Mercury Prize Nominees Announced - Wolf Alice, SOAK, Florence and the Machine, Jamie xx, and More | Under the Radar - Music Magazine

Mercury Prize Nominees Announced - Wolf Alice, SOAK, Florence and the Machine, Jamie xx, and More

Aphex Twin, Gaz Coombes, and Others Also Nominated

Oct 16, 2015 Bookmark and Share


Since 1992 the Mercury Prize has been awarded to the best British album of the year, meaning an album created by a citizen of the U.K. and Ireland. It's become one of the biggest honors a British musician can receive and can also boost an album's sales in the U.K., especially if it wins. Now this year's nominees have been announced. They include Under the Radar favorites Wolf Alice, SOAK, Florence and the Machine, Gaz Coombes (ex-Supergrass frontman), Jamie xx, and Aphex Twin, among others. The full list of nominees is below.

The Mercury Prize started out strong with Primal Scream's Screamadelica winning in 1992 and Suede's self-titled debut winning in 1993. There have been lots of great artists who have also won since, including PJ Harvey (the only artist to win it twice), Elbow, Portishead, Franz Ferdinand, alt-J, The xx, and others.

By my estimation, however, they've only gotten it right about half the time, in terms of who they've awarded it to. Obviously it's a matter of personal taste, but, for example, forgettable pop band M People beat out such classic albums as Blur's Parklife and Pulp's His 'n' Hers in 1994 (although Pulp's Different Class did win in 1996). Radiohead's universally acclaimed OK Computer, regarded as one of the very best albums of the '90s, lost in 1997. Speech Debelle won in 2009 (beating great albums by Bat For Lashes, Florence and the Machine, Friendly Fires, The Horrors, and The Invisible) and she is probably still primarily known, at least outside the U.K., as the winner of the Mercury Prize. Last year's winner, Scottish hip-hop group Young Fathers, beat out FKA twigs, East India Youth, Jungle, Anna Calvi, Damon Albarn, and others, and are so far still best known as the winners of the Mercury Prize (although it's only been a year since their win).

If I was on the voting panel this year I'd give it to Wolf Alice. We'll have to wait until the November 20th ceremony to see who wins.

Mercury Prize 2015 Nominees:

Aphex Twin - Syro
Benjamin Clementine - At Least for Now
Gaz Coombes - Matador
C Duncan - Architect
ESKA - ESKA
Florence and the Machine - How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
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




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