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The 2018 Hyundai Mercury Prize nominees have been announced...


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This year’s nominations for the Hyundai Mercury Prize Album of the Year were released this week, celebrating the best of what British music has to offer. 

The award is given in honour artistic achievement across a range of contemporary genres, with nominations released on BBC Radio 6 on Thursday 26th July.

As usual, some of Britain’s top artists have been featured that had highly speculated releases this year, such as Arctic Monkeys, Jorja Smith, Florence + The Machine and Lily Allen. William Hill has already announced the bookies’ choice of album to win the award, with lowest odds placed at 4/1 for Florence’s album High as Hope, and the highest odds placed 10/1 for Nadine Shah’s Holiday Destination, Novelist’s album Novelist Guy and finally for Sons of Kemet’s record Your Queen is a Reptile. 

The winner will be announced on Thursday 20th September, but for now, let’s have a look at each album and why it’s been nominated.

Arctic Monkeys - Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino 

It was no surprise Arctic Monkeys would be nominated for Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, a hotly anticipated album revival for the band after almost a 3-year hiatus. Alex has been in the news frequently this week for his shaved head and performance of, like a true Strokes fan-girl, 'This Is It'. They also made 2016’s Mercury Prize nominations for AM.

Everything Everything - Fever Dream

Everything Everything bring their EDM and house vibes to the nominations, with a classic Mancunian charm. Fever Dream is a set of “surreal art-pop vignettes” that has been penned as “well-crafted chaos”. A perfect whirlwind to the otherwise standard list of nominations.

Everything is Recorded - Everything is Recorded

The debut album Everything is Recorded by Richard Russell has an impressive list of collaborators, and his tune 'Wet Looking Road' featuring Giggs combines grime to his amazing beats in 'She Said' with Obongjayar & Kamasi Washington.

Florence + The Machine - High as Hope

Florence is back in the game. Her haunting melodies in 'Hunger' guide her way to another starry success both on stage and in the studio. Her vocals are exquisitely arranged and deserve their number 2 in the UK album charts.

Jorja Smith - Lost and Found

Perhaps the most widely loved R&B record of this year, Jorja Smith’s Lost and Found celebrates the best of young, South London culture. Many are hailing her as the next Amy Winehouse with her lyricist talent and cool girl aesthetic. We're pleased to see she’s already made her way to the Album of the Year nominations.

King Krule - The Ooz

In his second studio album The Ooz, King Krule’s single 'Czech One' is calming, a soothing technological melody that is entrancing and floats by. His album has been claimed to come from the “late night London underworld”, which sounds like a cool club.

Lily Allen - No Shame

“No Shame", says Lily Allen. We're glad to see the Twitter expert, controversy warrior and hated peer of Piers Morgan back in action. We’ve missed your witty lyrics from the early noughties. Her embrace of grime and its power in London urban culture is just what we needed to have back in mainstream music, so Piers can back right off by saying nobody is listening to her music – she’s nominated for a Mercury!

Nadine Shah - Holiday Destination

Nadine Shah’s third album Holiday Destination combats socio-political and cultural issues through nouveau punk riffs. Critics have called her “rhythmically compulsive, lyrically passionate and emotionally engaged”, but her odds to win are 10/1 so she’s got to be the underdog.

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Who Built The Moon?

Liam Gallagher tweeted out publicly to Noel to get Oasis back together this week, potentially because of Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ Mercury Album of the Year nomination for Who Built The Moon? It reached Number One in the Album Charts and is a “celebration of rock grandeur of all kinds”.

Novelist - Novelist Guy

Grime artist Novelist released his studio album Novelist Guy only in April. How quickly he has gained a loyal fan base with this year’s judges, who have commended him for his bubbly nature and his “minimalist DIY take on grime”. He is said to be the new voice for black British music culture alongside Jorja Smith.

Sons of Kemet - Your Queen Is A Reptile

The only contender from the jazz genre features Shabaka Hutchings (sax), Tom Skinner (drums), Seb Rochford (drums) and Theon Cross (tuba) to make Sons of Kemet, bringing together their wild artistic talent to create Your Queen is a Reptile. This album is a tribute to “nine remarkable black women”, following each other’s instrumental play to create a jazz masterpiece. 

Wolf Alice - Visions of a Life

Last but in no way least is Visions of a Life, the second studio album by iconic group Wolf Alice. The Londoners capture the angsty indie grunge genre so well, fitting into Dirty Hit Records' (The 1975, Pale Waves, The Japanese House) recipe for success. This band has a long journey of creativity before we can get tired of them.

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