This year’s Mercury Prize nominations have been announced
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It’s that time of year again, and this year’s shortlist for the 2016 Mercury Prize Award has been announced. With a posthumous nomination, runners for UK grime and probably the longest album title to have been considered, this year’s list has been shaken up; despite seven albums having reached the UK top 10, and four bagging the top spot. This year, the public can vote for their favourites of the finalists for the first time online. Leaving six finalists where the original deciding, Hyundai Mercury Prize Judging Panel (including Jessie Ware, Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell, producer Naughty Boy, and broadcaster Clara Amfo), will decide their winner. The finalists and winner, who will be following in last year’s wild card winner, Benjamin Clementine’s footstep, will all be announced during the Awards Show on 15th September. Anohni - Hopelessness Formerly making music as Antony Hegarty, the lead singer of Antony and the Johnson, Hopelessness is the debut solo album from Anohni. Released back in May, the record was co-produced by Anohni with collaborators Oneohtrix Point Never (aka Daniel Lopatin) and Hudson Mohawke (aka Ross Burchard). All about radical change, tracks like ‘4 Degrees’ and its title reflect on the world and the actions of humanity, with poignant focus on nature and war. Light and shade come out to play as rich wine vocals lather speckled electronics. Bat For Lashes - The Bride A concept album about a tragic wedding day, where her groom, Joe, dies in a car crash on the way to the church; there’s grief, anger and aching. The fourth full length from Natasha Khan, her slow storytelling is linked to a short film that she had madeand Joe is a metaphor which she used to explore love. Faerie vocals spin tales of old myths of ‘The Widow’, and doomed lullabies. David Bowie - Blackstar The world was shaken when we lost the legendary David Bowie earlier this year. As a parting gift, he left his twenty fifth studio album which was released on his 69th birthday, two days before his passing. Recorded whilst fighting liver cancer, the lyrics come from the heart of a man who knew death was close. Intense, beautiful and accompanied by a New York jazz combo. Jamie Woon - Making Time Released last year, the second album from the electronica wizard tuned into the soul of 90s neo soul. Breaking away from the critics encouragement to revive dubstep, the Londoner instead made time for groovy bass and R&B glam. It was much appreciated after a five year break, where we only heard him make a brief stint on Disclosure’s debut. Kano - Made in the Manor The fifth album from the man waving the flag for British hip hop is full of ‘New Banger(s)’. With the unfair dismissal of grime at recent British award ceremonies, Kano slots in a way that is impossible to ignore. His first appearance in six years smashed to number 8 in the UK charts. Beats and energy a plenty, with references to all things British; fish n chips and Wagon Wheels, they don’t disguise the depth of the honesty in more melancholic and brutal tracks.
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