will Hodgkinson – Chief Rock & Pop Critic, The Times. The Chair of the judging panel is Jeff Smith.
The judges said ‘This year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize celebrates albums by musicians at all stages of their careers, but with a shared belief in the importance of music for navigating life’s challenges – whether personal or political, falling in or out of love, growing up or looking back, angry or ecstatic. The music here is funny and inspiring, smart and moving. 12 amazing albums!’
The 2018 Awards Show will take place on Thursday 20 September at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith. The event will feature live performances from many of the shortlisted artists and the evening will culminate in the announcement of the overall winner of the 2018 Hyundai Mercury Prize for Album of the Year. The Prize’s broadcast partner, BBC Music, will be providing live television and radio coverage of the event on BBC Four and BBC Radio 6 Music. Spotify will also help music fans discover new music with playlists featuring the 12 shortlisted artists and albums.
Further information is available here.