It’s that time again when a group of music industry experts get together and pick 12 albums that they reckon are this year’s best by a British or Irish artist. This year’s Mercury Prize shortlist is as follows…
Damon Albarn – ‘Everyday Robots’
GoGo Penguin – ‘v2.0’
Kate Tempest – ‘Everybody Down’
Nick Mulvey – ‘First Mind’
Young Fathers – ‘Dead’
So what does this list tell us, then?
1. Either we’re really good at predicting stuff, or the Mercury Prize is just very predictable. Either way, we got seven out of the 12 entries right in our predicted shortlist (for the second year running).
2. No matter what you might have heard, new British music is doing pretty damn well. FKA Twigs, Jungle and Royal Blood are all great new acts who’ve picked up critical and commercial success with their debut albums. We rate them.
3. Jazz is back on the menu, having been totally absent from last year’s Mercury shortlist. GoGo Penguin and Polar Bear (Mercury-nominated once before, almost a decade ago) are two of the best experimental acts in the country, and it’s great to see them on there, despite the inevitable ‘tokenism’ snipes.
4. London rules, basically. Nine of the 12 acts on the list are based here. Evidence of London-centric bias in the music industry? Maybe. But we like to think that it’s mostly because this is obviously the most exciting musical city in the world.
The prize will be presented at the Roundhouse on October 29. We’re going to go out on a limb and tip Jungle, but we wouldn’t be shocked if Royal Blood took it home either.
Send us your tips/moans/statements of apathy now at @timeoutmusic.